The MOST Under-appreciated Thrift Store Section
What’s one thing you feel like you could never buy at a thrift store? Underwear?–We’re with you there. Shoes?–Well actually, buying used shoes is perfectly OK. A lot of parents balk at the idea of buying used toys for their children, which is why we feel that the toy section is the most under-appreciated section of thrift stores (the second-most under-appreciated section is books…but that’s another post entirely).
Anyway, we’re here today to tell you that buying used toys is actually a great idea that can save you a lot of money over buying new.
Repeat this: “Toys are expensive and kids outgrow them quickly.” (“Toys are expensive and kids outgrow them quickly”)
Good. Yes. They absolutely are and they absolutely do (respectively). Which is why is makes so much sense buy secondhand toys; they cost a fraction of what new ones cost so in a month when your kid no longer wants it, you won’t feel as bad and will still be $15 richer.
But! Before you head to your local thrift store, we have a few tips to help you buy used toys like a pro.
Things to Bring to the Store With You:
1. Hand sanitizer- Because at the very least your hands may get a little dusty. And at the very worst….well, let’s just say that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Small screwdriver- To open battery compartments and check for corrosion and water damage
3. Your smart phone. Not only can you check current retail prices (and calculate your savings) but you can check toy recall notices as well.
At the Store:
Thrift store toys are divided into two general categories: hard toys and soft toys. There may also be a subsection of grab-bag style small toys. You may not have ever noticed this before (but now you will!).
Hard toys are just that–toys that are hard; typically made of wood, plastic or a resin composite. Hard toys include action figures, movie characters, musical toys, cars and trucks, and even some plush toys that have hard parts or battery packs. Used hard toys are especially great to purchase because they are easily disinfected with spray or wipes. The VTech Sing & Discover (pictured) below, is a prime example of a great thrift store find. And do you see that bead maze behind it? Bead mazes are a classic toy; it’s also a great find!
Soft toys are a little trickier to disinfect but don’t completely disregard them. Here’s what we recommend:
Do a little research beforehand and learn which brands make machine-washable products. At the store, squeeze the plush animal or character and try to determine what its stuffed with. Most are filled with polyester fiberfill, which is machine washable. Some are filled with plastic pellets, which are also machine washable, while others may be filled with foam pellets or something else entirely and are not machine washable. Kim at A Real Life Housewife has more specific advice for cleaning plush toys.
What are some of your best thrift store toy finds? Or do you disagree that used toys are the most under-rated items at a thrift store? Tell us in the comments below!
We are one of the top credential clothing suppliers in the USA. We offer wholesale used clothing (mixed rags), shoes, toys, and other household goods. Specifically regarding secondhand toys: Hard toys are packed in gaylords while soft toys are baled. To inquire about our current prices for both soft toys and hard toys (or any of our other products), please contact us.