From late June until mid July, Australia goes mad with a frenzy of toy sales. What sales are on, and are they worth it?
I must admit that, even though I have two young boys, I have never set foot in a department store at sale time. Did I mention that I am excessively frugal? Actually I hardly go to large toy stores at all. I am a proud op-shopper and hand-me-downer, re-gifter and innovative thinker for gifts. My kids already have more toys than I have room for at home – they just seem to proliferate no matter how hard I try to declutter and instill zen principles. But, I was intrigued enough to investigate. Perhaps I am missing out on huge bargains.
So here is a rundown of some of the big sales that are currently on or are about to happen:
- Toys “R” Us: Super Toy Sale 24 June until 14 July. 8ft Action trampoline and swing set half price. 20% off select Lego and 20% off preschool toys. 25% off batteries. If you spot a lower price than in their 28 page catalogue, they will beat it by 10%.
- Big W: Total Toy Domination 2 sale from 25 June until 8 July. Sale appears to be heavily weighted to Minions items – Big W advertises itself as the home of Minions. There is a notice advertising problems with the 132-page catalogue – apparently not all items can be bought online despite what was advertised.
- Target: Advertises itself as the greatest toy sale on earth – due to start 22 July. As of writing, the catalogue was not yet available but you can register for an early copy. They guarantee to beat any price, but don’t provide specifics.
- Kmart: Say No to Boredom toy sale. Lego products at $20 each, which is apparently as much as 30% discount on some items. Disney Frozen plush dolls at $29, and almost life-size Queen Elsa and Anna dolls for $79. A ten pack of assorted Hot Wheels cars for $10 (so basically $1 each). I liked the look of the Cre8Tiv KidZ 215 Piece Tri-Fold Art Set for $19.
Some things to consider about the sales
- If your child is only going to play with the toy for a very short time, no matter how cheap it is not a ‘saving’ and not a ‘bargain’.
- Before you buy new, consider second hand options including through Gumtree.
- A large percentage of shoppers buy now to stock up for Christmas. But what happens if, say, your toddler has a thing for Peppa Pig now but suddenly becomes a Jake and the Neverland Pirates fan? Children s tastes are so fickle and changeable, so can you really predict that far in advance?
- Layby is no longer offered at all stores. Last year, Big W reported that 70 to 80% of all mid-year toy sales were on layby for Christmas. But many parents change their mind when they realise their kids have changed theirs; K-mart decided last year to stop offering six month layby on toys sales. So check carefully before you venture out.
- There are some genuine bargains to be had (especially on Lego and Minions), and it is a good way to buy in advance for the inevitable childrens parties. I personally dislike giving expensive presents, but it is hard not to be generous when some parents go to a lot of trouble (and also when their kids are besties with my kids). Ideally I would like to give homemade and more thoughtful gifts, but in reality my life priorities don’t quite stretch to that at the moment. Having a ready cupboard of suitable gifts saves a lot of last minute panicking (and over spending).
- Not all items are on sale, so if you are after something specific do your research first.
- Don’t forget to leverage your savings by taking advantage of other special deals, for example the 5% off Wish cards purchased in Entertainment Books can be used at Big W.
- Consider investing in better quality toys rather than those faddish items that are likely to get broken quickly and easily. Do you really want your home cluttered with more junk?
Do you plan to do a big shop in the mid-year toy sales? If so, where did you shop and did you find it good value? Would you recommend the experience to other people?