:::: MENU ::::

The Craigslist Trifecta…

by

There are three statements your like to hear buying Craigslist goods…

‘I’m remodeling’
‘I’m cleaning out my garage and don’t have room’
And…
‘My wife isn’t home and I can’t remember how much she said to sell it for but I’m sure we’ll figure something out.’

I had been watching for deals on Craigslist for much needed baby supplies for a couple months but hadn’t found anything. I’m not picky… but I’m not particularly interested in your great aunt Myrtle’s crib that is ‘in great shape – but missing a few semi-important parts.’

Then, one lucky Thursday morning, I found ‘the one’. It was a crib in the perfect color, great condition, and offered at a reasonable price.

My husband and I went to take a look on Friday and the seller said, ‘I’m remodeling our home and I want to get rid of everything. I’m storing the remodeling supplies in my garage and don’t have room for all this baby stuff. My wife is not here, but I kinda remember how much she said she wanted.’

Cha-Ching! I hit the Craigslist trifecta.

He opened his sparkling clean garage and in a carefully covered corner was a stack of baby items.

The heavens opened and I heard the Hallelujah chorus.

The seller kept piling items into my husband’s truck until we had no more room. What did we escape with?

A travel system stroller, car seat, and base, nearly brand new with all the manuals and a note that read, ‘This car seat has never been in an accident, has not been recalled, and has never been placed in a shopping cart’ (Hmm. Someone is a little OCD like me!).
A heavy duty crib and a new mattress with the manuals and the orthopedic information on the mattress.
Adorable spotless bedding for a baby boy.
A medium duty stroller for when the travel system stroller gets too heavy.
A toddler car seat that read ‘This car seat has never been in an accident and has not been recalled’.
A Red Flyer wagon with off-road tires and wood siding straight from the box.

All for $170.

The wife called just before we left. From our end, we heard…

‘Yes. They decided to buy the crib and stroller.’
‘How much?’
‘ Oops. They already paid.’
‘I gave them the other stroller and toddler seat too.’
‘Free.’
‘Oh. Well, it’s already in their car.’
‘No. That’s rude.’
‘Sorry. It’s gone honey.’
‘They are driving off right this second.’

He hung up. ‘Whelp. I’m in trouble. But it’s worth it. I’ve got space! Have a great day guys.’

And off we went.

Score!!


27 Comments

  • Reply Jill |

    I’m a bit carseat crazy and could never buy used…but that said, just wanted to say that carseats should all be stamped with either an expiration date or a manufacture date. They expire 6 yrs from manufacture because the plastic (the largest component) ages and becomes more brittle over time. Just make sure you’re not putting your little guy in something too old! Amazing deal on the crib/bedding/strollers, though!

  • Reply Shannon |

    I’m carseat crazy too. Please do check the expiration date. I mean, you don’t think a car seat would “go bad” but really they do.

    Also, please note that the NEWEST guidelines say to keep your little one rear facing until they are 2. So make sure the weight limits on the car seat work with your kiddo for awhile.

    Other than me being insane about car seats (which I freely admit!), you totally scored and I’m totally jealous! Good for you!

  • Reply MomEinstein |

    I agree with Jill – I would never buy a used car seat. Yes, you have a note stating it was never in a crash. But people lie, and a note will be no consolation if your child were injured. Is the money you’re saving worth the risk? You already got such great deals on the other items. You can put that savings towards a great new car seat.

    Similarly, I would not use a used crib. There are so many crib recalls that involve repair, not replacement, of the crib. How do you know this crib isn’t one of them? What if your baby got injured?

    Check out this article from the AAP on used cribs:

    http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/32/1/27-d

  • Reply Amanda |

    I’ll echo the car seat sentiment. I wouldn’t take a shred of a chance on a used one.

  • Reply Alison |

    My take on the used car seat? Other than what’s been said, car seats get so, so dirty (even if your kid never has food or drink in their car seat, they are bound to throw up or spit up while sitting in them at least once). Some of them are really hard to get good and clean what with all the little nooks and crannies and whatnot.

    We bought a used crib six years ago and have been very happy with it. It wasn’t on any recall lists and had the instructions, so we knew it had all the necessary hardware.

  • Reply Denise |

    I echo everyone else on the car seat sentiments – saving money is not worth your child’s safety.

    I’d be leery about the mattress too. Even if the mattress looks brand new, it has been in a garage (and frankly, who has an unused infant mattress anyway… makes no sense that it was “new”). Crib mattresses are cheap – for your own peace of mind and your child’s health I’d get a new one. That “new” mattress could have picked up a number of things from being stored in the garage including interior mold or bed bugs. Again, your child’s health and safety are not worth saving a few extra dollars.

  • Reply Vicki |

    Congrats on the score, and as for the car seat, have it steamed cleaned, but do consider buying a new one and use the one you got for a back-up.

