[Update – They appear to have gone out of business.]
I have to admit that I'm pretty excited to be a Toygaroo beta tester. It looks like an interesting service that could really take off!
Let me start with my disclosures: I signed up to be notified when Toygaroo opened for business. I received an opportunity to be entered for beta testing selection. After I was selected and activated my account, I asked permission to blog about my beta experiences. I am not being compensated in any way.
What is a beta tester?
Beta testing is trying things out for the purpose of providing feedback and helping to discover any glitches in the system. My fellow gamers are probably familiar with hearing about beta testing for games. It helps work out the kinks before being released.
I am not being charged during my three months of beta testing because I will be responsible to provide timely feedback to surveys and questionnaires. I decided I would like to blog about it as well, but that was not a requirement.
Generally there are a variety of beta testers because having all the testers too alike won't provide enough varied experience feedback. I'll be looking at a variety of things, such as the usability of the website, the selection of toys, the condition of the toys upon arrival, shipping times, customer service, etc.
Since they are just starting out and are in beta, you and I need to keep this in mind. They will likely undergo changes throughout the course of the next three months as they examine tester feedback. I will provide honest feedback about my experiences and constructive criticism. However, if there is something I absolutely detest, I will address overtly negative feedback with Toygaroo privately.
What is Toygaroo?
It's like the Netflix of toy rentals.
Click to enlarge
The idea is you can have access to a flow of new (to your child) toys without the large price tag. Plus it should save on space since you won't have to store everything when they get bored of it – you just ship it back for something else!
You'll be able to see them soon on Shark Tank as well!
- I like the look of the site. It's colorful, attractive, and sleek.
- They have three different membership plans available right now.
- They have online chat available if a representative is around. I was able to chat with someone for a bit. So far my interactions with Toygaroo staff have been positive and friendly.
- It was easy to search for toys – by age range, brand, or type.
- You can add your child's name and birthdate to receive a birthday surprise.
- You have the option to keep a toy by buying it at a discounted price, much like Gamefly.
- You can donate certain toys to earn points towards your fee.
- You can purchase a gift card for someone else.
- I like the summary box that pops up when you hover over a toy. You can click through for more info, but it's nice to see a little more about it without having to click through each one.
- You can rate and review the toys.
- Prepaid shipping labels that you can reprint if something happens to your return label.
- I didn't look at the differences in the membership plans much right now because… 1 – I'm testing for free and 2 – I can't place a monetary value on this service yet. Once I get to experience it I'll be able to have a sense of whether or not I think it's worth the price.
- Rissa's birthday is too far off so I won't be able to tell you what I think of the birthday surprise.
- If you or your child damage a toy, you have to buy it at the discounted price.
- Shipping is via Fed Ex. I'm hoping I can schedule pick ups because the “closest” Fed Ex location is not close. If I do have to make a special trip, at least it wouldn't be often.
Bring on the Toys!
My first shipment is en route and I should receive it next week. I get 4 toys at a time. I don't mind only receiving 4, but I was asked to select about 25 toys so they could ship out as quickly as possible and have enough available toys to choose from. Overall, that makes sense. However, they are still starting out so trying to find 25 toys that I thought were appropriate for babygirl wasn't the easiest task. They had a lot of mobiles to choose from, but I didn't want to put a bunch of those on my list and end up with multiple mobiles. I didn't want to select toys just for the sake of selecting..so I chose a few toys that she's probably passed developmentally and a few that are a bit ahead for her.
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