With budgets stretched to their limits this Christmas amidst the ongoing cost of living crisis, many families are feeling the pinch more than ever.
While Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most joyous events of the year, it can also be the most costly. And for most families, gifts & toys are the biggest outlay of all.
But with rising energy bills and soaring costs eating away at our finances, parents are facing the harsh reality of making huge cutbacks this festive season.
These days, toys can cost a small fortune, only for your child to grow out of them or simply disregard them! And as many parents know, keeping up with your child’s evolving interests can be a costly struggle. And now more than ever, many parents simply cannot afford to take that gamble.
We want to help relieve some of the pressures with some handy alternatives when it comes to the Xmas toy shop.
What’s in this Guide?
If your child is aged between 2-4, it’s likely their Christmas List is filled with toys from their latest obsession! But as we all know, they quickly switch to the next best thing, often leaving hundreds of pounds worth of toys collecting dust.
We’re suggesting swapping brand-new gifts for second-hand toys this Christmas in a bid to save money and avoid waste. Online marketplaces, like Facebook Marketplace, are fantastic resources for finding used toys and toy bundles in your local area, mostly for a fraction of the cost!
Once cleaned, and packaged nicely for Christmas, most little ones will be none the wiser. This is also fantastic for those who have toys they’re looking to cash in on and can be great for both buying cheap and earning some extra cash.
Our very own Head of SEO & Content and full-time dad, John Stirzaker has recently saved himself over £300 on a toy bundle purchased via Facebook Marketplace;
“My 2-year-old little boy has recently become obsessed with all things Paw Patrol. He loves all of the characters and of course, each and every one of them is on his ever-growing list for Santa this year! But after browsing online, I was shocked to see that some of the larger toys can cost anything from £60-£100. I normally wouldn’t think twice about buying them, but with bills through the roof this year, I decided to practise what I preach at NetVoucherCodes and find a cheaper way!
Last year, CoComelon was his favourite show, but within just a few months, he had completely lost interest, leaving over £100 worth of toys sitting in his toy box! I wasn’t prepared for this to happen again so wondered if I could pick any up second-hand.
I landed on Facebook Marketplace after researching online and managed to find someone in my local area selling a ‘Like New Paw Patrol Bundle’. For just £50, it included several trucks, a flying Plane, 4 smaller vehicles and loads of figurines – better still, my wife was friends with the seller! They looked well looked after and I knew my son wouldn’t know any different.
In total, we have managed to save just over £300 on the RRP buying second-hand. And as any dad will know, I now won’t have the pain of opening plastic packaging come Christmas day. I’ve even managed to buy a Paw Patrol Gift box in Asda for just £11 in the sale – I just hope he’s not into a different TV show come December the 24th!
It’s definitely made me think twice about spending money on toys and I will continue to explore my options in the future – I’m already eyeing up a bike for his birthday!”
Swap Don’t Buy
Swap Groups are also another popular resource. Typically set up via Facebook, parents can share toys & other items which they can swap for something that someone else is looking to get rid of. A win-win all around!
Top Tips for Buyers:
- Haggle! Don’t be afraid to ask for a few quid off. If someone really wants a sale they will be happy to negotiate a price.
- Offer a swap. Have you got something that the seller might want? Ask if they’re happy to do a swap instead of a sale. You never know, you might just have something they’re looking for.
- Collect items where possible. Try to buy items in your local area and collect them wherever possible. Often, sellers can create their own fees for delivery so it’s always worth saving yourself a few quid.
- Ask for more pictures. If you think the pictures don’t depict the item clearly, ask for more. You want to be sure that you get what you’re paying for and that it’s in the condition they have stated.
- Ask questions. Unsure about the quality or condition? Perhaps the seller wasn’t particularly clear in their description. Don’t be afraid to investigate.
Top Tips for Sellers:
- Take plenty of pictures that represent the item! There’s no point trying to hide any imperfections. Ensure your images represent the item in the best way.