  • Reply Makky's Mom |

    If you do decide to buy a new crib mattress, don’t get rid of the one you bought used. I can tell you from years of parenting that a spare crib mattress can come in very handy. Even though all my kids are school age now, we still have a crib mattress in our closet. When a child is sick or scared and just needs to sleep near Mommy, out comes the mattress from the closet. It takes 3 minutes to set up a bed beside mine and even my 11 yr old, 5 ft tall son curls up on it now and then, just to sleep close to me during a moment of need! I know it can seem impossible to imagine a time like that… so far into the future, but time passes quickly and it doesn’t matter how big they get, they are always YOUR LITTLE baby and sometimes in need of BEING babied.

  • Reply Tiffany |

    p.s. about all the “unsanitary” comments, everyone has stayed at a hotel with a baby before; now just let your imagination run with what happens at hotels and that the sheets are never new.

  • Reply Christine |

    Buying used makes perfect sense. Yes, even the car seat. Just do your own research on the items, and you should be fine.

  • Reply Jen |

    SWEET!!! I used to work in a Children’s Department, and you got one heck of an awesome deal on those items!!!!

  • Reply mom |

    Well dear… love reading all of the comments… however… I work best with reality. Here’s my reality, all seven of my beautiful, intelligent, children made it through life safely and perfect. Did I have a new car seat for everyone of you? Hardly.. I’m trying to remember if and when I actually purchased my first car seat. If I shared with your readers how it was back in the day.. they would probably have me arrested. Please don’t get me wrong folks, I’m happy that all of you have these wonderful, practical, safe, and dated baby items. But I think a lot of us from way back when did pretty well for ourselves… and for you. You got a great deal sweetheart. I’m proud of you.

  • Reply Nadia |

    Enjoy those free car-seats! I have a 16 month old and I would put her in a used one. It helps to know that the home where they came from was a bit “OCD”. We bought a convertible car-seat right off the bat, but it would’ve been nice to have the carry basket type at first, but our little one would have outgrown it by 5 months anyway.

  • Reply ellen |

    Great scores! I’d use the car seats myself.

    On another topic, I have two bachelor degrees and never “walked”. Never missed it.

  • Reply mv |

    The most intelligent comment on here came from mom.

    All of you “I would never buy used” people, please, you all survived the 70s, 80s, and 90s didn’t you? with all the alleged sub-par children’s items and dangers (that really for the most part aren’t dangers). Children of today are way too coddled. It’s a wonder the western hemisphere is even populated, and continues to populate, with the way some people think today.

    Yes, I’m sure I offended some..so be it. Get over it and move on with life.

  • Reply MomEinstein |

    RE: mv

    I’m not offended by your comment, but I do disagree. The argument “you survived it so it’s OK” is asinine. Plenty of people survive dangerous things, but that does not mean they are not dangerous. When my sister was born, my parents drove her home from the hospital on my Mom’s lap. She survived. Would you argue that car seats are completely unnecessary?

    In the event of a collision, I want my baby to be as safe as possible. It’s not coddling to ensure that your child is safe.

    Do I think that the used car seat is safe? Probably. Is it a risk I would be willing to take with my child’s life? No.

  • Reply Lizzie |

    Right on Beks! As your sis and mom to four little ones, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy used….hello…..it’s used when you bring home baby #2 even if you started with a new car seat. We live in the most unbelievably sanitized culture, it’s no wonder there are so many new “super bugs”.

    Relax-the crib, mattress, and car seat were a steal and perfectly safe!!

  • Reply Denise |

    This comes from MSN: “A car seat that’s been in one accident may not protect your child in another. And damaged car seats aren’t uncommon; a survey commissioned by Sainsbury’s Bank in England discovered one in 10 car seats currently in use in that country had been involved in an accident. Brand-new car seats can often be purchased for as little as $50, and safety technology tends to improve with each year, said Denise and Alan Fields, parents and authors of “Baby Bargains.” That makes getting a new one pretty much a no-brainer.”

    I’d say, if you can really trust the STRANGER that you bought the car seat from that it has never been in an accident, then go for it and enjoy saving a few bucks. Otherwise, spend the money to buy something that you know will give your child the best odds if he is ever in an accident while in the car seat.

  • Reply mv |

    @MomEinstein

    You’re taking my comment to the extreme, which is *not* what I meant. Obviously we know better than to not let babies and little children ride in their car seats. My comment is about where the line is drawn. These days most everyone is way too cautious and doesn’t let kids experience what they need to experience to learn to deal with what life throws at them. A prime example is children’s organized sports like soccer and baseball. My 10 yr old nephew has played organized sports for several years. Although fun at times, it’s more on the painful side (for me). With baseball – everyone needs to hit the ball, even if the inning lasts an hour or more, then there are time limits on how long the game goes, and I think there’s some scoring rule that you can only score x number of runs above what the other team has. This year, in soccer, you can only have x number of goals ahead of the other team. If you score more than x you are penalized. What the heck are kids being taught here? Mediocrity is the best you should strive for? Do good and get penalized? Yes, that’s exactly what I want kids (the future of tomorrow) to learn. Kids don’t learn to deal with (process) celebration when things go well, adversity when they don’t, how to handle losing and winning (in positive manner), and all the other stuff that goes along with it.

So, what do you think ?