If you have children, they probably possess stacks of games, kits, and books, including some they’ve outgrown. But you could make money from the ones they’ve finished with, provided they’re fit for selling. If they’re still in mint condition, with all their parts and packaging, you could sell them online on eBay or in your local community.
You may not think that it’s worth it to sell some old toys or books on eBay or Amazon, considering the cost of shipping and the ‘selling fees’ that these places charge. But what most people don’t know is that at least once month there is a promotion on selling fees where you can save 50% or more. Bulk shipping discounts also mean that the costs on your end drop to almost zero.
It’s a big “if,” of course. Kids’ toys tend to get marked or damaged, and pieces go missing. But by taking steps to preserve them, right from the start, you can ensure a good selling price later. Here are some tips for doing this.
A key selling point of an item is its appearance. The more presentable it looks, the more customers it will draw and the higher you can set your price. So keep the containers and packaging — the boxes, cases, and covers — clean and intact from Day 1.
You could cover them with adhesive plastic, old wrapping paper, or any other suitable material. Alternatively, remove the packaging and store it in a safe place until the contents are no longer wanted and are ready to sell. The item could be kept in a plastic bag or improvised box instead, labelled appropriately, with separate, inner packets for any components. Remove jackets from books before covering, and keep them safe for later, too.
When repacking games, sets, and kits, check that you have all the pieces. If possible, keep a note of the numbers of each type, to make sure. If the item contains 24 counters in 4 colours, say, make sure you have the full quota for each colour. With multi-piece sets, such as jigsaw puzzles and construction kits, ask your children to keep the parts together on a table or tray, to save counting.
When putting away activities, take care to put the individual parts in their allocated bags and boxes, arranged in the correct way, as originally presented. This will ensure that they don’t get bent, crumpled, twisted or chipped inside their containers. Place the instruction leaflet on top, preferably protected in a plastic sleeve.
Keep all games, kits, and books in a cool place, away from direct sunlight, to prevent fading, melting and warping. Keep books upright on a shelf, supported as necessary. If any are too tall to fit, lay them flat, with the largest at the bottom, spines facing outwards. Don’t leave books open, as the pages may curl and the binding will loosen. Even more importantly, don’t leave them face down, as they’ll fail to close properly afterwards.
Make a rule that food and drink are not to be taken into playing areas of your home, as spills and sticky fingers can spoil the look of toys. If easier, allocate a shelf or table in your play area for snacks, and provide plates and paper napkins. Remind your children to wash their hands after eating, before playing with their toys. Provide tumblers rather than tall or stemmed glasses, to reduce the risk of tipping, and just partially fill them, to keep spillages to a minimum. Wipe away any splashes, crumbs or smears from the toys and their parts before repacking.
Tell your children that toys are expensive and deserve respect. Explain that you plan to sell them, one day, when they’ve finished with them, to earn money for new ones. This will give them an incentive to look after them, and help them appreciate their value. You could increase their appreciation further by letting them know that some children have no toys or books. Perhaps your kids would like to help you choose one to give away to a child in need, making sure it’s pristine and perfect, of course.
The money you make from your children’s old games and books can be put towards more sophisticated ones, in line with their developing skills. But remember to join in the fun too. Your kids will relish your share in their games, down on the playroom floor!