As your children get older, you may notice that birthdays and Christmas become more expensive due to the growing cost of toys. Balls and rattles are no longer enough – your children now want expensive collectibles, games consoles and scooters.
Toy shopping can be an expensive experience for parents. Children’s toys are manufactured in large quantities, making it easy for retailers to charge high prices. However, there are ways to shop smart and save money on children’s toys. Kids get more toys as they age, so it’s smart to buy gifts for your child’s age group at each birthday party.
Most toy purchases are temporary for kids younger than age three. Manufacturers make toys using a three-step process. First, they make prototypes using inexpensive materials. After testing the prototypes, manufacturers create finished products using higher-quality materials. This three-step process increases the toy’s durability and cost. Toys designed this way are more expensive to produce and sell. Manufacturers desperately want new buyers for their toys when the new generation of children is born. This means it’s wise to wait until your child reaches age three before buying them more than a couple of toys.
Whilst you certainly shouldn’t buy your kids everything that they want, your children shouldn’t be deprived of toys either. By adopting a few money-saving tricks, you can cut the cost of kids’ toys and make them more affordable. Here are just a few ways to save money on children’s toys.
Hit the sales
You can often save money on children’s toys by shopping during sales periods. The January Sales and the Black Friday weekend are two great times to nab deals on toys. Targeting these sales may involve some forward planning but is certain to be worth it. It’s worth also trying off season sales – outdoor toys such as water guns and trampolines tend to be heavily discounted at the end of summer.
Used toys are also likely to be a lot cheaper than brand new ones. Obviously, you do need to be careful about the condition of these toys – some used toys may be worn and could break more easily.
Try looking for gently used second-hand toys or toys that have never been taken out of the packet (after Christmas many people will sell unwanted gifts which may include kids’ toys). It makes sense to reuse old toys instead of buying new ones. Kids grow quickly as they age; older siblings don’t have enough space for all their old toys anymore. Toys made especially for toddlers don’t last long without big brothers and sisters beating them up or putting them in their mouth. Fortunately, there are ways to repair broken toys without buying new ones. You can guarantee your child has enough toys by repurposing old ones or buying second hand ones instead of buying new ones every year or so.
Ebay, Vinted and local Facebook selling pages are a good way of finding second hand toys. Jumble/car boot sales are also a good option allowing you to buy locally and pick up in person, so you can inspect the quality of the toys before you commit to buying them.
Make sure when buying used toys that they have been cleaned by the previous owner (this is particularly important with toys for toddlers, which may be covered in germs due to kids putting them in their mouths). Buying toys from a second hand shop as opposed to an independent seller can guarantee better quality and cleanliness, however you could pay higher prices.
It’s also possible to get discounts by using coupons. Many retailers will hand out coupons throughout the year to be used between certain periods. Sites like NetVoucherCodes.co.uk can help you hunt for coupons that can be used online on items like toys. By signing up to toy retailer mailing lists, you can also sometimes receive free coupons. Make sure to always check the expiry date so that you get use out of your coupons whilst they’re still valid.
Some retailers allow you to collect points which can lead to discounts in the long run. For instance, the likes of Smyths Toys allows you to collect nectar points which can then be spent on toys – you can find out more information here Nectar.com. Many video games stores also offer loyalty cards for collecting points on.
It’s also a good idea to shop online for toys for your children. Stores rarely have age groups selected when selling toys to preschoolers and younger kids. Instead of shopping, you’ll need to search each store’s website to find age groups for your child. After that, you’ll only need to check the store’s inventory and place your order for toys easily online. You’ll also have access to larger selection of toys with lower prices online than in stores. Most retailers ship their products directly from their manufacturer or wholesale locations, minimizing their cost of production and delivery to stores. Lower production costs mean lower prices for consumers; shop online today!
Buy joint presents
When it comes to expensive toys, consider getting friends and relatives to chip in some money. Its likely many relatives will be stuck for ideas on gifts and allowing them to put some money towards a gift that your child really wants could prevent them from wasting money on an unwanted gift. Obviously, you shouldn’t ask to much of the people around you – it’s best letting them decide how much they want to contribute to an expensive gift.
Consider whether all your kids need their own games console or their own identical set of dolls. Encouraging kids to share toys could be beneficial for them in the long run, teaching them patience and respect for others’ needs. At the same time, you’ll save money by not having to buy the same gift for each child.
Be wary of toy fads
Before buying this year’s must-have toy, consider whether your kids are likely to still play with it in a few months. If your kids have a habit of jumping on trends and then abandoning these trends immediately after, consider waiting it out a little bit before buying them these toys – if they still want it after a few months, then it’s clear that it’s something they really want and not just a short-lived fad.
So there you have just a few tips on how you can save money on children’s toys. Do you have any top tips on how to save money on children’s toys? Do share in a comment below.