"If an item still looks great and is back on the market -- via thrift store, consignment shop, garage sale or otherwise -- it's survived another child's use, it's durable and it's ready for another helping of abuse," says Kristen Hagopian, author of Brilliant Frugal Living. "It's also going to be priced about 90 percent off retail."
Those adorable baby outfits fit little ones for a few weeks at most, which means they aren't subjected to much wear and tear. "Buying used clothes is a great idea to keep your baby budget down; hand-me-downs are even better," say Shannan Carr and Lisa Cattie, premier baby planners with Bottles to Britches, PA. Sizing may be a little off because materials can stretch or shrink, but keep an eye out for wardrobe basics -- especially coats, shoes and little-worn special-occasion items. You can even buy used cloth diapers. (Bonus: They become more absorbent over time, say Carr and Cattie.)
As for used baby gear, strollers are at the top of the list. "They are grotesquely overpriced retail," says Hagopian, who landed her double jogging stroller for free on Craigslist because it was disassembled and had some dirt on it. A little water and cleaning solution later, Hagopian's free, used stroller looked brand new.
Other baby gear that is safe to buy used: diaper pails, high chairs, bouncy seats, exersaucers, baby monitors and toys
Hagopian adds, "If you're buying anything that will be used to guarantee child safety (car seat, stroller, crib paraphernalia, playpen, etc.), check for recalls -- 90 seconds on Google will tell you you're in good shape."
To be even kinder to your budget, let your family and friends know that you're all for living frugally. "When it comes to a new baby, everyone is going to want to contribute," says Hagopian. "Let your loved ones know what you're looking for and that you're fine with used goods."
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