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A kid with a Power Wheels vehicle is undoubtedly the envy of the block. Siblings and neighbors alike will go to any lengths for one turn to drive around in one of these cool, modern-toy wonders. Of course, as a parent, you know that these toys rarely come cheap. Luckily, we know how you can find used Power Wheels that won’t break the bank and how to fix their most common issues.
The best places to get used Power Wheels for cheap are garage sales, local thrift stores, online auction websites, and more. Here, individuals will sell their old or unused Power Wheels for reduced prices instead of sending them to landfills. Of course, there are some pros and cons to buying used versus new.
This article will detail all of the ways you can acquire your own Power Wheels vehicle for a great price. From vehicles that look brand-new to some obvious fixer-uppers, we’ll list the best places to acquire your Power Wheels. Plus, we’ll even show you how to fix common problems on used Power Wheels, so your budget-friendly purchase can run like new as well.
How to Find Good Used Power Wheels for a Great Price
There’s nothing better than a little bargain shopping and knowing you got an amazing purchase at a fraction of its retail cost. Considering how costly Power Wheels can be, the purchase is even sweeter when you see a child’s excitement driving around their new toy, knowing other parents spend hundreds of dollars on something you got for maybe $100.
Of course, achieving this dream doesn’t happen without a little effort and knowing exactly where to go. Below we have listed the best places to search for used Power Wheels at unbeatable prices, which include:
- Garage sales
- Local thrift stores
- Online auction or private-seller-friendly websites
- Social media and Smartphone websites
Usually, the Power Wheels found here have seen better days, which is why you’re getting them for so cheap. However, some are sold simply because the family’s kids no longer use them, and the parents want to make a little extra cash rather than sending it to the dump. In these cases, you might find Power Wheels in pretty decent condition.
Whether the Power Wheel looks brand-new or severely used, we highly recommend you snag one at a great price when you see it because later, we’ll teach you how to fix it up like new regardless of the condition you purchased it in.
Search Local Garage Sales
It’s spring or summertime, and everyone has opened their garage doors, picked through their dusty basements and attics, and laid out all of their old treasures for practically free (in some cases, the offerings actually are free so that it’s out of their hair). This is the time that you want to start scouring yours and nearby neighborhoods for used Power Wheels.
Garage sales are great for many reasons. You’re likely to find Power Wheels here because it is easier for a previous owner to sell it on their front lawn than to put it up on a website or sell it to another company for a slight profit.
Another benefit of finding a Power Wheels at a garage sale is that it’s a perfect opportunity to test your haggling skills. If you see a decent Power Wheels offered at $150, the odds are that parent really just wants to be rid of it, and you can potentially convince them to let it go for $100. Comparatively, this is much cheaper than buying a new one at $250-$400.
Visit Your Local Thrift Store
Power Wheels aren’t seen as commonly at thrift stores as other options on this list, but they’ll pop up every now and then and definitely shouldn’t be dismissed.
Popular thrifts stores, such as Goodwill, will purchase people’s old items and resell them for ridiculously low prices. It isn’t uncommon to walk out of these stores with 20+ items in hand you only bought for $10.
A benefit of shopping for Power Wheels at a thrift store is that the store won’t sell one of these toys unless it’s at least in working condition (a trap you might fall into purchasing online), so the only issues you probably have to worry about here are cosmetic ones.
However, the Power Wheels might be a little pricier here since the company has already purchased it from the original owner and, therefore, has to resell it at a higher rate in order for the store to profit. Still, whatever price they choose is going to be far cheaper than retail stores.
When to Shop at the Thrift Store for a Used Power Wheels
The best time to shop for a Power Wheels in a thrift store is early on a Monday after the store has restocked from the busy weekend. You’ll also want to arrive early in the morning to beat any crowds that have the same idea.
Spring is a great time of year to check the thrift stores because people tend to be in the spring-cleaning mode and try to get rid of their old stuff. We also highly recommend any days your thrift store of choice is having a sale, so your Power Wheels comes at an even lower cost.