- Write a detailed description. Make sure you describe the items as accurately as possible to avoid any confusion.
- Be prepared for a haggle. Lots of buyers will offer you a price lower than you are selling for. Be aware of this and price accordingly.
- Have a look online to see what the same items are selling for, you don’t want to miss a sale because you’ve overpriced.
- Offer to deliver for a small fee.
- Don’t settle on the first offer. It’s likely that you will receive a few offers after posting your item. Hold out a day or two to be sure you get the best price.
Used Toy Bundles vs RRP
Based on our own research within our local area, we’ve found 5 Toys & Toy bundles from popular brands and compared their prices with the RRP:
- Barbie Dream Doll House
Facebook Marketplace: £90
Total Saving: £109.99
- Paw Patrol Dino Pups Bundle
Facebook Marketplace: £100
Total Saving: £200+
- Cocomelon Interactive Deluxe JJ Doll
Facebook Marketplace: £25
Total Saving: £20
- Peppa Pig Toy Bundle
Facebook Marketplace: £60
Total Saving: £160+
- Schleich Dinosaur Bundle
Facebook Marketplace: £40
Total Saving: £460+
When was the last time you wandered around your local charity shop? Give it a try and you will be pleasantly surprised by the hidden gems you may find. With ‘charity shop hauls’ recently trending on the likes of TikTok, more and more of us are venturing out to see what bargains we can grab. And if you’re on the hunt for toys or games, you may snap up some serious bargains!
There’s also the satisfaction that with every purchase, you’ll be making a donation to charity! Not to mention buying more sustainably.
Where can I donate used toys near me?
Like many parents, you have boxes filled with old toys & games your children have either grown out of or lost interest in. If you want to quickly get rid of them, why not donate them to charity? Charities, churches, recycling programmes, hospitals or children’s homes are all great places to donate your used toys.
Toys and their Environmental Impact
It’s no secret that plastic toys are bad for the environment. Green Matters say that disregarded toys either end up in landfills, float in the ocean or are incinerated – which can release toxic chemicals and carbon into the atmosphere. In fact, scientists predict that by 2040, upwards of 1.3 billion tons of plastic will litter our planet’s landscapes and oceans. And with 90% of the toys sold in today’s market made of plastic, the situation is only getting worse.
That’s where you come in! Donating and Selling your used toys is a fantastic, environmentally friendly way to stop them from going to landfills and keep’s plastic toys in circulation. Not to mention that buying second-hand is another great way to contribute toward sustainable shopping.
Get your Craft On
If you’re really wanting to cut back this season, or simply want to try your hand at creating your very own gifts from scratch, there are tons of handy resources out there to make use of! Get crafty this Christmas and give some DIY gifts a go. Not only can it save you a fortune, but it can also be a fun project and a guaranteed win with the kids!
We’ve hunted down some cool DIY toys with step-by-step guides on how to create them yourself:
- Pool Noodle Lightsabers
- Cardboard Castles
- Harry Potter Wands
- WWE Belts
- Printable Paper Games & Toys:-
- Felt Dinosaur Plushie Toy
- Pretend Play Food
Top Toy Brands 2022
After monitoring the UK’s Top Search Trends, we’ve found the most popular toy brands that people are searching for with some surprising results.
|paw patrol toys||40500||uk||➡️|
|peppa pig toys||18100||uk||➡️|
|jurassic world toys||9900||uk||➡️|
|fireman sam toys||9900||uk||➡️|
|my little pony toys||9900||uk||↘️|
|toy story toys||8100||uk||↗️|
|power ranger toys||8100||uk||↘️|
|harry potter toys||8100||uk||↘️|
|pj masks toys||6600||uk||↗️|
|star wars toys||6600||uk||➡️|
|hey duggee toys||6600||uk||↘️|
|ryans world toys||5400||uk||↗️|
|polly pocket toys||5400||uk||➡️|
|ben and holly toys||4400||uk||➡️|
|baby shark toys||4400||uk||↘️|
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