Babies are expensive, but a great way to save is to buy second hand items. Babies grow out of clothes, toys, and other necessities quickly. You can typically find these items gently used for a fraction of the price. Here is my list of items we bought used as well as a list of items that are best if purchased new.
If you prefer to read instead of listen, check out my blog post on the subject here: http://growingourfamily.com/buying-used/
This week I reviewed the Munchkin Changing Pad Liners, for more details and the link, check out my full review here: http://growingourfamily.com/changing-pad-liners/
Or purchase on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2LGJB3a
Intro Song courtesy of:
I dunno by grapes (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/grapes/16626 Ft: J Lang, Morusque
Insurance Covered Breast pump:
Podcast: Season 1 Episode 4 ( https://growingourfamily.com/s01e04/ )
Where to Listen:
Hey Moms & Dads! I have had a great experience buying used baby items and I am here to share with all of you! I typically use Facebook marketplace because they let you check out the sellers profile and there are seller/buyer reviews which makes me feel a little safer meeting up with a stranger.
If you prefer to listen instead of read, check out my podcast here.
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Things we bought used that I would suggest:
- Changing table
- We bought the waterproof pad and covers new
- Baby clothes
- We purchased 5 garbage bags for $50 ranging from newborn to 12 months! Keep an eye out for big bundles like this because they are typically cheaper than buying smaller lots of clothes. When baby moves up a size I go to carters and buy him a few cute outfits so I can still enjoy shopping for my little, but we saved so much money buying the bulk of his clothes used. Even shopping the clearance rack or discount stores adds up quickly!
- We were able to sand down and paint the dresser to match the rest of his furniture and it cost us $10 plus the paint. We brought a bookshelf from his set into Lowe’s to do a paint match and it worked perfectly.
- Crib mobile
- I found one for $5 and is the exact one I wanted for $45
- Maternity clothes!
- Women only wear them for about 4-5 months at the end of the pregnancy when they start to get bigger. I got so many maternity outfits for $50 and they were all in great condition. Some things are necessary to buy new such as my bellaband, maternity underwear, and nursing/maternity bras (see my product reviews page for details and links to my favorite items).
- We ended up asking for books instead of cards (new or used) so we got so many at our baby shower, but our local used book store always had $5 bag sales so you can fill up a brown paper bag with tons of children’s books for so cheap!
- We bought a second swing for upstairs for only $25 (just take all the fabric pieces off and wash while you wipe down the rest). It was new and the owner found out she was having a girl so wanted a pink one instead.
- Bumbo Seat
- If your baby has chunky thighs, they may grow out of this chair very quickly, which also means they are constantly being sold online. I wasn’t willing to pay $40 for a piece of foam but the great thing is you can take a wet wipe and clean the whole thing in less than 10 minutes.
- Jumpers, activity centers, walking toys, etc.
- They are used for such a short amount of time and typically only need a good wipe down.
- Our son was in his crib by 3 months so our halo bassinet and our swaddleme co-sleeper were barely used. I got both of them off Facebook marketplace thankfully and sold them for the same price I bought them for.
- Breathing Monitors
- We bought the Owlet smartsock on Facebook Marketplace for $165, which is almost half the price of a new one. After an unfortunate event (the monitor was accidentally thrown out), we didn’t want to spend over $100 on another one.
- We then purchased a used Snuza Hero monitor for $22 on eBay. After a good wipe-down, the Snuza was as good as new and has been working well for us ever since.
- You should definitely buy the car seat new, but it’s easy to find strollers that fit the common brands (Chicco keyfit, graco’s, etc.). We bought a bob running stroller for $100 and normally it is $400. I wish I would have bought our regular chicco stroller on marketplace because they are so common and much cheaper than full price.
- Baby Carriers
- I purchased my K’Tan breeze carrier on eBay from a seller. The K’Tan is size specific, so it is very easy to find sellers who bought it online (or received as a gift) and don’t like the way it fits. The wrap had been returned because it was the wrong size and was missing the instruction manual. The seller couldn’t sell as new so I was able to get the $60 wrap for $24.
- Baby Food Makers
- This one is a little iffy. I was able to find one that was still in the box, so I was okay with it. I’m not sure what my thoughts would be if the item was heavily used. You never know if there is hidden food and/or bacteria growing in some hard-to-clean areas. However, I highly suggest looking for a used in-box option! A lot of people get a baby food maker with the intention of using it all the time, but then end up just buying the jars of baby food instead.
