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5 Tips for Buying Secondhand Toys

By Stacie Haight Connerty |

There is nothing more satisfying than the score of a great toy from a garage sale or consignment sale or even a thrift store. Considering how often a child discards a toy before it is worn out and how quickly they grow up, buying toys second hand can save money. In fact, Liz Pulliam Weston of MSN Money lists toys as one of her 10 Things You Shouldn’t Buy New.

What to keep in mind before buying second hand toys:

1. Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – This site is a wonderful resource and a great way to learn what not to buy. The CPSC “is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.”

2. Read the reviews – If hundreds of parents are saying that toy fell apart after a few uses, then your best bet may be skipping this toy entirely. PriceGrabber and a host of other sites let toy buyers leave honest, unsolicited feedback.

3. Follow age suggestions – A six year old may have a hard time playing with toy designed for children ages 8 and up. Each toy is designed for a specific skill level. Knowing the skill level of the toys you may purchase can be the difference between a great deal and an expensive mistake.

4. Safety – Toy testing has been top of mind for companies and parents alike with the recent scares. Want to know what kind of paint is on that vintage, toy pedal car? You can purchase your own lead testing kit and peace of mind for around $15.

5. Go to the source – Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the manufacturer or send an email. This is a great way to get an owner’s manual and ask any additional questions.

FOR MORE INFO ABOUT TOYS SEE: Interesting Facts About Toys and our Toy Buying Habits

Read more from Stacie on The Divine Miss Mommy.

Follow Stacie on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Microsoft royalty free images


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About Stacie Haight Connerty


Stacie Haight Connerty

Stacie Haight Connerty is a mother of three and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. She is a nationally published writer/author/editor for a variety of magazines and online publications. On her blog, The Divine Miss Mommy, Stacie writes product reviews and hosts fabulous giveaways. She is a former Babble blogger, having contributed to the Parenting channels of the website.

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