Fingerlings Baby Monkeys by WowWee, it’s Friendship @ Your Fingertips! (PRNewsfoto/WowWee)
This years hottest holiday toys include WowWee Fingerlings, Hatchimals Surprise, L.O.L. Surprise! Big Surprise and Luvabella and Luvabeau dolls, according to RetailMeNot, a site that has been monitoring retail activity to predict the toys most likely to sell out this season. Other toys that made the sites top seven list are interactive bear Teddy Ruxpin that reads stories and sings songs, Nintendos super small SNES Classic game console and the Soggy Doggy Board Game.
But anyone who has hunted for a popular holiday toy knows how quickly they become unavailableor steeply climb in price. If a toy sells out, you have a few options, says Noelle Buhidar, managing editor of RetailMeNots The Real Deal. Before you give up or splurge on an overpriced toy, consider these tips:
Utilize online product trackers. Buhidar suggests utilizing online product trackers. Follow RetailMeNot on Facebook, where we will post alerts when the hottest toys are back in stock, she says. On Nov. 15, they posted a breaking toy news alert about Walmart carrying a limited supply of SNES Classic between Nov. 15-17. You can also follow these alerts on Twitter.
Call around. Shoppers can call retail stores to see if and when they expect to get any more shipments of hot holiday toys between now and the holidays. Dont be afraid to check back regularly. Sometimes persistence pays.
Keep an eye on Black Friday specials. DealNews reported that GameStop will have Fingerlings available between Thursday and Sunday during the week of Thanksgiving and that these toys will be available both in-store and online. If Hatchimals are on your list, Target is going to offer the Hatchimal with a $20 gift card which is a nice incentive for a toy that retails for $60, says Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing for DealNews. JCPenney will take 30% off a selection of Hatchimals toys, although it’s unclear which specifically will be included. And lastly, Walmart might offer the best discount we’ve seen so far, dropping the price to $50.
Consider a third-party marketplace. You could snag toys through a third-party marketplace, but be prepared to pay more than market price. However, be sure that the toys are legitimate, as there have already been a number of counterfeit Fingerlings sold on third-party sites this season. Pay attention to the retailer, packaging and customer service responsiveness when determining whether a toy could be a counterfeit. And when shopping for third-party deals, consider Amazon as an option for shopping, Sakraida suggests. The store loves to go aggressive with toy pricing during the holiday season, and prices can change dramatically throughout the season.
Wait until January. It sure isnt convenient for Santas deliveries, but if you can hold off until after the holidays, youll likely be able to purchase a hot toy at a more reasonable price. If we learned anything from last years Hatchimals craziness, there may be supply left after the holidays, Buhidar says.