With our youngest daughter heading towards her third birthday you’d think the days of buying pushchairs was far behind us.
Just lately I’d become a little obsessed with other people’s pushchairs in the same way other people drool over someone else’s supercar. The difference being that the clock is ticking on my legit purchase power on this set of wheels.
Like some kind of last chance saloon, I convinced myself that our 5 year old stroller has seen it’s day of being thrown in and out of the boot. Although I have made several attempts of having it nicked outside various places, there has been no joy – I’ve been stuck with it’s rickety wheels and annoyingly small hood. I’ve grown tired of the design I once loved and I have had full blown stroller envy of other Mums shiny pushchairs with superior suspension, storage and gadgets.
So, having set about some hardcore market research courtesy of every other Mum I know, it seem’s stroller Mums fall into two camps: Team Maclaren and Team BabyJogger. I even test drove a couple and drew out the pro’s and cons of each.
I totally debated this crazy idea in my head and decided that with the summer ahead, and with an incredible resale value, a Baby jogger is the way forward; this purchase would surely change our lives for the better. School runs, park playdates, British seaside town trips, UK staycations…we will definitely get a decent amount of use before the Mouse declares herself permanently bipedal and ready for some mid to long distance legging it.
Cue hours and hours of endless ebay searching, Shpock screening, Gumtree trawling and Freecycle hunting. Within a week we had our hands on a rather beaut Teal City Jogger, with it’s epic folding system that just freed up a whole scooter section in the boot and made our Summer staycation agenda so much more ‘packable‘. With a bundle of accessories and no postage fees (or seller fees thanks to Gumtree) we found ourselves a cheeky blinder of a deal.
Who knew, but we also managed to sell our well loved stroller for just under what we paid for it, five long years ago. An emotional goodbye, having spent so many happy times together, but one that my mission to declutter saw sense in.
It seems, that there is a whole market out there in buying and selling second hand pushchairs.
Choosing our first baby’s mode of transport was a pretty big deal. I probably, like many of us, spent hours drooling over high end icandy travel systems in a variety of colours. With an epic collection of accessories (coffee holder HELLO) and modular sections, these transformers of baby transportation can be more complex to choose than your family car (and cost almost as much).
Once you start checking out the price tags on the must-have buggies, it can bring you back to earth with a sudden bump and googling Supermarket brand travel systems quicker than you can say ‘HOW MUCH?’.
We ended up finding a pretty good deal on a relatively unknown brand (then, to me anyway) Joolz, via a Baby super store where you could try before you buy. With some help from generous family keen to help out with their new Grandchild’s wheels, we were soon the proud owners of a shiny brand new Joolz pram top, chassis, car seat, chair seat, footmuff, raincover, shopping bag, parasol, mosquito cover (and later on a matching buggy board).
Maybe, in hindsight, had we known in 9 months time we’d be obsessed with the stroller we needed to make our day to day lives much easier, we would have held fire on the big spend? Second time around I’m pretty sure the travel system got even less use, with so much more gear to slog around with two kids that light weight option couldn’t come out quick enough.
And maybe if we knew then, what we know now, we’d have questioned the need to go brand new at all?
Granted, putting a brand new baby in something that isn’t brand new may be something you don’t want to, or need to do. And when it comes to a safety gear like a car seat, going second hand may be a risk too far if you don’t know it’s history. BUT, I can’t say I’d have felt the same way about a stroller that was destined to be covered in ice cream, bodily fluids, sun cream and general boot mud after a matter of days…
I’ve had my eyes opened to a world where parents buy second hand strollers to take on holiday, then sell them on a month later. I have discovered buggy valet services online for the very purpose of the trade in second hand pushchairs. I have landed an immaculate good-as knew (boxed!) high end stroller for less than a third of the retail value, and the profit from selling on my battered old buggy almost covered the cost. To boot, I know I could sell on my new stroller tomorrow and thanks to the resale value of that brand, get every penny back or even make a profit.
I definitely feel the time could be right to clean up that Joolz and let someone else take it for a spin.
It’s well worth checking out, cashing in on your no longer needed wheels, you might be surprised what you can get for that no longer needed baby gear. Maybe it’s a rite of passage to be let into this secret with parental experience, or maybe I’ve just been living in a cave, blinded by the glossy sparkles of new things.
Or maybe I’m just a shopaholic. Baby essentials? #HideTheBags.