Reviewing the Tot Swap: Is it Worth It?

30 Jun

A couple days ago, I posted about my plans to go and check out my first Tot Swap.

To recap it for you – my strategy was to infiltrate the warehouse like a sale hunting ninja and come out on the other end with just what I actually needed for baby Jack.

However, when you put my friend Lindsay and me together chaos tends to happen, so I anticipated us shoving baby hats on our heads while trying to fit into bouncy seats.

So, how did we do?

We pretty much won gold medals for shopping!

Here’s what we ended up with:

6 month sized clothes
Thought I needed: just a hoodie and a couple pairs of shorts
Purchased: 2 hoodies, 1 overall shorts and 1 pair of shorts

I would totally wear these if they were in my size!

9 month sized clothes
Thought I needed: everything for Fall
Purchased: A ton of stuff for Fall
WIN (Update: No longer a WIN, once I did all the laundry I realized that I actually bought NO 9 month clothes. Oops. Looks like I’ll be bargain hunting again…)

12 month sized clothes
Thought I needed: everything for Fall/Winter
Purchased: A ton of stuff for Fall/Winter

18 month sized clothes
Thought I needed: nothing – hold off until he grows more
Purchased: A couple things, but they were only $2!

Of course Jack needs a Captain Awesome hoodie!

Activity Gym
Thought I needed: one for my mom’s house
Purchased: Yes

Cheap Organizing Boxes or Baskets
Thought I needed: a few for random areas of my house
Purchased: None, nothing available.

Crawling to Walking Toys
Thought I needed: 2 – 4 to divide between my house and my parent’s house
Purchased: 3 – 1 Fisher price stand up piano, 1 VTech Paint and Learn, 1 Little Tykes Tool Bench. I would have bought one more piano-type toy, but there weren’t any!

Thought I needed: Some more cardboard books and anything Dr. Seuss
Purchased: NONE. I felt like they were all super overpriced for a consignment sale

Childproofing Stuff
Thought I needed: a few things to start childproofing the house
Purchased: None. They had a few things, but not what I was looking for

Other Stuff
Thought I needed: Nothing Else…unless it was a really good price!
Purchased: a baby sized tonka car and dump truck, an adorable wooden pull toy and a set of blocks with car/truck/plane stuff inside.

So, if you add up the wins it was definitely worth my time to drive out to the sale and shop.

Some of the Pro’s:

Everything was organized really well
Baby clothes were divided according to gender and size and toys were on tables labeled for babies or older children. There was even a room with some larger stuff like high chairs and cribs. All in all, the sale was really easy to navigate – which is great since it covered such a large area!

There was TONS of stuff
Granted, I went to the sale on the first day that it was open to the public, but holy crap was there a lot of stuff! Each size in clothing spanned over a dozen feet long with two levels of awesomeness to search. The books alone took up an entire row of tables with all the choices, from cardboard books to Dr. Seuss and American Girls.

The prices were great
Okay, this is one that is going in both the Pros and Con’s column. I got some super great deals on shirts/onesies for $2 each, whole outfits for $5 and a Baby Einstein exersaucer * (that retails between $80 – $120) for $25!

A Couple Con’s:

Meet Lindsay — she also needs a Captain Awesome hoodie!

Carrying all the bargains
Thank goodness I brought my pack mule (just kidding Lindsay) because we had so much stuff that we were stumbling around to hold it all! They did provide big Ikea bags for shopping, which were helpful – but it would have been even better if they had some shopping cards available too.

Some prices were not so great
MOST of the pricing was great – however, some people obviously felt like their stuff was worth way more than other people. The typical price for the baby shirts and onesies I got was from $2 – $4, but every so often I’d come across a super cute one for $7! Now $7 doesn’t really sound like much, but when you think about the fact that I could buy THREE other onesies for the same price it just doesn’t make sense!

My huge disappointment of the day was the books area – there were tons of books that I would have loved to buy but I felt like they were priced WAY too high for being used. For example the two books above were probably about 6 pages long and maybe the size of my hand…and they were $2.00 each! Maybe I’m crazy, but I was thinking that books this size would be less than a dollar. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled at thrift stores and online to see if I can get a better deal.

So, was the Tot Swap worth it?

YES! Just take a look at the amount of stuff I got at the sale – it’s a good thing I emptied my trunk before I went.

I purchased 8 different toys and about 30 pieces of clothing and spent…

(drumroll please)


Yes, that is kind of a lot of money – but considering the amount of stuff that I bought it is a super bargain. Jack has enough clothes to last him through the end of the year (maybe longer) and I have toys for both my house AND my mom’s house. Score!

The Tot Swap is still going on in Gaithersburg though the weekend. It will also be coming back to the area four more times between now and November:

Gaithersburg, MD
September 19 – 23

Frederick, MD
October 10 – 14

Timonium, MD
October 24 – 28

Howard County, MD
November 7 – 11

So if you have a little one, or even one on the way. I would make it a point to stop by and check one of these sales out. I definitely think that it was worth it – I got to spend the day with my awesome friend, we bought a ton of stuff and even got snow cones on the way home. I consider that a win!

* To any smart mommies out there that are about ready to tell me that the exersaucer I purchased was recalled, yes I already checked. There is a recall in place for the exersaucer I purchased and you are supposed to detach and send back one part of the toy for a replacement – however, it looks like the previous owner already did. YAY!

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Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Tot Swap, Take 3 | Pocketful of Joules - April 12, 2013

    […] wrote about my first visit to the Tot Swap here and my second over here. Like last time, I wasn’t really planning to write about the Tot Swap […]

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