$econdhand First Class

A thrift store fanatic shares her shopping secrets

Toys

Many of our son’s favorite toys were from thrift stores. One such toy was a wooden tic-tac-toe board with Xs and Os. Cars, superheroes, games, you name it, he played with it. 

With the high cost of toys, thrift stores can be a real lifesaver. You just need to take a few precautions. When shopping for toys, follow these guidelines.

  • Buy what you can clean. Not only was the toy likely well-used before it was donated, but while at the thrift store, a multitude of kids have probably played with it while waiting for mom and dad to finish shopping. Click on these links for information on cleaning and sanitizing toys. Plastics (Clorox or Family Management), Wooden toys, and Stuffed toys.
  • Choose a toy in good shape. No cracks, splits, or dangerous edges. For stuffed animals, look for items with no tears, worn spots, spilled stuffing, or missing parts.
  • Check for odor. If you get a whiff of anything, pass unless it’s Strawberry Shortcake and you’re smelling dessert.
  • Make sure all parts present and accounted for. Be sure to apply common sense rules about buying toys for kids such as no sharp edges or small pieces for younger children.
  • If the toy is battery operated, insert the batteries you brought in your kit and test. Nothing is more disheartening to a kid than finding out too late that the airplane doesn’t soar and the car doesn’t zoom.

Once you get the toys home, always clean and sanitize the toy before giving them to your child.

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