In this week’s baby bargainista column, Rebecca Atkinson credits her husband Mark as her inspiration for this week’s post about baby equipment rentals.
It’s not often that my husband and I will cross paths in terms of the work we do since he’s an automotive journalist and I’m a web-type marketer. However, he definitely gets credit for this post idea. Mr. Atkinson is currently working on a story for those not ready to buy a minivan, but who might have to give up the two-seater sports car dream. For this article he tested three different vehicles to better understand their capacity for baby equipment.
Not yet having our own baby gear, Mark tried to get in touch with one of the big baby equipment manufacturers so he could get some items on loan for the test drive and photo shoot. After a disappointing cross-border communications adventure, Mr. A had the bright idea of seeing if there was such a thing as baby equipment rentals.
A short Google search later he was delighted to find several companies in the GTA who did such things. After contacting Wee Travel, (the very first-Canadian baby equipment rental company) he was in business and the story lived to see another day.
In his talks with one of the founders, Lesley Cherry (who might become my new best friend if I ever meet her), he learned that not only do travelling parents rent baby gear, but that it’s also becoming a trend to try before you buy. That’s right – not sure if your car seat/stroller combo will fit in your vehicle with some groceries and no blind spots? Just rent the brand you’re looking to buy and see how it stacks up.
Not sure what monitor will meet your needs? Or what about if that bouncy chair really is a good investment and will put baby to sleep without you thinking she’ll fall out of it? Again, just rent it for a nominal fee and you’ll have your answer, allowing you to make a more informed purchase decision.
As I previously mentioned, we plan on going to the Baby Time Show this coming weekend where we should be able to try out a lot of things (like the –three-in-one stroller/car seat combos – taking recommendations please!) because we honestly have no clue about what we want to buy. However, even though the show might help us get closer to some decisions, we now feel confident that if we’re really not sure, we can always come home and call Wee Travel and rent the items we’re thinking about.
After all, when you think that you’re going to be spending hundreds of dollars on some of this equipment, you want to make sure it’s something you’re going to like and feel right about using. Sure it may not be as expensive as a new car, but that little baby you put in the equipment is going to be worth more than anything to you, so being able to be confident that your purchase decisions will keep your bundle of joy safe make the small rental fees worth it in the long run.
1. Try before you buy
We’ve actually gone to look at a few (more expensive) strollers that have had large sale prices – but not been happy with one thing or another about the product – just because an expensive item is on sale, doesn’t mean it’s a good one
2. Extended trials – Renting equipment
Thinking about your lifestyle or vehicle needs/habits is important so being able to bring something home and try it for a few days without worrying about return policies is worth it in the long run.
3. What was good for the goose might not be good for the gander
What might have worked for your friends may not work for you – perhaps they have a 7-seater and you only have a Civic. With the size of some of these products today you need to know whether or not you can not only fit the products in your car, but whether or not they require a 34-page instruction manual to fold up; or whether one person can handle lifting it on the TTC or up an escalator.
Photo credit: Salsoul
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