Craigslist Finds: 5 Popular Baby Gear Items at 45% off Or More

You can save tons on baby gear by snapping up items second hand via yard sales, consignment sales and stores, etc.  One of parents’ favorite ways to do that is through their local Craigslist boards.

Here are five popular baby gear items currently listed on Craigslist boards around the country. Each of them is listed at 45% off or more off the price of the item new.

  • Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker: $15 (Atlanta)
  • BOB Revolution. 2010 model. Rarely used: $180 (Ventura CA)

Tips for shopping on Craigslist

  • Always check for recalls before you head out.
  • Check items carefully for safety before you buy.
  • My two favorite ways to search Craigslist are Craiggers.com and CraigsEasy.com.
  • Arrange to meet the seller in a public place or take a friend with you.

What can you find on your local Craigslist board? What’s the best bargain you ever scored via Craigslist?

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Finding Baby Gear on Craigslist the Easy Way

I love this. Craigslist is awesome. But its search result pages leave a bit to be desired, visually. Wouldn’t it be nice to see pics of all the available baby gear rather than a list of links? With website CraigsEasy.com, you can go from this:


To this:

With one click. Just drag the bookmarklet onto your toolbar, go to your local Craigslist’s baby/kid category (or whatever category you like), and click the bookmarklet.

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Guest Post: Kiddie Consignment Sale Shopping Secrets

The first of the spring kiddie consignment sales have arrived! Spring consignment sales are a great place to get started with your baby preparations. You’ll find spring and summer clothing items like tees and shorts and sundresses. Baby gear, too–everything from bibs to baby gates.

In today’s guest post, BC reader and experienced consignment sale shopper Corrie tells you how to find the sales and how to make the most of them:

I am a die-hard consignment sale junkie. If I had it my way, I’d go to each one in my community. But, with limited time, I stick to my favorites. My son is dressed in Baby Gap, Children’s Place, and Gymboree at never more than a few bucks an item. I hope these shopping tips will help you navigate your first sale.

How to find the sales:

  • Understand the format. Most have specific rules about what can be sold (clothing must be below a certain size, no stuffed animals, etc.). It is not worth it to pay the entry fee if they aren’t selling what you need. Some sales will mix all consignors items together (my preferred style) and some will have each consignor host their own table.
  • Consider joining the sponsoring organization. Members often get in free or pay discounted admission. Your membership may cover the cost of your admission and/or give you the ability to shop earlier than the general public. Alternatively, consider volunteering for the event. You might be given free admission, early shopping privileges, or at least a sneak peak of what people are selling.

When to shop

  • If you are planning to buy a lot or have a very specific item in mind, pay the early-bird fee to have access to the most items.
  • If you are a cheepie, come at the end of the sale. Prices are generally slashed 30% to 50%. (less selection, but great deals).

Tips for Successful Shopping

  • Leave the kiddos at home. These events are often crowded with little room to maneuver around, even with a small umbrella stroller. Hot, stuffy gyms are not a good combination with the under five age group! [Note: Check the listing: kids and/or strollers may be excluded on the first day of the sale.]
  • Bring your own bags. I bring reusable grocery bags and also a messenger bag that I can put over my shoulder. Some sellers will offer bags, but they are usually the cheap grocery store variety.
  • Make a checklist of items you want. This helps you to remember the off-the-wall things you might be looking for.
  • Go for the big ticket, bulky items first (pack n plays, strollers, larger toys). Since there are fewer of these items, they go quickly. I suggest addressing this first, and running to your car with the items. Some place will have a holding area for this stuff too.
  • Know the going price for these items (new and used). You don’t want to over-pay! If I have a bigger ticket item I am seeking, I scope out craigslist before. I typically target 1/3rd of retail for gear. I usually target under $1.00 – $3.00 per clothing item. I will pay up to $5.00 per item, if it is a coveted name brand (Gymbo, Baby Gap).
  • Bring CASH! – accepting checks is unusual, credit cards are unheard of.
  • Know your kids’ sizes and be prepared to buy up in sizes. Since clothing is so variable, I cut a ribbon to match the inseam on my son’s pants. It is easy to carry around. I don’t worry about tops as much because they are more forgiving if they are a little small or big.
  • Look things over. In my neighborhood, one sale in particular is known for problem items. Broken zippers, stains, etc.

A Couple of Caveats

  • Word of warning to the moms of boys: people buy fewer clothes for their sons, and once you get above a size 2, it is well-loved. A few exceptions are seasonal items that aren’t frequently worn, such as dress clothes and outerwear.
  • Don’t buy used car seats/boosters. Yes – they will sell them even though they shouldn’t. They could be expired, in an accident, or just not properly cared for. Take all the money you saved from your other purchases and buy a cheap new seat, like Angie’s beloved Cosco Scenera.

Happy shopping folks!

Photo: Solon Council of PTA’s Budget Bin –A local sale where Corrie has been a consignor and shopper.

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Essential Tips for Finding Baby Bargains on eBay

Find essential tips for finding baby bargains on eBay at my new Mommy Saves Best post at Upromise.

