A stroller is a huge investment for your family…it’s often referred to as “baby’s first car”. You want to get one that is perfect for you, so you’ll be able to get out and about with your little as soon as you and him are ready to re-enter the world…but you don’t want to spend your whole maternity leave-pay on it. We talked to an expert on strollers—Liz Hysen from Toronto’s Stroller Spa—and asked her for her top 5 tips when stroller shopping.
If you are looking for a pre-owned stroller you might save some cash buying in the winter when there are less people looking to buy. The market for used strollers is not as competitive as it used to be but that being said if you’re set on a model that has limited stock and does not come up that often, best to buy it when you see it, not necessarily at the height of summer when you realize you need it.
When I was pregnant with my first child, someone bought us a travel system and the stroller had tiny wheels. We don’t own a car and it was not right for our needs. If you are a family that walks everywhere, you might be better off with a bulkier stroller with air filled wheels for more traction. But if you only use a stroller for going to a mall or its going to sit in your trunk, your needs are different and you will need something smaller. Make sure you are buying for your needs and maybe for a year or two down the road. Most strollers though come with options for adding second seats or wheeled boards.
I know a lot of parents run out and buy every attachment for their stroller all at once. Wait. Does your neighbour or friend have a wheeled board you can try? Children are different, some will want to glide and some prefer to sit. It’s an expensive mistake if your child won’t use it so see if you can borrow something first or buy it second hand.
Sales on high-end strollers are rare but look for warehouse sales and some deals around Christmas. If you do buy new, pay attention to the warranty period as some stroller manufacturers offer an extra year within a 60 day period. Keep your receipt! If you buy something online, make sure returns and warranty claims are permitted.
If you buy a stroller because its discontinued, there is a good chance you won’t be able to get a replacement part three years down the road. So you might save money at the moment but if you want something to last a few children, make sure you can replace the wheels and brakes. Some stroller manufacturers deliberately make their parts inaccessible or irreplaceable so consider these factors when you’re shopping around.