It’s no secret, babies are expensive! The speed at which they outgrow their clothes is phenomenal and as parents, there seems to be an endless list of baby paraphernalia to be spending our money on. In a few weeks time my Maternity Allowance will come to an end and as I have taken a year off from work, money is going to be tight. I’ve had to get smarter when it comes to buying bits for Jasmine and I’ve found that buying secondhand (or my preferred term – preloved) items has been massively cost effective. I’ve even learnt the best ways to sell items we no longer need, in order to put that money towards the next lot of baby necessities (and the nice-to-have items too).
I thought I’d share with you some of the best places I’ve found to grab a bargain and also some tips on buying and selling secondhand baby items.
Tips for buying and selling used baby items
Where to buy/sell used baby items:
eBay – I’ll start with the most obvious place to buy and sell used items and that is, of course, eBay! I bought my Boba 4G baby carrier from ebay – it had been used only a handful of times and came in it’s original box with instructions. The lady who was selling it just didn’t get on with the carrier and at the risk of suffering the same fate, I didn’t want to pay full price for it either. In the end, I got it at a bargain price and it’s one of my favorite baby items – it suits me and Jasmine just fine.
Facebook selling pages – Have a quick search on Facebook for selling pages in your area and if you can’t find any – start one! Facebook has been my most useful source for selling and buying baby items. I’ve bought huge bundles of baby clothing (most of which still had the tags on), mint condition toys and I recently bought a gorgeous rocking horse for £25, it was in perfect condition and would’ve cost me over £100 new. Most of the time the sellers are happy to drop off the items to your home, which is great for me as I don’t drive.
Nearly new sales: I’ve personally not been to a Nearly New Sale yet but I’ve heard such good things about them from other people. In particular, the NCT nearly new sales are meant to be fab – really well organised and full of bargains. It’s worth checking out your local NCT’s webpage to find out when the next one is in your area. Also, it’s worth noting that if you can spare the time to help out at a sale – you get to go in early and call dibs on all of the things you want! ;)
Click here to find out more about NCT nearly new sales and to find out when your next local one is on.
Charity shops: It’s always worth having a nosy in your local charity shops whilst you’re shopping on the highstreet. I love a good rummage in a charity shop and they’re usually great for finding cheap second-hand toys and books. It’s easy to be snobby about second hand toys but honestly, once you’ve given it a good clean or sterilised it in a cold water solution – your baby isn’t going to know the difference. I won’t tell them if you don’t.
Nearly new shops: Here in Bury St Edmunds we have Rasperry Rascals – a gorgeous, ‘nearly new’ children’s shop. It’s filled with clothes from some the big brands plus toys, pushchairs and cots – you name it, they’ve got it. Not only can you find yourself a bargain there, they will also buy your old baby and children’s clothes, toys etc. too! There are lots of these types of shops cropping up all over the country, so if you have one nearby – do check it out!
Tips for selling used baby items:
If there’s a chance you’ll want to sell an item on, keep the box/packaging and any instructions – If there’s lots of people selling the same or a similar item to you – this will give yours the edge when it comes to selling it on to somebody else.
Take good photos – If you’re adding lots of items to eBay it’s easy just to snap a load of dimly lit iPhone photos of babygros BUT the more effort you put in to your listings, the more chance you have of selling it and making some decent money back from them. If you can, use a proper camera, take the photos in good light and ‘stage’ the items. Jasmine has a cute little clothes rail in her nursery – I use this to hang items of clothing on for photos (using an equally cute, wooden baby hanger) – granted, it’s a bit more effort but it will make your item stand out amongst the thousands of baby clothes listings on eBay.
Think about seasons – it sounds really obvious but it’s going to be difficult to shift a newborn snowsuit in the height of summer. Organise your baby clothes into age groups and seasons and sell them as bundles at the right time of year. I’ve done this with Jasmine’s clothes and put them in vaccum bags in the loft – I’ll sell them next year during the right seasons. If you’re super organised you could even stick some reminders in your phone to make sure you get them down and put them online when the time is right.
Know what your items are worth: you don’t want to undersell your items and nor do you want to put people off by asking for too much. Have a quick look on eBay to see what the going rate is for an item you want to sell. Be sure to bear in mind the condition of your item – a Jumperoo that’s only been used twice is going to be worth a lot more than one that’s on it’s third owner.
Tips for buying used baby items:
If there’s something you want, ask for it – the Facebook pages are particularly useful for this, If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, don’t wait for it to come up in the listings. Ask if anyone has one they want to sell – you’ll normally get at least a few responses from people wanting to sell your desired item. It also means that the sellers then have to get more competitive with their price – even better!
Haggle – if I think an item is genuinely a good price then I am normally happy to pay the asking price. However, if there’s something you really want but it’s a little out of your budget, don’t be afraid to ask the seller the lowest price they will take. Most of the time they’re willing to lower their price if it means they’ll get some space back in their living room! ;)
Things to avoid -You can buy nearly all baby items secondhand but it is recommended that you always buy a brand new mattress for a baby to reduce the risk of SIDs. Also, never buy a baby/child car seat secondhand unless you know for sure that it hasn’t been involved in an accident.
Buy out of season – Some people don’t want to wait until the right season to sell their baby clothes, they just want shot of it. Take advantage of this! I bought a gorgeous Mama’s & Papa’s quilted snowsuit on eBay in July for a couple of quid, including postage and package. #winningatlife
I hope you find this useful. Do you have any tips for buying and selling baby and children’s items? Please share!
This post was originally published in October 2014.