Whether you are looking for a new favorite toy for your child or you want to stock up on birthday presents, buying toys online is a norm for parents. There are thousands of sites with hundreds of thousands of toys being sold. It doesn’t matter if you know exactly what you are looking for or if you’re just browsing for ideas, you will find what you’re looking for.
You can get great deals and unique toys that your kids are sure to love. Finding the best sites can be a little tricky and there are some pitfalls to watch out for. That being said, some sites are better than others and it is important to pay attention to which sites are the best and the safest to buy from. Keep reading to find out what the best sites are and what to look for when buying toys online.
Different types of sites to find toys online
There are a lot of different types of sites for buying toys online. Depending on what you are looking for, you can find unique toys, designer toys, run-of-the-mill toys, and cheap toys. If you want to find the best fit for you, you have to decide what you are looking for and what you are willing to pay for it. Even if you’re just browsing, you need to know what you’re browsing for.
Are you looking for an over the top birthday present or something relatively inexpensive? Knowing what you want will help you figure out what kind of site you should be focusing on. This will also help you find the best places for toys, because it cuts down on hours of clicking through websites. There are 3 main types of sites, designer, unique, quality cheap, cheap, and craigslist sites.
These are the brand name toys that everyone has heard of, like Legos and Barbie. You are willing to pay more for the brand that you want and you expect the best. Your best bet is to start at the brand site, like for Legos, and buy directly from them. Other brands like Barbie don’t actually sell their own products to customers. They sell to retailers and the retailers sell to you. For these brands, you have to find out where they stock their products, usually places like Toys’R’us.
If you want minimal effort, try Amazon. They stock millions of items and dozens of designer toy companies sell on Amazon. Whether you want a specific designer toy that you can’t find in stores or are looking for something fancy with minimal hassle, online buying is the way to go.
If you don’t care about the brand of toy you’re buying, then sites like Overstock are right for you. They offer good deals on overstocked items (hence the name) or things that didn’t sell well in stores and was returned. They sell for rock bottom prices and are much better quality than toys sold at the dollar store.
With the added bonus that, every so often, there will be a designer brand toy being sold for dirt cheap. In this particular area, there is a mix of price and quality. Being frugal with toys your kids will just grow out of is a great money saver and everyone is happy in the end. Keep an eye out for the best deals and don’t be afraid to compare prices to make sure you are getting a good deal.
These toys are the absolute cheapest you will find and the quality is often terrible as well. These are the sites we turn to for goodie bag supplies, stuff to fill a piñata, or cheap little toys that will get broken fast, but then so does everything. Sites like Oriental Trading offer everything. From plushies, stationary, and puzzles to glow in the dark everything and novelty jewelry. If your child has a tendency to break expensive Nerf guns in less than 5 minutes, leaving you out $30, you could be buying shark shaped ‘Nerf’ guns for less than $1 each. If the cheap toy gets broken in an hour, it isn’t quite so bad as a more expensive toy. Buy a dozen and never again will you feel pain when you hear plastic breaking.
You want something for your child that no one else has and sites like Etsy are here to help. Sites like Etsy connect you will craftsmen all over the world who are coming up with new things all the time. There is no telling what you’ll find from one day to the next and the makers on these sites aren’t selling anywhere else. They’re making toys with all sorts of kid-save materials and if you’re into more natural materials like recycled fabrics or wood, these sites are a dream come true.
For health conscious parents, sites that offer alternative materials are perfect for support craftsmen and for buying toys that are safer for children. Fair warning, these are sites that offer amazing quality and you will pay for it too. Be prepared to part with your money, but it can be worth it for the right toy.
These are the sites like craigslist and eBay where you can find everything that has ever been sold. If it is old, new, or used, chances are you can find it on sites like these. Here you aren’t dealing with large companies, but with individuals who are selling things they don’t want. One person’s trash is another’s treasure. You’ll probably have to sift through large amounts of products to find something you’re interested in. Sometimes the pictures aren’t great or the seller has a bad rating, but when you find the right listing, it is like striking gold. You just can’t believe this item is being sold for this price. Pro tip: this is also great for buying nostalgia toys.
These aren’t the only type of sites. There are many other options and there are even sites you can use to design your own toys and then buy them. This is really great for the more creative types or if you know exactly what you want. It is a lot cheaper than trying to mass produce a toy and much less frustrating then searching for hours and never finding anything. It might even be fun to have your child design his/her own toy and then have it made. It can be a great experience for kids. Not to mention the perfect thing for a child who is picky about his/her toys or already has tons that they never play with. This is the age of the internet, go forth and use it.
Advantages and disadvantages of buying online
There are so many advantages to buying online, like the fact it comes right to your door, or there are some things simply not sold in stores. Finding things for less or getting things from the other side of the world are pretty good benefits too. There are some drawbacks to buying toys online as well. You can’t actually see the toy before you buy it and returning by mail can be a pain. It is important to find out as much as you can from the seller before you buy anything. Check online reviews and see if you can find someone else who bought from the same website. Nobody likes being scammed and when shopping online, it can be all too easy.
Shipping and returns
Before you buy anything and maybe before you even browse through the site, you should check the shipping information first. If your child has a birthday in 2 weeks and the site says it will take 4, you won’t get it in time. Bookmark the site and save it for another day. Most sites have different shipping options and if you want it faster, you have to pay for it. Returns are just as important. If you get a damaged package or your child doesn’t like the toy, you need to know if you can return it and if it is worth returning. Even cheap sites offer some kind of return policy. A great site can become an amazing one if they have awesome shipping and returns policies.
There are tons of ways to get discounts from online sites. You can sign up for email newsletters for sites that send e-coupons. Sites will also send out emails to their mailing list when they start sales or are trying to move stock fast by making everything cheaper (like having 10% off site-wide).
Websites like Coupons.com are basically coupon indexes that allow you to search for a website and find all the corresponding coupons or discounts available. This is great for scoring free shipping as a lot of sites usually have some kind of free shipping promotion. Since that is about the only added cost, which you wouldn’t normally pay in stores, getting free shipping really makes buying toys online the best option.