My partner Lyn is a self-proclaimed #ThriftStoreAndBargainMaster. I’ve found this to be the case the entire time that I’ve known her. But today was perhaps the most incredible thrift store trip that we’ve ever had. We got 8 valuable items for $7 total. One was from the Sisters Thrift and Boutique in Colorado Springs on a random day-trip that we decided to take. The other 7 are from a local ARC Thrift Store in Aurora. ARC is a charity-based company located only in Colorado that is perhaps the most inexpensive, but quality, thrift store I’ve ever seen. No single items cost us more than $1 a piece, and three items came in a bag for $2. When you see the value of the items we bought at thrift stores, you will be amazed at what is possible.
Here’s our amazing haul!
VTech Care N Learn Teddy
Our price: $1
It was obvious that this was an expensive toy. Unfortunately, you can’t listen to his heart without a special stethoscope that came with the Teddy. It’s the price you pay when you get items at thrift; you often simply can’t find the accessories. But there’s obviously plenty of value here, just as a teddy alone. And most of him works just fine.
Lamaze Freddie Firefly - Baby Developmental Toy
Value: $17.99 (Amazon)
Our price: ~$1
Here’s another example of how expensive baby toys are at retail. We paid less than $1 for it. Apparently, the price is sustained by being a baby developmental toy. It was actually developed in part by child development experts from Yale University. The link clip makes it easy to attach to strollers, car seats, and high chairs, which helps keep it from being lost. This particular one is quite rare now. Newer developmental toys from Lamaze range from $10-20, so this was yet another steal.
Baby Einstein Musical Panda
Value: $19.99 (Amazon)
Our Price: $1
The Baby Einstein stuff is usually pretty expensive. This is one of the less expensive ones. Finding it for $1 is absurd. These Pandas in particular are pretty rare nowadays, too. He plays sounds from a bunch of different instruments. Very cool. They’re probably worth the $20 or so they retail for, but keep in mind that these end up at thrift stores.
Bun Bun Pip Pig
Value: $15.99 (Amazon)
Our Price: ~$1
I have no idea why this little pig has been listed as high as $20, but whatever. We paid less than $1 for it. What makes it so valuable? Apparently, Pip Pig is a collectible. According to Amazon, Pip Pig is available in 4 different sizes, and there are other characters to collect. This appears to be the 4-inch size, which oddly is less price-wise than the 11 inch version on Amazon. It’s cute, but I’d never pay that much for it. Well worth the $0.67 or so we paid for him, though.
Our Price: $1
This is the one item we acquired from Sisters. Nova still needed some booties. The general retail price for these sorts of booties are about $10, according to the Gymboree website. They don’t make these particular ones anymore. Still, $1 is a steal, even at a thrift store.
Our Price: $1
This sleeper would have ordinarily sold for $2 at ARC, but because it had no price attached to it, we got it for $1. Carter’s sleepers are very popular, and we actually have some already for Nova. When it comes to sleepers, it’s easy to find them for $1-2. That’s a good thing because you can get 5-10 for the price of one from a big box store. Babies outgrow them fast, too, so it’s easy enough to re-donate them and pay it forward.
Discovery Toys Clown
Our Price: ~$1
We couldn’t track down a value for the clown toy. But since it was in the bag of 3 toys for $2, it hardly matters. I did find an EBay listing for about $15, but it didn’t sell at that price. Being a retired toy from 2000, it definitely has some collectible value. We paid about $0.67 for it, so it’s worth a lot more to us.
Corolle 17-inch Mon Classique - Lila Cherie Interactive Baby Doll
Value: $99.99 (Brand New from Toys R Us), ~$86 (Amazon)
While she was missing the clothes, she did come with her original binky and her interactivity works. The sleeping noise sounds like a baby Darth Vader and some of the other sounds are a bit odd, but she’s cute.
This is the second interactive doll we’ve found at the same ARC for the same price. The other was a Zapf Creations Interactive doll worth around $80 or so. That one even had the outfit which came clean in the washer, but was missing the binky. You simply can’t leave these behind with a $0.99 price tag.
So, we spent a grand total of $7, and acquired about $200 worth of items at retail - not even including the retired clown toy! After acquiring a great many of Nova’s items from Listia and other thrift stores, mostly several different ARC locations and Safari Thrift here in Aurora, it’s become quite proven to me that you should almost never buy anything at retail. Granted, sometimes you can’t help but buy something new if you can’t find it at thrift stores. But the things you will find if you keep checking your local thrift stores are pretty incredible. They usually are still perfectly good items, even if they are missing accessories. Many just need batteries.
When you’re done with them, you paid so little for them that it feels good to simply pass them onto a friend or family member, or another thrift store. So when you’re out shopping for your child, especially when it comes to toys or clothing, keep your eyes peeled. You never know what a single US Dollar will buy at a thrift store. It could save you hundreds.