Newb Mom here again. It’s no secret that I am the Queen of Craigslist when it comes to buying baby stuff. Babies grow out of everything so quickly that there is always a plethora of stuff available on Craigslist, and typically people price it to move since they just want it gone. Here is an example of some stuff I have gotten and the prices:

  1. Baby Einstein jumper (music doesn’t work but the lights do). Paid $5 – Retails for $100
  2. Activity Table, perfect condition. Paid $15 – Retails for $50
  3. Graco double stroller, older but in excellent condition. Paid $15 – Retails for $125
  4. Step 2 playhouse, missing 2 rails (not really needed). Paid $10 – Retails for $300

So in all I’ve paid under $50 for $575 in baby gear. That’s a savings of $525. Crazy right? All it takes is time to look, some research, some basic safety, and some cleaning up.

How to browse:

I usually browse Craigslist after li’l man has gone to bed. I have learned not to search for specific things since people like to give posts funky names (a bath seat was once listed as a baby chair with toys). I usually put Craigslist in to “gallery” view and basically scroll to see if something catches my eye, or see if I can find what I am looking for. Sometimes people post something vague like “Baby Stuff”, so you actually have to open the listing to see all the goodies. Once you find something, its time to learn a little about it.

Research:

Once I find an item, I head to Amazon to see what I could get it for brand new, then I compare it to the Craigslist add to check for any missing parts. I also check for any recalls or safety issues. If it is a fair price, has all parts intact, and is in good working order, then I go for it. If parts are missing, or the price is way too high, I usually contact the seller and offer a lower price. Sometimes they take it, sometimes they don’t. Once you find something and you are ready to contact the seller, you need to take a few steps to make sure you stay safe.

Safety:

I use Google Voice when I contact the sellers. Google Voice allows you to have an anonymous number that links to your phone. You can call and text with your Google Voice number so that the seller never has your actual cell number. I also have a “junk” e-mail account that I do all e-mail contact through. I use these in case I get a scammer or a creeper bothering me, which has never happened, but if it does, I can ditch the number and the e-mail and get new ones. When meeting with a seller, ALWAYS choose a public meeting place and take a friend. If you MUST go to the sellers house, take a friend and let a third-party know where you are going. There is no reason for a seller to come to your house unless they are delivering something heavy/big. In that case, don’t let them in past the front door and always have someone with you. All transactions should be done in cash. Never give a seller a check or your credit/debit card numbers. Please always use caution, and if the seller seems sketchy, it is perfectly ok to walk away. I personally have always had amazing experiences with people who sell baby stuff. They are usually always kind and very polite.

Cleaning:

Now that you are the proud owner of a new baby thing… CLEAN THE HECK OUT OF IT! I take apart anything cloth and throw it in the washer. I use Clorox wipes on all surfaces as well as soap and water if it is safe (some things have electrical components). There will most likely be some color fade and mystery stains, but hey, its used kid stuff. For cloth components that are hard to wash (such as strollers) I use Clorox wipes on the fabric. I have never had an issue with it ruining the fabric. Once it is clean, all you have to do is bask in the glory of your treasure.

That’s it! Its easy peasy to give your little one some cool stuff without breaking the bank. Thank you for reading, and please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.