My daughter recently celebrated her fifth birthday, so it’s safe to say my husband and I are pretty far removed from all of that baby human stuff.
Between a couple of moves and several attempts to clean out our garage, only one item remained from my daughter’s infancy: the stroller.
So when I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I did what any newly expectant mother would do: I panicked.
Those first-year essentials really do add up.
With our impending bundle of joy fast-approaching, I’ve made it my mission to buy eco-friendly, BPA-free, phthalate-free, non-toxic products at price points that won’t break the bank.
But unlike with my first child, when I loaded up my registry and hoped friends and family would cover costs, I’ve learned a handful of baby products are better to buy used.
To find cheap baby stuff and save nearly $800 on brand name products like Stokke and Baby Bjorn, I turned to second-hand sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and even the return section of Buy Buy Baby.
In total, I spent $310 thrifting my way on must-haves for baby No. 2 — pennies in the bucket compared to the $1,122 I could’ve spent buying everything at full price.
My Big Craigslist Find
Stokke Tripp Trapp Highchair, retail value: $249
Purchase Price: $50
The Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair was at the top of my list. It’s European design caught my eye, but I balked at its hefty retail price. A few weeks into my highchair hunt, I stumbled across a nearby Craigslist post asking $200.
The price felt a bit steep but this was one I was willing to splurge on. I offered $160 but the seller wouldn’t go lower than $190 so I begrudgingly walked away. Fortunately, the key to a good deal is patience.
On a recent trip to Sarasota to visit family about two-hours from my hometown of Orlando, I bought the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair from a mom on Craigslist for $50.
Score! That’s a savings of $200.
Essentials on Facebook Marketplace
Baby Bjorn Balance Bouncer, retail value: $168.99
Purchase price: $40 (Bonus: includes the Googly Eye Toy Bar, retail value: $59.99)
With my first, we had an electric baby swing. I didn’t want to spend $150 or more on a bulky item I’m only going to be using for a few months, so this was my cost-saving, minimalist solution.
I found a gently-used version selling for $60 on Facebook Marketplace. Plus the listing included the Googly Eye Toy Bar attachment. I could see the item was listed a while ago, so assuming she didn’t have other offers, I again decided to go lower than the asking price.
My $40 offer was accepted. It never hurts to try for a better deal than what’s being offered!
Baby Bjorn Carrier Original in Dark Blue, retail value: $79.99
Purchase Price: $10
This find was a straight-up steal. I purchased this item for $10 on Facebook Marketplace. No stains, no tears, and in excellent working condition.
That’s a savings of roughly $70. Talk about a bargain!
Primo Infant Bath Tub, retail value: $24.99
Purchase price: $10
Bathtubs are another great item to buy used. I found a like-new tub for $15 on Facebook Marketplace, but my $10 offer was accepted. It never hurts to ask for a better price.
Ubbi Diaper Pail in White, $69.99
Purchase price: $25
A mom from the Cocoa Beach area was selling the Ubbi Diaper Pail on Facebook Marketplace. She just so happened to be passing through Orlando so we met up in a Whole Foods parking lot off of Interstate 4 to make the exchange. I like this item because it is made of steel so, in theory, it shouldn’t absorb stinky diaper smells like a plastic diaper pail. It also keeps in line with my goal of staying plastic-free/no BPA products.
Baby Bjorn Cradle, retail value: $349
Purchase price: $80
My biggest deal was yet to come. Between constant feedings and changes, having a bassinet by our bedside is a must.
I first went to buy this item in like-new condition for $200 on Facebook Marketplace. At $150 off the retail price, it was a good deal but not a great deal. Since it was the only one available in my area, I arranged the pick-up for the next morning but diligently kept searching for a better price.
That evening, I found another seller asking $80. For anyone keeping track, a few extra searches saved me $289. Persistence is key!
Scoring in The Return Section
The return, sale and clearance sections at children’s stores (think Target, Walmart, and other similar retailers) can be a gold mine for a good deal. At the Buy Buy Baby I visited, the return section was right up front.
Skip Hop Explore & More Activity Center, retail value: $119.99
Purchase price: $95
Aside from online deal hunting, I also perused the return section of my local Buy Buy Baby, where I saved $25 on this open-box item.
While these sections vary from store-to-store, check with a retail associate to find out exactly where it’s located. Just be sure you’re only buying cheap baby stuff you need, and not tempted to spend money on an item just because of the discount!
Not Every Deal is a Good Deal
Cautionary tale: I purchased a used Ubbi diaper pail from Mercari.com, but when the item arrived it was not as described by the seller and didn’t match the picture on the site. Mercari sent me a return shipping label and promptly refunded my money.
There’s no getting around it: Preparing for a new baby isn’t cheap. But my time investment — a few hours of online searches and in-store shopping — leaves me with an extra $788 to spend on diapers and wipes. I’ll take it!
Rachel Murphy is a former network TV news producer turned freelance writer. She lives in Orlando with her husband, two English bulldogs, curly-haired little girl, and is deal-hunting her way to prepare for baby No. 2.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.
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