We so fortunate to have really generous friends when it came to helping us prepare for B. Our best friends had had two kids prior to B’s arrival and gave us everything they were no longer using, which saved us a ton of cash. We were handed down an infant carseat (they don’t expire for 3 years,) a baby bouncer, a boppy, a swing, and all the newborn clothes. *The links are to similar items since ours are no longer sold (4 years old). Seriously, this stuff added up. If we had to buy all of it ourselves, we would have had to spend easily $500 for the four pieces above. We also lucked out that they had very similar taste to ours and opted for neutral colors, which blended in well with our decor and it wasn’t gender specific (they had a girl and a boy.)
If you don’t have any friends that have baby gear that they are willing to share, try looking up rummage sales, block sales, Craigslist, or finding a local mom listserv. In our area, there is a local email listserv called MomMail and every week we get announcements about local items for sale especially geared towards moms/ babies from other moms. People are always looking to sell their old baby gear at a fraction of the price. People don’t want to hang onto these items once their kids have outgrown them so there are always deals to be had.
There are also ways to save using your registry and finding good deals on Amazon. For example, I registered with Diapers.com because I felt like it was a more streamlined registry than registering at Amazon.com where my friends and family would have to deal with a bunch of different vendors. The prices were always competitive at Diapers.com and I got a 10% registry completion coupon after B was born, which I used to fill in any gaps in what we still needed. I have also heard great things about Target Registry as well, although their in stock store selection stinks. Buy Buy Baby is also great and I purchased our travel stroller there, they even price-matched to Amazon.com. Buy Buy Baby is owned by Bed Bath and Beyond and always mails 20% off coupons which never expire. Using one of these coupons in-store brings the prices comparable to Amazon.com so it is good alternative, especially if you want to see the product in person or don’t want to wait.
Anything Diapers.com didn’t have, I bought on Amazon.com during their Nursery Sales Event, during which if you spend $250, you get $50 back. Our Baby Bjorn Travel Crib, I was able to get for $197 marked down from $239 just from watching for good deals for several months. I have found that Gilt.com and Zulily are good for somethings but aren’t for baby gear in my opinion. I never think their prices are discounted enough and you still have to pay for shipping. With my Amazon Prime (and now Amazon Mom) membership I usually have free two day shipping.
Babies R Us is not my favorite place to go because I think their service stinks; but, they will send out coupons for 20% off every once in awhile if you register your address with them. These are good to use on full price items, especially on brands that the 20% off coupons from BuyBuyBaby don’t apply to (Orbit, Uppababy, Phil & Teds). Again, you need to bring one of these coupons in-store to score comparable prices to Amazon.com. And also remember that they price match, so bring in other stores prices if you want to shop there.
The last place to check for used baby gear is consignment stores. I purchased a few clothing items for B at The Second Child in Chicago which is an upscale baby resale shop. Because we already had everything we needed I didn’t buy any of the gear there; but, I was really impressed with their offerings: they had an Orbit Stroller, a Bugaboo Chameleon, and tons of baby carriers (Baby Bjorn, Beco, Ergo.)
How about you? What techniques did you employ to save money on preparing for baby with all the gear? Did you gratefully accept hand-me-downs? We were so lucky our friends were all so generous. They even have furnished B’s clothes (post to follow on saving money on baby clothes.) If you want my free Printable Registry Checklist click the button below!