Pro tip: Anything that you hear moms say “my baby hated their ______” you will most likely be able to find online practically new. One example that I see a lot is the Mamaroo, I’ve heard moms swear by them and others say their baby screamed the whole time. If you buy it used from a mom whose child hated it and never used it, now you get a practically new item for the fraction of the price. If your baby also ends up hating it, chances are you will be able to sell it for the same price you bought it for.
Things I wouldn’t buy used:
- Car seat and base
- With the money you save buying other used items, you can put some of that money towards buying a new car seat. If the car is even in a slight fender bender (with or without baby in the car) it can compromise the safety. Also, a lot of people don’t know you can’t wash the straps because it compromises them and can snap in an accident. I just wouldn’t risk it unless you get one from a good friend or family member you can 100% trust.
- Tip: If you get in an accident with the base or car seat in the car, most insurances will replace them for you!
- Mattresses for cribs, bassinets, etc.
- Mattresses can have a lot of bacteria build-up between spit-up, blow outs, and any other germs inside the home.
- They can have recalls for things like drop down sides and bars that are too spaced out that can be dangerous to your baby. Also if not stored properly, the crib could be compromised (ex: a lot of people will store boxes of baby items inside the crib, and if the weight limit is exceeded the crib is no longer safe to use).
- Breast pumps
- The pump and pump parts can start growing mold and bacteria after a while. If you are in the U.S., your insurance has to cover a pump for free (it just doesn’t have to be a double electric). Check here to learn more about how to get your pump covered!
Here are some Tips for buying on craigslist or Facebook marketplace:
- Always meet in a public place. We have broken this rule a few times for items that are hard to transport, but in these cases we always move it out to our driveway and don’t let the people come into our house. We live on a busy street but I always feel safer meeting in a public place. It’s best to meet in well lit areas with lots of people – grocery store parking lots are a common spot as well as police station parking lots. You can find a list of local police stations on Safe Trade http://www.safetradestations.com/safetrade-station-list.html. Police stations are great because they are typically well lit, they have cameras, and most people are not stupid enough to try to rob you outside of a police station.
- Inspect it before giving them your cash. Once you hand over the money the transaction is pretty much complete. Make sure to check out the item to make sure it is in working condition and matches the description.
- ALWAYS NEGOTIATE! I’m always surprised at how many people will not try to negotiate on craigslist. Unless it says “price is firm”, they are most likely willing to go down a little bit. If the listing says “OBO” [or best offer], DEFINITELY offer a lower price. If they have multiple offers, they may not be willing to accept a lower price, but it never hurts to ask. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times we have paid the list price for an item. Every other time we are able to get it for cheaper. However, you don’t want to offer too low of a price because the buyer may not take you serious and just flat out say no.
- Go with a friend. Bringing someone with you decreases the chances of getting robbed and it’s just a good idea to work in pairs. If you don’t have anyone to go with you, at the very least let someone know when and where you are going, just in case.
- Pay in cash. If someone wants you to do some weird money transfer or they want to do the payment but can’t get the product to you until later… it is 99.9% a scam. Bring cash and only do the exchange after you have inspected the item and have decided on a price. You have the item, they have the money, and the transaction is finalized. If it is an expensive item and you don’t feel comfortable meeting with that much cash, you can always meet at a bank. Once you have decided to purchase the item, then you can pull the money out. Facebook marketplace now offers a pay function which is super easy to set up! I was able to set it up and use it in less than 10 minutes. This is also a great alternative, especially for less expensive items.
- Don’t give out your personal information. If you are meeting in person (which you should be), they don’t need anything besides maybe your first name so they know what to call you. If you don’t feel comfortable giving your first name, make one up. A lot of scams will go something like “Hi, my craigslist email has been acting up. Can I get your personal email address and/or phone number to contact you on?”. If you would like to exchange numbers for ease of communication, you can always set up a google number so you don’t have to share your actual phone number.
- Trust your gut. Have you heard the expression “if it seems too good to be true, it usually is”? Well nothing could be more true when it comes to craigslist. I have encountered so many scams and key is to just trust your instincts. If the seller is being shady about giving details, doesn’t want to meet at certain places (like a police station), or just gives you the creeps; just move on. No “good” deal is worth it in my opinion.
I’m sure there are a lot more items that could be added to this list so feel free to comment below with your favorite used purchases!
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