Happy Holiday season! With this past weekend of shopping, you’re probably well into the spirit by now. Last month, I shared some tips to plan ahead for the holidays, such as setting a budget for gifts. This month, I’ll share a little secret for how I save BIG on toys and other gifts for the kids:

It’s okay to buy used for the holidays.

It is! If you have certain toys, bikes or products in mind, take these next steps:

  1. Open your mouth and ask: A few years ago, I mentioned to some friends that I was thinking about buying my twin girls a dollhouse for the holidays, and one piped up with, “We’re about to sell ours on Craigslist.” I ended up with a Dora Dollhouse in excellent condition with every stinking piece of furniture ever sold for just $75. I never would have spent $250-300 for all those pieces, so this was a great deal!
  2. Check with your multiples club: Our group has an online classifieds section where we can sell to each other, maybe yours does too. Look for Little Tikes slides, bikes, and other large items that are in great shape. It’s also great to get the point-of-view of other moms of multiples whose children are older than yours. Ask around for toy suggestions and find out what toys last, which were forgotten, and which are strong enough to hold up to twins (or more).
  3. Look on Craigslist: Families in your local community are selling toys and more on Craigslist right now to make room for the new; this can benefit you! Craigslist is a great place to find train tables, bins of Duplo blocks, and gently used Thomas the Train toys.
  4. Look on Ebay: For a larger pool to choose from, head to Ebay. I have had great luck finding used video games, Leapster games, and board games on Ebay. I buy used video games for my husband, too.
  5. Dress them up! Now that you have your gifts, fancy them up a little to take away the “used” look. If you bought a few used DS games for your child, put them in a character-themed case (bought new). It won’t matter that you don’t have the instruction manuals or boxes. With the Dora Dollhouse, we set up the rooms and characters and got a huge “Wowww!” when the girls came downstairs. Many of the toys that Santa leaves are unwrapped and assembled before being put under the tree, so this is right in line.

Buying toys and other kid gear used works for me! Have you tried it?