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Secondhand Buys and How To Shop Craigslist

During my visits today to Once Upon A Child and Goodwill, I got to thinking about secondhand stuff. What all have I bought secondhand???

This pac-n-play for $40 on Craigslist. This is a Graco Pac-N-Play, worth about $100 retail. It was one of the first things I purchased for Avery and I loved it (still do, it's been folded up since she moved to her room but I have a feeling it's about to be pulled back out again)!!!

This vibrating bouncer from Once Upon A Child. $15, worth about $55 retail (baby not included).

Avery's highchair, a Fisher Price model, retailed at $100, bought it for $15 (baby also not included).

I found something else today, a Graco Jumper seat for $10, worth $50 retail.

As I read through all of these blogs, I see so many women who purchase decor and furniture second hand. For one thing, it is so fun to redo a piece of furniture. Yes, it is a long process. Yes, it can be annoying at times or something doesn't work out as you'd hoped. But I love that I can just experiment. When you find something for $10, you don't mind if it gets ruined. And you get to make it your own. I really like that. But what about baby items?

Babies are expensive, yes? I mean, everything you need for them is pricey. Personally, I have purchased nothing retail and brand new EXCEPT (And this won't ever change) her car seats. Those must be new. But I would suggest, no matter how much money you have, to buy baby's items used. You can ALWAYS get brand name, good quality items for 1/4 of the price. I just can't see spending retail on these items!!! Someone else will buy it brand new, use it for about a month, then sell it. I want to be the one buying that item. And let's be honest here - baby items do not get used all that much. Or enough to ruin them completely. If they do get used alot, it's only for a short period of time. Like my highchair. She uses is for about 15 minutes, once a day. Um, why would I pay $100 for that? Especially since in about 4 months, she'll probably just be in a booster seat, anyway.

What I usually do is when I need something new, like a highchair for example, I will look to see what is available on Craigslist (I try to buy bigger items on Craigslist as opposed to Once Upon A Child because you can get a better deal and people will usually negotiate) and I start searching. I see what is available. Just because it is CHEAP doesn't mean it is a good deal. Here are some tips to remember when purchasing baby items on Craigslist:

1) When you find something you like, look it up online at a retailer. Has it been recalled? What types of reviews does it get? I always look at what people have said about it. People will always be honest and will give you things to think about such as "Hard to clean" or "The tray is a pain to get on and off."

2) Don't be too worried about gender specific. What's funny is that I try to buy girlie things most of the time, but with the highchair, for example, it matches the rest of my decor in my house. I wouldn't let the fact that something wasn't girlie enough hinder me from getting a really great deal.

3) Only buy if the person lives close to you. It is worthless to purchase something for $10 if you have to spend $20 in gas and an entire afternoon driving around to pick it up.

4) If you can't find anything you like today, look tomorrow! I try not to wait until the very last minute I need something to start looking. I started looking for a highchair about a month before I knew she would need it. Craigslist is ALWAYS full of things, and every day it is updated.

5) Always look at the picture. If you cannot see a good picture, ask them to send you another one. If you don't feel comfortable with how it looks, don't buy it.

6) Always negotiate. If they don't see it for the price you want, just keep looking. I try not to screw people, but I usually price my Craigslist items $5 to $10 more than what I actually want for it because I know people will offer me less. I assume other people do the same.

7) Have people meet you in a public place if possible. I live in a pretty nice area, so if it is a woman I am speaking with and I feel comfortable, I will go to their house (or take Jason with me or send him altogether.) Just be safe.

8) Just because it's $5 doesn't mean it is a good deal. Some things people sell on Craigslist are OLD and CHEAPLY MADE. I also like my things to look somewhat cute and some things on Craigslist are NOT cute. And just because it is a lot of money doesn't mean it's good, either. People are funny about selling their stuff sometimes. I find people who are looking to make a small amount off of an item and who want to sell it fast. (Good rule of thumb for garage sales too, by the way).

9) Don't get too addicted! I love Craigslist. It's pretty amazing what things you can find on there.

Well, that's my post for the day, I hope you learned something new! Stay tuned for my projects from tonight from the cool knick knacks I got from Goodwill and a chalkboard project how-to!


*Ross and Katy* said…
I love buying things used because then I can get more :)

And I never even thought about going to an item's site and reading the reviews before I bought it. I do check to make sure it hasn't been recalled, but now I'll start checking the reviews too! Thanks for the tip!
April Bacon said…
There are consignment sales that are really cool too. My favorite is the Rhea Lana sale - I mainly just sell my items there. They have one in the spring and one in the fall. For example, my daughter's $8 jeans from Wal-mart, I got $6 for at that sale. They tend to be a little higher end than Just Between Friends and give a lot more money than Kid to Kid.

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