Saturday, April 25, 2009

Buying in Bulk from the Oriental Trading Company

Many of you will already be familiar with the Oriental Trading Company, which sells inexpensive toys and novelties that are great for children's parties. I've also bought Halloween and "tropical" items from them for my own themed parties. The difficulty is that many of the items are only available in lots of a dozen or more, and while that's fine for actual children's parties, if you only have one or two children, you just don't need that many items for their Christmas stockings.

So here's what I suggest: if you have friends or neighbors with kids roughly around the same age as yours, why not suggest going in together for a catalog or online order? For instance, the cows shown above are (as of this writing) on sale for $4.99 per dozen, or not quite 42¢ apiece before shipping. If three stocking-stuffing Moms with a total of six kids got together, they'd each have two cute stocking stuffers for each child at under $1 before shipping. (I note that the company's website is currently offering free shipping on orders over $49, although you'd have to buy a lot of stocking stuffers to get there!)

Sticking (no pun intended) with the farm animal theme, there are farm animal stickers that sell for $2.49 for a roll of 100, which can easily be divided into smaller batches. There are also these farm animal foam ink stamps (shown left). All in all, a simple search for the word "farm" yields 163 different products. Granted, they're not all small enough to act as stocking stuffers, but plenty of them are. If the kids have outgrown farm animal toys, you could try a different theme, such as pirates. And although I generally prefer toys that are appropriate year-round instead of being season, the Oriental Trading Company does always have a large selection of holiday-themed merchandise.

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