Sometime in 2016, a friend stayed over at our home for an evening. He saw our son’s room and all the toys that he had there. This friend works as a Principal of an elementary school in the Philippines. He said: “Wow, your son’s room and toys look like a full play area for a kindergarten in the Philippines!”
We laughed at his statement at the time. It’s true, our son has a lot of toys. And the good thing is that we did not pay full price for those toys. In most cases, we got those toys at a bargain. If you also have a small child, here are some tips to save money on children’s toys in the USA.
Here are some of the toys we got from different sources and the corresponding price:
Train and Activity table: $40 Craigslist
Hot Wheels Playsets: $20 from Craigslist
Various robots and cars – got it from Goodwill thrift stores
Craigslist is a treasure trove of used goods! Just go to your city’s craigslist address (if you have one). Our is http://Nashville.Craigslist.org. Type in any toy you’re looking for and look at the listings. In my case I sometimes look for specific toys such as Hot Wheels cars, Transformers, etc. I look at the listed for sale toys and contact the seller if I like it.
You could also go to the “For Sale” section and browse through the listings on the toys+games section. You can even specify the price and the location of the toys you want to buy on Craigslist. Just explore the website and you’ll see different options.
Facebook has also tried copying some of the features of Craigslist through its Marketplace. On your smartphone, click on the Facebook Marketplace icon to start searching. On a laptop or desktop, you could also search the Marketplace. You may want to specify the toys you are looking for. Facebook remembers the things you searched for and will show you similar results in the future. Also check Buy and Sell groups near you on Facebook. You may be able to score some good deals there.
Goodwill and Thrift stores.
Goodwill is where people donate their used goods. Goodwill then sells these goods to consumers at reduced prices. T-shirts sell for $4.99, jeans for $7.99, and you could get toys for cheap as well. You could also buy some furniture and lots of used books.
They usually have a pile of toys where you could put toys in a ziplock bag and pay only $2. Our son is pretty good at spotting good toys and he was able to get Transformers robots, some Minions figures, Cars characters, and a whole lot more.
Children’s Consignment Stores.
Because our son grows at a really fast rate, he outgrows his clothes in just a few months. So we visit Children’s consignment stores near us. If you don’t know any place near you, just go to Google Maps and type “children’s consignment store” and you will be able to look up one or a few.
There may also be some seasonal consignment store near you. In our case, a consignment store opens near us every Fall and Spring when people are cleaning up and want to get rid of stuff in their home.
Store Closing Liquidation Sale.
This one can be rare, depending on where you live. But if a store is closing down, they need to get rid of all the merchandise in their stores. When a local Fred’s store closed near us in early 2017, we saved a lot of money by buying toys that we then marked for nieces and nephews in the Philippines. A lot of those toys were 50% or even 70% off.
If you have other tips in saving money on toys, share them in the comments section below.