Love Netflix? Try Toygaroo, an online toy rental company that is set up much like Netflix. Here’s how it works:
1. Choose a toy rental plan. You can get four to eight toys delivered to your door every one or two months. The cost ranges from $35.99 to $75.99 per month (this includes shipping both ways). There are three month commitments when signing up.
2. Add toys to your wishlist in order of preference. You can select from hundreds of toys categorized by child’s age, type like pretend play, puzzles, wooden toys, etc…, or toy brand. Toygaroo carries Melissa and Doug, HABA, International Playthings, Fisher Price and much more.
3. In about a week or so (the company is just getting off the ground in the past month so delivery times might be a little sluggish in the beginning), you will receive a box of sanitized and shrink wrapped toys delivered to your door via FedEx. When you open the box, keep the return shipping label in a safe place and also make sure that the box stays intact. This is your return box as well.
4. Have fun with the new toys! Keep the toys for 30 days or more (depending on your toy rental plan). If your child is old enough to understand, be sure to tell her/him that these are rental toys (i.e. be gentle and keep track of all the parts).
5. Carefully pack all the items and seal the toy box up, placing the already provided return shipping label on top. Locate the nearest FedEx office and drop off your toy box at that location.
6. In about five more days you should get your next box of toys! Always make sure you have enough items on your wish list at Toygaroo since they cannot guarantee availability on every item. For instance you might have 25 items listed, but only 10 are available on your ship day.
We’ve been using this toy rental company (in its earlier version it was called Baby Plays) on and off for a couple of years. It’s a little on the pricey side and I wish they had more wooden and pretend play items for preschoolers, but in general Toygaroo offers a nice toy rental service–especially for those of you who only have one child and not too many other families around. We are definitely not loaded down with hand me down toys like some other lucky families are, so Toygaroo makes sense for us at times. Also, keep Toygaroo in mind if you take a vacation somewhere or one of those pseudo vacations when you visit relatives. The company will deliver a box of toys to your hotel, condo, sister’s basement, etc… which is a great way to avoid any additional baggage costs when traveling. Less to pack is a good thing.
I’m a beta tester tight now for the company and they may be looking for additional testers. Check their blog for more information.