Put a price on those Happy Meal toys
Toys are often some of the most difficult items to price at a yard sale. The problem is the initial cost of a toy is either wickedly expensive or almost free.
Today, we’ll look at the freebie-kind of toy:
- IDENTIFY — When you decide to sell off a toy, the first thing you should do is check to see where it came from. Most “Happy Meal” toys will bear a trademark of the restaurant that issued them. McDonald’s toys are almost always marked with a MCD stamp on their bottom. Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, KFC, Subway and all the rest also mark their giveaway toys in a similar fashion.
- SORT — Once you have figured out which toys are Happy Meal giveaways and which toys are those you bought at an actual store, split them up. Mark the store-bought toys separately (since they will sell better) and dump all your giveaways in a box, which you can then bulk-price rather than price each one. After all, you’re bound to have dozens of them. (We will hit on store-bought toys in a later entry.)
- RARITY – By some estimates, these fast-food giveaway toys are the most common toys in America. They far “outsell” store-bought toys, and are extremely easy to find on the secondardy markets. Only the oldest of these giveaways hold significant value.
- COLLECTORS — Yes, just like anything else, there are collectors for giveaway toys, particularly those associated with McDonald’s Happy Meals. But honestly, these folks are few and far between. It’s best not to expect collectible prices for these — unless you happen to have some truly old giveaway toys — say from 1985 or earlier.
- COLLECTIONS – If you want to cater to collectors, split up your giveaway toys into complete collection sets and sell them that way. By “sets” we mean that giveaway toys often run in a week-by-week series where customers have to come back frequently to get every item in the collection. For example, through a six weeks period, a restaurant chain will host a promotion tied in with a movie. You should assemble that whole set and sell it as one item.
- PACKAGE — It’s quite common for giveaway toys to remain in their package. A lot of adults order the kid-size meals at fast food restaurants just to keep their calorie counts in check. The toys get thrown in a box until they give them away to their nieces and nephews — or they store the toys until yard sale season hits. While collectors might value an unopened giveaway package, such a condition won’t exactly benefit your yard sale effort because it’s so hard to attract that specific collector to your sale. We recommend they be priced at the same level as any other giveaway.
- WATCH — If you have store-bought toys and giveaway toys available at your yard sale, be mindful of that fact. Some dubious buyers will try to trick you by claiming they pulled a more expensive item from a bulk-priced box. Don’t fall for it, and don’t let them get away with it.
- PRICE — These types of toys should be priced according to what it cost you — we would suggest anywhere from free (only for those in a heavily played-with condition) to 50 cents each. Why so low? The lower you price them, the more likely shoppers (and their kids) will buy on impulse.
- ADVERTISE — One way to help attract a few more people to your yard sale is with your surplus giveaway toys. When you put together your classified ad, say something like “Free toy for every kid — while supplies last!” and then pass those toys out. Such an offer is sure to draw more traffic to your sale (and drive some purchases of your more expensive items), and you’re guaranteed to get rid of those toys.
So no, you won’t make a ton of money by selling your giveaway toys, but they might help a little bit.
It’s looking a little iffy this weekend for yard sales, with a chance of storms both Friday and Saturday. That said, it might not rain at all!
Friday will be overcast, with a high of 90. Saturday is also overcast, but the high is only expected to reach 78. Weird.