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How to Sell A Tub of Little Cheap Toys at a Garage Sale


While going through my son’s toys for our upcoming garage sale, I ended up with a huge container of cheap toys. You know, the ones that you get from parades or from fast food meals. It’s amazing how many you can accumulate through the years.

I have found toys like these for sale or for free at garage sales and usually there is quite a selection by the time I get to a sale (around noon – I’m a late garage-saler). In fact, the last time I had a sale I had a tub of them and was asking five cents each. I still had almost the entire tub left, except for a few furby happy meal toys that two grown-ups started fighting over (that was pretty interesting to see!).

Anyways, I came up with an idea that I think will help us sell the toys since even when you put a “FREE” sign on them they still hang around.

We have some paper lunch bags around and we will fill the paper bags with the toys. They will be little mystery grab bags that my son can help sell. We’ll mark them for a quarter each or 5 for $1.00 and have a box of them by my son’s toys and also a few near where I will be stationed for people to pay.

I think everyone loves a little surprise and for the price they could sell. Thinking of being at a sale with my son, I’d pull a quarter out of my pocket so he could purchase a little surprise bag of goodies.

Next month, after our sale, I’ll report back on here how well it worked. In the meantime, if you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear them. My goal is to get rid of all of these cheap toys and make a little bit of money doing it.


  • Reply MVP |

    At our garage sale last summer, I rolled my eyes when my husband put out a table of 5-cent doodads like what you’re talking about. I wasn’t sure they’d sell, but sure enough, every single child went straight for that table, and most of them talked their parents into letting them take something home. Great idea! And I like the grab bags, and getting your son involved. Might also be a good way to clean out some kid clutter – allow him to keep the money (or save it) from any old toys he gets rid of.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Hmm…I wonder if I had them sitting out on a table (versus a tub) if they’d sell better. I could always try some in grab bags and some on a table.

    All proceeds from these small toys would go to my son and his piggy bank for him to decide what he would like. Most of the other toys as well, except for the Geotrax set. Depending on whether we go the eBay route or garage sale route to sell it, there could be quite a bit of money there. I’m tempted to start a savings account for him with it. I’m still thinking about it.

  • Reply mapgirl |

    Hey. Some of them might be collectible! I have a few Hello Kitty items that I could probably put up on eBay for collectors that I got from Happy Meals.


    But grab bags are fun for kids. I still like to get them and see what silly thing is inside.

    A quarter is pretty cheap for a new toy and I’m sure that parents are happy to fork over a quarter so that the next time they go into a store they can reply to their kid’s begging with, “No. I just got you a toy last weekend.” And then secretly smile that it was a quarter rather than 10 bucks.

  • Reply Kasey |

    Just a thought if you’re trying to get rid of them and don’t care about making money. Not sure where you live so I don’t know if this would work for you or not but this is what I have done with old toys of mine or stuff animals I still manage to accummulate but don’t want any more. My mom works for an intercity private doctor’s office in Milwaukee. Most of the people who come to the office are poor. My family donates our toys to her clinic for the kids to play with when they come in for an appointment. Most of these kids don’t have any of their own toys or very few and since we donated the toys it doesn’t matter if one kid forgets to leave the toy and takes it home. I suppose this is the same as donating the stuff to goodwill but I remember how bored I used to get being little and having to sit in a waiting room. Plus every kid gets excited when they get to play with something new no matter how small it is.

  • Reply Kristina |

    My goodness, your house is going to feel so much better after you sell stuff and donate the rest. It sounds like your home needs a good purging! Getting rid of stuff and having a cleansed living space clears the brain and makes a home feel so much more livable! And now you can think back to this time when you consider buying your son more toys or collecting more little free, plastic toys. It’s amazing how much we all accumulate and how little of it we need. Every time I move, I am overwhelmed by the amount of junk I have…and it serves as a reminder to me when I go shopping for years to come.

  • Reply paidtwice |

    I love when people have cheap little toys at garage sales — keeps my son entertained while I hunt for bargains!

    Hope your grab bag idea goes great!!

So, what do you think ?