Richmond mom starts toy rental company

By Heather Sullivan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Parents of young children know toys can pile up and so can the money you spend on them. A Richmond mother has launched a new business to save you money and reduce your clutter.

A mother of three children, Shannon McAfee knows how fast toys collect. "I was looking at all the clutter in our house and thinking there must be a better way to let kids play with toys but not have it take over your life and not spend so much money on it," said McAfee.

So she started TOYconomy, an online toy rental company. She explained, "Customers can go to the website and select individual toys they can rent for 30, 60 or 90 days."

When the children stop playing with the toys, parents can return them and rent new ones. And if the kids like them, she said, "You can choose to purchase them for 30 percent off your retail, minus your rental fee."

It keeps parents from accumulating excess toys, and can save them hundreds of dollars. "For instance, a customer ordered six products and the retail value of that entire order is $168, and for 30 days they paid $44 for that."

The toys are cleaned with steam, a cleaner, then shrink-wrapped after each use. They're delivered free to your door in Richmond, or sent around the country by FedEx. There are a few other toy rental companies in the U.S., so McAfee decided to set TOYconomy apart.

Said McAfee, "We try to include some added benefits, like the storage totes with our deliveries that customers can use during the rental period. Because its hard to keep the rented products separate from the others."

TOYconomy has more than 200 toys for children of all ages. McAfee hopes it's a business that will get some serious play.

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