Super Saver – Toy Swaps

3:56 PM, Oct 11, 2012
Derek Francis

(WZZM) – Parents and grandparents have realized paying full price for a toy that may only be played with a few times doesn’t make a lot of sense.

As a business owner of 23 years, Pamela Fritz knows a good thing when she’s got it. Fritz owns Toys Are Used, a toy swap and consignment business in Grand Haven. She stumbled on this business as a parent and hasn’t looked back from this unique career path.

“I brought my son’s toys to a clothing consignment store and they took my son’s clothes, but they wouldn’t take the toys so I said, ‘somebody has to do this’.”

She’s been doing it for more than two decades. “I take just about anything, as long as it’s clean and organized. I give you a year of shelf space, and the reason it’s a year is this way you’ll hit a Christmas. If you were to bring in a toy, I will consign it and once I sell it, that’s when you get your money. It’s their option to either take your money and run or you can find something in the store and save up to 75% if not more (with a purchase).”

Fritz has three different levels of consignment. Any toy that sells for $25 or lower, the consigner and Fritz split the sale price 50-50. Anything that sells between $25.01 and $50 the consigner gets 60% of the price, and anything that sells for more than $50, the consigner gets 70% of the price.

She also swaps toys, but only for kids. “Children can bring in toys like videos, balls, books, anything two for one. You bring in two and you can take one. This way children don’t have to have cash,” said Fritz.

One look around the store and you can see the thousands of good deals. She’s about to enter her busiest time of year.

“From after Thanksgiving and the month of December, I’m busy helping my customers find toys. I don’t have time to check toys in, so I do not accept toys in in the month of December and that week after Thanksgiving.”

On our visit to Toys Are Used, we found returning customer Diane Lamourie about to visit her grandchild out of town. Before each visit with her granddaughter, Diane makes a toy purchase but brings the toy back to the store later.

“The beauty of it, she (Pamela) lets me re-consign so I’m not piling stuff (toys) at my house.”

The super savings are piling up quickly however.