Store or brand loyality? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 12-20-2011, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, Since I've done more shopping than usual due to the season I've been thinking more about this in regards to where I'm willing to buy my kids toys. Since I'm always looking to expand my point of view I thought I'd ask on here to see what you all thought.

 

Are there are companies or stores or places you are loyal to over others?

 

Personally I find good customer service and safety to be the number one things I look for.

 

I have switched almost all my toy buying over to plan toys (excellent products and AMAZING customer service) And When I can through deals and sale I buy from ecomom.com (they have amazing customer service and mostly carry brand I like (there are a few no no carriers)

 

Is there anywhere I'm really missing out on?

 

I know Melissa and Doug has good customer service, but quality has been going down hill, infact I have two puzzles made in two countries and they don't seem anywhere near the same quality.

 

I like Haba, but their stuff seems limited.

 

I just know when I started purchasing toys I really didn't pay as much attention as I should have, but hey I've made a lot of money back reselling toys I don't like anymore. thumb.gif


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#2 of 13 Old 12-23-2011, 07:47 AM
 
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I don't like Melissa & Doug due to quality issues, but I still sometimes buy their puzzles and DS got a great magnetic picture toy that is also of questionable quality but a great idea.

 

Mostly I shop in the locally-owned toy stores, one of which doesn't carry any mainstream brands. You can't even get Legos there. They have a lot of European brands like Quercetti. But honestly, the quality isn't too much better than others, at least on the plastic toys (which I hate). The only plastic toys I've gotten for DS that I love are Green Toys. They are amazing quality, made of recycled milk jugs, and they're made in America. We used to have a locally-owned shop that sold them, but unfortunately they went out of business. I am hoping one of the other shops will start carrying them, so I don't have to go to Whole Foods to buy toys. (I don't mind ordering online, but that also increases the environmental footprint, and I'm torn between environment and shopping small business.)

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#3 of 13 Old 12-23-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

I don't like Melissa & Doug due to quality issues, but I still sometimes buy their puzzles and DS got a great magnetic picture toy that is also of questionable quality but a great idea.

 

Mostly I shop in the locally-owned toy stores, one of which doesn't carry any mainstream brands. You can't even get Legos there. They have a lot of European brands like Quercetti. But honestly, the quality isn't too much better than others, at least on the plastic toys (which I hate). The only plastic toys I've gotten for DS that I love are Green Toys. They are amazing quality, made of recycled milk jugs, and they're made in America. We used to have a locally-owned shop that sold them, but unfortunately they went out of business. I am hoping one of the other shops will start carrying them, so I don't have to go to Whole Foods to buy toys. (I don't mind ordering online, but that also increases the environmental footprint, and I'm torn between environment and shopping small business.)


I'm so glad to hear you love this brand! I got a Green Toys fire engine for my ds for x-mas. I bought it at pottery barn kids. It's not on their website though, I don't know why.

 

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#4 of 13 Old 12-23-2011, 09:08 AM
 
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That's weird. I think the fire truck is one of the newer additions to their line, so I'd think they'd have it on their site.

We bought DS a bucket/rake/shovel set 3.5 years ago to take to the beach when he was a baby. We live in a very hot, dry climate and nothing survives outside for long (balls deflate, plastic dries out and cracks, etc.) and that set looks like it's barely been used. We use it in the pool, digging in the dirt, and just knock it around in the yard. It's dirty as anything, but it's all dishwasher safe and it's barely faded. We also have the pots and pans and they have stood up as well. I hope your fire truck looks just as good after all the abuse it's likely to get! Enjoy!

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#5 of 13 Old 12-23-2011, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really like green toys. We have two of the trucks (dump and flat bed). However I should warn you they don't roll on hardwood floors. They are great outside or on carpet where there is some traction, we're going to sell our, cause we just don't have enough carpet to maintain interest. Very cute and durable though.


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#6 of 13 Old 12-23-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

That's weird. I think the fire truck is one of the newer additions to their line, so I'd think they'd have it on their site.

