14 Sep 2014
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How to Track Down the Hottest Toys

Tips for getting the presents they want without having to hoof it from Algonquin or Lake in the Hills to the North Pole.

How to Track Down the Hottest Toys

Santa’s awesome, but he doesn’t always deliver the hottest toys of the season on demand to Dacula, Ga — no matter how nicely we ask.

If the kids — or wannabe kids — in your life happen to have their hearts set on presents that are hard to come by, it can be torturous running from store to store only to find what they really want just isn’t available.

Whether your little girl has her sights on the latest Lalaloopsy, your son wants a Hot Wheels R/C Terrain Twister or that “big baby” in your life is yearning for a copy of Halo 4, here are some ideas on how to track down what’s in demand without putting miles and miles on your vehicle in the process:

Tips for Shopping

If you hate ordering online and love the gratification of being able to hold the present you’re going to give right away, there are some fairly simple moves you can make to do just that and save yourself a lot of hassles in the process.

Here are just a few tips:

  • Call ahead – This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t think to call ahead to the stores they want to shop at. Even big-box retailers will answer basic questions about what’s in stock and what’s not. If an item you need isn’t in stock, ask when the next shipment is going to be so you can plan on being there.
  • Use layaway – There’s still time to use this method to hold the items you want for final payment on another day. Stores like Walmart offer layaway with very simple terms. If the items you want are in stock now but you can’t afford the full purchase price, this is a great way to make sure you can have what you want when you can pay in full.
  • Do Ask, Do Tell – If friends stumble upon the same items you’re looking for, ask them where the purchases were made. Also, don’t be shy about letting close friends and relatives know what hot items are on your purchase list. They just might find them for you.
  • Post what you know here - If you found out when a certain toy will be in a certain store, let folks know in the comments section of this article. Maybe you want to wait until you get what you need, or maybe you just can't wait to share the news. Either way, with the local reach of Patch, this is a great way for us to help each other out.

Finding What You Need Online

Shopping on the net is one of the quickest, simplest ways to locate the items on your shopping list. For toys and other sought-after gifts, some of the best places to look are:

Amazon.com can be an especially useful tool since the site pulls in items and deals from lots of locations. Plus it also offers gently used items, which might fit the bill for some gift requests.

Do you have other tips for finding gifts that are in demand? Share them in the comments section.

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