Of all of the purchases you will make when expecting a new baby, a stroller is going to be among the most used for several years. Along with his crib and car seat, the stroller is where your child will spend much of his time from babydom and into toddlerhood, which means you will also be spending a lot of time with it. With so many personal preferences and variables involved with choosing the perfect stroller, is it possible to buy one online or do you need to make the purchase in store?
The best place to buy a stroller online is likely Amazon, Walmart, or Target because they normally have wide selections to choose from and generous return policies if you are not happy with your choice. While many parents may want to ‘test drive’ their stroller before they buy, product reviews normally address any issues they are likely to encounter.
Although you may want to see a stroller in person before making a decision, keep reading for several reasons that you may prefer to make the final purchase online and the best websites to order from.
Where is the best place to buy baby strollers
The best place for you to buy the baby stroller that is right for you, your family, and your baby will depend on a variety of considerations. If possible, you may want to visit a store with the widest range of options so that you can get an idea of what type of stroller you prefer. After that, you will have a better context for making a decision, even if you make your final purchase online.
Things to consider before deciding where to purchase your stroller include:
Your overall budget – How much do you plan on spending on your stroller? If you are planning on purchasing an everyday stroller in the $50-$150 range, your options are wide open. Although many retailers offer less (or more) expensive options, they may not be available in-store.
The type of stroller you need – Most of the strollers you will see if you visit a big box store like Walmart or Target are either standard everyday strollers or car seat/stroller systems. A trip to a baby-centric store like BuyBuyBaby will yield a much larger range and will include jogging strollers and options for multiples, but even that will not compare to the variety of options available online.
Size and Features– One of the most important factors in buying a stroller is its size, both for storage and transport. If you are anything like me, the listed dimensions on a webpage have nothing to do with my understanding of whether or not something will fit in the back of my car when it is time to go out. If you are concerned about how much space the stroller will take up when not in use, it might be a good idea to see it in person (or be sure that you make the purchase from a website with a solid return policy).
Features – Some parents just need a simple stroller to get from point A to point B safely and securely. Other parents might need a stroller for multiples, one they can bring to the beach, or something that they can go jogging in. In each case, there will be special features and options that you will need to consider so that you don’t pay for what you don’t need.
Gifting – If this is your first baby, a stroller will almost certainly be one of the hoped-for items on your registry. This is not a catch-all, but keep in mind the people who are most likely to be generous enough to give such a gift and try to choose a store or website that they are likely to be comfortable with. This is especially important if a parent or close relative has already expressed to you that they would like to “claim” that gift.
Why should I buy a stroller in person?
If you prefer to see what you are getting before making a purchase, especially one as potentially expensive as a stroller, there are several popular stores that you can visit to see and compare several models without flipping back and forth between browser tabs.
Hands-On Experience – You would not buy a car without a test drive, or a pair of running shoes without trying them on. For the first year or so, his stroller is going to be both for your baby, so you should make sure that it is comfortable for both of you. If you have particularly long legs (or any other reason that “normal” might not be the best setting for you), testing your stroller before buying it is essential.
For example, I have a long stride compared to the length of my arms and had to try several options before finding one that I could push comfortably without kicking the basket or initiating the wheel lock midstep.
Keep in mind that not all stores allow you to test out strollers even if they are available in person. BuyBuyBaby is likely to be your best starting point if hands-on testing is important to you.
Instant Gratification – If you are hoping to get your baby’s backside in your new stroller as soon as possible, there is nothing faster than walking out of the store and being able to use it.
Shipping (or lack thereof) – Although there are many websites that will give you free shipping either through a membership program (Amazon Prime, Target RedCard, etc) or through a minimum purchase, paying to ship something as large and heavy as a stroller can really add up.
Why should I buy a stroller online?
If you cannot get out to a store to test a stroller, have not yet found the perfect stroller for your family, or just want an easier way to make a physically large purchase, there are many great websites to choose from when purchasing a stroller.
Selection – While larger stores may have several aisles of stroller options to choose from, they are nothing compared to the number and variety of choices you can find online, especially if you are looking for a very particular style. Even if you have found your perfect stroller in person, there is likely to be a wide selection of color options available online.
Convenience – Whether you found the perfect stroller in person or not, there is very little easier than having the 20+ pound package delivery straight to your door instead of getting it out to your car and then into your home.
The best place to buy strollers online
If you have chosen to do your stroller shopping online, the selection and range of websites to do your shopping on may be intimidating at first. Stores that you may be able to visit in person will have an expanded selection online, and virtually any stroller you can imagine is available through Amazon.
Maybe unsurprisingly, Amazon offers the best range of strollers for your every need and preference. From a highly rated 12 pound daily stroller for less than $40 to a $1300 all-terrain bassinet option with vegan leather accents (it even comes with a handbag haha), if you have the time and wherewithal to search through the more than 9,000 individual listings you are pretty much guaranteed to find the one that is perfect for you.
