Why Go Secondhand: Our Top 5 List

# 1 Babies Grow Fast!

Could you imagine if you outgrew your wardrobe every three months? How many times could you wear a pair of socks in a 3 month cycle before they didn’t fit any more? Imagine as well if for 60% of that time you didn’t wear socks because you were wrapped in a blanket asleep? Baby clothes are often sized in three month increments: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, etc. Three months is a very short lifespan for a brand new outfit!

#2 Spend Less and Get More

Let’s face it, babies are expensive! The costs are compounded however when items are purchased new. Here is a comparison of just a few maternity and baby items:

Item New Price* Secondhand Price**
GAP Maternity Jeans $79.50 $12.99 (consignment store)
Baby Bjorn® Baby Carrier Air $99.99 $39.99 (consignment store)
Baby Bjorn® Cover for Baby Carrier $49.99 $11.99 (consignment store)
Evenflo Exersaucer® $119.99 $35 (online classifieds)
HALO® SleepSack® Swaddle in Fleece $26.95 $0.75 (charity run thrift store)
Trumpette Socks, 6 pairs $26.50 $1.50 (charity run thrift store)
30 Pieces of Baby Clothes $149.93 $10 (swap)
10 FuzziBunz® Cloth Diaper Covers $169.99 Free (Freecycle online group)



This is a savings of 84%!

To learn more about some of the secondhand options listed above (swap, Freecycle, etc.) visit our Where to Find Secondhand Baby Gifts page.

*New price is the price listed on manufacturer’s website, when available, otherwise amount listed is the price listed on major retailer’s website (as of 6/3/12).

**Secondhand price is based on items found by Encore Baby Registry.

#3 Babies Develop Quickly

A lot of baby stuff has requirements and limitations based on a baby’s development. You may find that your baby fits in a baby product, but cannot use it because he or she has either not yet reached one of the product’s developmental requirements or has already met one of the developmental limitations. For example, some baby products can only be used if a baby has developed head and neck control, and others must stop being used when a baby can roll over or sit up unassisted.

#4 Every Baby is Different

Unsurprisingly, babies are to a degree like adults! They have opinions and they let you know it. Check out a website with consumer reviews of baby stuff and you’re bound to find reviews like, “my daughter lllooooves this thing and we can’t live without it,” next to reviews like, “my son can’t stand this contraption and he cries every time we try to put him in it,” for the same product. What works wonders for one baby may do the opposite for another. How many parents have found out that the new $80 swing they were sure would buy them a little rest and relaxation turned out to be an $80 dust collector taking up precious space in their house? (Our hand is raised here!) Getting baby stuff secondhand leaves less guilt about money down the drain and more money to try a different gadget if previous attempts fail.

#5 Reduce Waste

Combine all the reasons above for using secondhand baby stuff and what do you get? A lot of potential waste! First, outfitting yourself and your baby with all brand new clothes and gear would take a lot of money.  Money you could be spending on other things.  Second, if everyone used only new products for their babies, the landfills would be bursting with baby stuff that still had plenty of life left in it, and may not have been used more than a handful of times.  Add in the long distance travel that most new goods take to get to their destinations, as well as product packaging, and the use of our precious, finite resources just keeps adding up!