Four Places to Find Bargain-Priced Baby Products Locally
Parents often wonder where they can get a good bargain or two. Baby necessities can be quite costly and finding bargains is essential for the average household. While there are many sample sale sites focused on baby gear and eBay which has a good section for baby products, there are other simple ways to score a bargain.
Buying locally makes it a lot easier for parents because it saves time and energy (you can have the product the same day and you don’t have the hassle of going to UPS or FedEx to return an item you don’t want). Plus most parents don’t have the luxury to wait days or weeks for baby essentials to arrive. When they discover they need a certain product, they pretty much need it immediately.
For instances like those and bargain-hunting in general, I’ve found four places where baby items can be easily found for discounted prices.
- Craigslist – The site is a great resource for a lot of things, but it has a great area for people to sell and buy pretty much anything. I always find great deals on baby items (discounts up to 70% off retail prices). Although there are a lot of used items, you can also find a lot of items that are in mint to new condition. Be sure to get pictures via email before you make the trek out to the seller’s location.
A few months ago, I purchased a Step2 Buggy for $10 (retails for $49.99). If you see a good deal and there is a phone number, call immediately because Craigslist is highly competitive and you could quickly lose out on a great deal. While the buggy was used, it still had a lot of life left to it and ultimately I saved 80% off the retail price. The great thing about using classified ads such as Craigslist is that you can always bargain with the seller and end up getting the best bang for your buck.
- Citymommy – The site is mainly a resource for mothers to share ideas and experiences that range from developmental milestones to preparing for an ugly divorce. There is, however, a “baby gear/exchange” topic in the message board section where mothers can exchange or buy and sell their baby goods. I was able to snag an almost brand new Fisher-Price swing for $49 (retail price $169). Since the sellers were moving out of town that week, they were desperate to sell off everything and I was lucky enough to get 71% off the retail price.
- Marshalls or T.J. Maxx – They buy directly from the designers and manufacturers, which in turn gives us (the customers) big discounts. They have a decent size section for baby items which includes clothing, shoes, baby gear, toys and other baby essentials. On a recent trip to T.J. Maxx, I hit the jackpot. I spotted a Maclaren stroller that retails for $279 for only–get this–$44.99 (I’m sure this was a pricing mistake). I saved a whopping 84% off the original price–and it’s not even a past season or discontinued stroller, it’s a current 2010 model.
- Yard Sale – Scouring a good yard sale could turn out to be your biggest bargain goldmine, but it could also turn out the opposite if you don’t know the retail prices on the items you want. If you are a new mom or dad, take some time and research to be more knowledgeable about prices on baby items. By comparing costs via internet merchants, auctions sites, and in-store prices, you’ll become a seasoned professional at identifying bargain prices in no time.
Research and bargaining skills come handy at a yard sale. Always try to bargain (I don’t mean low-balling)–especially when you know that the seller’s marked price isn’t a great deal. If you see an item that retails for $10 and the owner is selling it for $6, try to get it lowered to $5, which is 50% off the retail price. If you buy two or more, most sellers are willing to negotiate further and this is where you will get the best deal possible.
Last year, I went to a yard sale and spotted a sling that I wanted to buy. The marked price was $50–which was a pretty good deal considering that it retailed for $149–but I was able to get it lowered it to $35. How? I went to the yard sale an hour before it ended because I knew the demand for the sling wouldn’t be high. Because I was an educated and tactical shopper, I was able to score a 77% discount.
If you look in the right places, you can always find great bargains. If you’re not lucky enough to live near a relative or a friend who could give you hand-me-downs, start by putting on your bargaining cap. Proceed to finding and negotiating the best deal for all your baby necessities. With some research and smart choices, you can get everything your baby needs for close to 70% off its retail value. Now that’s a lot of money saved!
Where do you find your bargain-priced baby gear? Share your secrets with us in the comments.