Unlike most other websites, when you order through Amazon, you need to be sure to check out the specific listing as third-party sellers are not covered by the Amazon Corporate return policy and will have individual requirements. Overall, most purchases fulfilled by Amazon – even open boxes – may be returned within 30 days (for items gifted off a baby registry, they allow a full 365 days from purchase).
It is important to note, however, that Amazon has tightened restrictions on returns recently and reserves the right to limit returns or cancel your account if it thinks you are abusing the policy.
Walmart offers a surprisingly large online selection compared to what is available in the store. Brands range from such mainstays as Graco and Chicco to the affordably priced Monbebe Compact Stroller.
For many strollers, you can also choose to have the box shipped to your local store for free instead of your home, which is helpful if you have a post office box or just may not be home and would rather the box not sit on your porch all day. If you are already a frequent Walmart shopper, you can simply take advantage of the wider online selection.
Walmart’s return policy is a generous 90 days with receipt (although this applies to both purchases made by you and those made off your registry on your behalf). To find out if your purchase is an exception to that policy, click the “Return Policy” link on the product page. Walmart’s return policy does not apply to any third-party sales made through the business’ website.
Most Target locations have an array of standard stroller options available for viewing in store, but there is a greater variety of specialty options such as for jogging or multiples available online, as well as more colors when available. Target offers most popular stroller brands as well as being the exclusive retailer for the Colugo, which claims to be simply designed with the needs of the modern parent in mind.
If you have a Target RedCard, you get 5% off every order, free shipping and returns, and an extra 30 days on top of the standard return policy. If you do not have the RedCard, you can return your new, unopened purchase within 90 days (one year if purchased off a registry).
Target reserves the right to refuse returns or refunds on open or damaged items, but that seems to be used primarily on customers who are abusing the policy.
The selection of strollers on view in store at BuyBuyBaby is likely to be the most you will see in person, but if that is not enough, there are more than 300 options available for review on the website. There are giant six-seater strollers for baby-watching professionals, serious performance strollers for joggers and athletes, and lots of other stroller options that are probably more than the average parent is even looking for!
BuyBuyBaby’s return policy specifically states that strollers can be returned only in “new and unused condition with all original packaging, warranty, and registration information” within 180 days, so be sure that the stroller you purchase is right for you before ordering.
Other big retailers
Many other stores that you might not think of immediately, such as Macy’s, Belk, Kohl’s, and Sears, also sell strollers, both in person and online. While they might not have the biggest overall selection, it’s possible to get great deals from these places if you take advantage of their sales.
As with any other website purchase, you should make sure you are comfortable with the return policy before placing your order.
The best place to buy a used stroller
If you are looking to save a little bit of money or simply trying to do your part by living sustainably, you may want to consider purchasing a used stroller rather than purchasing a new one.
Franchise resale shops such as Once Upon a Child or Kid to Kid are a good option for high-quality used clothes and equipment for babies, toddlers, and small children because they are held to corporate standards and are more likely to conduct cleanliness and product quality checks than smaller or broader (aka not child-specific) resale stores.
If you are unsure if there are any resale stores in your area, just conduct a simple google search and you are likely to find that there are at least a couple. Because most of these locations will be unaffiliated and the nature of resale stores leads to a huge variation in stock from store to store and season to season, you will probably have to make several trips to snag the stroller you want.
When shopping resale, it is wise to go in with your requirements in mind, but limited expectations. That being said, if you do happen to find your perfect stroller, you should take it home with you because it probably won’t be there next time.
Check Consignment Sale Finder to find a children’s consignment sale near you. These are typically weekend-long events that are hosted twice a year in large church gyms or local convention centers. Although they are often crowded and hectic, you can typically go home with some excellent finds. Although there are usually consignment stores represented at tables, much of the stock comes from other local parents.
eBay is probably the most well-known auction and resale site on the entire internet, but it may not be your first thought for buying a used stroller. A quick search will show you that there is a huge variety of strollers available, both used and new. If you choose to make a purchase on eBay, you need to review the individual seller’s return policy before ordering.
Other general purpose resale websites include Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp, both of which allow you to interact directly with the seller. As expected, there is no real return policy or quality guarantee with these websites, but you are likely to get a very good deal from a fellow parent who is trying to declutter items their child no longer uses. Another drawback of these websites is that you need sift through a huge selection of products and locations, plus many sales are for in-person pickup only. For a comparable baby and child specific option, try Kidizen’s website.
Additionally, ToyCycle is a solid option for higher end clothing and gently used baby gear that operates more like a traditional consignment store.
Warnings about Buying Used Strollers
In addition to the overall lack of warranty or return policy when purchasing a used stroller, you should also be aware that you may receive an item that has been damaged or just worn down through daily wear. Many manufacturers allow you to purchase replacement pieces (such as wheels) that may make buying a slightly worn and much less expensive stroller ride like new for a minimal cost.
You should also consider researching any recalls that may have been issued on the used stroller since its purchase just to be sure it is safe for your baby.