We bought DS a bucket/rake/shovel set 3.5 years ago to take to the beach when he was a baby. We live in a very hot, dry climate and nothing survives outside for long (balls deflate, plastic dries out and cracks, etc.) and that set looks like it's barely been used. We use it in the pool, digging in the dirt, and just knock it around in the yard. It's dirty as anything, but it's all dishwasher safe and it's barely faded. We also have the pots and pans and they have stood up as well. I hope your fire truck looks just as good after all the abuse it's likely to get! Enjoy!



Oh, I meant pottery barns website - its on the green toys website.



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Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post

I really like green toys. We have two of the trucks (dump and flat bed). However I should warn you they don't roll on hardwood floors. They are great outside or on carpet where there is some traction, we're going to sell our, cause we just don't have enough carpet to maintain interest. Very cute and durable though.



They don't roll on hardwood??  Seriously?  What a bummer. Oh well, my son will love it anyway (he asked Santa for one so that his other firetruck would have a friend, lol).

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#7 of 13 Old 12-23-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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I don't have much in the way of brand loyalty, but out of big chain-type stores (and I'd rather shop local/family owned, but I can only do that once in a while due to our budget), I much prefer costco over anywhere else because I like their political views and how they treat their employees.  Target would probably be a second choice.  And I refuse to shop at walmart/sam's.  I like amazon okay, never had a bad experience and I've ordered a fair amount of stuff over the years.

 

I do have a strong preference for legos over mega blocks and the other knock offs that look so cheap and like poor imitations.  I'm horrified by all the disney and other character stuff.  It's all crap and so commercial.  I generally don't mind plastic, as long as it's not crappy.  I like apple over other computer-y things.  They just seem to work so much better.  


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#8 of 13 Old 12-24-2011, 03:04 PM
 
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I'm not a fan of ecomom.com. They seem just in it for the money and some of the stuff they sell I wouldn't want in my house (M&D is one brand I don't like.)

I'm really picky, but I will say the only toys DD got for Christmas and bday were Plan Toys and a few Green Toys items. I've been avoiding stuff made in China. You can't trust it.

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#9 of 13 Old 12-24-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
I like amazon okay, never had a bad experience and I've ordered a fair amount of stuff over the years.

you might change your mind if you lived where I do - http://articles.mcall.com/2011-12-22/news/mc-allentown-amazon-boycott-20111222_1_amazon-s-breinigsville-amazon-warehouse-worker-boycott  there have been problems since it opened (we no longer deal with them) we try to be direct the best we can from a company and by pass the middle 

 

this is one company we like - http://www.holgatetoy.com (it supports my state not CHINA!)

 

and we HATE m&d (pure crap that chips like crazy!!!) 


 

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#10 of 13 Old 12-25-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

 so I don't have to go to Whole Foods to buy toys. (I don't mind ordering online, but that also increases the environmental footprint, and I'm torn between environment and shopping small business.)

 

The local stores get there toys shipped to them as well so it is the same environmental foortprint
 

 


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#11 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 04:21 AM
 
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 I buy with safety and price in mind.

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#12 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 08:41 AM
 
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The local stores get there toys shipped to them as well so it is the same environmental foortprint
 

 

 

Yeah, but it is shipped by the case/box as opposed to one item at a time to individuals.  I'm pretty sure that must do less damage in the long run.
 

 


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#13 of 13 Old 01-08-2012, 08:47 AM
 
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To answer the original question I guess I shop brands (safe, good quality) and local when possible.  I wouldn't buy something crappy just because it was the only thing available locally though - I'd go farther afield or to a box store to find a quality brand.  But most things I'm looking for I can find in my neighbourhood stores. 

 

I buy locally-made when possible too.  This Christmas a lot of stocking stuffers were from a local craft sale, my mom's present was made at a shop around the corner, ds got a locally-hand-made wooden xylophone, chocolates were from a little shop around the corner, etc.  But the kids also got Legos and Playmobil (non-crappy plastic toys, purchased used for the most part or at a local mom-and-pop store).


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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