Play & Learning: Where to Buy Great Toys

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I must confess... I am a bargain hunter. I do not like buying things full price, even if it is more convenient. I love the thrill of the hunt. Love, love, love it! And when it comes to toys for my children, I refuse to pay full price. The toy is either going to- break, get lost, or no longer be of interest. You will not see me buying toys from Toys R' Us or Target unless it is some crazy Black Friday 80% off screaming deal. So today, I'm going to share with you my top 5 favorite places to buy toys.

  1. Consignment Stores- The  #1 place I buy toys is from the local consignment stores in my community. If I have 5 extra minutes and I'm near one, I always go check it out. Now you have to know your prices and the quality (and by quality I do mean nicest toys for cheapest prices...) of the consignment store. Consignment Stores are certainly not all created equal (one down the street from me totally gouges prices). The Greenville area has some great consignment stores-

    • Once Upon a Child- I feel like I'm sharing my secret... But Once Upon a Child is my absolute favorite consignment store when looking for toys! I don't know how they do it, but they consistently have the cheapest prices for some pretty amazing toys. I've gotten Melissa & Doug wooden toys for $4.50. I seriously cannot say enough about this place... They have a wide selection of big and small items.

    • Little Pampered People- I love this store because they consistently have adorable boutique items as well. They are also very consistent with baby equipment.

    • Kids & More Consignment Store- Touted the largest consignment store in Greenville, but my favorite thing about Kids & More is that the price of items are reduced the longer they take to sell. I have gotten some excellent deals on books (I am obsessed children's literature) and toys!

    • Miracle Hill- Everyone has a Miracle Hill near them somewhere. I have found some great diamond's in the rough while perusing the aisle at Miracle Hill. Definitely worth the stop!

  2. Consignment Sales-  I would say that Consignment Sales are my favorite places to buy toys... Oh, all right... there's no doubt that Consignment Sales are my favorite places to buy toys. But the reason they didn't make #1 on this list is that they are only a couple days a couple times a year. If you are a thrill-of -the-hunt junkie like me, you will feel so pleased with all your prizes after going to a consignment sale. Here are some of my favorites for those of us in the Upstate-

    • Switch-A-Roos- In my opinion, Switch-A-Roos is the Taj Mahal of consignment sales. Total fan girl right here, guys. It's held bi-annually at the TD Convention Center (Greenville location, but they also hold a Spartanburg sale as well). Best part? IT'S COMING UP!!!! If you're a new mom, you can get in before they open to the public on Thursday, February 9th (you do have to sign up). Switch-A-Roos is open to the public Friday, February 10th.

    • WeeCycled Wear- This consignment sale is coming up March 17th-19th. Not nearly as big as Switch-A-Roos, but still a great sale with lots of great finds! This consignment sale is also at the TD Convention Center in Greenville. 

    • Upstate Kids- One of my favorite things about this sale is that it's offered in a variety of locations and provides something closer to those west of Greenville. This year, Upstate Kids is having sales at the Anderson Civic Center (March 16th-18th, also the biggest of the 3), Clemson Center Rec (April 20-22), and Seneca Shaver Rec (May 11-13). I've been to this sale multiple times and loved it! Once again, this sale is much smaller than Switch-A-Roos, but nevertheless, great is it's own right.

  3. Amazon- In the world of honesty, sometimes you know the toy you want/need & you don't have time to go look around for an amazing deal. And who could possibly hate on free 2-day shipping? Thank you for changing my life, Amazon Prime!

  4. Ebay- Right before I buy something off Amazon, I always price check with Ebay. Sometimes things are significantly cheaper on Ebay than other places. I am one who is not bothered at all by waiting a couple days to win an auction (I've gotten some great items for $1-3 by being a little patient), it never hurts to compare!

  5. Garage & Yard Sales- I love garage sales and highly recommend them. My best friend got an amazing vintage wooden kitchen for $50 once. The only trouble is that as a Mom, how often do we actually get to go get a coffee and peruse local garage sales? Certainly not as often as I'd like! Furthermore, you never know what you're going to find... You might find all kinds of bargains, but then again, you might not find anything after a whole day of exploring. But isn't that also part of the fun? 

 Here is one photo of the rows upon rows of toys at Switch-A-Roos! Makes my heart beat a little faster!

Here is one photo of the rows upon rows of toys at Switch-A-Roos! Makes my heart beat a little faster!

Hope some of these ideas were helpful! What about you? Do you have places you love to find a bargain that I didn't share? I'd love to hear!