If you’re on either Babies R Us or Toys R Us email list, you likely received an email in the past day or so telling you that all Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations are closing, urging you to check out the liquidation sales.
That will be your last electronic communication from Toys R Us, since they closed their website on 5 pm Thursday, March 29th, in an effort to encourage people to visit their brick and mortar stores.
There was speculation that the crowdfunding effort started by billionaire Isaac Larian, the manufacturer behind Bratz dolls, would save as many as 400 locations. This was considered by many to be a long shot, since the liquidation plans were approved in court. As of March 30th, it looks like all US Toys R Us stores have begun the liquidation process.
Toys R Us initially declared bankruptcy in September and in February announced the closure of 180 stores nationwide. Those stores began the liquidation process in February with an anticipated closure date of March 31st. It appears that the original stores will remain with this timeline. I visited my store that was part of the initial closures on Thursday, and it had a “3 DAYS LEFT” sign in the window.
If you have one of these original closure stores near you, I urge you to check them out. While the pickings are slim, you can potentially find some great treasures at as much as 80% off retail price. I had some great luck. (See Bargain Brag at the end of this post.)
For those of you just diving into the liquidation process, here are some tips to help you navigate the sales.
Check Back Often. In addition to the original closure store, there is one other Toys R Us location near me. I checked it out the first say of official complete liquidation. The highest percentage off was 30% and that was for seasonal and party favor type products. Board games, Legos, dolls, and video games were all at 10%, with the occasional smattering of 20% off on clearly well stocked items. We did another pop in on Thursday, and those prices have not changed. Because percentages off are contingent on how many sales the store is making there is no structure to how those will progress. If the store is having good sales at 10% off, they have no reason to move to 30% quickly. Prices will vary (wildly, I’d bet) between stores. Your best plan is to check in once a week to mark the progress.
Be Prepared for Anything. One of the stores I visited Thursday was taking cash only. One store was no longer accepting checks. Again, conditions will vary store to store, so it’s best to be prepared for a few scenarios. The media has reported several end dates for the use of gift cards. I’ve seen April 14th, April 15th, and April 21st. Be safe rather than sorry, and use those up sooner rather than later. They will no longer take loyalty rewards or coupons in store.
Have an Open Mind. Stock is already limited, since there was not much re-ordering after the underperforming Christmas season, and highly coveted toys will probably go very quickly. After all, a 10% discount is better than a no perfect discount. That doesn’t mean there will be nothing good left at the higher percentages. The key is to have an idea of what you’re looking for without set specifics. If you go in saying your four year old daughter loves super heroes, princesses, and books, you’ll have a much easier time finding great deals than if you go in saying, “She has to have a Moana doll, a Batman lunchbox, and the newest Peppa Pig book.”
Look Everywhere. I cannot state this enough, so I’ll say it again. Look everywhere. Things aren’t getting re-shelved properly, customers are hiding toys they might want to come back for and forgetting about them…there’s just a lot going on. Take your time and really examine the stacks and rows of toys. We found the last DC Superhero Girls Supergirl behind a stack of Rapunzel dolls, and Mr. B was able to spot Catboy with Light Up Bracelet discarded on a display of Alvin and the Chipmunk figures. Keep your eyes peeled.
Scan Everything. Things are getting moved around a lot, and an item located near a sign that says 60% off might actually be 80% off. And vice versa. If you want an accurate picture of the prices you’ll be paying (and a clues as to whether the item in question is worth it), always be scanning.
If You Have a Question, Call. When I say call, I mean call Toys R Us main offices. Do not show up at the store with a thousand questions, because it will only lead to your frustration. The stores are packed with people, the employees are also having to consider their next job opportunity, and there are some employees who were hired specifically for these closing sales and don’t know the ropes that well. The store employees do not have all the answers, and they certainly don’t make any of the decisions regarding things like payments, registries, or coupons. If you have a question about those things, it would be best to call Toys R Us directly.
I followed these strategies for my original closure store and they paid off. With three days before closing, I found some great deals at 80% off.
- Clear Wrapping Paper-$.80. Originally $3.99.
- DC Superhero Girls Minis (2)-$2.38. Originally $7.96.
- DC Superhero Girls SuperGirl-$3.98. Originally $19.99.
- PJ Masks Light Up Figure-$1.40. Originally $6.99.
- Whooo Loves Baby Book-$2.10. Originally $6.99.
- Tsum Tsum Playset-$2. Originally $9.99.
- Graco Doll Stroller-$3.80. Originally $18.99.
- 10 oz. Johnson’s Baby Wash (6)-$.84. Originally $2.88.
Total Saved: $59.25
Have you been to any the Toys R Us closing sales? Or will you wait until the prices get more competitive? Tell me all about it in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!