If you're new to buying and selling used baby items, it's normal to have a lot of questions. Which products should you purchase new vs used, what to look out for when doing your research, and what all the terminology like open-box or gently used even means. That's why we collected the top questions we hear around buying and selling secondhand, and went to the expert herself, our CEO Kristin Langenfeld, for the answers.
What would you say are the main benefits of buying used baby gear?
It’s no secret one of the best benefits of buying used baby gear is saving money. The average middle-income family spends anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 on the child’s first year of baby gear, childcare and healthcare. Shopping open-box and gently used gear is a great way to afford everything you need within your family’s budget. Plus, when you buy secondhand, you’re putting cash back into the wallets of the parents selling the item.
Another benefit is participating in the circular economy, and therefore creating a better future for your children. Purchasing a used item rather than buying new can reduce the carbon footprint up to 82 percent. And, according to the EPA, common baby and kid gear materials such as rubber, wood and plastic account for over 21 percent of domestic waste in the United States.
Do you have any shopping tips for parents looking for used baby gear?
New parents often have to turn to multiple sources to find what they need and there is no way of knowing whether what they find is authentic or still useful. Whether buying new or used, it's important to take the mystery and worry out of buying baby and kid gear that will be of high quality for your baby. That’s why we suggest always buying from a trusted friend or third party like ourselves. That way, you know you’re purchasing from a reliable source and can ditch the back and forth messaging and meet ups with strangers. When parents shop through Good Buy Gear, you also have the opportunity to connect with one of our in-house gear experts who can help you make informed purchases and discover gear you might not even know you need.
If you’d prefer to do research on your own, watching unbiased reviews is a great place to start. That way, you know exactly what you’re looking for, and which features you might be willing to compromise if a slightly different color or version comes along.The beauty in secondhand baby gear is that more items become available every day, but that also means they sell fairly quickly, too. If you wait to do your research until you come across a product listing, it will likely be gone before you’re ready to hit ‘purchase’.
You should also keep in mind which gear holds its value, so you can make money back by reselling it once your child no longer needs it. Baby loungers, carriers, strollers, and toys are just a few items you can save hundreds on to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Are there any baby gear items that you recommend parents buy new? If so, why?
The good news is that parents can buy almost any baby and kid gear gently used, as long as it goes through a proper quality and safety inspection. That said, we always recommend parents buy new or open box car seats, never used. This is because it’s impossible to be 100% sure of a used car seat’s important safety history such as recall status, or if it’s been in an accident or tampered with in any way.
Can you explain the difference between gently-used baby gear and open box items?
Open box gear is almost like new, the box has just been opened. (Think: a parent opened their new stroller, didn’t like the color, and returned it before ever using it.) These items are still inspected for safety, functionally and cleanliness.
Gently used gear has been previously loved and may have some signs of use, like minor scratches. (Think: a parent used their new stroller for a year or two then sold it once their child outgrew it.) These items still include all pieces and are in perfect working order.
We also offer barely used gear that has minimal signs of use and may not have the original packaging and tags, but you’d never know they had a previous life. (Think: a parent took their new stroller for a spin around the block a few times, decided it wasn’t a great fit for their family, then sold it).
How does the Good Buy Gear team assess a product and ensure that it is safe for resale?
Safety has always been our top priority and we’ve worked tirelessly to dial in and refine our standards for secondhand gear since we first launched in 2016. This means no toy, infant gear, stroller, carrier or any other item gets accepted for sale if it’s not in good to great condition, and everything must pass our safety and quality inspection. Our team of gear experts examines each piece of gear using our technology platform that provides specific quality checks, variations, descriptions, common issues to check, and pricing for 14,000+ baby and kid items. They also check for any missing parts, imperfections, or dirt and grime. Of course we never accept gear that is damaged or unsafe, and we check to make sure nothing has been recalled.
All items are then wiped-down with disinfectants and are deep cleaned or machine washed with eco-friendly and child safe products if needed. If an item isn’t up to our standards, it won’t be listed.
Can you tell us more about Good Buy Gear's stress-free guarantee?
Our Gear-antee is something we are extremely proud to offer and is comprised of three main promises to our customers:
- We will always support the circular economy, and make it as easy as possible for parents to participate via our buying and selling services.
- All items are safe, clean and quality-checked by our unbiased gear experts, so parents can shop with confidence.
- Parents have access to the best possible shipping times to ensure their family is equipped with the gear they need, when they need it. Plus, we offer a fair return policy that is often hard to come by when shopping secondhand.
Has there been, or do you anticipate that there will be, a rise in demand for used baby gear as people are increasingly environmentally-conscious?
We already see that 40% of shoppers think about the resale value of items they are purchasing. Paired with increasing environmentally-conscious consumers, we are also seeing the impacts of recent shortages and increasing costs. Items such as bouncers, strollers and bikes are in high-demand, and therefore experiencing major price increases and delayed international shipping times. As a national recommerce brand, we’re currently able to help families receive quick and affordable access to these much-needed household items. And even when these particular shortages come to an end, it’s important to think about the longevity of our environment and our resources. That’s why resale is projected to grow 11x in the next five years, and we’re ecstatic to be at the nucleus of such a huge trend.