Christmas Bargains 2010
Based on the Toy Retailers Association's 'Dream Toys' for Christmas 2010, here are this year's top toy deals.
LEGO City Airport £69.97 Save £15 on RRP
LEGO's city airport is available for £69.97 at Toys'R'Us (£84.99 RRP). The 703 piece set includes a jet plane, flight terminal, control tower, baggage cart, passengers and crew amongst other things. There's even a security checkpoint replete with x-ray machine.
Fireman Sam Fire Station Playset £29.99
Cheapest at Argos, this deluxe Fireman Sam set (Ages 3+) comprises a fold-open, portable Fire Station, Sam and Officer Steele figures, and numerous accesories.
There's also a bell on the side for 'realistic fireman ring'. There isn't, however, a fire engine in the box; these are sold separately.
FurReal Go Go Walking Pup £49.24
Smyth's toys has reduced this battery-powered critter to £44.99 in store, but charges £4.25 postage to mainland UK, bringing the total cost to £49.24 if you order online.
According to the blurb, "While you two are out exploring together, he’ll make barking sounds and wag his tail to show you how much he’s enjoying his walk. Use the remote control leash to guide your little friend wherever you want to go".
Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear £38.50
Bound to be a big seller on the back of the Toy Story 3 DVD release, this 12-inch Buzz Lightyear is already becoming harder to find. Factoring in delivery, it's currently cheapest at Amazon*, but you only get a few pence off its RRP of £39.99. We just hope it's possible to put it into 'Spanish mode'!
Kidizoom VideoCam £41.99
The most techie toy in the line-up, this 'first video camera', aimed at ages 4+, is designed to be tough, easy to use, and above all, fun. Cheapest at Play (pink and blue versions available), it offers onboard games, editing, 4x digital zoom and the ability to take 2 megapixel photos.
Ensure you know how to shop safely
before trying these deals
Tips for shopping safely
Whether it's a retailer or restauranteur, airline or air-conditioner seller, computer shop or car rental company, there are always two main risks: either it's a dodgy company, or it's a legit company that has financial problems and goes bust.
The aim of these tips is to help you minimise the risks.
What happens if a company goes bust?
Quite simply, its customers are immediately transformed into creditors.
This hits hardest if you've ordered goods or tickets from them, and not had delivery, as then you are simply one of a line of people trying to get your money back out of the company's assets, and you usually get back much less than you paid in.
Even if you've had delivery, if the company you bought from goes under and there's a problem with the goods, it can mean you've no comeback.
While MoneySavingExpert.com endeavors to check deals are valid, we don't check companies ' finances – even huge names like MFI and Woolies have folded - so it's very important you use the right strategies to stay protected where possible...
DO: Pay by credit card for goods over £100
Pay by credit card for something over £100, eg, flights, kitchens, sofas, and Section 75 laws super-charge your consumer rights.
Unlike debit cards, cheques & cash, pay in full or part (even just £1) on a credit card and by law the lender's jointly liable with the retailer. This means you have exactly the same rights with the card company as you do with the retailer, so if it goes bust, you can simply take your complaints there instead and get money back if no delivery.
DO: Protect purchases under £100
Section 75 doesn't apply to purchases under £100, but there's still an option which can help. It's not a legal protection, just Visa rules, but it's a good secondary back up.
Spend on a Visa credit or debit card and, if the goods don't appear within 120 days, you can ask your bank to reclaim the cash from the seller's bank. See the Visa Chargeback part of the Section 75 guide for full details.
DON'T: Use unfamiliar sites without checking
Bogus websites are often set up to cash in on popular products like Ugg boots and Tiffany necklaces, so be wary if it's an unfamiliar site. And don't think that because it appears on a reputable search engine, that makes it a reputable site - always check.
DO: Check the site's legit
Most folks know to look for a security padlock on a website's bottom right, but that doesn't mean the site's legit, just that payment's secure.
To find out who registered the site and when, search the Whois database. Reputable firms should also appear on the Companies House site, the UK Govt's official companies register. Be very wary of businesses with just a PO BOX or email address.
Study the site's worldwide web ranking on Alexa. Anything in the top 100,000 means it's reasonably big – a good, though not foolproof, indication of legitimacy. Do a quick Google search for other shoppers' experiences.
DON'T: Let your anti-virus run out
Crucially, ensure your security's up-to-date – free software can be downloaded to your computer in five mins. Full details in the Free Anti-Virus Software guide.
DO: Know your distance selling rights
Many people are surprised to learn you've MORE rights buying online (or telephone/catalogue) due to the Distance Selling Regulations.
This gives a legal right to send most goods back within a week for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault. You'll usually need to pay for the return delivery. Read Consumer Rights for a full guide.
However, of course this is balanced by the fact that, order online, and that automatically means a time gap between ordering and delivering - when the company has your money. So if it goes bust in that time, the distance selling rights don't help.
DO: Understand sometimes there's no protection.
Ultimately, there is always a risk that a company can go bust. If the above routes don't apply, then you have to make a decision about whether you're willing to take the risk of parting with your cash.
Don't be overly scared of this: every day we all make transactions based on trust, and this is part of that, but do balance up the amount you're spending against the risk. Don't give large amounts of money to a company you're not sure of.
Monopoly Revolution £19.99
This 75th anniversary edition of the perennial favourite offers a redesigned circular board, and an Electronic Banking Unit with built in songs and sound effects. It's currently reduced to £19.99 instore and online at The Entertainer.
Nerf N Strike Stampede ECS £49.70
For the less cerebral, perhaps this battery-powered foam-dart machine gun will better fit the bill. Available for under £50 from Amazon* (RRP £54.99), it'll fire foam darts about 10m, at a rate of about 3 per second (!)
Paper Jamz Guitar £24.99
The ultimate way to play guitar without going to the trouble of actually learning it, this min plastic axe features three 'jamming' modes and lets you build up songs from real chords (though digitally sounded). It's also cheapest at Amazon*.
Discuss these deals and suggest others in the
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