What Not to Buy Used for Baby: Tips from a Consignment Store Owner

5 years ago

It might seem funny to hear from a consignment store owner on what NOT to buy gently used, but of course I have some good reasons! Most important is safety for the families, especially the young children who are my customers and friends.

Here are the Top 3 Things NOT to Buy Gently Used:

1) A Car Seat: While car seats can be pricy, new ones have no bad history.

  • They haven't been in an accident
  • They can easily registered with the manufacturer and tracked by the retailer.
  • They meet or exceed current safety standards. Safe baby = peace of mind!

Free car seat

The alternative: research car seat requirements, types and styles to find those that meet or exceed safety standards. I am a big fan of getting a large, grow-with-me convertible car seat that will last for years. For information on brands and recommendations see Consumer Reports and Baby Bargains.

2) A Crib: You might be nostalgic to use a family crib or a find a fabulous free one from a friend, but BEWARE.

  • Cribs have some of the worst safety issues of all items for children.
  • Drop-side cribs are prohibited from being sold or re-sold, a change made at the federal government level in 2011.
  • New cribs are safer by far as long as they are installed properly and registered with the manufacturer. Worry less and sleep better parents!

The alternative: Research crib brands and styles to find those that meet or exceed safety standards. There are many affordable ones that also convert to toddler and/or full size beds. I recommend these -- do you really want to buy a new bed every year or two? My go-to-guide is Baby Bargains for the best brands to buy.

3) Breast Pumps designed for individual use only.

  • There is no cost savings associated with getting ill -- bacteria can harbor inside these.
  • Used pump = used motor, which means it may be worn down and potentially jeopardize your milk production.
  • Warranty coverage on individual use pumps is limited and customer service is provided to the original owner only. Again, why risk it?

The alternative: Rent or purchase a hospital grade pump such as the Medela Symphony, which have a closed system. Tubing and other accessories are purchased new for each mom. I bought one for each of my boys and they can be resold because of their closed-system design.

Write me if you'd like my own recommendations and what I buy my own kids new versus gently used.


Sharon Munroe is the founder and owner of Little Green Beans, a modern resale boutique in North Austin, TX and mom to three kids under age 5.

Photo Credit: stevendepolo.

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