What questions should I ask before I buy a toy or game for my kid?

Saving money isn't the only advantage of buying a used version of a toy or game. Not only are used products eco-friendly, but they also encourage people to purchase items locally. Looking for a good deal on a gift for a children's birthday party, a rare collector's item, or a board game? If so, quality is most likely your top priority.

Neither Kijji nor any other third party guarantees your purchase when you buy an item on Kijji.  As a result, the inspection process is 100% in your hands. If you don’t carefully inspect the item that you’re interested in, before you buy it, you’re taking a risk.  Before you say, “yes” to a specific toy or game, you should know the answers to the questions below.

Is it safe for children?

Common safety risks include toys that contain flaking paint, lead, BPA, and PVC. If you want to avoid products with BPA and PVC, do your research. Plenty of info is out there about how specific brands make their products.

If there’s a #7, #3, or “V” stamp then the toy that you’re interested in contains BPA or PVC and isn’t safe for a child. Keeping yourself posted on provincial and federal product recalls is extremely important. The product recall list is available online.

Sometimes the creators of a specific toy don’t include a stamp. That doesn’t always mean that it’s always 100% safe for children. Flexible, bendable, toys and games, for instance, contain PVC and phthalates.  Rigid, plastic toys contain BPA.

Can I inspect the toy or game that I’m interested in, before I commit to purchasing it?

This is a crucial one, especially with toys and games with small parts. Sometimes the seller will post an ad with photos. Unfortunately, the photos don’t always provide potential buyers with enough info about the product.

Ask the seller to send photos and/or videos of the item that they’re selling. This is a great way to inspect every nook and cranny. You can also ask the buyer if they’re okay with you inspecting the item in person before you make up your mind.

What was the original price?

Never buy a toy or game on Kijji without researching its retail value. Ask the seller what they paid for the product that they’re selling.  If you want to get a good idea of what’s typical, compare and contrast retail value both in-store and online.

What condition is it in?

Once you find out what the original price was, ask the seller what condition it’s in. Sometimes the seller will disclose the item’s condition via their ad. Sometimes they’ll also disclose what condition it’s in, without saying why that’s the case. Did it never leave its box? Has it been sitting in a storage facility, untouched for a long period of time? When in doubt, ask the seller for further information.

Why has the seller decided to sell the item that you’re interested in?

This is yet another great way to learn more about the quality of the toy or game that you’re interested in.  This is also a great way to clarify that you’re making a smart, safe choice. If the answer isn’t disclosed via the Kijji ad, talk to the seller about it. Hopefully the answer is, “my kid grew out of it.”

Before you spend money on a Kijji toy or game, use resources that are as non-biased as possible. Read related blog posts and customer reviews. Ask a friend for a second opinion if you have to.  Always remember that you can take as long as you want to make up your mind.

Do you have any tips for purchasing used toys and games for kids?

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