Consumer 6: Tips for Returning Toys

Wednesday, December 29th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It has been one of the biggest holiday shopping seasons ever, with retailers taking in more than $150 billion. Much of that money went to buy toys. But some shoppers may have ended up with toys that broke or simply didn't work right. Here are some tips on how to avoid more problems once you exchange the toy for a new one.

Stores are crowded and lines are long as parents rush to return toys. "We got so many duplicate toys,” said one parent. “Some of the toys are really not suitable for his age. So we brought our son into the store with us to let him choose what he really wants."

You can minimize the hassle if you know what to look for when exchanging toys for kids. "There are a few things parents can do to avoid making the same mistake twice,” said the Toy Report’s Chris Byurne. "First, read the box. It will show you the age grading which tells you what kind of child it's for from a safety standpoint and a play value standpoint. Shake the box. Make sure there's not a lot of small pieces in it. Because small pieces sometimes mean it's going to be hard to put together, the pieces get lost. It's not going to be as satisfying for the kids,” Byurne continued. “And the final thing, especially if you're buying for younger kids, get something that's got sturdy pieces that go together easily. That way it is easy for the kid to play with."

Byurne also says toy boxes offer other useful information. For example, the package for Matchbox’s car wash says it has fast snap assembly and duraplay construction. And also check to see if the toy requires batteries and, if so buy them at the same time. "But the most important thing is do your homework, Byurne explained. "Find out about the toys your child or the child you're buying for likes. And buy from a manufacturer you trust."