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
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
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
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
Feel free to email me at Maggie@proudtots.com
with your comments and to share with the world other savvy shopping