Finding Baby Products Bargains Freebies and Samples

A new baby brings such happiness and excitement to a family. Unfortunately, the bundle of joy often comes with new financial responsibilities! Hospitals, pediatricians, baby furniture, diapers, college funds…the list seems endless, and the cost can be enough to frighten any new parent. But take heart; there are many tips and tricks out there to lessen the rising cost of providing for your little one.

For most women, the news that one is pregnant comes from a box, a stick and two pink lines. Even at this early stage, there are ways to save money.

Since there is still a slight chance that the test could be wrong, following it up with a blood test is always the next step. To save on that expensive visit to the doctor, for such a simple answer, grab your phone book. Check and see if your area has a local Planned Parenthood center; these agencies are for so much more than adoption and abortion counseling! They offer free blood tests by a licensed nurse, usually on the one or two days a week he or she is at the facility. In addition to the testing, if you qualify, the counselors will also set you up with the local chapter of W.I.C.(Womens, Infants, Children), so that you can start receiving benefits immediately.

This is also an excellent place to find information on Medicaid and other State-funded organizations, open to those on limited incomes. Many offer free pregnancy, birth and parenting classes, and a coupon for a free bottle of Pre-natal vitamins from a participating pharmacy.  Often, they have “baby kits” to hand out to each client, consisting of free magazines, coupons, and samples.

If you cannot find a Planned Parenthood center listed in your phone book, call your local church or religious center; they often have a list of similar services. Even if they cannot help with testing facilities, most church leaders can give you information on any programs set up to help new mothers in the area.

Once you are sure of the impending birth, it is an excellent time to start acquiring the basics for any infant. Since some things need to be bought new to insure that they meet all safety requirements, saving in other areas can help ease the expense of big ticket items.

Baby furniture – rockers, changing tables, diaper pails, etc. – can often be found at half the retail price in local consignment shops, thrift stores, flea markets or weekend garage sales. While consignment shops are almost always a fixed price, put on your bargaining hat when visiting the other three and don’t be afraid to haggle for a better price. Most private sellers running garage sales do not want to deal with the hassle of hauling off furniture and large pieces, and so will take less for a confirmed buy. Make sure to ask about hardware and instructions for any furniture not already assembled.

Grab your Sunday paper and search the Classified ads for these larger items, as well as the addresses for garage and estate sales coming up. This is an excellent way to stock up for the nursery as well as get in some needed low-impact exercise throughout your pregnancy! Remember, if you plan to search the Sunday paper regularly, it will be cheaper to buy a subscription than to pick one up at the newsstand each weekend.

Ask around in the family as well; items like this are generally limited-use only, so odds are that a sister, cousin, or friend of a friend might just have that changing table needed to finish off your nursery stashed in their attic!

For just about everything else, from formula to clothes to baby shower invitations, the internet is your best option.

Resources on the internet can be broken down into two categories: private sellers and manufacturers, both being equally useful.

Now that the Internet is a mainstream commodity, few businesses and corporations choose not to put up a website, offering their items, information on their products, or both. This is great, for you the savvy consumer, as most of these websites offer a bargain in one form or another. Think about baby products and what companies come to mind? Johnson & Johnson, Gerber, Huggies, Graco, Enfamil, Gymboree…the list goes on and on. Using your preferred search engine, simply type in the company name and look for the official site. Quite often, it is the first result listed.

Once you are browsing, look for mailing list and newsletter sign-ups. Most companies will give you a discount code right off the bat, while many send you periodic coupons, through email and your mail box. A lot of baby-based companies have a “Birthday Club” or something similar, that will mail you a free item coupon or large discount on your child’s birthday, when you sign up. Chain or department stores, as well as some boutiques, will offer a bargain in the form of cheaper items online only, free shipping, or special sales available only to online customers. The end of a season is always a good time to check for these. So make a list of the brands and stores you frequently shop, and check our their website for discounts, coupons and samples. You’ll be surprised at how much you find!

Another great tip for E-commerce companies is to check which have a used/resale section and shop there. Amazon, in particular, has an excellent Marketplace where even many new and factory-sealed items sell at less than retail price. Keep in mind that children, babies especially, are more interested in the product and less interested in whether or not it comes in the original box. Don’t be afraid to shop used and get great deals.

The subject of used items brings us to the other category of Internet Bargain Hunting. Private sellers are a large contingent of internet business these days, and no wonder, since it is such an easy way to make extra cash. Babies and children use items for relatively short amounts of time before outgrowing them, be it clothes, toys or basics like boosters, potty chairs or bedtime stories. Take advantage of this frustrating fact by picking up items in excellent condition at shockingly low prices.

