Shopping Fun

by Lori Sciame | September 19th, 2011 | Kids' Shopping

*A toy company holds an all day toy sale at a fall festival to raise money for park equipment.
*A popular doll company hosts a benefit sale which offers fantastic prices on their quality merchandise.
*A food, clothing, and variety catalog company operates an outlet store in their home town with super items for kids’ parties.

Does this type of shopping sound fun? It is! I learned a long time ago, that some of the best prices on merchandise can be found not at the mall, but at local benefit sales and company outlet stores. Why not do some of your shopping at one of these types of places to find great deals on children’s items for the holidays and for birthdays?

The first company mentioned is Patch Products located in Beloit, Wisconsin. According to their company website, games such as “… Farkle, Buzzword®, 5 Second Rule®, Bed Bugs™, Wooly Willy®…Farkle Frenzy™, Love It! Hate It! ™, Tales to Play®, Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere™ Design ‘N’ Doodle™…” are available at their sale. There are also “…classroom products including pocket charts, flash card sets, table charts, language, numbers and pattern sets.”

Because the company understands they are part of their community, the profits from the sale go back to the locals. Who then use the funds”…to improve the grounds and facilities of Preservation Park for everyone to enjoy.”

The next company, American Girl, also hosts a yearly benefit sale. (You may know them from their gorgeous dolls that represent different periods in history, or from the special order dolls that you can purchase with features that resemble your own child!) Company information explains, “Each year, American Girl donates seconds and returned merchandise to the Madison (Wisconsin) Children’s Museum, whose volunteers refurbish the products for an annual sale. Since American Girl initiated this unique partnership in 1988, the Annual Benefit Sale has raised more than $18 million and attracted more than 140,000 shoppers from around the country.” Next year’s sale will be July 21 and 22, and those interested should register now!

Swiss Colony, located in Monroe, Wisconsin, also offers great shopping, not at an annual sale but all year long. This company operates an outlet store located in the rolling hills of southern Wisconsin. People come from miles around to snap up delicious treats, home décor items, and even children’s novelty items. Each holiday season I make the 45 minute drive to buy stocking stuffers, as well as boxes of petit fours (delicious mini layer cakes covered in a variety of sweet coatings). Some years they even have succulent Christmas hams available as well. During the summer, I visit to snap up a variety of Wisconsin cheeses.

As you can see, shopping away from the mall can be both fun and economical. By finding company benefit sales and company outlet stores, you will be able to find children’s items at blow out prices. Plus you will have a lot of fun to boot! Do a quick search of your local manufacturers to determine opportunities in your part of the country.

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