How do we rate and review products?

Why do a web site and book on saving money on baby products? Don’t new parents throw caution to the wind when buying for their baby, spending whatever it takes to ensure their baby’s safety and comfort?

Ha! When our first son was born, we quickly realized how darn expensive this guy was. Sure, as a new parent, you know you’ve got to buy a car seat, crib, clothes and diapers . . . but have you walked into one of those baby “superstores” lately? It’s a blizzard of baby stuff, with a bewildering array of “must have” gear, gadgets and gizmos, all claiming to be the best thing for parents since sliced bread.

Becoming a parent in this day and age is both a blessing and curse. The good news: parents today have many more choices for baby products than past generations. The bad news: parents today have many more choices for baby products than past generations.

Our mission: make sense of this stuff, with an eye on cutting costs. As consumer advocates, we’ve been down this road before. We researched bargains and uncovered scams in the wedding business when we wrote Bridal Bargains. Then we penned an exposé on new homebuilders in Your New House.

Yet, we found the baby business to be perilous in different ways—instead of outright fraud or scam artists, we’ve instead discovered some highly questionable products that don’t live up to their hype—and others that are outright dangerous. We were surprised to learn how most juvenile items face little (or no) government scrutiny, leaving parents to sort out true usefulness and safety from sales hype.

So, we’ve gone on a quest to find the best baby products, at prices that won’t send you to the poor house. Sure, we’ve sampled many of these items first hand. But our web site and book are much more than our experiences—we interviewed over 10,000 new parents to learn their experiences with products. Our message boards have over 20,000 members, buzzing with all sorts of product feedback and advice. We also attend juvenile product trade shows to quiz manufacturers and retailers on what’s hot and what’s not. The insights from retailers are especially helpful, since these folks are on the front lines, seeing which items unhappy parents return.

Our focus is on safety and durability: which items stand up to real world conditions and which don’t. Interestingly, we found many products for baby are sold strictly on price . . . and sometimes a great “bargain” broke, fell apart or shrunk after a few uses. Hence, you’ll note some of our top recommendations aren’t always the lowest in price. To be sensitive to those on really tight budgets, we try to identify “good, better and best” bets in different price ranges.

What? There’s No Advertising On This Site?

Yes, it’s true. This web site contains zero percent advertising. We have never taken any money to recommend a product or company and never will. We make our sole living off the sales of our books and website subscription fees. Our publisher, Windsor Peak Press, also derives its sole income from the sale of our books and website subscription fees. No company recommended here paid any consideration or was charged any fee to be mentioned. (In fact, some companies probably would offer us money to leave them out, given our comments about their products or services).

Full disclosure: we don’t sell ebooks directly from our site. Instead, we link to sites like Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Google for ebook sales. We have affiliate relationships with these sites—if you click on a link to buy one of our ebooks, there is an affiliate code that may give us a small commission on ebook sales. We also have affiliate codes on links to customer product reviews on other sites like Amazon. We use any commissions we earn from these sites to keep our books’ prices as low as possible and our message boards ad and spam-free.

As consumer advocates, we believe this “no ads” policy helps to ensure objectivity. The opinions on this site are just that—ours and those of the parents we interviewed.

We also are parents of two kids. We figure if we actually are recommending these products to you, we should have some real world experience with them. (That said, we should disclose that our sons have filed union grievances with our company over testing of certain jarred baby foods and that litigation is ongoing.)

Of course, given the sheer volume of baby stuff, there’s no way we can test everything personally. To solve that dilemma, we rely on reader feedback to help us figure out which are the best products to recommend. We receive over 100 emails a day from parents; this helps us spot overall trends on which brands/products parents love. And which ones they want to destroy with a rocket launcher. FYI: we don’t accept free samples of products we review. We purchase any product we review.

Parents post reviews of products to our web site, message boards and blog. Of course, one bad review from one parent doesn’t mean we won’t recommend a product—we combine multiple review sources to come up with an overall picture as to which products and brands are best.

What about prices of baby products? Trying to stay on top of this is similar to nailing Jell-O to a wall. Yet, we still try. As much as we can confirm, the prices quoted here are accurate as of the date of publication. Of course, prices and product features can change at any time. Inflation and other factors may affect the actual prices you discover in shopping for your baby. While the publisher makes every effort to ensure their accuracy, errors and omissions may exist.

Our door is always open—we want to hear your opinions. Email us at authors@BabyBargains.com or call us at (303) 442-8792 to ask a question, report a mistake, or just give us your thoughts.


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