6 Places to Find Good Quality Used Baby Gear
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We have bought more used items than new for our kids and let me tell you, it has saved us some MAJOR cash. Before having children, I used to think “used” stuff was second rate or out of style. I was really apprehensive about buying anything “used” for my first baby. But let me tell you, that is a total misconception. Sure, there are poor quality and out of date items for sale, but if you do your research and are patient, you can find baby gear that’s practically new for a fraction of the cost.
Take me for example. I had so many clothes for the first year, that my kids outgrew some of them before they even wore them (or maybe they wore them once!) Now I am trying to get rid of this stuff – the stuff that’s practically new. Where can you find it? Here are 6 places you can find good quality used baby gear for a fraction of the price!
1. Friends and coworkers:
I was relatively new to the St. Louis area when I had my first child, so I didn’t have any friends with young kids. I did however have a few coworkers. One of my coworkers emailed me one day asking if I would like all her baby clothes. I couldn’t believe it, I asked how much she wanted and she told me she would give them to me for free! When she filled the entire trunk of my car with totes packed full of clothes (newborn through 18 months) I was shocked! (See picture below!) All she asked in return was that I pass on the clothes for free when my kids outgrew them. So, don’t be afraid to ask around to see if anyone you know is looking to get rid of baby stuff. I think it is quite common that they will just give them to you or ask a very reasonable price (I would aim to pay no more than $3 per item.)
2. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Local Mommy Swap Sites
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace most likely need no explanation. Local Mommy Swap sites can be found by searching Facebook for groups using terms like “Mommy Swap” “Swap Page,” “Kids Exchange,” etc. Ask your friends and coworkers if they know of any good local groups. I have found some really nice toys for my kids on these sites. For example, I found a Step 2 play kitchen for $50 (retail value $200) and a practically new train table for $50 (retail $120). Additionally, I’ve bought “bundles” of clothes (where the seller is selling 20 t-shirts, shorts, pants, etc at a time), which tends to make them not only more reasonably priced, but worth the trip across town to pick up (I will not drive 30 minutes to pick up a single t-shirt!)
One tip is to try to find grandparents selling things that their grandchildren outgrew. For example, I got a really nice 2-in-1 swing and bouncer for $75 on Craigslist (retail price $175). The swing was basically new because it was “grandma’s” swing and she only had one grandchild that occasionally visited.
One additional tip for buying off these sites is when you go to pick something up, ask if they have anything else they want to sell (or get rid of). Several times I did this and the seller had a couple other items that they gave me for free, things like toys and unopened diapers. I realized it saves them the hassle of having to sell it.
3. Pop-up Consignment Shops
There are several franchise pop-up consignment shops for kids and maternity gear, like The Stork Lady or Just Between Friends. I didn’t know these kinds of things existed until I stumbled upon one of their pages randomly on Facebook. I am now a frequent shopper at the Just Between Friends Sale in St. Louis because the sale has SOOOO much stuff. Just Between Friends happens twice a year, in the spring and fall. They have toys, clothes, books, baby bathtubs, baby carriers, etc. Moms in the area consign their stuff to this sale and it lasts 3 days. The moms set their own prices and although some stuff is overpriced, most of it is very reasonable. I particularly like the last day of the sale because a lot of the stuff becomes half price, which is how I keep my kids’ closets packed full of name brand clothing, like Nike, Gap, Gymboree, and Cat and Jack without paying full retail price.
4. Goodwill/Salvation Army/Consignment Shops
Check out these places for high quality used items at a fraction of the price. In my area, the Goodwill had baby clothes for $1 per item and I was surprised how many still had price tags on them.
I will caution you to make sure you know what’s a good price for used items when you go into some of these consignment shops because some of them are *way* overpriced.
5. Mobile Apps
Free apps such as OfferUp and LetGo are becoming increasingly popular and often will have content not found on Facebook or Craigslist. It is easy to search for baby items and when you are ready to sell your own baby items it is very simple to use.
6. Local Garage Sales
And last but not least, depending on where you live, good old fashioned garage sales may hold a wealth of baby gear for next to nothing. Be sure to check your local mom groups for listings, as well as Craigslist, local newspapers, and of course, neighborhood poster board signs.
- When it comes to buying used stuff, a general rule of thumb is to pay no more than 50% of the retail price. There are always exceptions, for example buying something still new in box from a private seller, or if something is in really “well-loved” condition (aka well used), I would pay closer to 25% of the retail price.
- If you have your heart set on a certain item, like a particular rocking chair or certain color of dresser, you can post “ISOs” (in search ofs) on the various Facebook swap sites and Craigslist.
- Before you go pick up any used stuff, ask about the condition of the item, specifically if there are any stains on clothing, scratches on furniture, or if a toy works or if there are parts missing. I like to think that people in general are honest, but sometimes they are afraid no one will be interested in their item, so they don’t reveal the whole truth. There is nothing more frustrating than falling in love with an item, driving to get it (I’ve driven as far as 45 minutes to buy stuff) and finding it’s not in as good of shape as you expected. So be sure to ask about its condition right after you ask the seller if it’s still available. One way to find out is to ask for more pictures of the item. If you go to pick it up and it’s not in the condition you expected it to be in, don’t be afraid to change your mind and tell them you are going to keep looking. You are never obligated to buy an item, especially if they didn’t accurately portray it.
I hope you can find good quality used baby gear for a fraction of the cost by checking out all of these options. Be sure you pin this, so you can find it when you need it! Click here to pin this for later! By shopping second hand, we saved well over $3000 off of retail before each of my babies’ first birthdays. (Here is a link to a post showing how you can save money on diapers and here’s another about saving money on formula!) What other places have you shopped for second hand baby gear?
Now get out there and rock your busy mom life!