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Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on baby furniture, gear, clothes, toys, maternity wear and much, much more! [Paperback]

Denise Fields , Alan Fields
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 21 2011 Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Baby Furniture, Equipment, Clothes, Toys,

Wow! A baby book that actually answers the big question about having a baby: How am I going to afford all this?

With the average cost of a baby topping $7,000 for just the first year alone, you need creative solutions and innovative ideas to navigate the consumer maze that confronts all parents-to-be. Baby Bargains is the answer! 

Inside, you’ll discover:

    • The best WEB SITES that offer the biggest discounts!

    • NAME BRAND REVIEWS of car seats, bedding, strollers, high chairs, diapers and more!

    • FIVE wastes of money with baby clothes and the best outlet bargains.

    • NINE tips to saving money on cribs, plus in-depth reviews of crib brands.

    • THE TRUTH ABOUT STROLLERS—and which brands work best in the real world.

    • The SEVEN MOST RIDICULOUS BABY PRODUCTS.

    • DOZENS of safety tips to affordably baby proof your home.

    • DETAILED CHARTS that compare brands of cribs, strollers,  car seats and more!
 

This new 9th edition adds the latest tips and advice on getting bargains on baby gear, including: 

1. How to use social media, "groupons," and deal-of-the-day sites for baby bargains.

2. The latest brand reviews on the hottest strollers.

3. Crib safety: what to buy now and what to avoid, given the new safety rules.

4. Organic baby gear: worth it? Or just hype?

5. And as always, the most up-to-date reviews of car seats, baby monitors, nursery furniture and more!

 And there's much more in the new 9th edition of BABY BARGAINS! Download a free sample chapter at http://www.babybargains.com


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Review

"The bible for new parents," New York Times.

From the Back Cover

Wow! A baby book that actually answers the big question about having a baby: How am I going to afford all this?

With the average cost of a baby topping $7000 for just the first year alone, you need creative solutions and innovative ideas to navigate the consumer maze that confronts all parents-to-be. Baby Bargains is the answer!

Inside, you'll discover:

  • The best WEB SITES that offer the biggest discounts!
  • NAME BRAND REVIEWS of car seats, bedding, strollers,high chairs, diapers and more!
  • FIVE wastes of money with baby clothes and the best outlet bargains.
  • NINE tips to saving money on cribs, plus in-depth reviews of crib brands.
  • THE TRUTH ABOUT STROLLERS—and which brands work best in the real world.
  • The SEVEN MOST RIDICULOUS BABY PRODUCTS.
  • Dozens of safety tips to affordably baby proof your home.
  • DETAILED CHARTS that compare brands of cribs, strollers, car seats and more!

About the authors

Authors Denise and Alan Fields are consumer advocates who've been featured on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Dateline NBC. Their books include the best-selling paperbacks Bridal Bargains, Baby 411 and Toddler 411. Learn more about their books at BabyBargains.com. The Fields live in Boulder, CO with their sons, Ben and Jackson.


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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great resource to face the expense of a new baby Oct. 22 2013
By Sarah
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I took this book everytime I went shopping for baby products during my pregnancy and well into the first year of my son's birth. The reviews for the various categories of baby products were very useful, and helped us to make practical decisions in what was necessary and what wasn't. I have lent it to numerous mommy friends, as a highly recommended read.

I only wished that there were more Canadian resources. I also bought the most recent version, during my most recent pregnancy (twins). I was a bit disappointed that there was not much information in the book for twin/multiple births.

Regardless, this book was still a wonderful resource; and each new edition does provide updated reviews on all product categories.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  251 reviews
152 of 163 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over time, less impressed. May 23 2011
By Nick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Initially, this book was the end-all-be-all for us. After we found out we were pregnant with our first, several of our friends told us we MUST get this book. So we did, and the information contained within seemed all-encompassing, and like the only reference we'd ever need. As the months of my pregnancy continued on and our research on different items expanded and deepened, we started realizing that several of the Baby Bargains reviews didn't match up with reviews we were reading elsewhere, including on Amazon. The Baby Bargains authors have a tendency to review items with an authoritative tone that is not always warranted or based on in-depth research. To be sure, there is A LOT of research put into the book, but it also covers A LOT of items, so in some instances, certain items don't get the same scrutiny as others, but the reader can't really discern in which instances this is happening. It becomes more apparent as you start researching the items you've narrowed it down to using resources other than Baby Bargains. I was looking at baby monitors on Amazon the other day, and based on user review (actual parents), there were a couple monitors that jumped out at me as the best (no 1 or 2 star ratings -- all 4 and 5 stars, out of over 50 ratings). I looked up the brand in our Baby Bargains book, and found that it was rated "F"! And the reason the BB authors gave it an F is actually refuted by someone in the medical field in one of the 5 star Amazon reviews. That didn't sit real well with me, especially for something as important as a Baby Monitor. I've had other experiences like that with items recommended by Baby Bargains, where they say "get this not that", and I do some more googling, and find that parents are actually not too happy with the Baby Bargains-recommended items.

