How to Buy Educational Toys on a Budget

How to Buy Educational Toys on a Budget

Today’s parents can go broke trying to buy educational toys for their tots. There is a solution! With a bit of know how you can find plenty of ways to find the same items for much less money.

Every parent wants her child to succeed in life. Educational toys fill the isles at the department stores with high price tags to match. If you don’t mind a few scratches and dings, brand names such as Leap Frog, Playskool and VTech can be found in a few unsuspecting places.

How to Buy Educational Toys on a Budget

Consignment Shops

So many times, we overlook these stores filled with gems. Consignment shops sell gently used items for a fraction of the brand new price. A treasure trove of toys, clothing and games are usually in stock. Many times newer items are available. Some of the stores will pay customers for the items they sell in the store, or give them a line of credit to purchase things in-house. It is a great trade off if you have clothes or older toys the kids have outgrown. Newer Leap Frog systems, Nintendo DSi games and Fisher Price toys are almost always available to purchase.

Some stores will have a list of people waiting for a certain item. Leave your name and telephone number and the specific educational toy request with the people running the store. When they become available, you will get the first call.

How to Buy Educational Toys on a Budget

Thrift Stores

Scouring thrift stores can usually end in success searching for second-hand educational toys. People donate the items to the store, and in turn lower prices are on the tags. In most cases, volunteers man the store, allowing the costs to stay low, including the price of the toys.

Most of these stores will also take down your information and call when specific items are given to the store. Charitable organizations, including churches, run the thrift stores to help the needy in the community. Thrift stores are in most towns and cities.

Garage Sales

Many parents don’t have the time to take used items to a consignment shop, so they opt to have a garage sale instead. Unused toys, gaming systems and learning toys can be found for pennies. As with any garage sale item, bargaining for a lower price than advertised is a sure way to get them even cheaper.

Nowadays, garage sale items are sometimes listed on sites such as Craigslist before the sale starts. Looking though the classifieds on the computer or in the newspaper is a great way to get a head start on finding the good deals. If all else fails and you don’t see what you are looking for, check out doodle buckets for good deals on the top new toys.

How to Buy Educational Toys on a Budget

Toy Exchanges

Toy exchanges can be a great way to find something new at no cost. Simply clean the educational toy, make sure it is in good working order and bring it to the exchange. Usually, boxes will be set around a large room with price amounts listed on the outside. Figure out what the toy is worth and place it in the box.

Then, find one or several toys worth the same amount. Most of the toy exchanges use the honor system and expect people to stick the price of the toy they donated.

If a toy has a recall on it, it will not be allowed in the exchange. Broken or worn-out toys will not be accepted because of condition. If unclear about a toy, check with the exchange to make sure it is okay to bring. Some exchanges have rules about what can be brought to trade in. So be sure to do your reading first.

You can search online sites and the classified sections for listings of upcoming toy exchanges.

Kids love educational toys, but can outgrow them in a short time. It is best to search for wanted items in places where the prices aren’t too painful to pay. The toys may not be as shiny, but they still work the same.

Have you found deals on educational toys in the past? Share your finds with us!

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.
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