We tend to spoil our kids with toys from the shops because we think that’s the right thing to do. Inevitably, our children get bored of them and they sit in the toy box collecting dust. But what if you could change the practice of kids tossing toys to one side that they no longer like?
Mombabbles chats to Lyneve Pieterse, one of the founders of the Smart Toy Club, which allows parents to rent toys to find out more about this concept.
When did you start the Smart Toy Club?
Smart Toy Club started five years ago by two single moms.
How many customers do you now have?
We are getting new customers daily as the word spreads +-150 right now and growing. We mostly have most new moms with babies in the 6mth + range to kids that are three years of age.
What are the benefits of renting toys as opposed to buying them?
Kids never tire of receiving new toys each month, great for their development as toys are always age appropriate, children learn best through play, saves you money (R249 per month for R700+ worth of toys each month), less clutter, better for the environment, teaches children the principle of play, learn, return, we sanitise the toys and change batteries.
What’s your policy on breakages?
We are moms ourselves with four kids between us – so we assess each damage independently. I must say must say though we hardly see any breakages – we buy the best quality brands.
What’s your policy on toys that go missing?
We generally give the parents/caregivers another month as things have a way of turning up – but if after that time it is still missing – it will be billed.
What happens when a child really likes a toy and the parent wants to keep it for their children? Can they buy it from your company?
We get this very often in fact – it’s a really great way to see what your child loves and then spend the money instead of buying and they don’t like it and you have wasted your money. We offer a discounted rate when you buy from us.
How old are the toys that you rent out? Are they on trend or are they generally older toys?
We stock a good mix of toys – we are constantly buying new stock so your selection is New and Fresh
How much money do you think parents save by renting as opposed to buying toys?
Definitely you will spend less with renting – but the VALUE your child gets out of it is the real crunch! One toy these days will cost around R500+ in stores, our cost is just R249 per month for 4/6 toys (R700-R1000) each month.
Do you think your business also helps with the environment?
Yes, definitely – less crappy toys in the bin at the end of the month because you couldn’t afford the real thing (for some) – this way you can afford it and it gets used a few times. No matter what LSM families fit into – the concept of Play, Learn, Return is fast becoming well known, used and even preferred.
What expansion plans do you have for your business?
We just recently opened up our services nationally – so this will be a focus for us going forward. Exposure, exposure, exposure…we come across people every day that don’t even know we exist and LOVE the concept – hence there is ALOT still to do and I feel excited about the prospects. I believe it’s the right timing for something like this now.