Thursday, July 24, 2008

Quality Online Shopping

In a comment to my last post a reader made a great point about buying online from eBay, but she also made an assumption that needs to be made clear. Her comment made me think about several of my past post on various retailers here at Baby Buggy Bumper.

Her comment was;

"You can't guarantee the origin of car seats on ebay nor can your be assured that these are brand new car seats. You should only buy a new car seat, unless you can guarantee that your car seat has NEVER been in an accident. Car seats also have expiration dates, and you can't confirm the manufacture dates of a car seat on ebay. Buy new from a reputable dealer. It's worth the extra cash for your child's safety."
I agree that you need to make sure that you buy safe and new items items for your baby. I think this reader does not feel safe buying online (or at least buying from eBay), and I want to address her fears in this post.

1. Buyer beware - The maxum that the buyer needs to beware is so true. But not only when buying online because you can get scammed in a retail store as well.

No matter where you shop for your baby, you need to be digilant. Some items that you can buy at your nearest retail store have been recalled, are the wrong size, the wrong color, and what is more the merchant may not want to give you a refund or replace the item. So it is up to you to know what you are getting yourself into when buying items for your baby.

It is possible to buy things from a store and not know the stores return policy, refund policy or other important details. I am advocating that no matter where you shop, online or retail, beware.


Know the origins of the item you are buying.

How do you do this online? You communicate with the buyer, ask questions. You look at the buyers feedback and only buy from an online seller who has a history of providing quality goods and services.

Many of sellers on eBay and are small business that sell brand new, never taken out of the original box items for your baby. Look for these sellers.

Avoid buying used, damaged, or unclean items from both online and retail stores. Notice that some stores resell their returns, be on the look out for this practice. Thoroughly inspect any item that you purchase for your baby prior to using it.

Know the expiration dates of all items that you buy. Again this applies to items bought online as well as those bought in retail stores.

I can't say it enough, know and understand the conditions of the sale when ever you buy anyting anywhere. I think that covers online and retail stores.

Important conditions to be aware of;
  • - good communications
  • - dispute resolution system
  • - return policy
  • - refund policy
  • - shipping cost

2. Buying online versus buying from stores. As a person who buys and sales items online in various online settings I can tell you that buying online has some advantages.
  • -time - In the modern world free time is a premium for almost everyone. You can do much more shopping online then you can do by packing up the kids, driving to the mall or retail store, walking from store to store looking at items. Many online stores make it easy for you to shop without all the time wasting that go along with shopping in stores.

  • -money - In the economy that we are in right now money is also at a premium for almost everyone. Food cost, the cost of gasoline, the mortgage melt down and other problems are making us all have to stretch our dollars as far as we can. And anyone who has a small child does not need to be told that you need to find ways to get more for what you spend your money on.

  • -security- Shopping online can be just as secure if not more so than shopping in retail stores. The volume of people shopping online has caused it to become more secure. Most online sites have security measures such as a resolution system, a online communication system, and security via the method of payment (Paypal, credit cards).

  • -research - Even if you do not buy the item online, shopping online allows you to view items, see data about the item. Make informed decisions about the item prior to buying it. I personally love the experience of actually touching and feeling the things that I buy. Sometimes the interaction with the sales person can also be rewarding. But I almost always do research online first.

  • -gas prices - It may not have always been the case but right now the price of gas can make shopping at retail stores difficult. So why not give online shopping a try. If done correctly it can be just as safe and secure as shopping at a store and can save you money on your cost of gas.
3. Affiliations (truth in advertising) - I am a member of the affiliate programs for some of the merchants mentioned in this blog and so I want to make that clear. I want to assure my readers that I provide information about online shopping that helps and is in the readers best interest.

I do not favor one affiliate over the other. I think if you do your home work and research the item that you want, you can have a great shopping experience at all of my affiliates. Who are;
Montgomery Wards Kids
National Geographic for Kids
Motherhood Works, Inc.
Sensational Beginnings
The Baby Outlet

Feel free to click on any of their links that you find here at Baby Buggy Bumper.

1 comment:

Carl said...

I agree with the above in regards to shopping online. But there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right online store. First, check their security. Do they have a certificate (https) or hacker proof? Then, read their policies...don't just click "agree". Some policies are not clear and very misleading. Then, look for a purpose! I found that many sites give you ways to shop that are very rewarding. Take a look at, you can shop while giving to charities (up to five). plus you get great rebates, access to brand name stores such as Land's End, Office depot, etc... and you also accumulate points (for other purchases or donations). This is online shopping at its best!!!