You know, it’s ridiculous when people boast of how much money they spend on this or that. “I blew half my paycheck on these shoes, and they don’t even look good on me, aren’t I grand?’
The only time you’ll hear the smart shopper boasting of how much they’ve spent is when they’ve spent quite a bit less than you might have expected.
Look, let’s be honest here, these aren’t the easiest times for anyone (Unless you’re an American banker and just got yourself a new corporate jet on taxpayer money, that is). This isn’t an age of vanity shopping and status symbols, but of practical shopping and conserving what money you can.
So, learning a few tricks to buy toys on the cheap can help you to assure your kids, your nephew, or whoever it is you’re shopping for has a great birthday party, whether or not you’ve got all the money in the world.
First of all, shop for quality over quantity.
You can get your kid hundreds of presidents if you like, but try to remember back to when you were a kid. Can you remember all one hundred or so toys you must’ve played with between the ages of five and fifteen? Or did you have maybe about one dozen or so that you truly treasured over the years? So instead of a birthday party with a hundred forgettable gifts, how about a party with six or seven truly great gifts?
Shopping for toys online is really a life saver in this regard, as well. Toys online tend to be cheaper for any number of reasons. For one, there are fewer employees to worry about being able to pay. There’s no real store to maintain. All you really have to do to run an online toy store is make sure you’ve got toys and a website. This all contributes to a lower price for the customer, and prices tend to be a lot lower than they are in “brick and mortar”, or actual stores.
Anyways, what is a gift? A gift isn’t about how much money you spend, a gift is about how well you know somebody. When you buy toys and it turns out to be the perfect gift, what you’re saying is “I pay attention to you, I love you, I know what you like, and I want you to be happy”. You can usually get that across with something affordable.
If anything, a pricey gift can have the opposite effect. How many friends did you have growing up whose parents weren’t always there for them, and the parents made it up for them by way of expensive gifts? Wasn’t it always the kid with the newest and most expensive video games whose parents were always at work when you went to hang out with him?
Sorry, we’re getting a little sappy here, but it’s true, a gift has to be an expression of love. If it doesn’t really come from the heart, then it’s just another toy. You give a gift of love with selective, informed shopping, by knowing exactly what your children would love to unwrap on their birthday. Spending a ton of money doesn’t really play into that.