Why we buy stuff for our babies secondhand?
One of the things that brought Kate and I together is our joint love of a good bargain! Both of us have mainly bought our children equipment, toys and clothes secondhand.
So why? Where do we buy things? And what are our top tips for second-hand shopping?
Why do we shop secondhand?
- Cost – Everyone knows babies are expensive! By buying things like babygro’s and toys secondhand we can save money to spend on other things – like trips to soft play and days out. It also means we don’t have to compromise on what we buy as its all relatively inexpensive.
- Quality – By buying second hand we are able to buy better quality stuff than we would feel we could justify buying if we were paying full price. For example Em bought her Egg pram secondhand for £350 whereas new it would have cost £1000+ and Kate bought a secondhand Bugaboo Cameleon for £70 which would have cost £900+ new. Sure – we didn’t get to choose the colour but by buying second hand we managed to get a better quality pram than we could afford for the same money new.
- Environmental impacts – We are both conscious of the amount of landfill and rubbish we produce. By buying second hand we hope to reduce the environmental impact of all of the toys and things our children use.
Where do we buy things?
Facebook – The world of Facebook marketplace and facebook buy, sell, swap groups is something many people aren’t aware of. Most local areas will have a group for buying and selling preloved clothes and / or baby stuff as well as generic buying and selling groups. People also use these groups to offer items for free that they aren’t using. The great advantage of Facebook groups is they are local to you and you can vet the seller a little as well by looking at their Facebook page. Em even managed to sell on some things to an old school colleague through putting up an advert on the Chiswick Preloved Kids group.
Gumtree – Gumtree is a great place to get started for the big pieces of equipment e.g. pram, large bundles of clothes, toys such as bouncers and a jumperoo. Prices are transparent (but negotiable) and you can set alerts so you are notified if anyone sells something you are looking for.
Mum2Mum or NCT sales – Local sales are generally advertised on Facebook or through flyers at local playgroups. Generally Mums pay a small fee to the organiser to set up a stall. It can be a bit chaotic but a good place to browse items and bag an bargain.
Friends and Family – Both of us have benefited from friends and family who have passed on toys, clothes and equipment that has been grown out of. Its also worth asking around if anyone is willing to sell anything – it’s a good way to know that the item has been well looked after.
Charity Shops – Fara Kids in Chiswick is an institution and similar children specific charity shops can be found on many local high streets. Great place to pick up quality clothes and shoes – though quality can be a little hit and miss.
Mush – Although neither of us have bought anything on Mush there are often local adverts mainly for equipment such as prams and large toys
Top tips for buying baby and kids stuff secondhand
- Follow current safety guidelines on what you should / should not buy second hand. There are a number of things you shouldn’t buy or use secondhand. In particular, cot mattresses and car seats. I would also urge caution on buying anything that may not be sterile such as a breast pump without a closed system. Safety guidelines are provided to protect your children – its not worth taking a risk for a small cost saving.
- Work out what you need before buying it – Just like any shopping it’s always best to start with a list so you don’t get suckered into buying stuff you don’t need. The Boy ended up with an extensive shoe wardrobe before he could even crawl because I just didn’t think about what I needed and bought up everything that is cute!
- Don’t judge an item by its address – Just because something is being sold in the best area of town doesn’t mean it’s the best quality, and vice versa. In fact we have found in our experience it’s the opposite!
- Wash everything immediately – This might be obvious, but sometimes the excitement of a new toy / clothing is tempting!