To shop second hand or not to shop second hand, that is the question

Cristien Natal
/Journey Through MotherhoodTips and Advice
Cover Image for To shop second hand or not to shop second hand, that is the question

When I first found out I was pregnant, our household income just took a massive paycut with me leaving my full time job (shortly just after switching career to software development) and my husband only just switched career to workplace tech from retail tech. I could say 2019 was by far the most unexpected year in my life.

We found out we were pregnant in summer 2019, I started freelancing again, my husband was doing a lot of commute to work and we also decided a 1 bed flat in a city centre wasn’t where we wanted to grow our family. So we were also looking around to buy a new house and sell our flat that had been our sanctuary for years.

We realised quite quickly how expensive having a child can be before the child was even here. You have to buy a car seat, a pram, a safe place for them to sleep, sensory toys, a bath support and the list goes on.

We were lucky to have had lots of things passed down to us second hand by my sister, her neighbour (whom I used to bump into on my bus journey to uni) and our friends. It was very generous of them to have given us a lot of things that we could use – baby grows, sleepsuits, a pram, toys, books, bath support, you name it.

We also bought a few brand new stuff! We bought a few new newborn clothes and muslin squares during Mothercare closing down sale. We saved up to buy car seats – we bought a Maxi Cosi baby car seat set that came with the isofix base and the one Benji could grow into when he turned 2 which fit with same isofix base from Mamas and Papas during their seasonal sale. We also saved up and bought a Tutti Bambini bedside crib during a sale. We saved quite a bit just by buying items at the right time and waiting till there was a sale. So keep an eye out on those seasonal sales!

We also bought second hand play mat from Facebook marketplace and it was in such a meticulously clean condition!

When Benji arrived we realized that he outgrew his clothes and toys so fast. We kept buying things off Amazon and other online retailers, given that it was lockdown time. Then I came across The Octopus Club in March 2020 (whilst scrolling on Instagram!). It’s a preloved marketplace – they had a cute octopus logo, I loved what they sold and they were reasonably priced.

So I purchased my very first Ergobaby carrier from there. And I continued on my second hand buying journey – it really brings me joy when I shop second hand, especially when the items are well kept and packaged by the sellers.

Buying second hand items for baby things is no brainer – I think it’s sustainable and kind to the environment because we can reuse the clothes and toys that have so much lives left in it. You also save money. I can highly recommend these places if you want to shop second hand for baby, maternity and parenting items:

  1. The Octopus Club
  2. Facebook Marketplace
  3. Vinted

But I don’t always buy second hand though – I try to do what’s best for our family. We don’t always have to shop second hand because everyone else does. We have the choices to buy some things second hand and others brand new. It’s all about what we are comfortable in doing.

We can mix and match – maybe we are not comfortable buying our little ones second hand underwear and socks, and that is totally fine. Or we have read about safe sleeping guidelines and have been recommended to try and use a new mattress – we decide we could get the Moses basket or crib second hand but buy a brand new mattress. Or perhaps, we just want a brand new Moses basket/crib/cot because it’s what we want to get for our little ones.

Buying second hand always comes with its own surprises. Sometimes the quality was not exactly how the sellers have described and maybe, you forgot to ask about whether it comes from a smoke and/or pet free home.

My advice is to that you can and possibly should ask a lot of questions to the seller about the items you are buying and also, be sure about what’s important for you. If you want to buy a second hand baby bouncer that is from a smoke and pet free home, you should ask the question. I do believe a good seller will always be honest with you. I am always appreciative of the good sellers I have come across in the past 3 years.

I recently bought a second hand baby bouncer from Facebook marketplace. I asked if it was from a smoke and pet free home. She explained it’s from a smoke free but not pet free home and explained what type of pet she has and how she kept the bouncer clean. I appreciated the honesty and bought the bouncer anyway because my priority when it comes to buying second hand is to have smoke free items for baby.

If you do shop second hand from my recommended list, please let me know! Hope you have as good experience as I have had in the past.

If you know and have used other second hand marketplace in the past, let me know too.

Thank you for reading this far.

Hope you enjoy reading the blog and find learnings and useful things in my blog posts.

Lots of love,


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