5 Ws of Buying used kids items in Toronto

I learnt pretty quickly that I didn’t need to buy my bundle of joy many things brand new as babies in particular ages 0-12 months use things briefly and lightly. I mainly borrowed a lot of my items, got them free( another post) or bought second hand. So let’s dive into the depths if the Ws

Who: family members and friends are great providers of second hand items. However if you need to purchase usually other moms are always looking for extra cash particularly when all the baby shower onesies are all outgrown and their feet are changing sizes in a month. I found that joining groups on Facebook to be a valuable resource eg GTA baby kids buy, sell trade. I bought my swing and glider for less than 50% of actual retail value. Mind you they are used but in great shape. I also bought clothing and a few toys from Facebook.

What: clothes, toys, books, basically most things so what not to buy used: crib mattress for bed bugs and the fact that babies imprint on their mattresses, strollers- now if you can get an excellent used one like someone bought it and hated it and couldn’t return it great, if it was used don’t bother. It’s an item you will use everyday and those wheels will wear down as well as the breaking system. I would say invest your money in something like a city select that you will get maybe 5 years plus usage out of it. I bought a Quinny off kijiji and regret it a little. I love the quinny but there’s no basket and one of the buttons are broken but it was a great price or so I thought at the time. Shoes with hard soles again imprinting. Toys that aren’t easily cleaned. Car seats- unless you know the person selling it you don’t know if it was in an accident. You wouldn’t trust precious cargo with such an important safety tool without an history.

Where:

  • Consignment stores now I’ve heard of once upon a child and many others but the one I’ve frequented is merrilymerrily.ca and found it was convenient because you can buy online and you can pick up things from the store. The items are also reasonably priced and quality controlled.
  • Value village and Salvation Army- I’ve found brand new clothing for dollars.
  • Mom to mom sales also check Facebook there is a mom that organizes these in the east end usually in the beach area twice a year spring and fall where moms buy tables and sell their items. I bought toys, books, cloth diapers, shoes at very good prices. The trick is to go early.
  • Scarborough outgrow outplay  it’s run by a consignment store so it’s like a mom to mom sale but organized. I went to my first one and I really liked it’s organization and prices. The only thing I didn’t like was paying hst on used items but I did score a video monitor for $35 brand new in box that retails for $130. We got toys and a trike which he adores  at really good prices. I didn’t check out clothing because I had already bought or received enough summer clothes.
  • Facebook as mentioned before I find the prices are reasonable or negotiable
  • Kijiji- I have a love hate relationship with kijiji I hate the stress attached with going to a strangers house or negotiating prices, arranging a time blah blah getting screwed over by scams. I have had good experiences but it’s a little stressful in my opinion.

When: off season when no one is looking for a snow suit is the best time to buy as competition is low on the other hand because kids grow so fast you could potentially overshoot or undershoot the season.  I recently bought a brand new nautical cable knit sweater from value village for $3 most likely because no one was looking for it.

Why: I buy second hand because it’s the wise thing to do and I have no hang ups about used things. I know in certain cultures used clothing is frowned upon. I save money to buy other things that are important to the family this year we travelled three times internationally.  I also like the idea of less wastage and it’s better for the planet.

How:

  1. Find the retail price of the item to gauge how much you should spend. 30 %of retail is reasonable but use judgment based on how used the item is.
  2. Look on kijiji, visit consignment stores, check Facebook, you can even do an ISO or in search of on the Facebook group
  3. Once you find the item try bargaining. Funny story I was trying to buy robeez on Facebook. The woman had no name ones selling at 50% retail. I tried bargaining but she was convinced she would get her price. Two months later it hasn’t been sold. I guess she’s not in a rush. I ended up buying new.
  4. Be cautious about picking up items at homes. I take my husband. I tend not to buy expensive things $ 100+ Use public spaces .  Don’t sent an e transfer or anything you can be scammed of there was a recent stroller scam on kijiji where people were asked to. E- transfer money and never received the item.  If need be use paypal a little safer. Again trust your judgment and gut if it feels too good to be true it probably is.
  5. Do a proper check of the item for broken parts and tears and wear. Try it out if you can make sure it’s in good working condition. Chances are no refunds except for some consignment stores.
  6. wash and clean items properly to avoid bugs and bacteria transfer.
  7. Resell when finished!
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