Check Online Auction or Private-Seller Friendly Websites
Another option we highly recommend for your cheap Power Wheels search is online auctions or private-seller friendly websites.
These include popular websites, like Craigslist and eBay, where owners can post their old, or sometimes even brand-new items, online for other people to purchase. In our opinion, this option, along with social media and smartphone applications, is the most high-risk, high-reward for a used Power Wheels.
On the one hand, you can’t physically see the Power Wheels until you’ve purchased them, so you have to take the owner’s word for it regarding the vehicle’s condition. Sometimes they’re honest; sometimes they’re not.
However, both of these sites tend to do pretty well with protecting both sellers and consumers, so if you buy a Power Wheels that doesn’t match its description, you’ll most likely be compensated for it. Where the high-reward comes in is with their prices, particularly if you can snag a Power Wheels off an auction listing.
Auctions, especially on eBay, are a great way to get Power Wheels for an absolute steal. Here, the vehicle might start as low as $5, and you can bid on it until the price exceeds your financial preferences.
If the Auction is low traffic (meaning you aren’t competing with many other buyers), you could purchase the Power Wheels for an extremely low price if the Auction ends on your bid. It might take you a couple of tries but getting a Power Wheels for less than $100 is well worth the effort.
Social Media and Smartphone Applications
A relatively new method of buying used objects is going to social media websites and downloading Smartphone applications.
One option currently rising in popularity is Facebook Marketplace. This can be found on any Facebook website or app and allows Power Wheels owners to post their toy for sale similarly to eBay or Craigslist. Again, the prices are usually fair, but you risk not knowing the condition of the Power Wheels until you see it.
Alternatively, you can search for used Power Wheels for sale on various phone applications, such as Nextdoor or OfferUp. Each works very similarly to other popular websites and specializes in different things. For instance, Nextdoor focuses on local postings, so you aren’t driving long distances or shipping your used Power Wheels to your residence.
Okay, bear with us. Sometimes one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and you’d be surprised how many parents just leave their used Power Wheels on the curb after their kid has outgrown it.
For the low cost of free, you can take your Power Wheels home when it was originally meant for the landfill.
Usually, when you see a used Power Wheels on the curb, it’s either broken, or the parents don’t want to go through the hassle of reselling it, so they’re just getting rid of it. This is the perfect opportunity for you to snatch it up and see what you can do with it.
The worst-case scenario is that something is broken on the Power Wheels that you can’t fix. The best-case scenario is that the Power Wheels functions perfectly fine, or it needs some tinkering that only costs you maybe $25 in parts.
Pros and Cons of Purchasing Used Power Wheels
We hear you. Why go through the hassle of waiting around and digging through garage sales or the internet for a used Power Wheels when you can just go to your local Target or Walmart and buy it brand-new?
While we highly recommend snagging a used Power Wheels when you can find it, we’ll concede that there are various pros and cons to this decision. Before you sink any cash into a Power Wheels, new or old, consider these advantages and disadvantages we’ve listed below, so you’re certain this is the right decision for you.
|Pros of Purchasing Used Power Wheels||Cons of Purchasing Used Power Wheels|
|• Can save you hundreds of dollars on your purchase.|
• Could potentially acquire the vehicle for free.
• Fixing the Power Wheels (if necessary) could be a fun activity with your kids before they get their new toy.
• Cheap, low-risk investment if your kid loses interest in the toy quickly, grows out of it or even breaks it beyond repair.
|• New toys will generally last longer than used ones.|
• Visually, a new toy will look better (less wear).
• Can’t always be sure of the toy’s condition when you purchase it used.
• Learning to fix issues on your used Power Wheels might seem more of a hassle than just buying a new one.
Ultimately, if you’re a tech-savvy individual that doesn’t mind a little mechanical or electrical work, we recommend purchasing a used Power Wheels just in case it needs some repairs. As long as you get it for a decent price, it will be exponentially cheaper than a new Power Wheels, even with the added cost of parts.
