Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Experience at Buy Buy Baby

Posted by Unknown at 10:10 PM
So today I decided to check out Buy Buy Baby (yes they spell it obnoxiously like that).  I had to drive for about 30 minutes to get there, but I was curious to see what it was all about.  It was next to a Bed Bath and Beyond (their parent company), there was a large parking lot so I was able to park easily.

Okay so first impressions.  I walk in, the signs and displays look almost identical to BB&B.  The really tall ceilings, the shelving filled up all the way to the tall ceilings, the strategically placed "impulse buys" placed on section endings etc.  Same layout, where one has to walk around the whole store to get back to the front.  Everything is organized into sections like Toys, Bath, Feeding, Clothing, etc.

Inglesina 2010 Swift Stroller, InkMy main reason I went there was to try out umbrella strollers, as I had recently tried some at a Babies R' Us but wanted to try some additional options.  They carried Bugaboo, Baby Jogger, Bumbleride, UppaBaby, Maclaren, Graco, Combi, Inglesina, Peg Perego and some others I am probably forgetting.  They did not have the full lines of each brand.  For example, they had the Bumbleride Indie but not the Flyer or Flite.  They had the UppaBaby Vista but not the G-Lite or G-Luxe.  I was disappointed because I really wanted to try out the G-Luxe and they did not have a display model.  The employees pretended to know what they were doing, but some didn't really know how to fold the strollers and I actually knew more about the specs then they did!  The only upside to this was that I got to try the Inglesina Swift, which I had never tried before.  I decided its a pretty solid umbrella, but it is $119... I still really want the UppaBaby G-Luxe as my travel umbrella (to be decided soon).

BBB had a very large selection of car seats, bouncers, walkers, jumpers toys etc.  Their furniture section was comparable to Babies R' Us and their clothing section was smaller than Babies R' Us.  Their formula selection was really lacking, as they did not carry a good selection of specialty formula. In the same section was diapers, and it seemed like Pampers must have made some kind of deal to have their diapers receive the most shelf space in the store.

Prices:  I spend a lot of time online shopping and I noticed a lot of the prices at BBB were inflated from what you can get online with NO TAX and free shipping.  The strollers and car seats were priced at standard retail, but other things were inflated a few dollars. BB&B has a similar model where nothing ever goes on sale, but they get people to come to the store by sending them these alluring 20% off coupons.  About the coupons, BBB has their own coupon system which they do send out if you can manage to get on their mailing list.  They will accept BB&B coupons, but ONLY if they are not expired.  And another thing on BBB coupons: there are EXCEPTIONS on basically anything you would want to buy: diapers, wipes, or formula... Additionally, most of the "name brand" Strollers, carseats, and highchair brands are excluded and listed at the bottom of the coupon in small print. 

Also annoying, the chatty lady who tried to strike a common chord over the fact that I was using my snap-and-go stroller frame by discussing how she couldn't believe the price of some of these strollers.  I had to politely nod and didn't want to tell her that I had a Bumbleride Indie folded up in my car and that I was planning on spending over $100 on an umbrella stroller.  She was explaining how she traveled all around Europe with one of those $20 umbrella strollers.  These big box stores are put in places far from city centers where land is cheaper, and people are friendlier *sigh*. 

So basically, if you live close by and have a coupon and are planning on buying something like a toy or swing, it may be worth it to go.  However, if you can wait a few days I would recommend just ordering online, where you will probably will get a better price and not have to deal with the hassle of crowds, lines and obnoxious names that wreak of the consumerism culture such as Buy Buy Baby.


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