Families, relatives and friends love to spoil children with toys - whether it is presented as an educational aid, a gift for an occasion, or simply a reward for being on their best behaviour. But what happens when parents realise the large stacks of toys and other items their child is no longer using are still in good condition? Cue, ToysWeLoved, a user-friendly online marketplace where anyone can sell and purchase pre-loved toys and all kid-related items from the comfort of their home.
The initiative belongs to Deepaa Tejnani, a banker-turned-entrepreneur who brainstormed the concept after her own experience with unwanted playthings. "Every parent wants to give the best to their child. My husband and I are no different. From time to time, we shower our son with many gifts. But over time, we had a mountain of unused toys and were running out of space. When I checked online to find ways to sell them without having to negotiate with the buyer, I could not find any platform for this, and that sparked the idea," said Tejnani.
ToysWeLoved was originally conceived in 2017, but its website took three years to develop due to Tejnani's demanding professional and personal life. Eventually, she made the bold decision to quit her job and launch the ToysWeLoved project. Today, she stands firm in her resolve and is happy she left her comfort zone.
"I've always wanted to do something of my own, to start something and make a difference. I am the type who also likes to read a lot, so I went through many books to learn and gather as much information as I could to make ToysWeLoved a success," she said, adding her customer service knowledge from banking also played a role.
ToysWeLoved is designed to add convenience to the lives of busy parents. For easy browsing, all listings on its website are neatly categorised into different age ranges, including a special section dedicated to kids of determination. Parents can also list unopened items in their 'New Toys for Less' category, and soon be able to purchase a toy for donation, as Tejnani revealed that she is currently in talks with Red Crescent and other charities.
Those looking to sell their child's pre-loved items have to register, click photos, and list the item for sale at a price of their choice. The listing process takes less than five minutes due to the minimal fields to fill.
Once an item is purchased, sellers will receive a notification via email that they need to confirm within 24 hours. ToysWeLoved then schedules pick-up from the seller with complimentary shipping to the buyer within five to seven days. There is also an express option available at an additional fee. Upon successful delivery to the buyer, money is transferred to the seller's bank account within 24 hours.
"Most toys are non-biodegradable; simply throwing them brings harm to the environment. Instead, we want to encourage people to resell and buy pre-loved things for their children. This can help keep one's expense within budget, and they can de-clutter their homes of unused items," said Tejnani.
To date, ToysWeLoved caters to Dubai and the Northern Emirates, but Tejnani is looking forward to extending its reach to Abu Dhabi in the near future.Â In case users are pressed for time, ToysWeLoved is available for assistance through Whatsapp and can help them publish
"We are also trying to help expats who have been affected by the pandemic. Unfortunately, many are leaving and don't have enough time to get rid of their items. If they let us know, we can prioritise collection on their behalf, store the items with us until sold, then transfer the amount to their bank accounts no matter where they are," she added.
Addressing health concerns, Tejnani assured that all items, once collected from its former owner, are subject to disinfection and sanitisation with industry-grade solutions before being delivered to its new home.