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I would never have guessed. Every time I go to the thrift store there is a large section of nice-looking unwanted stuffed animals. Sometimes people pick through it but rarely does anything sell. So, the store will have a ridiculous sale. “All stuffed animals 25 cents”. I still had no interest. Until now! I want to be at the local thrift store first thing in the morning.
I intend to go to the stuffed animals and find the ones that have no damage; most have none. I’ll spend maybe five bucks on these unwanted toys. Then what? Sell them! It turns out that selling a preowned plush can be lucrative. Here’s how!
Find The Merchandise
I already mentioned that you can find these plush toys at thrift stores. Local charity shops and big names like Goodwill are usually stuffed with these things.
During yard sale season, you’ll find tables and boxes full of them. Toddlers have lost interest and parents are tired of keeping them around. Look for sales ads that are marked as having toys or baby items. If you buy several at a time, you may be able to negotiate a better price. Just remember to not look too eager; they may up the price, instead.
If you’re looking to sell somebody a memory from their childhood, you won’t be likely to find it at a retail store. Finding preowned items is where the memories are, and adults want memories.
Who Is Buying These Things?
Okay, real pets aren’t spending money, but their doting owners are. You see the pictures and memes all over the Internet. Doggies and kitties, and even other pets love their little cuddle toys. If Fido recently lost his favorite giraffe, then only a giraffe will do. What if Mittens is always stealing Rover’s favorite parrot? Maybe he needs a similar birdie.
Yes, little Susan lost her precious elephant. She doesn’t want a new elephant; she wants her old one! Well, we have to tell her that her first one is in elephant heaven, but we’ll find his brother or sister who looks exactly the same. Mom can’t find that at the store, now can she? But surely there’s a used one somewhere.
Robert remembers his grandma gave him a certain Teddy bear to play with when he was three. Man, it would be nice to have one on a shelf to remember those good times. Carla wants her new daughter to have the same pink mouse she played with in her own childhood.
Kids With Special Needs
Rose is allergic to cats but calms down happily if she has a black and white long-haired fluff to play with at bedtime. Mike is always punching things, so it’s best if he has a plush that doesn’t exactly resemble any real animal but looks like a tough whatever-it-is.
They abound! There is a collector for everything imaginable. Some people collect no-longer-used mascots, representative plushes of defunct products or plushes that current companies no longer use. Old cartoon characters such as Barney or Snoopy always have a market.
People like me … errm … I mean this friend of mine, she likes to sleep with a certain size and comfiness of plush toy and give it a weird name. People aren’t demented or dangerous who like stuffed animals. We’re just a bit off. Give us a break.
Where Do These People Shop?
Online! Most people, shockingly, don’t go to the local thrift store to see if they can find a limited edition Spuds MacKenzie from 1989. They know they’re not likely to find one. So they go where anyone else goes: eBay or Aliexpress or Poshmark or some such area.
You are the one who lucked into finding Spuds at an estate sale. Now you need to let the world know he’s available. Put him on your seller page on any of the online sales sites, even Facebook!
- Discontinued characters
- Product representatives (the Snuggle bear)
- Giant plush toys
- Extinct animals
- Minis (more women are attaching these to their handbags and backpacks)
Preparing To Sell
You found the most beautiful stuffed lion ever; now you need to make sure he’s clean and smells nice. Hopefully, the former owner already took care of that, but you never know.
1. Give it a close examination with a magnifying glass. Make sure there are no tiny creepy-crawlies or caked dirt spots.
2. Wash it in a mesh bag in cold water in the washing machine. Air dry outside or use a delicate dryer setting; this could take a while, but you don’t want to lose its shape.
3. Spray or rub it really well with a light-scented disinfectant and wait for the smell to dissipate.
4. Fluff it around the dryer with a dryer sheet for a few minutes, or spray it with something like Febreze.
Make sure the kids and pets can’t get to it. Keep it sealed for cleanliness and make sure bugs can’t infest it.
Here’s where research comes in. Keep up with the times. What are others selling your items for? Is yours unusually high quality? One of a kind? Rare collector item? If no one is clicking on it, it’s too high and/or too uninteresting. If it’s getting a lot of clicks but no offers, either the price isn’t right, or the toy closely resembles what they want, but just isn’t quite the right thing.
Just make sure you aren’t being unrealistic. Lower the price to where you feel you can actually get that first bid and factor in the shipping cost, remembering if you need to buy a box or wrapping tape. I tend to add the shipping cost in with the item price, then use free shipping. The buyer and I both know shipping isn’t free; I just like to avoid math and complicated last-minute research into shipping fees.
Help Us Out!
Let me know where you buy your plush toys! Do you sell them? Do you collect any? What works for you? Are you weird, like me (go ahead and tell)?! Leave your thoughts and ideas and stories in the comments below!