"Deals" via Budget in Google Reader

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Baby Stuff - Where should I register?

Ah, its that time again. The time most women cannot wait for and most men dread. For the second (if you are married), and probably last time in your life, you will be headed to the store to register for everything (and more) that you need for baby.

But where should you register? How many places should you register? The answers, as always, come with more questions.

When should we register?:
When I found out I was pregnant, I could not WAIT to go pick out all sorts of fun baby things. Of course I wanted to at least wait until I was 12 weeks along so no one found out too soon, but when should you register? There are a few things to consider.
  1. Getting a list of "wants" ahead of time will help you know what you already decided on if you happen to see something similar at a garage sale for a great deal.
  2. It is also good to have a handle on what things cost new, so you know a good deal when you see one.
  3. Most baby brands are like cars and they come out with a new, improved "line" every year. You may fall in love with something only to find that it has been discontinued before anyone buys it. (like my highchair)
So, really any time after 12 weeks at at least 2 weeks before your shower. You may want to wait until you know the gender if you are finding out as well.

Your target audience:
Are your gifters all from the same region? If not, is the store you want to register at available to all of them?
How tech savvy are your gifters? Can they order things from online websites?

Your options:
Because I am from the midwest, I cannot speak for all areas, but here is what I found available when I started looking:
  • Babies R Us - This is probably by far the most popular place to register where we live. If I need to get a baby gift, but I am not sure where the family is registered, I check here first. As far as prices go, I have found some items to be much higher in price than other stores, but some items to be the same or lower. Babies R Us also offers ton of coupons at the register and in the mail. Many people at our showers would include their register coupons with the gift at our showers!
    • You also will get a 10% off coupon to use once on anything left on your registry.
    • Their return policy is quite good. Not a good ad Bed Bath and Beyond, but they are relitively hassel free.
    • Freebie Alert: Babies R Us also typically gives you a gift bag with a couple of samples when you create a registry.
  • Target - I was not super impressed with targets registry. We did register there, but only added a few things that we could not get at babies R us. I also found targets prices to be higher for most things than elsewhere.
    • When you register at target you also get put on their baby coupon list and they send out high value baby coupon booklets.
    • You also will get a 10% off coupon to use once on anything left on your registry. 
    • Freebie Alert: I was told that they had gifts when I registered, but they were all out the day I was there :(
  • JcPenny -I did not register here and do not know anyone that has, so I cannot comment too much, but I know that they do have some great sales where you can get really cheap baby clothes.
  • Sears - It is important to me to keep this blog as unbias as possible, but this in an area that I cannot do that as I am NOT a big sears fan. I have had too many bad experiences between my Wedding Registry, Dryer and Portraits (see future post for this one) at sears. I don't think their baby selection is that hot either. 
  • Walmart - Walmart does have a decent selection and decent prices. I do know quite a few people that have ethical issues with the store however, so if you want your gifters to stick to your registry, you many want to register in another place in addition to here. Of course, at walmart the prices are in most cases low, but I have seen a few things that you can get cheaper elsewhere.
  • Burlington Coat Factory - Like target, I also registered here, however I didn't end up actually putting anything on the registry. They didn't have anything that Babies R Us didn't and their prices were about the same. If you want to put clothing on your registry though, they do have some cute things, but I think the inventory turns over quite quickly with clothes, so you may only want to go a few weeks before your shower.
  • MyRegistry.com - I did register here and I did use it. It was a great catch all because most of the things I wanted were at Babies R Us and it seemed like there was one thing in every other store. The down side? Only two people actually used it. My gifters were mostly older (our parents friends and family) who either didn't know how or were too scared to use their credit card online. 
  • Amazon - Amazon has recently allowed users to add items that are not available through amazon to your registry with them. I am so bummed that this option was not available when we were registering!
  • Baby Registry Locator - In case you still want more options.
How many places should I choose: 
In my option 1 or 2 places is a good number. Try to pick places so that everyone on your gifter list has access to at least 1 store.
Tricky Tricks
  • Display your registry password in the info and tell gifters to feel free to remove items if they find it cheaper elsewhere or used (if you are ok with that). You also run the risk of someone being mean and deleting the whole thing, so you might want to make a hard copy. - Thanks Becky C.
  • If your store has a good return policy, register for items in the $30 range or duplicates, even if you don't want them. You can return them to get other things that were not purchased on your registry or other things you didn't know you needed until after baby was gone. This one may be a tricky one though as it could really hurt the feelings of someone who purchased the item for you and doesn't see it being used when they come visit the baby, so proceed with caution. This is another reason why duplicates may be a better option.
  • Return and re-purchase items when the are on sale or when you have a coupon.
What did we do?
We choose Babies R Us and MyRegistry.com. If we could do it again, I would probably do Babies R Us again because we did do well with our coupons there. At first I was angry we could not get cash, only store credit, but in the end, we had no problems spending the store credit. I think I would try for the Amazon registry in place of myregistry.com if we had to do it again today. I think it has a better reputation for those sceptical of buying online and it was nice to have a catchall.

Experienced moms, where did you register/are you registered? Would you do it again?

Next Week: Buy Vs. Register

No comments:

Post a Comment