The WRONG Way to Sell Your Kids’ Toys

Dear Children,

Should you need therapy for the event described below, I apologize deeply.  I will happily pay for the first five sessions with a therapist as I feel fully responsible for the events which transpired.  Should you require more than five sessions, however, blame your father and ask him for the additional money.


Your Very Apologetic Mother

I learned the hard way, or rather, my kids learned the hard way, how NOT to sell their old toys.

It was back in December, and Christmas was quickly approaching.  In an effort to clear our house from the kid gear which seemed to be multiplying, I decided to sell a few toys.

Normal and harmless, right?

I picked out this large and annoying musical jungle toy with singing monkeys and loud plastic balls which took up way too much floor space and wasn’t played with very often.  It quickly sold after I posted it online, and I arranged for the buyer to pick it up at our house the following morning.

(This was my first mistake.  I should have sneakily moved it out of their sight when they weren’t playing with it, stuck it in the back of one of our cars and never mentioned it again.  That is what seasoned, smart parents do.  Parents who don’t want to traumatize their kids, who want to avoid tears and future therapy sessions.  Not me.)

After the toy sold, I was crawling around our basement looking for additional pieces of “the jungle” to give the buyer.   In the meantime, the Munchkins re-discovered the toy and quickly decided it was their new favorite.  They played with it for probably an hour (which was longer than they’d played with it in the past 3 months combined).  I thought about cancelling the sale for approximately two-tenths of a second before the huge pile of Christmas gifts waiting to be assembled and wrapped flashed in my mind. We needed to make space or prepare to be on TLC’s Hoarders–no doubt this toy had to go.

The next morning, I received a message from the buyer that she would be dropping by in the next 30 minutes, so I had a genius idea to set the toy by the door and hope for the best.  I assumed *if* the Munchkins even noticed it, they’d have plenty of time to play with it and move on to one of their other 100 toys before the jungle toy was picked up.


I didn’t think about the worst-case scenario which, of course, is exactly what happened.

The Munchkins noticed the jungle toy immediately after I set it by the door, squealed with joy and started playing and dancing with their newly beloved toy.  And not more than 30 seconds later, the doorbell rang and the seller arrived 30 minutes EARLY to pick it up.

Tears, snot bubbles and broken hearts…I literally had to pry the toy out of my crying toddlers’ hands to give it to the buyer.

Worst. Parent. Ever.

Does it get much worse than ripping a favorite toy out of your children’s little hands?  No joke–my Munchkins cried for probably 10 minutes, each one crying for “my jungle.”  The toy had NEVER had a name before I sold it!

It took THREE weeks of my Munchkins asking, “Where’s my jungle?” before they finally quit bringing it up daily. I try to explain each time they ask that new little boys and girls are playing with it and mommy bought new toys with the money from selling it, but I don’t think it will ever sink in.  Even this past week I was asked out of the blue, “Where’s my jungle?”


So word to the wise:  Plan VERY carefully before selling any of your child’s toys so you don’t risk scarring their little hearts and minds for years to come.  I have a feeling I’ll be paying for this one in the future…

Here is the link to the original post on the Greeley Tribune website:


8 thoughts on “The WRONG Way to Sell Your Kids’ Toys

  1. That was very well written, funny and a little sad all in one. I have to agree – you might be paying for this one later. As parents, we have to be sneaky when it comes to selling our kids toys. This is a great example as to why. Thanks for the link!

  2. I had a bag of stuffed animals hidden in a closet for several years (kind of forgot about it) and when my daughter found it she exclaimed, “You can’t get rid of these – – I had these when I was a baby! She didn’t even remember them and couldn’t bear to part with them!! So we put them back in the closet, and the bag disappeared a few months later. She never did look for it again – – ssshhhhh 😉

  3. Oh no! The beloved jungle!! I will try to remember this advice when we get to this point. For now, mine are blissfully unaware of all their old toys I’m selling ( of course I feel a bit nostalgic).

  4. Yes, the best tip I ever got from another mum was to put the things aside in the attic for 6-12 months. Anything the child asked for was returned without fuss (overnight, when they were asleep). Anything still left after 6-12 months quietly left the house.

    Kids are such hoarders. I mean, I think it’s a natural instinct in all of us, but as adults we have learned how to master it at least a little.

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