Good places to start your search for “gently loved” items are online auctions. Most people like to tackle Ebay first, as it is the most well-known. Browse through and get a feel for it, jot down some prices to compare to in-store items. You will find that many sellers offer clothing, toys and accessories with the tags still on them, or gifts that have not been used; not surprising, who among us has not discovered a great outfit in the back of the closet still tagged, in a size we swear we just outgrew?

The startling secret to Ebay is . . .these aren’t the best prices to be found! Ebay should always be your last stop, when searching for online bargains; sellers give over so much of their profit, that the price is much higher than what you will find through private ads and selling. Ebay is excellent for rare items and price comparison, but lets go over some lesser known spots with better deals.

Lesser-known auction sites such as Bidville.com, Wagglepop.com, Mydrew.com, often have dirt-cheap prices, since less traffic is visiting. Many websites are set up solely for trading baby and children related items; you “buy” items posted with points accrued by listing your own unneeded items and having others request them. Kizoodle.com, Swapbabygoods.com, Poshpoints.com and Babybargainsusa.com are just a few of many. Making use of these sites has a two-fold benefit: not only are you acquiring fantastic things for the new baby at a bargain, but you are also cleaning out and making space to put them!

Craigslist.com is a site which has pages for your local area, where you can find sale ads and even listings for free items. Check here often for great opportunities to score local items. Freecycle groups have caught on in many areas, as well. These consist of websites and mailing lists where people post strictly about items they are giving away in the immediate area. You can find these by searching the name Freecycle and your town or city in your preferred search engine. Plenty of them are listed on Yahoogroups, so search through Yahoo, as well.

Yahoo is not just a great place to find free items, it houses a wealth of private-seller used item lists. Working in much the same fashion, are online forums. Both of these are created, staffed and filled with parents just like you, selling items on their own, often at much cheaper prices than online auctions. Getting started with these two venues is easy, all you need is an email address and a search engine. Yahoo.com has an entire section devoted to Groups, mailing lists of like minded people. You do not even need a Yahoo email address to take part.

By inputting simple search terms: “baby children for sale”, a large list of groups that allow users to buy and sell child-related items will come up. Often, you can even find local groups, with the users living in your area. When you sign up, it is wise to choose the “Daily Digest” option; with hundreds of members posting daily, it is much easier to read through one or two emails to find listed items you are interested in. You can jump in right away by posting a list of items you are looking for; this is known as an “ISO” post(In Search Of) and can be as general ( ISO Infant items and clothes) or specific (ISO Graco Convertible Stroller, blue) as you like. Any rules will be posted in the group, and members are generally good about answering questions and helping new users out.

Forums work much like mail groups, with the exception being all messages are posted to a website, instead of being sent daily to your inbox. Posting is done the same way, with each post constructed like an email. Forums will have their rules and such listed, and usually a place to ask beginner questions as well. Finding a forum is as simple as searching; using your favorite search engine, type in “forum for sale trade”, and check out the results. Remember to use quotation marks to bring back more specific results. A few good boards to start with are

www.mycoupons.com/boards/, http://www.phoenixfreebies.com/phpBB/index.php, and one of the largest, www.forums.bigbigsavings.com.

The subject of forums brings us to the last way to find freebies, bargain and samples online, freebie sites. By simply inputting your information, you can receive free samples of products and/or coupons daily. The best part is you don’t even have to search these out, there are sites and email groups dedicated to this.

By searching the terms “freebie forum” or “coupon forum”, you can find several sites where members list links for free items, samples and coupon every single day. You merely scroll through the new posts and click the ones you are interested in. Yahoo groups also has several lists specifically for freebie links or coupon swapping. Even if you don’t like to use coupons when you shop, you can collect some and trade them to the other members for things you are looking for.

Don’t neglect the companies when it comes to coupons. One of the most sought after coupons out today are formula checks. These coupons can be obtained by signing up at the three major producers of infant formula :

Enfamil

-https://www.enfamil.com/app/iwp/ConsumerRegisterLoadConsentInfo.do?referralID=302

Similac

https://welcomeaddition.com/joinnow.aspx ,

Good Start/Nestle

http://www.verybestbaby.com/GoodStart/Default.aspx?source=10064999 .

Don’t plan on using formula, or maybe you only want to buy Enfamil? No problem, these coupons are great for swapping off to moms who do need them for items their baby is no longer using. Now is also a great opportunity to get into the habit of selling off items your family no longer needs, to save space and money for new ones!

With these few leads, you should be able to find enough bargains and save enough money to make raising a child easier, at least financially!