Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Helpful Tips On Shopping For Little Ones ONLINE


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)

Clothing:
Zara kids
Baby Gap
Mini Boden

Handmade Toys, Vintage Toys, Baby Blankets:
Etsy

Furniture:
Maisons du Monde

Clothing, Toys, Furniture, etc.
Amazon
Jako-o

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!

xoxo

42 comments:

  1. We love Sophie the giraffe:). Great tips, Dawn:). Online shopping is also great for long winter days:). Enjoy snuggling your little guy:). xox, Blair

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG! I LOVE the note from the tooth fairy! When my niece was little, I had a lady copy a note I had written for her from Santa so that it would be in calligraphy on parchment paper. Then I sent it to the post office in North Pole, Alaska. They stamped it North Pole and sent it to my niece. She loved it. She is getting her wisdom teeth out soon, so I'm going to surprise her with the tooth fairy letter. LOL Yes, she's a teenager and it is part joke, part corny now, but still so adorable!

    Great find, thanks so much!!
    Elise

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dawn, do you have any women's online shops that you buy clothes for yourself from? I'd love it if you'd share some.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Dawn,I do the same! I live in Krete in a small town and order all of my clothes on line since here you only find very expensive and not interesting things. It is,as you say,very agreable to order with a nice cup of coffee by the side,without queing and all the traffic! It is super! You are right! I also read a lot since I buy all of my books on Amazon. It is really a treat!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for your feedback everyone!

    Johanna, here are the Canadian websites for the online shops I like for my own clothing:

    Banana Republic: http://bananarepublic.gapcanada.ca/browse/home.do?ssiteID=GAP_CA

    Zara: http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/home/ca/en/zara-W2011-s

    Gap: http://www.gapcanada.ca/browse/home.do?ssiteID=GAP_CA

    In fact I just received a pair of exercise/jogging pants that I ordered on sale from the Gap and they are awesome! They make a great leg and have tummy control:
    http://www.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?cid=18052&vid=1&pid=794285&scid=794285003

    Hope that helps!

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are great tips! And thanks for all the links! (Wait. Why do I suddenly feel like shopping? :))

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello sweetie - finally I van access your blog again! (For some reason, all 'blogger' blogs just froze when I tried to visit for almost a week...horrible!) Even though I don't have children myself, as you know I DO have beloved nephews & my darling niece, so I still appreciate this post! I agree with every word. alos I thought you might like a funny story...when Esther was first pregnant with Scout, they didn't want to know the sex as they wanted a surprise. So buying things was a bit difficult. BUT I found the most beautiful silk top at Monsoon...for a 9 year old girl. I just bought it & put it away. I knew she'd have more than one baby anyway, and ONE was bound to be a girl, right? Well, it turned out that there was only one girl...but she was the first, and she got that (now vintage!?) silk top for her 9th birthday last year and wears it all the time! So it works, even if it takes some time...buy anything beautiful when you see it! So happy that you & Raffi are well...I can't believe how big he's got already! I hope by now you'll have received a little package from me? Sending much love xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Dawn,

    Quick question... the tooth fairy letter, that is just a craft idea we can make? I went to try & buy one and can't seem to find it.

    Thanks,
    Elise

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rachel: yes, package arrived, I must write you an email asap! That was a lovely story. :) I buy toys, furniture, and clothes for the 'big Raffi' all the time, I can't help it. :)

    Elise: Yes, that is a craft idea. Unfortunately nothing you can buy, but should be easy enough to make! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dawn! I LOVE your posts and the care you bring to everything you do!!!!
    Read all other posts and am so happy to see Raffi be such a wonderful growing, eating and smiling boy.
    Love you completely..GGm

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Dawn,
    This was a really good post - so informative and it's totally opened my eyes to Pinterest! Really love how you've grouped ideas and inspirations together, they are just lovely to look at. I always see things that I like on the internet so I end up adding them to my Bookmarks and having a list as long as my arm - Pinterest seems the perfect solution to this.
    I went to try and set up an account but see that they have to invite you first, I've heard that this can take about a month so I was wondering if you have any invites left?
    Charlotte x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Charlotte!
    Yes, I would be happy to invite you.
    What's your email address?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  13. I just invited you! Have fun pinning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I can't wait to get started!

      Delete
  14. Glad you are having a fun and stress free time shopping for Raffi, just make sure to shop for yourself too! A few treats here and there are very important and they help with online shopping stamina!
    Love you sweetie xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Haha, you are so right sweetie! I've been missing you. Thanks for the reminder. :)
    Love you!!
    xoxoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
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