What NOT to buy for Christmas: the most frequently abandoned toys in SA

29 November 2019 - 11:51 By TimesLIVE
Gomolemo and Samukelo Masikane browse through the toy shelves at Makro's Riversands store in Fourways, Johannesburg, as the clock ticks towards Christmas.
Gomolemo and Samukelo Masikane browse through the toy shelves at Makro's Riversands store in Fourways, Johannesburg, as the clock ticks towards Christmas.
Image: SEBABATSO MOSAMO

Imagine the buyer's remorse of those parents who have to hop on to online sites to resell Christmas gifts they'd spent a fortune on, imagining the delight on their children's faces. Only to find their kids didn't like them.

Gumtree SA has compiled a list of the most frequently abandoned toys in SA.

“Parents start listing abandoned toys between December 28 and the end of the first week of January, once it’s clear that their kids are not as enthusiastic about their expensive toys as anticipated,” says the company's GM Claire Cobbledick.

According to analysis on the site from 2018 to date, here are the toys most frequently listed for sale:

• Hatchimals
These animals remain a surprise until they noisily hatch from their eggs, but that is usually where the excitement begins and ends. Costing between R800-R1,000 a toy, the hatched Hatchimals are often resold for R250-R500.

• Build-a-Bear
Similar to Hatchimals, the fun of this toy lies in putting it together and customising it. Build-a-bears range in price from R250-R1,000, depending on accessories and type. “To cut the cost, take your little one to assemble the bear and buy your accessories second-hand. You can pick up wardrobes full of shoes, sunglasses and clothes for your bears for a tenth of the price,” suggests Cobbledick.

• Hoverboards
This was all the craze in 2018 but frustrated parents started listing their hoverboards on December 25 already!

“Last year we had dozens listed by Boxing Day for half price,” says Cobbledick. The cause is unknown, but reports of injuries and accidents might be behind the steep abandonment rates, she adds.

• Lego is incredibly popular, but once assembled, pieces invariably go missing and the novelty wears off, says Cobbledick. 

• Battery-powered cars
Car enthusiast parents will shell out thousands for mini Ferraris and BMWs for their little ones, but they often end up for sale soon after. “The batteries need to be replaced, kids lose interest or simply outgrow them.”

Cobbledick says there are a few tips parents should deploy before shelling out on big presents. “Kids outgrow toys quickly ... You can teach healthy money habits by having your child sell their old toys to buy new ones. Make a point of donating or repairing old toys rather than throwing them out.” 


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