Are You Spending Too Much Money On Baby Gear?
Did you waste $57 today? I hope not. Unfortunately, so many new parents pay much more than they have to for baby products, because they don't know the secrets the insiders know.
Remember, just because you shop at so-called discount stores doesn't mean you'll get the lowest prices. The same is true for warehouse stores and online auction sites.
Even coupons that seem like great deals aren't always a bargain. For example, one online retailer recently offered a promotion where you could buy one board game and get one free. But the games cost twice what they cost at a competitor. So it wasn't really a deal at all.
What's a bargain-hunting parent to do? It helps if you can find someone who's done some research for you.
The Shopping Mom to the Rescue!
In an attempt to do a scientific, apples-to-apples comparison, I recently conducted a price test of six popular baby product web sites. I purchased a basket of common baby products from each site.
All of the sites I chose were well-established businesses, with reliable customer service, and a good selection of products. Many offered extra services, like reader reviews, shopping checklists and helpful tips. The sites were:
1. BabyCenter (http://www.babycenter.com)
2. Babies R Us (http://www.babiesrus.com)
3. Baby Universe (http://www.babyuniverse.com)
4. Baby Catalog (http://www.babycatalog.com)
5. Shopping.com (http://www.shopping.com)
6. Target.com (http://www.target.com)
Shopping.com isn't a retailer. It's a comparison shopping service. But I included it because it's supposed to be able to find you the best deals online. I wanted to see if it lived up to its promise.
Remember the $57 I talked about wasting earlier? That was the difference in total cost between the cheapest site I shopped and the most expensive. A pretty hefty chunk of change, considering my basket had just four items:
1. A Britax Roundabout car seat in Denim (the price can differ depending on the pattern)
2. The First Years On the Go booster seat
3. An Avent newborn starter set
4. A Boppy
I used my address in Maryland to calculate shipping and tax. Obviously, the cost to you will vary, depending on where you live.
And the Winner Is...
Coming in at a lean, mean $255.55: Baby Catalog offered the best deals. And this didn't include the extra discount you get by signing up for their Baby Club of America.
Shopping.com came in a close second at $257.34, making it a worthwhile stop for anyone in the market for baby gear. Plus, Shopping.com is integrated with Epinions.com, so you can get product reviews right there. I also liked the fact that Shopping.com calculated the total cost, including shipping and tax, in advance.
Baby Universe came in at $263.91. But keep in mind that Baby Universe offers a flat shipping rate of $6.95, no matter how many products you buy. So the more you buy, the better deal this site is.
Babies R Us was the most expensive, at $312.97, followed by Target at $300.74, and BabyCenter at $285.06. Interestingly, both Babies R Us and Target are under the Amazon.com umbrella, which means you should always comparison shop among the different stores on the Amazon site.
Keep in mind, too, that all of these retailers offer coupons and special deals from time to time. So it always pays to shop around.
(c) Stephanie Gallagher. All rights reserved.
Stephanie Gallagher reveals her closely-guarded shopping secrets in her ezine, The Shopping Mom's Weekly Tip. Click here to get the eCookbooks Recipe Sampler Cookbook as a special gift when you subscribe: mailto: email@example.com
Most Important Decision Of A Lifetime - What To Name Your Baby
Most people don't know the meaning of their name, but most names do have meanings. You should at least find out the meanings of your favorite choices before giving one of them to your child. The meaning of your child's name probably won't greatly affect his or her life, but may help you to make a decision between your favorites.Many names are shortened to nicknames during childhood, or other stages of life, so be sure to think about what shortened forms of your child's name may be. Also consider that names we might think are cute for a child could be embarrassing later in life, before giving your child a nickname as their legal name. For instance - shortening Samantha to Sam or Sammy while your daught...(related: Babies)
Baby Names - Choosing Trendy Or Traditional
Lists of baby names are always fun to look at, whether you're seeking a name for your soon-to-be-born baby boy or baby girl, wondering about the popularity of your own first name, or just curious about what baby names are currently hot.What I find particularly interesting is tracking the popularity of baby names over the decades. In looking through U.S. government baby name lists from 1880 to the present, some amusing patterns emerge, particularly in regards to baby names for girls.For example, in Victorian times Biblical names, such as Mary, Sarah and Ruth were very popular for baby girls. There were also many baby names that sounded very old-fashioned to me, as a kid gr...(related: Babies)
Weaning A Baby Onto Solid Food
The best time to wean your baby onto solid food is at about age 6 months. This is because your baby's mouth will start to change around that time to help her cope with the transition. Another guide is to start when baby doubles in weight. Before then your baby's digestive system and kidneys are able to cope only with breas...(related: Babies)
When Should Your Baby Wear Shoes?