Other new Mommy Saves Best articles by yours truly:

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Great Read: 5 Tips On Searching Craigslist Kids Section

Ohdeedoh has a fabulous article today on how to find what you’re looking for in the Craigslist kids’ section. Check it out!

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The Secrets of Selling Your Baby Stuff on Ebay

Want to make money selling your kids’ castoffs on ebay? Find out how in this guest post from ebay power seller and consultant Suzanne Wells. You can find Suzanne online at her site Ebay Selling Coach.

More and more moms are jumping on the eBay bandwagon to make a little (or a lot) of money from home. Moms and eBay are a great combination because moms have a continuous stream of items to sell as their children outgrow clothing, shoes, toys, sports equipment, books, and other educational products. Many moms make hundreds of dollars selling “stuff” on eBay each month. You don’t have to buy a kit, take a class, or have a business license to get started. You are probably thinking, “What do I already have that I can sell right now for fast cash?” Lots of things! (Check the links for more in depth articles on individual items.)

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes!
There is a huge market for children’s clothing on eBay. High end brands like Gymboree, Janie & Jack, and Boden are good sellers. Anything that was expensive when you bought it and is still in good condition will hold its value. on the other hand, many moms buy their kids’ play clothes on eBay. Why pay full price for something brand new when the child is only going to climb around the playground or finger paint? You can sell your children’s play clothes in a lot on eBay and recover some of your original cost. Click here for a podcast with detailed information about selling children’s clothing on eBay.


Baby Crib Sets and Accessories
If you are finished with your crib bedding, sell it as a set on eBay! You can include the sheets, comforter, bumper pads, diaper stacker, mobile, wall hangings, and any accessories. First time moms are looking for inexpensive ways to set up their nurseries. I sold my children’s Beatrix Potter set on eBay and got about 75% of the price I paid for it new, ten years after I bought it!

Your Own Clothes
If you are a new stay at home mom, and have temporarily left your career to stay home to raise a family, consider selling some of your own items that you won’t need. Business suits, career apparel, briefcases, purses, costume jewelry, shoes, and anything else that you haven’t used in a while. Remember the rule, “if you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably won’t wear it again?” Take a look in your own closet and see what you can part with. Maternity clothes are good sellers, too.

Sports Equipment and Apparel
Items like football pads and helmets, skates, gymnastics leotards, dance apparel, recital costumes, dance shoes, horseback riding accessories, and Under Armor are good sellers. Times are tough and moms are looking for ways to cut corners, so they often buy these items used on eBay. Musical instruments are also great sellers for the same reason.

Computer and Video Games
Computer and video games such as Playstation, Wii, XBox, Gameboy, and CD ROM games are great sellers. You can get more money for these on eBay than you can at play and trade type stores – and you get cash rather than just store credit. Keep the boxes and covers – you will get more when you resell them. You can also sell these in a lot or a batch for quick and easy money. Video games are lightweight and easy to photograph and ship.

Toys
You will get the most for electronic toys, just be sure they work properly and all of the parts are included. Some of the best to sell are Leapfrog, V-Tech, V-Smile, and Fisher Price learning toys and games. Another profitable category is action figures. Click here to read more about making money selling toys on eBay.

Halloween costumes
Your child wore it once, and who knows where it is now! Some kids love to play dress up and Halloween costumes are great sellers on eBay any time of year. Good sellers are princess costumes, super heroes, professions (such as fireman, police officer, etc), anything Disney, and animals. Click here for more information on selling Halloween costumes.

How to Sell Your Items on ebay
If you are brand new to eBay and have never sold anything before, watch the eBay Seller Audio Tour. This video will walk you through all the steps. eBay is easy and user friendly – millions of people sell on eBay every day and you can, too.

Next, you will need to know how to price your items. You will not become a millionaire selling your children’s gently used items on eBay, but eBay selling is a convenient way to make some money from home using resources you already have. Just list your items when you have time at your convenience. You’ll need to do some research to know what to charge for your items – you don’t want to price them too high or they won’t sell, but you don’t want to give them away either. Click here for step by step instructions on how to price your eBay items to sell.

Finally, you need to know how to charge for shipping. This is really easy when you know what to do! The buyer pays the shipping fee, but you will need to calculate the cost first. Click here for step by step instructions on how to charge for shipping on your eBay items.

For more tips on what to sell and how to use eBay, download my free book, “Stay at home Mom’s Guide to Successful eBay Selling.”

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New CPSIA Guidelines: Should We Feel Relieved?

On Thursday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released CPSIA guidelines for resellers stating that “Sellers of used children’s products, such as thrift stores and consignment stores, are not required to certify that those products meet the new lead limits, phthalates standard or new toy standards.” and prompting consignment shop owners to send out notes of reassurance to their customers which contained the above quote from the guidelines.

