Mar 22, 2008

For your child - buy used or new?

The other night J asked me if we made dumb purchases for the baby's things. He asked that if we had bought a $300 stroller instead of a $680 one, would it have been smarter? Instead of an $800 3-in-1 cot, would it have been smarter to buy a used one for $400?

If I thought of the costs, of course cheaper items save money but let me just explain (or justify) the reasons why I chose brand new items for our kid.

3-in-1 Cot
I didn't want to buy a used one with lots of teeth marks on the railings for my child. Some sellers advise to sand the marks but to bother with that, plus repainting if you like, would cost another $50 or maybe $100 more. I also have noticed that the sellers sell their cots after warranty has finished. Of course the cots don't come with mattresses so there's a need to purchase one, which costs between $130 and $200 nowadays.

No warranty, lots of teeth marks, need to get new mattress... uh, no. I think the 3-in-1 cot is worth buying new because the child can use it until he's about 5 feet tall, or about 4 or 5 years old. So I do the usage calculator - price divided by the number of usage. The lower the result, the better for me.

I searched TradeMe and found nothing worthy of my $200 or $300 when I was still on the lookout for one. Some even have rusts on them! Some looked so used and worn out that there is nothing left for my baby to wear out, you know what I mean? I'm not saying that people are selling pitiful strollers on TradeMe, but when I did my searching I didn't find one that suited my taste.

I don't know, but you can say whatever you like about my choices. I draw the line of my frugality somewhere. We decided to rent out our car seat from Plunket and we didn't get a new one for that. We received used clothes and shoes from friends and I didn't mind that. We bought and repainted an old drawer for his clothes. I don't mind getting or receiving old stuff. They just have to be within a certain boundary for me.


  1. hi tasha, good strategy. maybe it would help if you write down a "do NOT buy list" so that your spending strategy will be clearer. in my case, i avoided a lot of the toys, bouncing seats, fancy baby carriers etc. i made a big mistake in buying a whole set of expensive Avent bottles since I was able to breastfeed exclusively, so those expensive bottles are hidden away in a closet somewhere in the house, a remnant of my overeager mommy moments! good luck! =)

  2. Why not sell the Avent bottles? I actually bought slightly used set of bottles with a manual pump and a microwave steamer. They all cost me $80 and I think that was a good deal. The bottles were almost new - the previous owner made the same mistake as you.

    I'm tempted to get one of those rockers because the baby's getting clever about wanting to be cuddled and rocked. He's getting heavier!

    Thanks for your advice!