How to Save Money on Toys by Buying Them Used

Little Girl Wearing Costume in Power Wheels Car
Ben Bloom / Getty Images

Each family has a toy that was passed onto them from a prior generation. Popular used toys passed on from one generation to the next are often toys like dollhouses, Hot Wheels cars, board games, Radio Flyer wagons, and Cozy Coupe ride-on toys.

Toys can be expensive and difficult for families to afford. There are at least a dozen reasons to consider purchasing used toys. Buying used toys is the perfect way for families to remain within a budget. Passing on and purchasing used toys to other children is also a way to "go green" and support the long-term health of the environment. Many toy companies commit quality and design toys that are built to last, with the hopes that they'll be passed on from one generation to the next.

Toy Variates That Can Be Bought Used

Used toys should always be inspected for safety before use. Those who buy and sell used toys should always exercise caution when meeting with unfamiliar people.

There are various choices of durable, well-made toys that you could consider buying used. Some of these include:

  1. Wooden train toy sets and large train tables
  2. Little Tikes and Step 2 durable plastic outdoor toys such as basketball hoops, small slides, cars, castles, picnic tables, sandboxes, trampolines, and various climbing structures
  3. Wooden playground sets
  4. Wagons
  5. Ride-on toys that include items such as 3 wheel scooters, luxury cruisers, cozy coupes, tricycles and even bicycles with training wheels
  6. Stationary baby ExerSaucers and activity centers
  7. Open-ended construction toy sets like Lego, Playmobil, K’Nex, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and wooden blocks
  8. Dollhouses
  9. Play Kitchens
  10. Video game systems like WiiU, XBox One, Playstation, Nintendo3DS, Nintendo Switch
  11. Video game toy collectibles such as Skylanders, LEGO Dimensions, Nintendo Amiibo
  12. Fisher Price little people pretend play sets
  13. American Girl Dolls, clothing and accessories
  14. Rocking horses
  15. Power wheels toys (battery operated driveable cars)
  16. Halloween costumes
  17. Simple battery operated cause and effect toys like musical instruments for toddlers 
  18. Board games, dice games, and card games

Once you determine that buying used toys is the avenue you would like to pursue. There are many ways to buy used toys. 

Where to Purchase Used Toys

Buyers need to decide whether they will purchase from an online website like eBay or Craigslist. Some buy used toys from neighbors or friends. Many neighborhood communes have online Facebook groups to buy and sell goods locally. 

All toys, before use, primarily if they are purchased used should be inspected for safety before purchase, so a broken toy is not passed on to another child. That could pose a safety hazard. All toys that are sold used should be checked on the website to make sure they have not been included in a toy recall. Toys that are part of a recall should be discarded. The company should also be contacted for a replacement.

Before buying used toys, do not assume the seller will clean the toy. Wipe down and sanitize the toy, primarily if families have used it with pets and known allergens in their home. 

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Plastic Toys - Sustainability Insights. Sustainability Consortium

  2. Recall List.,