Dos and don'ts of buying pre-loved kids' products
Buying pre-loved kids items is a great way to save money and space. Read this article to find out which pre-loved kids products are most popular and which ones you should try and avoid.
We all want the very best for our children.
But children grow so fast and their interests change so quickly that parents need to buy new clothes and new equipment every few months to keep up with their development.
However, constantly buying new things usually means that costs add up and the space to keep the toys, books etc. soon runs out.
Fortunately pre-loved shopping is now a huge trend, with more than 80% of Singaporeans purchasing pre-loved kids products and 75% selling items they no longer need.
This is great news for parents who need some items only for a few months!
Gently used items like baby clothes, shoes, baby carriers, scooters, strollers and toys that used to fill parent’s cupboards and collect dust are now making their way into various online marketplaces, Facebook groups, and charity drives.
And many families are delighted with their second hand finds, and put them to good use. In fact, more and more parents are now connecting, sharing and saving together.
What should be on your pre-loved shopping list?
While there is a large variety of pre-loved baby and toddler products on sale out there; there are some clear winners.
The following items top the list of pre-loved kids products being bought by parents, who are managing to save up to 95% of original costs on some items:
- Strollers – some families have multiple strollers or quickly need to upgrade to a double. This means that you can find high quality pre-loved strollers for sale at very good prices. Top selling brands include Bugaboo, Maclaren and Baby Jogger.
- Baby monitors – these can be very expensive if you buy them brand new. However, there are perfectly good pre-loved options available. Top selling brands include Oricom, Avent and Angelcare.
- Clothes bundles – babies and toddlers tend to outgrow clothes rather quickly. This is a great way to buy clothes for your little one, who might need to wear them only once or twice before moving on to the next size up.
Lots of parents are buying bundles of clothes (e.g. 3-6 month bundle for boy) and picking up branded pieces for just a few dollars each.
- Bouncers – given that bouncers are only used for a few months it makes a lot of sense to buy a pre-loved one. The covers are removable and washable so they usually look as good as new. Top selling brands include Baby Bjorn, Fisher-Price and Bright Starts.
- Baby carriers – like strollers, parents often have more than one baby carrier so these are often in excellent condition when sold. Top selling brands include Baby Bjorn and ErgoBaby.
- Playpens – by far one of the fastest selling items on Bakipa! Be quick if you see a playpen for sale. The top selling brand to-date is Haenim.
- Books and toys – books, plastic toys, ride-ons and scooters can easily be wiped down and re-used. It’s a great way to reduce waste and teach your children about recycling too! Top selling brands include Fisher-Price, VTech, ELC, Lamaze and Little Tikes.
Exercise caution while buying...
For safety reasons, there are some pre-loved kids products that you should be careful about. These include:
- Car seats – Car seats expire after six years or right after they have been in an accident, whichever comes first. Because it is difficult to know the full history of a car seat (including if it has been dropped, twisted or used incorrectly) it is generally safer to buy a new one.
- Breast pumps – While the exterior of a breast pump can be washed thoroughly, the inside of the pump can be a safety hazard with areas for bacteria to thrive.
- Cribs – While these are one of the top items parents purchase second hand, take some care to check that the crib you are buying meets current safety standards and has not been recalled (a comprehensive list of product recalls can be found here).
Also, if you purchase a pre-loved crib make sure to pick up a fresh new mattress.
Handy tips for buying pre-loved children’s items
While all parents love a good deal, it is best to make sure that you are indeed getting your money’s worth. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when you are purchasing pre-loved kids products:
- Product viewing: Sometimes it is nice to view a pre-loved item before committing to a purchase, but getting out of the house with your children (or baby bump) can be difficult.
Why not arrange a Skype call with the seller instead? You can check for any damage or stains and ask questions without the time and cost of travel.
- Arranging pickups: Aligning schedules and arranging pick-up can also be tricky for busy parents.
Using a delivery company such as Ninja Van or Lalamove can make it easier for both parties and usually ends up cheaper than getting a taxi both ways.
- Be safe: Always remember that you are connecting with a stranger. Do your best to meet in a public place if you are picking up an item and avoid sharing your personal details where possible.
About the Author
Marigold Duncan is a mother-of-one and co-founder of Bakipa, the leading marketplace for parents to buy and sell their children’s items. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability, chocolate, and her little girl, Isabelle.