When it come to purchasing toys for kids, most parents take the traditional approach, and that's waiting in line, buying off the shelves and only accepting "new" as an option.
But what about buying toys used?
What seems like a ridiculous proposition actually has become quite common, thanks to parents paying closer attention their budget and trying to cut back and save a few dollars. Often, moms and dads peruse their financial standing and look for places to make cuts.
Why not start in the toy chest?
Of course, they'll always be toys, especially around the holiday season, that kids simply must have. But what about the other 11 months out of the year?
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Plenty of second hand stores that dabble exclusively in toys are popping up around the country, a sign that the idea of buying used products for the kids isn't that silly. In fact, parents probably appreciate the notion that their kids can have video games, action figures and dolls at a fraction of the cost, thus leaving some leftover income.
The average video game checks in at between $50 and $60 when it hits the stores on the first day it is available. There's an entire business that is built on a sector of the consumers who buy that brand new game, and then turn around and sell it once they grow tired of it.
Then, these used gaming stores will turn around and sell it for half of the retail price. So, the kids might have to wait a few weeks or months to get that new release, but parents definitely are more inclined to pay close attention to the price point and opt to go used first and foremost.
In addition to stores that have tapped into toy buying that isn't new, the internet is filled with online marketplaces that offer an easy, less expensive alternative to always buying new. Buying used isn't always the best route, particularly if you're not accustomed to look for certain red flags when you're deciding on an item.
You'd be wise to make sure the all the working parts are present and staying away from toys that can carry germs like stuffed animals might be a wise move. In any event, the term "used" doesn't carry the negative connotation it once did.
Today, used is hardly a bad word, and has been reworked under the banner of "gently used" or "vintage." Call it what you want, but buying used toys for the kids can't help but be viewed as equal parts prudent and practical.
Kids still get the toys they want, and mom and dad don't have to destroy their finances to make that happen.
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