With a sister who’s a school teacher, we spend a lot of time searching for cheap deals on plush animals, especially teddy bears. While buying “wholesale” through a drop ship might seem like the cheapest way to buy big lots of plush teddy bears, surprisingly, we’ve discovered that the dollar store is actually the better deal.
Drop ship wholesalers charge anywhere from $1.50 for a 6-inch bear to $2.95-$3.50 for a 16-18″ plush bear. These plush look to be the same quality as those found at the dollar store with one little difference… accessories. If you’ve turned to the dollar store for cheap deals on plush for your school, here’s a few ways those darling little bears and other plush animals can be turned into something that looks much more expensive than it really is.
Add colorful bows. Last year, sis and I found cute 18″ plush brown bears at Dollar Tree for $1 each. The very same bear was currently in stock at a local discount store for $10 each. The only difference? The $10 bear had about 25 cents worth of ribbon on it while the Dollar Tree bears didn’t. Adding a colorful bow to a holiday plush bear costs next to nothing and is a fantastic, cheap way to turn a dollar store plush animal into something special for the holidays.
My money saving tip? Shop the craft stores after major Holidays for 75% discounts on Holiday ribbon.
Drop it in a bag. Another popular way of marketing plush is attaching it to a cute little gift bag. Plush-in-a-bag makes great baby shower presents, Christmas presents, and other themed gifts for school carnivals. To customize a dollar store plush, attach it with sewing thread to the inside of a colorful bag.
To save money, hit the dollar stores for small holiday gift bags sets or blank bags. To customized the bag, use stick on letters to spell out Boo, Merry Christmas, Love, or whatever is appropriate for the occasion.
Rubber band an accessory to the wrist. My daughter used to love Build-a-Bear Workshop as a tween and especially liked those $5 pint-sized plush that could be snapped on the wrist of her new plush bear. You can accessorize a Dollar Store plush bear much in the same way by using a rubber band to attach a tiny, but cheap gift to the wrist of the bear. Suggestions for tiny gifts include miniature ducklings (for Easter), plastic spider or small candy (for Halloween), wrapped chocolate Santa (for Christmas), Mardi Gras Beads, or mini flags (for 4th of July or Memorial Day).
To save money, these tiny little favors are best purchased in bulk at a party goods store or Oriental Trading Post for the best deals.
Buying plush bears at wholesale prices is quite possible when you shop local Dollar Stores instead of Drop shippers or Wholesale merchants. And, by adding a few customized (although low cost) accessories of your own, you can turn these dollar deals into a bear that kids and adults alike will enjoy receiving.