TBT: Used Baby Gear

thrift-store-secondhand-baby-clothes-and-gear

Just as good or not good enough?

I’ve always been a bigger fan of “Reusing” than “Reducing” and “Recycling”. I’m not the only thriftstore bargin hunter and garage-salers at The Green Baby Guide, so I combed through the archives for the best posts on used baby gear.

The Thrift Store Thrill

Used Clothing: How Safe is It?

Low Cost Children’s Presents: Getting Creative With Thrift Store Gifts for Kids

Digging for Tightwad Treasures at Outlet Thrift Stores

The Thrill of Thrift Shopping

The Best Place to Buy Used Gear: A Consignment Shop!

Are Secondhand Baby Clothes Greener than Organic Ones?

Garage Sale Gift Shopping

Garage Sale Shopping for Baby Clothes
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Furnishing Baby’s Nursery with Garage Sale Finds

I often fantasize about Rebecca and me flying to New York as featured guests of a daytime talk show. We’d be given a $300 budget to outfit a baby’s nursery with secondhand goods. With Rebecca’s sense of style and my garage sale savvy, we’d do an incredible job!

Just the other day I went to a school garage sale where I saw the following items:

An oak changing table: $25
A beautiful maple rocking chair: $25
A sturdy wooden high chair: $15
Baby clothes: A giant paper bag’s worth for just $5

It’s just mind-boggling what you can find for a new baby at a fraction of the price of retail.  (Which is why we wrote The Eco-nomical Baby Guide.  It’s such a thrill to reduce, reuse and recycle–while saving thousands and ending up with beautiful stuff!)  While you’re pocketing all that saved money, you’re saving the environmental load of manufacturing, packaging, and shipping new products. And your baby will be just as content in her secondhand nursery. Attention daytime T.V.producers, we’re standing by for your phone call!

Do You Have “Issues” Buying Used Clothing and Gear for Baby?

When I wrote about buying secondhand baby clothes for my daughter, I was bracing myself for some outraged reactions.  I can’t believe you don’t buy your daughter new clothes!  Doesn’t she deserve new things?  Won’t she feel ashamed and deprived as she grows older, knowing she was forced to wear cast-offs?  To my surprise, all of our commenters said they love buying secondhand duds, too.

Not everyone feels this way.  When I was pregnant, I remember reading an article somewhere about saving money on baby gear.  The couple featured went to great lengths to buy almost everything used or scrounge around for hand-me-downs.  Then the mother-to-be said, “The one thing we did not buy used was clothing.  We made it a priority for the baby to have all new clothes.”  I found this sentiment interesting.  Used clothing costs so much less than new, and no one would ever suspect it was secondhand unless you were dressing the kid in polyester jumpsuits.  (I do run across those vintage baby clothes from the 1970s from time to time . . . and I think they’re cute!)
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