Australia's major shopping retailers are about to kick off their mid-year toy sale frenzy, with oodles of discounts on popular playthings. Here's an overview of what each retailer has in store, along with some bargain-hunting tips to help you sort through the trash.
Photo: Big W
While Christmas is a fair way off, there's really no better time to layby your kid's pressies than during the big mid-year toy sale -- over the next few weeks, Big W, Target and Kmart will all be vying for parents' money via heavily discounted toys, games and accessories. Here's a look at what each major retailer has planned this year.
- Big W: Big W's toy sale kicked off today, with online shopping starting at 9PM. In-store purchases, meanwhile, will start on 27th June. The bulk of Big W's toy sale items are listed in the company's website and catalogue booklet (which has probably been crammed into your letterbox by now). You can also check out the sale and make direct purchases using the Big W app (iOS only). For a $2 "administration fee", Big W allows customers to layby items over $50 and guarantees delivery before Christmas for online purchases (although this is easier said than done -- see below for more details). Home delivery starts at $8.
- Target: Target's half-yearly toy sale starts on June 26 and boasts more than 300 "exclusive" toys and around 200 toys that are 50 per cent off. Target is also promising "character visits, colouring competitions and face-painting" during the sale -- although presumably most parents will actually be kids-free (especially if they're shopping for Christmas). Online lay-by purchases are limited to "Big + Bulky" toys and all toys exclusive to Target. You can view the complete catalogue here. You can also check out the sale and make direct purchases using the Target app (iOS only).
- Kmart: Kmart's "endless days of play" online sale begins today with in store purchases running from June 20 all the way through to December 24. Because the prices won't change, Kmart has removed Christmas layby. Click here to view its online catalogue.
It's not just the big three that are running toy sales either: budget specialist ALDI is running its own "toy spectacular", which kicks off today. It even carries a handful of brand-name toys including Sesame Street and Dora. You can check out its modestly sized catalogue here.
Myers also has a toy sale on which runs from tomorrow to the 28th of July. Handily, its online catalogue is divided into <a href="boys' and girls' sections. Some would call this gender role pigeonholing, but we call it convenient.
As we've noted in the past, the most important thing to remember about the toy sale frenzy is that not everything is actually on sale. If your daughter has her heart set on the latest Monster High doll, make sure to check the RRP and do some comparison shopping.
As you'd expect, many of the more popular, in-demand toys won't be heavily discounted as the retailers know they'll be able to sell them at full price. That said, most major retailers will be happy to price match with other brick-and-mortar stores, so it pays (literally) to do your research.
Online shopping is a good way to avoid the hustle-and-bustle during the shopping frenzy. If you combine with home delivery, it also eliminates the hassle of trying to hide presents in the lead-up to Christmas. However, this also carries the risk that your delivery won't come in time. A couple of years ago, Big W was left red-faced when some online orders got delayed just weeks before Christmas -- in other words, use at your own risk.
While we're on the subject of online, it's never a bad idea to check prices from international retailers like Amazon and the Book Depository: often you'll come out ahead even after factoring in the shipping costs and handling fees.
Finally, it's worth noting that kids' can be fickle creatures: today's must-have fad could be a forgotten dud by the time Christmas rolls around. At the very least, you should keep a portion of your Christmas shopping budget free until mid-December; just in case their are any sudden additions to their wish list.
See also: The Tech Behind The Big W Toy Sale: Private Cloud, QR Codes, iOS And Crossed Fingers | How To Really Save Money During The July Toy Sales | Choose Multipurpose Objects Rather Than Plastic Toys
What bargains are you eyeing at this year's toy sale? Or would you rather wait until December for the inevitable last-minute sales? Tell us in the comments.