Not only did I get a free Bugaboo Cameleon, but I was inspired to create a blog to teach others how to do the same.
Here is my story:
While pregnant I received a lot of stroller advice from other moms in my life. I think this is mostly because I had my mind set on raising a “stroller free” baby by becoming the ultimate baby wearing, marsupial mom. I was convinced a stroller wasn’t necessary and I would make do without one. When I expressed this to my friends the feedback I received was almost always the same: Tania, trust me you need a stroller. I figured, these are smart, successful women I respect so I think I am going to listen to them. My decision was made, I was going to buy a stroller. (It turns out that I do a lot of baby wearing, but it is nice to have a stroller option although it certainly isn’t necessary).
I was about 6 months pregnant and decided to start doing some stroller research. I wanted a stroller that allowed for the car seat to click into it and I also wanted a bassinet that could be used at home for the first little while before we got a crib. I wanted to make sure I had a very dynamic, functional stroller, that says this is a mom who has her act together, haha. My friends strongly recommended the Bugaboo Cameleon.
If you haven’t heard of it, it is the Bentley of all strollers with a $1200 CDN price tag!!! I wasn’t going to let the ridiculously high price deter me, so I started to strategize on how I would get my hands on one of these bad boys as cheaply as possible. I certainly didn’t think I would end up with one for free but that is exactly how it turned out.
Ok so I know you want to find out how this works, let’s get to it. There are a few guiding principles to the money saving maneuvers that I use, the first of which is:
“Always think about ROI (return on investment) potential when buying baby items.”
When you buy high quality products they often carry a high resale value and sometimes even a return when you are done with them. I find the best way to benefit from this is by buying high quality items used. By doing this you eliminate your personal share of the big loss the items usually take as soon as the packaging is off and only have to manage the depreciation that comes along after. You would probably be very surprised by the kinds of things I have used this principal on and made money. I will share some of those stories with you soon but back to the stroller…
So how did I get my Bugaboo cameleon for free?
I bought a used one on Kijiji (a free classified site like craigslist) for $600. It was in fabulous shape, one year old, and looked pretty much brand new! It came with all kinds of accessories that would have cost a lot to buy separately like the cup holder and car seat adaptor (Quick Tip: I find when buying used items people are more than happy to throw in all the extra accessories they purchased for free or at a very low cost since they no longer have a use for them. Also look for items early, be patient and be prepared to move quickly when the right deal comes along).
I used the stroller for the first year or so of my son’s life. When I went back to work I found I wasn’t really using it anymore and decided to sell it. I had taken really good care of it and so I scrubbed the tires, washed the fabric and posted it again on Kijiji for $600 (normally I wouldn’t post things for the same price that I bought them for but this was on the low end of what all the other used ones were posted at , so I figured why not). I got plenty of replies and sold the stroller within a week for my full asking price.
So there you have it, that is how I did it. It’s true that I had to put up a chunk of money for the year without a guarantee of return and I didn’t get a new model but in the end it didn’t cost me a thing! Best part is that I know someone else is getting great use of it and will probably be able to sell it when they are done with it for not much of a loss.
Do I think you can always sell used baby items for the same price? Absolutely not, but if you take good care of something it can retain a lot of value and if you are willing to sell it after you can recover a lot of your initial investment. I also know some people are only comfortable with new items so I would like to share the reasons I like to buy used and sometimes even prefer it!
REASONS I LIKE TO BUY USED
- Used products don’t generally generate pollution, take energy to create or require the use of NEW resources
- Used products don’t have any packaging to throw away (LOVE THIS!)
- The item has already done a large portion of its off-gassing (hopefully making it a safer health choice for my child)
- Used products often come pre-assembled. Think Ikea furniture, let someone else do the work!
- I love that fact that things are being used again right away and not just sitting around in the basement taking up space
- You can save A LOT of money
Earlier in this post I briefly touched on how this money saving technique can be used on all kinds of baby necessities. I would love to hear about something you got for free or were able to recover most of your cost on, please share your story with us!!