Is this book worth getting? Yes. It's a great, one-stop-shopping roadmap of sorts for all the STUFF you need / don't need, particularly useful for first-time parents. That said - it should not be considered the ONLY resource / authority on baby buying. Like all the manufacturers of all the baby stuff out there, Baby Bargains is also a business -- they're in it to make money as much as the next guy. There's nothing wrong with that, but I do think it's important to keep in the back of your head. While they don't get paid to recommend one brand over another, they DO get paid (by those of us who buy their books) for coming across as the "experts" on all things baby-related. And they simply aren't. I recommend starting with the book, narrowing it down to options you're considering, and then doing additional research on the items that really matter - crib, car seat, baby monitor, etc. Beyond that, I pay particular attention to recent reviews NOT in Baby Bargains written by folks in the medical / pediatric fields. While Baby Bargains will often say something like, "According to the American Academy of Pediatrics...", they rarely say "According to pediatrician Joe Smith..." In other words, you start to get the feeling that maybe they just googled the American Academy of Pediatrics and passively noted their regulations, rather than actually talking to a real pediatrician about a particular item. Anyway, in sum, get the book, and take into consideration what they say, but don't consider it the Gospel on baby merchandise...
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy the Kindle version! April 1 2012
By B. Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A friend of mine recommended this book because, as a first-time mom, I don't know what babies actually need versus what's just hype. And this book is absolutely GREAT for that!

However ... the Kindle version is missing large chunks that appear in the table of contents, and that I assume also appear in the print version. For example, in Chapter 2 (Nursery Necessities), the first 16 sections are there (about what baby stores are the best, registries, and some general guidelines on how to buy a crib); but after "Not Made in China," it skips straight to Chapter 3! There are TWENTY-EIGHT missing sections in Chapter 2, including the actual reviews of various crib manufacturers and all the sections about other nursery furniture like changing tables, gliders, bassinets and co-sleepers. So despite having paid for this book, I actually still have no idea what to look for in nursery furniture.

If everything listed in the table of contents were actually in the book, this would DEFINITELY be a five-star product; but so much of it is not there that I'm going to have to buy a different book to do the same thing, so it was a complete waste of money for me and therefore only gets one star.
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't go shopping for baby items without this guide! March 22 2011
By Justbooking - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The 9th edition (2011) of "Baby Bargains" is the must-buy guide to help you pick the best baby products available in the market today. Signifantly better than previous editions, it is full of product reviews, ratings, side-by-side comparisons and recommendations that will save you tons of time, money and frustration when shopping for baby items or drawing up your baby registry. Parent feedback, recall information, marketing gimmicks, and pros and cons are all explained and taken into account - simply said, no other source has this much up-to-date information at your fingertips.

New for this edition is an extensive section on the many new car seats, strollers and carriers available. The sections on individual car seats (rated by brand and model) is excellent. For strollers, however, it's worth noting that they are only rated by manufacturer. Most models usually have a one-paragraph descriptions that include price, weight and parent feedback, so if you're looking for detailed reviews on individual models (for example the City Mini vs. City Select strollers), you won't find that here - probably because there's simply way too many (Maclaren alone has nine models).

What really matters though is their analysis of overall quality for the brand, their customer service, recalls and pros/cons, all very useful if you're trying to pick between two different brands. For example, if overall quality and customer service for one brand is not be great, this will be reflected in the rating and the authors may point you to a better option for the same price.

That said, I do have some small gripes - although the book mentions many new items, it also includes some products that are no longer sold at retail, like the Chicco Twin Trevi stroller which was discontinued last year. Not bad if you're buying second-hand but not great if you want to buy new. There is also about a one-year lag in terms of the products mentioned in categories other than strollers, carriers and car seats - I couldn't find popular products that work well for travel or small spaces (a big missing category) such as the Phil & Teds Traveller Crib that's a lot smaller than the Baby Bjorn travel crib they recommend, the FlexiBath Infant Bath Tub that folds flat for small spaces and can be used to age 4 (unlike the tubs they mention that are for babies younger than 6 months or huge to store), and the Kidco Go-Pod portable activity seat that folds to 30" x 8" x 8". Hopefully they will be included in the new edition.

