Monday, November 1, 2010

Baby bargains galore can be found online

Just a few Internet finds
I am a sucker for adorable baby things. I've had to reign in some of my desire to go buy everything I see because we've decided to be surprised and wait to find out the gender until little Baby Erickson makes his or her debut. However, there are still plenty of precious things to be found in the hues of green and yellow, and I know I can indulge in some gender-specific shopping come April.

But all this shopping can break the bank, if you're not careful. And I'm also the type to find bargain hunting a thrill. So where's a bargain-hunting, 16 weeks pregnant mom of possibly a girl or possibly a boy to go for stylish baby clothes and accessories?

The Internet.

In the past couple of months, I've found some great sites that offer bargains on name-brand clothing by designers and companies you don't frequently find in a department store. And bonus - most of the items are marked down by at least 50%.

Where do I shop? Here's my favorite haunts:

1. Zulily: I've ordered from here a few times, both for myself and a friend who is due with a girl in February. Even if you're not expecting, or don't have any kids, this is a great site for finding awesome shower gifts, too. If you're familiar with the concept behind or Rue La La, you'll understand how Zulily (and most of these other sites) work. Events featuring different companies rotate in and out, and a limited amount of merchandise is up for sale. When it's gone, it's gone, so don't dally if you really like that cute little pinafore. It also offers stuff for mom, too.

2. Totsy: Totsy operates much like Zulily in that it also features events and offers a wide assortment of children's and baby clothes and toys, accessories and maternity and nursing wear, also at a discount. Daily e-mails apprise you of the new events, too.

3. Baby Steals: One deal every day (a lot like Woot!), and it varies from everything from pacifiers to nursing wear. Discounted deeply, always quality merchandise at exactly what the site name implies - a steal.

4. Baby Half Off: The tag line pretty much says it all: A deal a day. Always half off or more. In the past couple months I've subscribed, everything from awesome diaper bags to blankets to maternity wear have shown up. A recent deal had Go Bebe diaper bags (regularly $135 or more) at $50 plus shipping.

5. Green Baby Bargains: Again, a subscription service that sends you one deal a day, but with a twist: Every item is green. BPA-free bottles and pacifiers, organic clothing, vinyl-free offerings daily.

6. Mama Bargains: Another one-deal-a-day site, with the added feature of the occasional coupon code offered up for other baby shopping Web sites.

7. Retail Me Not: Not strictly a baby site, but if you're shopping online ANYWHERE, go here before checking out. If there's a coupon code out there for that company, it'll be here.

8. Thred Up: Now once your baby is here, you'll notice that it starts outgrowing clothes at a pretty rapid pace. What to do with that twice-worn jumper? And why do you keep buying all these clothes when they outgrow them so quickly? Thred Up is genius. It's a baby clothes trading site. If you have clothes, you box them up, list the contents of the box on the site, and then when someone wants your gently used clothes, they pay $5 per box plus shipping to have it sent to them. All you do is print out the label. And if you want to browse boxes, the same applies. Pick out your box, pay for the shipping and the $5 fee, and soon you will have a box of gently used baby or children's clothes on your doorstep. I haven't used it yet, but I definitely like to go check out the cute clothes other people are ready to trade.

So there you go - the sites I haunt to find the cutest baby clothes and accessories. What are some of your favorite places?

Beth Erickson is a Dallas writer, 16 weeks pregnant, and the wife of Texas Health Resources web editor Tom Erickson.

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