If you’re more of a “one and done” kind of person that doesn’t want the hassle of potentially fixing a used Power Wheels or gambling on its condition, you’re better of spending the extra cash on a new one and giving yourself some peace of mind.
How to Fix Common Issues on Used Power Wheels
Sometimes the best way to get an unbeatable price on a Power Wheels vehicle is to acquire one that’s seen better days.
The leading cause of someone selling or throwing out their used Power Wheels is broken components they can’t or won’t fix. However, in terms of components and wiring, Power Wheels are overtly simple machines most people could fix in minutes with cheap parts. So, it makes more sense financially for you to buy a budget-friendly Power Wheels and fix it up than to spend $200+ on a new one.
To help, we’ve listed some of the most common issues on used Power Wheels and how you can solve them, so you’re prepared when a cheap Power Wheels with one of these problems arises.
Dead or Broken Battery
A broken battery is one of the few things people will throw their hands up and walk away from on a Power Wheels. While it can be irritating, there are ways to replace or repair them.
First, you should test to see if the battery is the root cause of the issue. Use a voltmeter to see if it’s supplying energy properly. If it reads properly, your issue is actually with wiring, not the battery.
If the battery is dead, and you don’t want to spend the $60-100 to purchase a replacement from Fisher-Price, you can purchase a cheaper 12V battery elsewhere. Just make sure it’s a standard SLA battery with a 30-amp inline fuse (to prevent fire hazards) and use ring connectors to connect the battery to a male side connector (you can take this from the old battery).
Worn-out Power Wheels Tires
Much of the components on Power Wheels are made of plastic, which means they tend to wear out over time when these motorized vehicles are used. One of the components that wear out most quickly is the tread on their tires.
As a result, the Power Wheels might have a hard time gripping surfaces, causing them to skid when driven at high speeds or struggle accelerating. To fix this, attach 14-inch kid’s bike tires (or whatever tire size fits your power wheels best) to the center of your rear Power Wheels tires.
You might need to trim some of the excess internal tires first, so it lays flatter on the plastic Power Wheels tires, and then you can screw them into the wheel. This will ultimately improve traction.
This is another example of plastic components wearing out over time. If the wheels on your used Power Wheels aren’t straight, the problem is most likely worn-down steering knuckles, which is affecting the vehicle’s overall steering alignment.
The best way to solve this issue is to reinforce the holes where your wheel axel runs through and then reinforce, or even better, replace surrounding plastic components with more durable materials that can withstand the wear of your motorized Power Wheels.
First, we recommend cutting a strip of aluminum to size so it can fit over the axel hole where your steering knuckle sits. Next, try to reinforce the rivet on the steering knuckles with more aluminum or a washer. Ideally, if you could find a sturdier replacement (perhaps one that’s been 3D printed), this would be a better long-term solution.
Broken Accelerator Pedal
In addition to worn-out plastic components, the other most common issue with Power Wheels is corrosion as a result of water damage. These vehicles aren’t waterproof and have a habit of holding water in their internal components, such as under the seat, creating a breeding ground for rust.
Often, if you find your accelerator pedal isn’t working, the source of the issue is corrosion. The best thing to do here is to remove the pedal and its adjoining terminals to be cleaned.
Spray or soak the pieces in some penetrant and then gently scrub them with a steel brush until you’ve safely removed as much rust as possible. Hopefully, none of the pieces are completely rusted to the point that they’ve broken, but if they have, most can be replaced fairly easily.
After they’ve been cleaned and any broken components have been replaced, your accelerator pedal should function properly once again.
While purchasing a brand-new Power Wheels is certainly tempting, these toys are expensive, and kids will usually outgrow them in a handful of years. Therefore, it makes more sense from a financial standpoint to search your local garage sales or online sources for a used Power Wheels.
If you find any problems, remember that most can be fixed with cheap materials and a little effort. Of course, if you don’t enjoy the work of a mechanic or technician, you can always opt for new Power Wheels from retail stores.