How second-hand equipment for new arrivals is a growing business
Aideen Sheehan takes us through the art of buying and selling pre-loved baby goods
The arrival of a new baby may be the most exciting event of one's life, but it's also one of the most expensive. The cost of kitting out your newborn can come to thousands of euro, with endless items jostling for attention and being marketed as essential must-haves.
So while a top-of-the-range new buggy can knock you back as much as €1,000 even before you factor in a car seat, steriliser, cot, clothes, changing table and so on, it's no surprise parents are looking for ways to save on this massive outlay.
A survey by parenting website Eumom.ie found that two-thirds of Irish mothers mix and match secondhand, borrowed and new items when getting ready for their new arrival.
Outdoor toys such as swings were the most popular secondhand buy for 45pc of mothers, while 44pc said they'd purchase secondhand buggies and 41pc would buy nursery equipment.
Purchasing secondhand goods online was the most popular option according to those in the online survey, with many also buying baby goods at markets and charity shops.
Eumom managing director Rose Kervick says that Irish mothers are making savvy purchasing decisions by mixing second-hand with new purchases.
"That said, mums don't seem as enthusiastic about selling online, as they are with making purchases. The reasons for this may be that mums are unsure how to go about selling online or perhaps they are slightly nervous."
Eumom recently held a coffee morning forum with secondhand retail site Done Deal to give mothers more advice and confidence about selling online.
Tips for successful sales include taking decent pictures, providing detailed information, meeting the buyer in a public place and never giving out your personal or bank details in an ad.
But Sara Santarelli who runs Aris baby fairs says: "Some people just feel more secure about buying face-to-face like that and also they like to examine items first before committing to buying."
Buggies are always huge sellers at fairs, particularly fashionable brands such as Bugaboo which can cost €1,000 new but can be bought secondhand for half that.
Double buggies are also extremely popular because they're so expensive to buy new. Toys and cots are also popular buys.
"Car seats also sell well, particularly for people who don't have a car themselves but need to get one for those times when they're getting a lift from someone else."
Santarelli says that parents always inspect car seats extremely carefully for signs of damage or wear, and if they're not in very good condition they don't sell no matter how cheap they are.
She runs secondhand baby fairs once a month at various locations around Dublin, and the next one is on on June 22 in Greystones Shoreline Leisure Centre in Co Wicklow.
Sellers can purchase a table at the fairs for €30, with traders, with no commission on sales. There's a €3 admission charge for buyers.
FURTHER DETAILS ON WWW.ARIS-IRELAND.COM