Likewise, the authors sometimes skim over product descriptions - an Ergo Performance carrier is simply described as having a special lighterweight fabric when in fact it has a completely different fit and design when compared to the original Ergo. This doesn't happen too often though.

In terms of what you'll find - chapters include nursery essentials (cribs, bassinets, dressers, mattresses, gliders, changing tables etc.), baby bedding, baby clothes, diapers, maternity & nursing clothes, feeding (nursing, bottles, formula, baby food, high chairs), gear for around the house (monitors, gates, diaper pails, swings, potty seats, bouncers, playards, etc), car seats, strollers (singles & doubles), bike trailers and seats, diaper bags, plus an extensive section on carriers. Throughout the book, you'll find money-saving tips, wastes of money, features to look for in a product and best places to buy.

Other chapters include a reality check on costs for the first year (average vs a Baby Bargains budget), new safety rules (cribs, etc), organic baby items, what you need when, an appendix with a sample baby registry and another appendix with multiples advice (twins and more) which unfortunately is just 2 pages long and woefully inadequate (a dowload they suggest on their site from a reader contains a high chair they gave a C+ raing to - did they even read it?).

Besides the book, the authors also run the baby bargains dot com website (easy to find, google "baby bargains") where you will find a very detailed table of contents and tons of bonus material not found in the book. This includes crib maker reviews, in-depth advice on bottles and supplies, humidifiers, toys, baby proofing tips, baby announcements, mail order sources, archive of old reviews, extra stroller reviews, and advice on introducing baby to your pets. Also, it has a handy chart that lists stroller models with one-hand folds and/or height-adjustable handles and travel tips for flying with your child.

With the average cost of raising a baby at about $7,000 for the first year alone, this book will save you around $3,000 if you follow all the tips and suggestions in the book. If it doesn't save you at least $250, the publisher will give you a full refund on the cost of the book, no questions asked - details of their guarantee are in back. Even with a few faults here and there it's still an excellent book - I'm glad to say I've never had to take them up on this offer.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little editing please? Feb. 22 2012
By JWB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I received this book at my baby shower and quickly read it pretty much cover to cover. It is helpful if you have NO idea what to buy, as it gives pretty comprehensive overviews of the popular brands. However, two cons stuck out to me that made me trust the authors a little less:

1) Can the publisher please hire a decent proofreader? There were countless spelling and grammatical errors, from simple things like its/it's, your/you're, and then more ridiculous ones like "this baby monitor gives parents piece of mind", and "the buckles fasten around your waste". Seriously? Errors like that just erode my confidence in the authors' expertise.

2) More importantly, the authors didn't seem to have deep enough knowledge of certain areas considering the "expert" opinion they were giving on it. For example, they seemed to write off cloth diapering as an inconvenient and expensive option because using a cloth diapering SERVICE cost more than disposable diapering. And they seemed to lump all cloth diapers into one category when they said that even after buying the cloth diapers, you also have to buy expensive diaper COVERS, an additional expense. Clearly the authors have never cloth diapered their child! Many of today's cloth diapers are all-in-one, so you don't have to buy extra covers, and if you launder them yourself you can save thousands of dollars. These diapers were skimmed over briefly, leading the reader to believe cloth diapering isn't worth considering.

Having done my own research online by reading extensive product reviews, I didn't find that the book was all that useful. Perhaps if I had received it earlier, before having bought most of the big-ticket items, it would have been a good place to start my research.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You WILL SAVE THOUSANDS!!! June 24 2011
By Erik M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I normally don't write reviews, but this book compelled me to. Baby Bargains has saved me THOUSANDS of dollars! Their advice on manufacturers, products, and buy this..not that are spot on. Example: Buying the crib was the most excruciating part, but the book guides you through the different manufacturers and brands within a brand and details where the material comes from (mostly China!) and how well built the furniture is and any defects.

What is the best is that nearly EVERY brand of baby product is covered. From strollers, to car seats to gliders to diapers, they give you advice on everything you need and don't need to buy.

Additionally, you get tips on where to buy items second-hand and what should and shouldn't be bought that way. We did a majority of purchasing from Craigslist, garage sales in nice areas, and consignment events. Hardly anything was bought retail. And whatever was, I used coupons on Amazon and Diapers.com to save over 20% every time. Don't forget Registry completion discounts.

I could go on and on, but if you read the book and use its methods, you will save money...a lot of it! Easiest way to do that without buying the book; stay out of Babies-R-A Rip Off!!!
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