Buying a Stroller

Buying a Stroller? A Few Considerations

Since you hit the Internet, and are looking for information on baby strollers, it’s likely you are not the type to just rush out and buy something without doing research first.  And that’s a great thing.  We’ve talked about the obvious things you should consider — like what type of stroller you may need, as well as available baby stroller features.  But let’s discuss a few other things you might want to keep in mind.

Try Before You Buy

While I’m not by any means suggesting you should not buy your baby stroller online, I do recommend getting up close and personal with something before you buy it.  So that may mean a trip to the store to do a bit of a test drive before making your ultimate purchase online.  Yes, there’s often many images and videos that fully detail features of a stroller, but that’s not necessarily going to provide you with the reality of your situation.

Why not use the online demonstrations and how to videos as your first step.  If, after watching these, you determine that you’re even interested in taking it to the next step, find a local retailer and go get hands on.  Make sure you’re comfortable with the height of the handles, especially if they are not height adjustable.  Can you stand tall, and extend your legs in your normal stride without your shins banging against the stroller?  Are the handles comfortable, or will they hurt your hands?  How well does the stroller maneuver?  If it is difficult to handle on tile or low pile carpet, how will it handle in the great outdoors?  Is it easy to open, to fold?  Can you do it with one hand, or do you need to use both?  One final thing to check, assuming the store will allow it, take the stroller outside and see if you can fit it in the trunk of your car.

Remember, while you might find all of the above issues addressed in customer reviews, what’s suitable for one person may be different for another.

Check Certifications

Make sure the stroller meets or exceeds any current safety or certification standards.  Assuming a baby stroller does, the carton will have a sticker or label indicating that.  This doesn’t mean that any stroller that does not have certification labels is unsafe.  But by purchasing a stroller that has already had things like the restraint system, locking mechanisms, brakes, leg openings and so forth tested, you know for sure your baby is in the safest possible stroller.  Why leave it open to doubt?

Warranties and Return Policies

Do your due diligence beforehand, and make sure what recourse you have should your baby stroller fail or malfunction.  Many, if not all, manufacturers will warranty their product against flaws, but you might be out of luck should your stroller malfunction.  In this case they might require you to return it for repair — shipping it or mailing it at your own expense, and going without a stroller in the interim.  Obviously this isn’t a good option.

If you purchase a baby stroller with air filled tires, and one of those tires gets punctured, repair costs will be your responsibility, so make sure the stroller comes with a repair kit, which you should keep with the stroller at all times.

Even if you physically tested the stroller beforehand, whether purchasing from a local retailer, a catalog, or online, try to shop somewhere that has a generous return policy.