I’ve found the strangest thing about having a child is that everything in child size costs ten times what I’d pay for the same thing in my size, and I’d get longer use out of it!
Fortunately, there are a plethora of used children’s stores around (like Once Upon a Child) that rake in the dough by selling (and buying) gently used baby clothing, toys, and other needed baby items. A new crib? A couple hundred. A used crib? $60. Even better, is when friends (and friends friends) hear you’re having children, they pass on their old child’s clothing/toys/stuff to you!
We’ve saved a mint by buying used, and saved even more through the generosity of friends and family. A lady who knew we were having a baby contacted my wife’s parents and gave them a couple grand worth of baby stuff – including a real wooden bassinet, a car seat/stroller combo (one of the high end ones, to boot!). It’s nice that people still think of helping out other people and not just making a buck.
The biggest complaint I’ve had about baby items is people always want to make their money back. I’ve read a number of blogs where people talk about buying a crib for $300 and then have a garage sale and get offended by offers for less than $150 or even $200 – that’s just insane on the seller’s part. People go to garage sales for deals not to help you get your money back. What I also love is they are offended because “they take great care of their items – why shouldn’t they ask for more?” That’s fine when you’re selling to a friend or someone that knows you are meticulous with cleanliness – but to a stranger they’re going to assume you wiped it down once to make it look good on the sales floor – and that’s it. Unless they approach you while you are polishing it down with disinfectant, I’d say you might as well drop that card.
But then how do you get a good deal? Point out flaws (you missed the milk spot, the wood is chipped, it’s missing pieces/manuals). Of course, you won’t always be able to land a deal, but it never hurts to ask.
What’s the best deals you’ve landed?