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Secrets to Finding Online Baby Bargains
Beyond Amazon and Ebay:

This is not about paying less for run-of-the-mill baby merchandise; I am here to share what I have learned as a savvy consumer and a merchant of baby boutique items in the e-commerce world. Though common sense for many, If I can help just one customer find alternative ways of shopping online and actually save money, then I have accomplished my mission.

Firstly, is the most obvious, don’t rely solely on search engines and “best price” shopping websites (which coincidently are also high paid advertisers) for the best online prices. I mention search engines such not because I dislike them; in fact I think they are invaluable sources of information, the best thing after the internet. However, I just need to share with you what all merchants know (I hope). Do you know what happens to poorly ranked websites? (i.e those lacking keywords easily detected by search engine robots), and to those with no cash for search engine sponsorship (top listed “sponsored” options are paid advertisers). Well, unless the merchant has a niche product, or is already established and well known, this merchant is invisible and is sadly out of business. My point is this; when shopping online, go beyond those first listed shops. Remember, I am not referring to mega specialty or department stores, my subject here is boutique shopping. Shop online just as you do in brick and mortar stores. If you have the time and want to save money look around and don’t limit yourself to items conveniently located at eye level, explore your possibilities.

Here is a little knowledge. I discovered the world of Work At Home Moms’ (WAHM) ecommerce children’s boutiques while shopping on line for my little girl (I was tired of dressing Ariana like everyone else in nursery school), and while I researched the baby boutique market for my website, ProudTots.com. I stumbled upon a shopping world beyond what I was accustomed to. Visiting these unique baby boutiques was like walking in a “Baby Shopping Heaven”, and the best part was that I was able to BUY! Thus, I was no longer a boutique Window Shopper. The selections included a variety of incredibly adorable baby outfits, handcrafted accessories and one of kind items. Needless to say, who knows babies and what mommies want more than mommies themselves! Sadly however, many of these boutiques are gone before we find them. So, if you’re looking for a special gift for that new mom or a new baby, reach out for these affordable baby boutiques. I guarantee you will find the most affordable and unique baby gifts.

Secondly, is simply communicating with business owners. No, not all owners regard your mail as junk. Go on and click the “Contact Us” option, send an email to the store owner. Believe me, business start-ups as well as those on the verge of extinction are just DYING for your feedback and your orders! I recently purchased a baby stroller for my one year old, I bargain-shopped for literally two days (yes, I’m that bad). Finally, I found the stroller listed at Amazon for the lowest price. Instead of purchasing at Amazon (not that I dislike Amazon they have amazing deals), I opted for contacting a small merchant, and asking for a better deal. Sure enough he beat Amazon’s price! In turn, I became a “regular” customer and gave him great reviews. I’m not saying this happens all the time, but it’s worth the try! Remember when we (if we’re old enough) or when our parents bargained shop with the small mom and pop shops? Remember, as consumers you are “God” to retailers, particularly for ecommerce startups who rely on your invaluable written reviews to establish a good reputation. Trust me they will make you happy, and will reinvent their business if they need to.

Recently I began offering volume shopping discounts at Proudtots.com, something I didn’t consider until a customer asked me for a discount via my company’s email. I have now begun to offer special discounts for volume orders. It truly makes me feel great to offer volume discounts to all my customers, not just to retailers who qualify for wholesale pricing.

Thirdly while on the wholesale subject, don’t think that wholesale prices are just for retailers with retail licenses. I found great bargains for gifts at wholesale sites. I was pleasantly surprised to find merchants with very low minimum order quantity requirements to qualify for discounted wholesale or volume prices. Hence, don’t be shy and inquire about wholesale prices, after all few pairs of shoes for little Chloe in assorted sizes is not a bad deal if you’re paying 60% off retail! Just yesterday a retailer inquired about my wholesale terms and prices. She was very pleased to hear that I had no Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ) for wholesale pricing; so long as she spent $300 however she preferred.

Oh and why pay when you can barter? If you have a service or product to offer, why not offer to barter (exchange) with an online merchant? I recently bartered my silk baby bedding for photography services, and the cutest baby socks for baby shoes. Of course, I don’t need to tell you that large retailers will perhaps laugh at you, however try it with small retailers it’s worth the effort.

Again, surf, dig in, and COMMUNICATE, it’s a win-win for everyone!
Feel free to email me at Maggie@proudtots.com with your comments and to share with the world other savvy shopping suggestions!

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