Reduce clutter: Rent toys!


I don't know a child alive in the United States who doesn't have piles and piles of toys. My friend's son has (quite literally) bins and bins of toys, most of which he never plays with. He has his old favorites that get a workout almost daily, but I bet 75% of his toys are almost never touched.

So Lori Pope came up with an idea... .rent toys. Her company is called Baby Plays, and it gives parents the opportunity to receive four to six toys mailed to them each month. It's sort of like movie rentals, but strictly for the kids. The cost is $28.99 per month for four toys, or $35.99 per month for six toys, with a minimum three month subscription. If you're willing to commit for a year, the price for six toys goes down to $31.99.

I think it's a great concept. It can save parents tons of money, and if the child doesn't like a toy, no one cares because he's giving it back the next month. Is there a downside to this? Of course, I'd worry about how clean the toys are and whether they're all in working condition.

But these concerns don't seem to be a problem for the 200 customers the company now has. Pope says her business concept has been popular with grandparents who don't want the expense of purchasing a bunch of toys for the grandchildren to play with when they come to visit. I think it's a great idea and it seems to make sense for parents with the fickle desires of children!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.