Things to look out for when buying second hand baby products
Buying all those necessary items for your new baby can add up to lots of money. One of the most common ways to help cut down some of these costs is to buy second hand items. Whether you buy them from garage sales, auction sites, thrift stores or are lucky enough to acquire them from friends or family, there are some things you should be aware of first.
Check the manufactures website or call them to see if there are any recalls that might be out there for that particular item. Make sure you are able to locate the model/product number on the item you are going to buy.
If possible, see if the original owner still has the manual. If not, you can usually look up the manufacturer online and download a copy of the instruction booklet.
Test everything out before you bring it home to make sure it’s in good working order. If you are checking out a stroller, for example, open and close it or take it on a test drive.
If it’s a battery operated toy and it doesn’t have batteries in it, ask if you can borrow some to test it out. Don’t assume that it’s going to work once you get it home. Press all the buttons and switches to make sure that they all work. The reason they may be getting rid of it is because not all the functions work any longer.
Some older products, including toys, may contain lead paint. Although that old antique crib will look perfect in the baby’s room, chances are it does have lead paint. You don’t want your baby chewing on the paint and ingesting it. Better to be safe than sorry and not take that chance.
Make sure all the pieces are included. Some items you will be able to find and purchase spare parts, but others you will have a hard time finding pieces for.
Today’s standards for child safety are much stricter than they used to be. Older products that may have been deemed safe at the time, may not be considered safe any longer. It is really important for you to check that the product you are purchasing measures up to the current safety standards. For example, the slats of today’s cribs are closer together than they used to be.
When buying clothes, make sure they are free from drawstrings, buttons or any other strangulation/choking hazards.
When buying a used car seat, make sure it hasn’t been in a crash before. A lot of people don’t realize this, but car seats actually have expiration dates. You should check to see how long the manufacturer recommends using it for.
Make sure the item is free from any mold, mildew, rust, etc. You should also disinfect anything before letting your baby come into contact with it. You just don’t know where it’s been.
Although you really can cut costs and save a bundle, you really do need to err on the side of caution and use your best judgement when buying second hand baby products. If you have gone down this list and everything seems to be in order, then it might be worth it. If the item is a little questionable, then you are better off still looking around for another deal or maybe just stick to purchasing it new.