Monday, August 4, 2008

New versus Used

I like new…new supplies, new clothes, new shoes, and new car smell. The excitement of knowing I am the first person to use, wear, drive the item gives me a thrill. So now I’m pregnant and there is a whole lot of new to buy. Imagine my initial excitement at all the new items I would be buying…and then I began to really look at the prices of all these new baby items and thought holy, moly!! Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve paid attention to articles they have every year about how much it cost to raise a child but you throw in items they don’t need but I (as a parent) want and it goes from jaw-dropping to head hurting!! And then on top of that I will need a few maternity items before baby even arrives. Yikes, my poor husband will have to work overtime to accommodate my tastes, wants and needs.

But then I took a step back and began to think…does everything I buy need to be new? Yes, this will be our first bundle of joy and who wouldn’t want everything new and shiny? Don’t they deserve that? Second-hand is usually reserved for kids 2, 3, etc. Mostly because everything is so expensive and who has space for two of everything? Or even has space for it?

So I’ve given it some thought and have decided there are two things that can be used and I won’t really mind. The first is maternity wear. While I will buy a few new things, I will gladly take items that friends have that they know they won’t wear. ((Patty)) I also am a fond fan of eBay, which is a bad, bad place, but a great place to look for higher priced items that may have been worn once or twice. Or that people bought and decided they didn’t want or like. I really imagine pregnancy would have me glowing and looking like Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry, but our budget doesn’t accommodate their looks. And my body is far from either of their types.

The second item is the extremely important infant seat. I want a brand that I think would be considered higher end, I just don’t want to shell out over 200$ for it to be used 6 months. You wash the seat cover and voila, good as new. And yes, I’ve already actually bid on a few on eBay. Would anyone be surprised if I said there was one currently sitting in my living room? I’m not saying there is…but there could be.

Of course this is about as far as I’ve gotten but I know there has to be more items that I can look for that won’t hurt if they are used and in excellent condition. Any suggestions?

And for the record…clothing will be new until baby is a bit older, because we can’t wait to buy newborn and infant clothing. And we know the grandparents won’t be able to wait either! But once they hit toddler time…I will be all about looking for items in what eBay calls EUC…because I never said I wasn’t thrifty.


  1. As far as things to buy secondhand, I would go with the infant toys (jumperoos, exersaucers, and the like). They'll only be used for a few months and can be very expensive, so it would definitely be worth the reduced expense. I would shop consignment sales in your area for these items, and clothes as well. We have a biannual consignment sale in my area, and they have TONS of clothes and baby goods. It would absolutely be worth it.

  2. I bought a swing and baby papasan used off craigslist. I paid less than half the retail price and they were totally EUC. Anything that can be washed or wiped down I dont mind buying used. I got a Little Tikes slide for $1 at a garage sale! I have been very happy with my used purchases!

    As for the maternity wear, I bought a lot (lot as in a collection of items, not a lot as in a whole bunch, although it was a whole bunch... make sense?) of cute cute items on ebay. I'll email you the seller so this comment is not spammish ;)

  3. P.S. I tagged you for a meme, if you get a chance. I know how busy you must be!

  4. The only thing to avoid second hand is car seats. Because CAR SEATS EXPIRE! I'll say it again in all caps CAR SEATS HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE! Because they sit in your car and the plastic bakes all summer long, the integrity of the plastic and therefore the safety is actually compromised after 4-6 years. A friend of mine went to the fire department for one of those car seat safety checks and was told she had to get a new car seat. The one she was using for her third child had expired. I thought it was a ploy by the companies to get you to have to buy a new one every four years, but apparently their's research and science to back it up.

    We had a lot of hand-me-down stuff as well, and I love getting hand me down clothes for my 3 year old from my older sister... because she took such good care of her stuff!

  5. I got so many things used from my family. My aunt wanted to get rid of all the baby things laying around her house (from her grandkids) so I got a crib, mattress, changing table, toys, and lots of clothes totally free. They were used, but I didn't mind since they were used by family. (Does that make sense?) Tell family and friends that you are happy to accept their unwanted baby things, and I'm sure you'll hit jackpot. I think people don't want to offer things to a new mom for fear she'll only want new and take offense to their old stuff.

    I used almost all used, except for frilly cute outfits, bottles, stuffed animals/toys, and the crib set.

    For maternity clothes, try K-Mart. Weird, I know, but their stuff is cheap, and the same quality as the fabric in Motherhood Maternity.

  6. Yep, I've learned after the first one that not everything needs to be new... especially once you figure out what items are useful and what is useless. Bigger items are usually good second hand because they are used so little... like car seats (as long as they aren't more than a couple years old), exersaucers, swings, bouny seats, high chairs and other things that are primarily used for just a portion of the first year.

    eBay is an excellent resource, I'm also told that garage sales are a great place to find things cheap. I'm just not a garage sale type person... don't have the patience for that. Just let people know you're open to second-hand stuff, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at what people can find for you.

    Also, what's the update on delivering the big pregnancy news to the family?!?


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