Wealthy Parents Competing For Used Must-Have Christmas Toys

Having trouble finding the one thing your child really wants this holiday season? You’re definitely not alone. While store shelves are fully stocked with all kinds of toys and games, some of the “hottest toys of the year” are not among them and that’s sending parents scrambling to find them on the secondhand market. Moms and dads who can afford to are spending three and four times the retail price to secure the must-have things on their kids’ wish lists this year.

Christy Vanderwerff says she was refreshing Target’s and Walmart’s websites for six weeks “like it was my job” in hopes of finding the last gift on her five-year-old daughter’s list: a Gabby’s Dollhouse. It was a popular toy this year and because of supply-chain backlogs, it’s also one of the hardest to find. So the mom did something she’s never done before to get her hands on one - she bought it used. But it definitely didn’t save her any money, she paid $200, nearly quadruple the $54.99 retail price.

And lots of other upper-middle-class moms and dads are doing the same to score the toys their kids want. Some are even getting into eBay bidding wars to get items like used Galactic Snackin’ Gorgeous, a Baby Yoda doll you can feed that’s very hot this year. Shopping on the secondhand market has forced many parents who used to turn their noses up at the idea of buying anything used to rethink their position. And they’re quickly getting over the “ew” factor to give their kiddos gifts that were previously played with by a stranger or two. But as mom Lindsay Olmetti, who bought a used Nintendo Switch for her kid, says, “I doubt my son would notice. It’s more inmyhead.”


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