Saturday, May 14, 2005

Ebay for baby

EBay is a wonderful source for purchasing many items. Not only can you find one of a kind and hard to find items, there are out of stock, discontinued and readily available objects listed for sale. So, what does this have to do with you and your baby?

Ebay has a veritable plethora of baby items for sale. If you are looking for baby gear at reasonable prices, eBay should definitely be one of the places you check. They have a wide assortment of used items, new products and everything in between.

Used gear
Some people swear by used baby gear. Since babies grow so quickly, often a baby outgrows an item long before it is worn out or heavily used. Some of the baby items available for sale on eBay include clothing, furniture, bedding, toys, books, swings, strollers, diaper bags and hiking backpacks. The first thing to do if you are considering used gear for your baby is to check the item against product recall lists. You can usually check the manufacturers web site for safety information about previous recalls, or check the government's consumer product safety commission web site for recall information. Once you confirm that the item is free of recalls, read the description carefully. Do the sellers offer information about the condition of the item? If they do not describe the item in detail, you would be advised to contact them with any questions before you place a bid. Also, think about the type of item you are buying. For example, a hiking backpack in near new condition is probably a good deal to purchase used. On the other hand, I would not advise purchasing a car seat, since you would not know the origins of the seat or whether it had every been in an accident. Since car seats can sustain invisible damage in an accident, they should be disposed of, and not used any more after an accident. Do you want to risk your baby's safety with a seat that might not be safe?

Also keep in mind how easy the item is to clean. For example, clothing or a blanket can be machine washed as soon as you receive it so you are confident it is clean. Hard plastic toys can be scrubbed with sanitizing cleanser. But, items like plush toys may harbor dust mites and bacteria that you cannot easily remove, so they are not good bets as used item purchases.

New items
Ebay is not just for used items. They have a wide selection of new products for sale, too. Often, these are things people have purchased and just never used. They may have received multiples of an object or simply not known where to return it. Also, people receive seasonal items and their babies may not grow into them at the appropriate time. Other times, people buy clearance or closeout items at a substantial discount with the intent of reselling them on eBay. New items will have "new" in their description, or may say "NWT" which is an eBay abbreviation for New With Tags. "NIB" indicates the item is new and still in the original box. If you only want an unused item, search for the terms NWT or NIB along with your item name when you conduct your search. Often, a new item can be purchased on eBay for half of what it would sell for in stores. Of course, if the item is hard to find or highly in demand, it may sell for more than retail in eBay's marketplace.

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