What to Do When Buying Used Toys
Children’s toys will never go out of style. As long as people have new little ones, they’ll need toys to keep them entertained. Parents know how fast their children seem to grow up and how quickly they can grow out of the toys they’re given. Thankfully, plenty of these toys don’t go to waste and end up being donated to places like our 2nd Avenue stores to continue their lives.
The temptation of wanting to buy new toys for new children is a big one, but there’s no need to break the bank on great toys when you can get them secondhand for much cheaper. This guide will give you a few tips on what to do when buying used toys so that you can find the items you need and feel good about giving them to your children.
Inspect Them for Safety
The most important question on your mind is probably whether a specific toy is safe for your child. Older toys have the potential complication of being made in times when safety was less of a focus. Make sure you inspect toys for things like chipping paint or sharp bits to ensure that it’s safe to handle. While 2nd Avenue inspects every item that we receive, doing your own due diligence will put your mind at ease when giving your child their new toy.
It’s important to remember to do this for all toys, not just older ones. Searching online for reviews of newer toys you find secondhand can also lead to better purchases. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from one of 2nd Avenue’s representatives, we are always here to help.
Ensure Everything Works
Once you’ve inspected everything for safety, the next step is making sure the toy actually works. This is especially important for toys and games that have small parts. Missing screws, lost pieces, faulty springs, all can turn what was going to be a thoughtful gift into another useless piece of junk to collect dust somewhere.
When buying things like board games, take some time to open the box and inspect the contents. Are all the pieces inside? Is the rule book inside and in good condition? The best part about shopping secondhand for toys and games is that you never know what you’ll find. However, if you’re not careful, that new board game you wanted to play with your child could end up unplayable without all the right pieces.
Consider Your Child’s Age
As it goes with buying anything for children, you must consider the appropriate age range of the toys you are buying. Secondhand toys can sometimes have mixed age range toys in the same place. This becomes more important when you are looking at something you’ve never seen before. Just because something is on the toy shelf does not mean it can be given to any child.
Another thing to consider is the objective of the toy you want to buy. Between recreational and educational toys, there’s a big difference in what kind of children will get the most out of them. Recreational toys may be used by lots of different children in many age ranges, but educational toys need a little more thought put into them. Understanding the function of some toys can help you pick out the right fit for the child that will receive them.
One of the more fun aspects of buying secondhand toys is that you get to take a trip down memory lane. Perhaps one of our stores has a game from your own childhood that you would love to teach to a child in your life. This creates a new way to bond with children that can’t always be done with more modern toys. Something as simple as a stuffed animal you used to have could foster a new connection between you and your child.
Reaching for nostalgia will also help you decide what to buy should you not find exactly what you were looking for. Try to remember the toys you used to love when you were a kid; remember the games you used to play and use that knowledge to inform your purchases.
Clean Them Properly at Home
It should go without saying, but always properly clean any toys or games you bring back to your home. The length of time on the shelf and how much they are handled by other customers are two reasons to make sure the toys are properly sanitized. This becomes even more important if the toys are intended for very small children or toddlers that may have the urge to put things in their mouths.
Toys made of fabric should be washed in a washing machine on a gentle cycle. Plastic toys should be washed to remove any collected dust and sanitized in a way that is not harmful to children should they ingest any part of it. For wooden toys, ensure there are no stray splinters or nicks that could cause a nasty accident.
The benefits of buying toys used are many. They are much cheaper than toys from large retailers, sometimes they can be one third the price of a new one. Recycling toys helps the environment by keeping more plastic and fabric out of landfills, an important concern all of us should have. They are great ways to share memories with your children and bond with them in a new way. These tips on what to do when buying used toys will make sure that your playroom is fully stocked, and your wallet isn’t too light.
Here at 2nd Avenue, we pride ourselves on providing the best quality items at the lowest prices. Toys and games are a large part of our inventory, and you don’t have to buy them one at a time. For even more value, you can check out our collections of similarly themed toys that you can buy in one package to save even more money. Don’t fall into the trap of buying new all the time when there are so many better options!
2nd Avenue’s thrift stores in Laurel, MD, and our other locations, are ready for you. Whether that means you are looking to offload some of your own children’s toys, or you are looking to buy something new for that special child in your life, 2nd Avenue has a giant selection that can’t be beat.