In addition to writing my own content, I contribute to money-saving articles written by top talent in the smart shopping, beauty, and personal finance space. The post below from Policy Genius is the latest!
Written by Myles Ma
A trip to Toys R Us was a holiday tradition for many families. They’ll have to go somewhere else now that the giant toy chain has gone out of business. Luckily, there are plenty of other places where parents can get the toys their kids are pining for this holiday shopping season.
Where else to shop
Amazon will, as usual, be among the biggest players in the toy market, said Trae Bodge, a shopping expert. Amazon, along with Best Buy, published physical “toy books” like the one Toys R Us used to put out, containing the hottest toys of 2018.
Party City is filling some of the physical space left by Toys R Us by opening 50 “Toy City” pop-up stores around the country. And eBay has always sold toys but is emphasizing them more this year with a new “Toytopia” section.
Some retailers are partnering with toy makers to sell exclusive versions of popular toys. Walmart is selling an exclusive edition of the popular Hatchimals toy, Bodge said.
Stores will also have a lot of in-store events, Bodge said. She expects newly reopened FAO Schwarz to draw customers in this way and give them experiences they can’t get online.
The downside is brick-and-mortar stores may not be able to dedicate the amount of space or variety as a big, toy-specific store like Toys R Us, Bodge said.
People might have been sad to see Toys R Us go, but many had moved on to places like Walmart where they can also shop for clothes and food, Bodge said.
“While this is a big change for parents and Toys R Us was an exciting and fun destination for people to shop for the holidays, it wasn’t the only place people were shopping,” she said.
Related: What to do with Toys R Us Gift Cards
How to save on toys
First, know what you’re buying. Retailers’ toy books can be a good guide. The Toy Association’s Toy of the Year award winners are another place to start.
Parents should buy these “hot toys” as early as they can, Bodge said. They aren’t likely to get big discounts and can sell out, forcing you to pay higher prices on secondary markets like eBay.
For more expensive toys, set alerts on coupon sites like Flipp or check price comparison sites like Google Shopping, Bodge said.
“That’s a helpful way to save a little bit more without having to watch the site yourself every day,” she said.
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