Before having kids, I never considered buying used baby gear. But kids outgrow clothes, toys, and gear so quickly, I quickly changed my tune. I've bought and sold tons of used baby gear off my local parenting listserv, and rarely buy anything new anymore. Besides... who doesn't love a great bargain?

I've seen thousands of listings over the past two years, so I have a good idea for resale values, as well as which items are always in demand and which ones are harder to sell because they frequently come up for sale. Sometimes that affects what I buy. For instance, I recently purchased an organic BabyBjorn Balance Babysitter and Toy bar for $80. Typically I would hesitate spending so much on a bouncer, but they retail for over $200 together, and I've seen them sell like hotcakes for $125. That means I can often sell highly coveted items like that for more than I paid for them!

There may be some regional demand differences of certain products and brand names, but hopefully you can still learn something from my tips on buying and selling used baby gear!

General Tips

- I sell most things at 40-50% of retail value OBO (or best offer). I sell often so I value selling something quickly and don't want to waste my time relisting something because I priced it too high.
- Sometimes it's better to buy pricier items because they're much easier to resell, and you may be able to recoup all your costs.
- Cribs, mattresses, car seats, and electric breast pumps should not be purchased secondhand (though many people do sell them).
- Items often given away for free include: clothes for babies under 6 months, stuffed animals, infant bathtubs, maternity clothes, pregnancy books, body pillows, and nursing pillows.
- Clothes are often sold in large age and season appropriate lots. Common brands include Gap, Old Navy, Gymboree, Carter's, and Children's Place.
- Name brand clothes should have brands listed (Ralph Lauren, Janie and Jack, Jacadi, etc.)
- Toys are often sold in age appropriate lots.
- Sell oversized items rather than holding onto them for the next child if space is a constraint. Oversized items like swings and jumperoos frequently come up for sale.
- Buying used is a great way to try something out. If it doesn't work out, you can resell it.

These are all items that are very easy to sell in our neighborhood:

I know that not everyone lives in such a young family dense neighborhood with an active parenting listserv like we do. But if you're interested in buying and selling used baby gear, you can try the following resources:

  • craigslist (for bigger items to sell locally)
  • ebay (for clothes, esp. designer)
  • local consignment stores
  • Just Between Friends (local consignment sale extravaganzas that happen twice a year)
  • resale/swap sites like Thredup, Diaperswappers, and Swapmamas.

Do you buy and sell used baby gear?