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Thursday, April 12 2012 00:13

The Great Baby Furniture Swindle: Buying a Crib is a Scam...

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You've heard of The Great Rock N Roll Swindle? Well, let me tell you something - buying a crib in 2012 is like The Great Baby Furniture Swindle. Around every corner, it just feels like someone, somewhere, is taking advantage of parents-to-be. With Daughter #2 set for release in June, the clock is ticking to get the new nursery in order, and it's baby furniture time.

When we bought our first crib (and matching changing table and armoire) nearly three years ago, the task didn't seem as daunting. For Daughter #1, my Mom, my wife's Mom, and my Dad all chipped in toward the furniture. This time around, my Mom graciously offered up money for a new crib just as she did for the first. We're on a budget of around $500, so we want to make it count - and get something that will last. Baby Furniture, just like nearly everything else we buy, is over-priced and under-quality. 

With the first crib, we purchased a really nice (we thought) black, convertible "lifetime" crib. While I forgot which brand we bought, I'll never forget dismantling and destroying the crib when it got hit with a recall. Sure, they gave us a voucher to get a new crib, but we essentially got swindled out of $100. The $400 crib was replaced with a $300 crib, but the manufacturer (nor Babies R Us) would reimburse the difference. To me, the manufacturer should've been the one to pony up. Luckily, we got a crib that looked almost identical, with the same features. Bottom line - it matched the other furniture pieces, and it's been a comfy spot for the little one.

This time around, there's a noticable difference in price for what you get.

Those base prices I mentioned before included the crib, and the conversion piece to become a toddler bed and day bed. Additional bed rails (another $100) were purchased as well, so the crib will eventually be a bed. In 2012, nearly every crib is missing the conversion piece for the toddler bed - a small, half-rail so that the little one doesn't roll out. So add about another $80 to what your base price is for that. Then add about $150 for the full-sized bed rails. I tend to think that all those recalls over the years are being paid for by parents-to-be now. Adding an extra $80 into the equation is a real kick in the bum, since you still have to by a matress to go in the crib - not to mention matress pads, sheets, etc.

By the time you're done, you feel like the little guy from MONOPOLY after he's gone broke. There you stand in front of the baby store holding out your empty pockets.

So we've been shopping around. While Babies R Us is the most obvious shopping choice, we made a special trip to Buy Buy Baby over the weekend (40 miles or so away) just to find that their cribs average $200+ more than the ones we were looking at elsewhere. We're also considering an online purchase.

In the meantime, I've also looked at some of the way-out-of-our-price-range cribs that are like $2K a piece. Ridiculous. Even if I had that kind of budget, I just wouldn't spend it. And then you have that ugly $3,500 lucite crib (pictured up top) that keeps popping up everywhere because Jay-Z and Beyonce bought one for their daughter. I hope someone is standing guard with a bottle of windex and a roll of paper towels at all times. 

While the hunt for the right furniture will continue this weekend, I'll leave you with this picture of an unshaven, unshowered look at what The Rock Father looks like while prepping the new nursery. A full blog on that is coming (with a lot of pics), but for now you can see what I looked like while priming the walls in late February. That BLACK LABEL SOCIETY shirt now has some pink and yellow splatters on it. Stay tuned...

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James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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