There is actually a bit of controversy about this question. Some pediatricians recommend that your baby not wear shoes until at least 15 months of age. Others feel that a child should start to wear shoes as soon as they're walking. However, you have to consider where your baby is walking. If they are cruising around your own home, then there is usually no need for shoes. But what about outdoors? Obviously you wouldn't want your child running around barefoot on cement or in the dirt. Babies should be wearing a firm shoe in this case to prevent injuries (and dirty socks).Shoes are also protection from sunburn, cold weather, scratches and bumps. Just make sure that when your baby has the opportunity to go barefoot, let them. And don't keep shoes on for too long at a time.If you do purchase outdoor shoes for your ba...(related: Babies)
Liven Up Your Baby Shower With A Few Games
You have a baby shower planned for a friend; you have organised the invitations, and sent them out to everyone on the list. You have even planned the food that is going to be available at the shower. Then you think, but what do we actually do? Just talk and hand over the gifts; or shall we play a few shower games?Well, it does seem that many people do ...(related: Babies)
Feng Shui Fertility: Six Ways To Create More Baby Chi
Today, feng shui is used for everything from arranging office cubicles to gaining more recognition at work to helping aspiring writers become more prolific. But what if what you want is a baby? When you are trying to conceive, feng shui can be another tool in your fertility arsenal.Fertility is such a delicate thing because it can be affect...(related: Babies)
What Happens When During The Baby Shower?
To be precise, anything can happen anytime as long as everyone enjoys it. There is no right way or wrong way-anything goes well. But the idea should be to make everyone comfortable and make the mom-to-b...(related: Babies)
Your Baby Nursery - Decorating A Fabulous And Functional Room
Decorating a baby nursery can be one of the most enjoyable tasks that you have before your bundle of joy arrives. There are many baby nursery themes to choose from and narrowing it down to just one may be your most difficult decision.Many parents know the sex of the baby in time to tailor a nursery to a baby girl or baby boy theme. If you don't know the sex of your baby there are many color combos that are gender neutral such as periwinkle and celery green. Or perhaps you would like a neutral theme with beiges and creams. You could choose and all...(related: Babies)
How To Buy Baby Carrier As Baby Shower Gift
Every year, people may have couple baby shower invitations. Buying baby shower gift may be painful for some people. Here we are going to talk about baby shower gift idea.Taking care baby is a difficult job, whatever you can provide to ease mother's effort is a great gift. We don't necessary to buy fancy and expensive items as baby shower gifts. The important point is how much you care about baby and baby's parent and how your gift can ease their life. Baby gear is one of the great baby shower gifts. For ex...(related: Babies)
Scrapbooking The Dizzying Movies Of Toddlers
Toddlers are highly energetic life forces. Between infancy and kindergarten school days, your toddler is often fully involved in massive actions and activities. Sometimes, your kid hardly let you slow down enough to take a deep breath before he or she is off ...(related: Babies)
Baby Showers To Remember
Every mother wants an enchanting baby shower for her new baby ranging from shower decorations to invitation. These baby showers are a mere cakewalk essential for the baby care by both the parents. Not only baby shower themes revolve around Rubber Duckies, Diapers, and Bottles but also involves like shower decorations, shower recipes.Well there is a difference...(related: Babies)
Welcome An Adopted Baby Into The Family With An Adoption Baby Shower
The addition of a new child to a family is a wonderous occasion! An adopted baby is just as much a miracle as any other and should be celebrated as such.And all babies need "stuff", even an adopted child, so having an adoption baby shower for this child is not only acceptable, but necessary.There are some differences you should consider when attempting to plan this a baby shower for adoption. You will need to know the age of the adopted child first of all. Some couples may have adopted a baby, butothers may have adopted a toddler or older child.You will also want to find out if the family wants to celebrate the baby shower for adoption before or after the baby/child is adopted.For infants, the ba...(related: Babies)