Ever since I got pregnant, I've been doing about 90% of my shopping online. It's made a huge difference for me:
1. No wasted time packing a big diaper bag for the trip
2. No lugging around the big diaper bag (or big baby, for that matter)
3. No screaming, tired baby while you are waiting in line to pay
4. No long lines
5. No sweating because it's cold outside and boiling in the store
6. No buying a bag full of clothes only to find out a few days later that the store is now having a big sale and you could have saved a bunch of money if you had waited
The one time I went clothes shopping since Rafael was born was a horrible experience (all six of the above happened), and made me all the more appreciative of online shops. After all, what could be better, more comfortable, and more practical than ordering furniture, clothes, and toys in your pajamas while your baby sleeps and having them delivered to your doorstep a few days later?
I think I've gotten a pretty good hang of it and wanted to share a few things I've learned throughout this past year of online shopping for baby articles.
1. Get informed
Find out which stores are out there on the web that offer the kinds of clothing, toys, bedding, and furniture that you like. There are the basic favorites like Amazon and Baby Gap, but I've also found other stores which have a more unique selection by:
- searching with key words like 'handmade toys,' 'vintage kids room,' or 'boy fashion' on Pinterest
- putting specific words like 'red metal bed,' 'elephant pull toy,' or 'baby boy pilot hat' in Google images, and click on the pictures you like to follow the link to where you can buy them
- searching 'kids lookbook' in Google images to see which online shops offer pictures of children modeling their clothing
2. Become a member to save money
When you find an online store that has a lot of things you like, sign up for their newsletters. I have saved tons of money by always knowing when online shops were having a sale. Which leads me to...
3. Be prepared for sales when they come
Sign into an online shop and put all the items you like into your 'cart' or 'shopping bag.' In most online shops, as long as you don't sign out, you will remain signed in and the items will remain in your cart for quite some time. Wait for an email notice that they are having a sale or offering a day of free shipping and then pounce on it. Sometimes, by waiting longer, something you wanted may not be available anymore. So, if there is something you just HAVE to have, buy it right away. I learned this the hard way.
4. Buy on sale in the size available, even if it's too big
If there is something on sale that you really love, but it's not in your baby's size, BUY IT IN THE LARGER SIZE that is available. Your little one will turn 1 or 2 at some point, and then you'll have that adorable little coat or pajamas ready for them. And you will have bought it for an awesome price, too! I've done this quite a few times and have a nice stock of really, really great clothes for the older Raffi. There is one thing to take into consideration when buying like this, and that is:
5. Make sure the clothing fits the season of your child's future age
If your baby will be two in summer, it's clear that they won't be needing a thick sweater made for a two year old.
6. Do your research
Take advantage of the fact that you can read people's feedback on sites like Amazon. Sometimes an item will have some people giving it 5 stars, others giving it 1. Pay much more attention to what they are writing about the product than the amount of stars: sometimes people reduce their rating stars for things like 'shipping took too long,' which has nothing to do with the integrity of the product itself.
7. Order large and heavy items
If you would rather see and feel clothing in person, at least consider ordering things like high chairs, cribs, or baby gyms online. It's so great having these things delivered to your doorstep!
8. Check if it's available in your country
I almost spent a lot of money on an adorable giraffe because the link on Pinterest led me to an Australian online shop and I didn't know it was available somewhere else. Right before buying (and spending way too much on shipping), I checked the Austrian Amazon site, and what do you know, they had it! So, it never hurts to check if that thing you love that you found in some shop from far, far away is available right near by.
9. Check if it's available at a better price through Amazon
Don't feel bad about checking Amazon for a better price on something wonderful you found in an online boutique. Amazon supports small businesses that sell through them, offering really great competitive prices. The first thing I do when I find something expensive that I love is copy the name and past it into the Amazon search.
Here's a list of my favorite places to shop:
(I'm giving you links to the American or British sites, but there are also other locations available)
Handmade Toys, Vintage Toys, Baby Blankets:
Maisons du Monde
Clothing, Toys, Furniture, etc.
Here is a link to my Pinterest board labeled 'Stuff for Babies and Kiddos"where I have posted, and regularly continue to post, toys and furniture for babies and children.
Here is a link to my Pinterest board labeled 'Rafael' where I post clothing and shoes for boys.
Hope these tips and links prove helpful for some of you!