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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: Selling Baby Items

First of all, congratulations on making it through the baby years. Let me offer a second congratulations and a virtual high five if you’ve decided that your procreative duties are now completely behind you.
As soon as that window closed for me, I looked at all those expensive baby items and said, “Can I make back some money from all this?” I don’t know if this line of questioning is selfish or sensible. Either way, it turns out there are tons of baby resale groups online. Basically, all you have to do is join up, list your used stuff, and laugh maniacally as millions of dollars start coming your way. Okay, it’s not exactly like that. Actually, I’ve learned that it’s a pretty complicated process involving. . .

Sorting

You first have to decide:

  • What is too worn out, ripped, or stained to pass along. . . . As in, Yes, there is a poop stain on this onesie, but, come on, it’s just going to just get more poop stains where it’s headed.
  • What you want to keep for posterity. This can be a very emotional process. . . you might have thoughts like: My child is never going to be a baby again, I am powerless to this evil march of time. Or: Will my child want to pass these little wolf mittens onto his own offspring or will he just throw them away, and will I still be alive to witness any of this?
  • Whether or not you want to bundle items together or sell them separately. Each method is arduous and takes approximately 400 percent more time than you thought it would.

Photography

Like any photography project, you have to factor in things like lighting and setting. For example, if you take a picture of a soft, cuddly baby blanket flattened out on your dusty basement floor with a large spider walking across it, it’s kind of an interesting action shot with a nice amount of juxtaposition, but you might not get the results you were hoping for.

Pricing

This is a business. You have to think like a CEO. What price is low enough to entice the buyers but high enough to justify all your labor? This is a good time to remember that old adage that time is money. You should be well compensated for every second you’re even thinking about your business. (Based on how much profit you’re about to make, you should also be getting some serious tax breaks, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.)

Posting

Throw those photos up there for all the world to see, but not too many at once, or you’re a nuisance. And not in the middle of the night because no one will see them and then by the time you wake up, you’ll have to scroll down the page for a few hours to see your fantastic items featured in fantastic photos buried beneath everyone else’s. Then you’ll have to type “bump!” into the comments section to mysteriously increase your post’s relevance. I think this has something to do with fist bumps but I’m not sure.

Waiting

Once you’ve posted, you won’t be able to resist the urge to refresh the page every six minutes or less.  And if nothing is happening, you might experience feelings of hurt (but that aardvark-print stroller cover was so perfect for my precious baby) or feelings of anger (come on, this is my future retirement, people!) Or, you may start second-guessing your photos or pricing and realize after you start changing and tinkering and re-posting your photos that there are all kinds of rules and regulations specified not-very-prominently on the page. Turns out that even first infractions can get you kicked off the page for the rest of eternity.

Dreaming

While you’re waiting, you can dream about all the new items you’re going to purchase with the proceeds. A second home in Aruba? A private jet to fly there? That 10k bracelet that Ivanka was wearing? The truth is that you’ll probably just get some new shoes for your kid and those Minions-themed underpants he’s been wanting. It’s called re-investing.

Baby Item Logistics

All of the above is complicated, but closing the deal is when things get really dicey. The process is not unlike online dating. People show up hours late or not at all, then they’ll publicly shame you for selling it to the next taker. It will all get so blurry that you’ll also start forgetting meet-up times and mixing up prices, not to mention losing the items you listed somewhere in your dark messy basement. All you’ll really get is an angry mob of people you’ve never met criticizing you, your child, and their adorable gingham crib sheets. Speaking of which, those are still available, anyone interested? Bump!

Jocelyn Jane Cox is a freelance writer and author. Her humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Amazon.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.
The Chronicles of Parenting is sponsored by Blue Rock School.

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