The guidelines tell resellers that they’re responsible for everything they sell, but to focus their screening efforts particularly upon the following:

  • recalled children’s products
  • children’s jewelry
  • painted wooden or metal toys
  • toys that are easily breakable into small parts
  • toys without age warnings
  • dolls and stuffed toys that have buttons, eyes, noses or other small parts that are not securely fastened

Resellers will simply have to make an educated guess about the status of many children’s items, and I have to say that it makes me uneasy that the reseller faces “civil and/or criminal penalties” if s/he guesses incorrectly. I’m overjoyed, however, that kiddie consignment shops like Kid-to-Kid and Once Upon a Child and thrift stores feel confident enough to announce that they will be able to continue selling second-hand children’s toys, clothes, and gear. That’s reassuring news for parents who sell or buy children’s items on ebay, at garage sales, and at church consignment sales.

The CPSIA, as it stands now, will still have disastrous effects on those here in the United States who make their living crafting toys and children’s clothes, and other items for children. I urge you to continue to insist that exceptions be made that will protect these artisans. You can learn more at National Bankruptcy Day.

Thanks to all of you who sent me the link to the new CPSIA guidelines.

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Pass on Outgrown Baby Gear and Toys on Freepeats.org

If you’re like me, the holidays leave you wondering where you’re going to put all those new toys. I just spent a very satisfying two days clearing out unplayed-with toys and outgrown clothes and posting them on the Atlanta Freepeats.org board.

Maybe you’d like to to do the same with your old stuff? Freepeats is open in 37 major U.S. cities (see a list of them here). More than 14,000 of you are already members, and to encourage more of you to join, I’m decreasing lifetime membership dues to $1 for all groups for the month of January.

Be sure to visit your local Freepeats board in January to check out the latest offers of toys, clothing, baby coupons, formula samples, baby gear, and more.

See the list of cities where we’ll be opening Freepeats groups in 2009.

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The Baby Cheapskate Guide to Consigning Children’s Clothing

Here’s the Baby Cheapskate guide to making a few extra bucks consigning outgrown baby & kid clothes, gear, and toys:

Most consignment stores begin accepting fall clothing at the beginning of August and the beginning of March–and that’s when you can start picking up some fantastic deals on summer consignment clearance, by the way. I’ve done some research at our local kid consignment shops, and here are some guidelines for preparing clothing, etc. for consignment:

A good guideline that I’ve come across at a few stores is to take a good look at your stuff and ask, “what would I give as a gift?” Consignment stores are emphatic that they are “not thrift stores.” Items brought in should be clean and ready to go on the racks (pressed, if necessary). They should be flawless, with no stains, fading, missing buttons, etc. They should also still be fashionable.

Equipment should be clean, current and safe, with absolutely no missing screws, bolts, etc. So clean under the high chair cushion, for gosh sakes! Toys should have all their parts and be in “like new” condition.

So where do you take your stuff? Family-oriented phone directories, free local parenting magazines, and word of mouth are great places to discover what consignment stores are near you. Visit a few to get a feel for their angle. Some consider themselves upscale and will turn up their noses at your Old Navy stuff in favor of fancy French labels. Others prefer major brands like Carters but shun discount store labels, and till others accept everything.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of possible stores, check their consignment policies. Most stores advertise that they sell for a third to a half off retail prices. You can expect to receive 40 to 60 percent of what the item sells for. Usually, your stuff stays at the store for about two months before it either goes on clearance or you’re asked to come get it. Some stores only pay you when you rack up a certain amount on your account, say $50. Sometimes you get better deals if you’re willing to accept store credit over cash. Some stores, like Kid-to-Kid actually buy your stuff outright, so that you leave the store with cash in-hand.

You’ll need to call the store to find out if you need to make an appointment to bring in your stuff. Some only accept items on certain days of the week. While you’re on the phone, ask whether they prefer clothing on hangers or folded neatly. Find out what item’s they currently need and don’t need. Many stores, for example, don’t have much room for equipment, and some don’t take pajamas and other sleepwear.

To find stores near you, try the directory at ResaleShopping.com. An internet search of your town plus “children’s consignment store” should also turn up a bunch.

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Free clothes are better than really cheap clothes.

No one can resist buying baby clothes. It will only be a matter of days after you make the big announcement that the first little blue or pink or hard-to-find-gender-neutral outfits arrive on your doorstep. That’s why you shouldn’t, under any circumstances, go out and buy any yourself. Well… maybe just one for the fun of it.

In addition to gifts of brand new booty, we received boxload after boxload of barely-worn baby duds from people we barely know. Baby Gap, Ralph Lauren, Hilfiger, and more. We have boxes put away full of clothes he’ll wear well after he’s walking. And speaking of which, we also have a drawer full of tiny little shoes without the slightest bit of wear. I understand, now that my son has outgrown his newborn clothes, that it’s best to keep the baby clothes door revolving–a box comes in, a box goes out. Otherwise you’ve got to find a place to store it. And I’d much rather give that box to a pregnant lady–even one I don’t know–than to an impersonal thrift store. So would LOTS of other people, tax deduction be damned.

If you’re donor-challenged, enlist your mom, friends and coworkers to go out and solicit baby clothes. Post a sign in your office lounge, OB’s office, church, wherever someone will let you. People will WANT to give you their old baby clothes, I promise! But be sure to donate what you don’t want to your local women’s shelter or DFACS.

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