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Why Are Strollers the Price of a Really Old Car?

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I thought I wanted what every parent probably wants for his child: the best. That was until I realized that perhaps the "best" could cost over a thousand dollars.

man shopping for strollers

Guest blogger Steven Grossman: My adventures in pending fatherhood began with the baby registry. I had decided to accompany my wife to our local baby superstore, because I thought it was necessary. I had learned from previous experience -- a.k.a. the bridal registry -- that when you aren't part of the process and let your trigger-happy wife wander off with the registry gun, suddenly lots of unnecessary things -- like twelve butter servers -- will arrive on your doorstep, nicely gift-wrapped. And you aren't allowed to complain about it.

Given how my past mistake manifested itself in objects taking over our cabinets and kitchen, I wanted to be really involved in creating the baby registry, so history wouldn't repeat itself in our nursery. Unfortunately, that decision only lasted about an hour and a half, at which point I wanted to slam my head against the wall -- repeatedly.

I didn't care about blankets, bottles and nipple creams; I just wanted to have the best-dressed little man in town. So I spent the majority of my time in the clothing section, trusting my wife to pick out whatever else she wanted (such as one of those fun, little Pack 'n Plays -- or as I call them, portable baby cages). The trust I bestowed upon her lasted until I was summoned to rejoin her to help select a stroller.

I thought it would be an easy decision. I thought I wanted what every parent probably wants for his child: the best. That was until I realized that perhaps the "best" could cost over a thousand dollars. At that price, shouldn't the strollers be motorized? Shouldn't they have an engine and an alarm system? Then perhaps we could justify the sticker price and call them something like "a really old car."

After the salesperson pitched some of these luxury strollers to us, I still felt puzzled. I kept asking myself how could a stroller cost more than a thousand dollars? One had a seat that spun fully around; others worked well on rough terrain (I'd love to know what kind of serious
off-roading some parents plan on doing with their babies). All of the strollers had one feature in common: They sucked a lot of money out of your bank account.

At first, I thought we were crazy to even consider getting one of those luxury strollers. Then somehow I started to justify it in terms of how many years we might use it, how many kids we plan to have, whether it could make our lives easier, etc.

My wife and I completed our registry that day, but still haven't decided what stroller to pick. We keep asking ourselves: Are they worth the price? Given all the numerous options, it's become a bit of an overwhelming decision. So we've decided to put it on hold while we do what any smart consumer does: research.

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30 comments so far | Post a comment now
SW February 25, 2010, 5:50 AM

I don’t think its worth paying that much for a stroller. Especially since you won’t use it very long.
Consider getting a travel system. That is a stroller that comes with a car seat. Graco makes them, Im sure there are other brands too. You can find them at Target, Babies R Us, Sears, maybe even Walmart.
Before you buy any stroller you should test it out. Most stores have them out of the box, stores like Babies R Us has them out so people can try them out.

MamaKate February 25, 2010, 7:54 AM

I’m impressed you even finished the registry that day! We got so overwhelmed in the baby superstore after 30 minutes that we turned right around and went home. We ended up registering online at instead just so we could go at our own pace and not feel pressured by salespeople to put the “old car” strollers on our registry. Now I only enter a baby store if there’s a specific thing I want to see in person, and then I’m in and out!

Alex February 26, 2010, 12:17 AM

I know how this guy feels. I just went looking today with my mom and I was so confused on what was what. My mom was suggesting this, I was thinking that. I was looking at the price for everything and thinking…does the baby really need X,Y and Z? Babies come with so many accessories.

melanie February 26, 2010, 12:51 PM

I swear by the chicco and britax brands.

Valerie March 11, 2010, 10:05 AM

How much you spend on a stroller should depend on your lifestyle. We live in the city and do not own a car so we use our strollers every day - everywhere we go. We use a Maclaren Quest for trips that require the bus or train and a Bob for going to the park or store. I actually wish we would have bought the Uppababy Vista for $700. It is similar to the Bugaboo but, you get more for your money. Also, you can purchase a jump seat for $125 for a second child in the future - a feature the Bugaboo doesn’ have. If you live in the burbs and will only use your stroller at the mall and the zoo I would not recommend spending more than $200 or $300 on stroller - it’s not necessary (unless money is not an issue).

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