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Buying second hand for baby

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Most parents expecting a baby will rush out and buy everything new – and relish every minute of it. You’ll want the brand new cot and the pristine blankets and the umpteen bumper packets of baby grows. But often by the second child, you’ll be buying second hand for baby, hunting for bargains and grateful for hand-me-downs; I know I was!

Kids grow quickly!

This is not because you’re any less excited about the impending arrival of your second or subsequent babies, but rather because you soon realise how little use you got out of the 55 size 7lb vests or the three different ‘top and tail’ bowls. After the first time round you get much more experienced at what you actually need and use and how long for. You may then decide it’s not worth spending hundreds of pounds on something that will be outgrown in a matter of months. And of course the purse strings might tighten a bit more with each new arrival.

second hand for babyWhatever the case may be, there is no harm buying second hand. Of course there are some items you will still want to get brand new, but because of the reasons above, you will find it easy to get your hands on essentials that are in excellent condition and often at just a fraction of the price. It doesn’t mean you are not doing the best for your child – your three month old won’t mind if they are sitting in a nearly new rather than a brand new bouncing chair.

Where to start

Second hand bargains are often available from friends and family, or other mums you know who have children older than yours. Car boot sales are a great place to pick up a bargain. They also have the added bonus that you can see the item in the flesh and take it straight home with you without worrying about delivery fees, collection practicalities etc.

Classified ads in your local paper will also have baby items listed from cots and prams to bundles of clothes. However, the internet is probably now the biggest second hand market place there is. Sites such as e-bay have endless listings from people looking to clear some of their baby clutter.

How much to pay

This can depend on the condition of the item. Some goods cost a tenth of their original price or less, but you shouldn’t be paying any more than a third of the original price, unless it is brand new with tags on. Make sure you check the retail price for anything you have your eye on so you know if you are really getting a bargain or not. If you’re bidding via an online auction you can use the retail price to set yourself a maximum amount you are willing to pay. Try not to go above this and remember to factor in any delivery charges. Don’t worry about being outbid as there are usually countless similar listings to be found.

What not to buy second hand

There are some things which it is advisable to buy new rather than second hand, such as car seats, mattresses, breast pumps and pushchairs without the British Standard sticker. With toys, look for a CE Mark to check their quality and credibility. Second hand electrical items should be tested before being offered for sale and must be supplied with full instructions.

 

 

 

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