Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I Will Never Buy a New Toy Again

[I've moved to www.littlegreensecrets.com. Please visit me there!]

Toys are fun, but toys can be expensive. With three young children, toys are a must. We have even dedicated a room for just play, toys, fun, etc. Our children play more hours of the day than they sleep. They enjoy the few toys they have and I truly get my moneys worth because they play regularly with them. Price, practicality, and space help me determine if it’s time to purchase a new toy.

I know consignment sales are not a new concept, but I was used to finding racks of clothing that showed their wear and tear and were some what over-priced for a used item. I never bothered looking for toys because there were always too many missing parts, cracked pieces, and again wear and tear that showed a child had really enjoyed the toy in its heyday.

I recently went to a Just Between Friends (JBF) consignment sale. The company started as a small business by two moms (I love supporting mommy businesses.) and has grown into a franchise opportunity. Under one roof, moms bring their ‘children’s gently used clothes, furniture, equipment, toys, and even maternity’ to sell. The consigner, preps, prices, and stages their items and JBF does all of the rest with the consigner receiving a check a few weeks after the sale.

I had no intentions of buying anything, but instead planned to look around. I managed to make it through the first two days of the sale while watching well conditioned clothes and toys pass through the check-out aisle. The “penny saver” 50% off day did me in. I spent $20 and got about $80 retail worth of toys. I already have plans to attend the fall sale and consign the same toys I bought, and maybe some others items too, so I can afford to buy "new" toys for my now one year old. I found great prices, a variety of well conditioned toys, and left with no good reason to buy another new toy. There are also a lot of shopping/discount perks for volunteers, first-time moms and grandparents, and teachers too (homeschoolers included).

A great green concept - consignment sales can save on manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and promote recycling, reusing, and reduce landfill accumulation. This is definitely eco-friendly.

Planning to shop a consignment sale/store, then here are a few tips:

1. Check recalls.
2. Make a list of what you are looking for. You can go directly to the product area. (periodic sales - I missed out on a great castle for my daughter.)
3. Carpool with friends.
4. Get there early.
5. Clear your clutter and consign some items. You can make some money and/or pay for what you buy with your earnings.

Online consignment:

Apple Blossom Baby
2 Chicks
Christabelle’s Closet
The Conscious Child
U and I trade

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Jenet said...

Make sure you check the recall lists. Many toys today are really over priced and expensive and many parents keep up with the newest and beat so keep an eye out and then there's always CL.

klara said...

i love toys but yep they're expensivo! i like to go buy the rule in general when buying something a child absolutely must have is they must get rid/donate something of there's as well. cool blog. Uploaded this post to http://sustain.newsladder.net/ (like Digg but centered around
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