You might have heard about this trend popping up on your local news- renting toys instead of buying them outright. Some sites are rental only, some are rent/try before you buy. Either way you look at it- I think it’s one fantastic idea.
From New York Times:
Babyplays.com, which has been around since 2007, offers a single toy for $2.99 to $8.99 plus shipping, or you can buy a $19.99 membership that gives you four toys every other month, said Stephanie Weber, owner of the company. Customers can also pay $32.99 and receive four toys a month. The site caters to children from infancy to about 4 years old. “After that, they usually become more attached to their toys, like action figures or Legos,” she said.
One thing I think of is the attachment factor. There are those toys that just seem to linger on and on and on. The plastic octopus in our house, for example. It would be a tragedy in this house if I had to ship him off a few weeks later. Well, some of these sites offer buy out options meaning that you can decide to purchase the item if you so desire.
A second concern is the ‘germ’ factor. Well, pretty much all of the companies I looked at discuss their sanitizing methods to remove that fear- as well as the fear of getting something that’s no longer in good condition. The companies Toygaroo and Toys Trunk (along with Babyplays.com) also have policies on their sanitary procedures and ‘if it breaks’ . You can see a news story from CBS Dallas/ Fort Worth about Toygaroo here.
Before you jump up and down with joy at all of the clutter and money you’ll save, please do your research. With an idea this good- you know people are going to try and make their own without the sanitizing standards or quality control measures in place. Personally in a family of more than one child (we do lots of hand me down toys) it wouldn’t be ideal for us, but perhaps when they are just a couple of years older it might be the best thing we could ever do.
Prices vary with these rental companies. For example, at Toygaroo for $24.99 they offer 4 toys every other month, or for $39.99 4 toys/month. The plans go up from there. Babyplays offers plans for $19.99/month and pay as you go without commitments.
image courtesy of romana klee