The dimensions of your trunk or closet. Whether you live in the city or suburbs, the stroller has to be stored and/or transported. Measure the trunk of your car or closet so that you can be sure the stroller fits inside. Jogging strollers can be particularly bulky, but you may be able to remove the wheels for easier storage. Folded specs are available for virtually all strollers on the manufacturer's website or by calling customer service. If you're shopping in person, take a tape measure.
Your strength. Be sure you know how much weight you can lift and whether you can comfortably lift that weight multiple times in a day if necessary. Umbrella strollers are fairly light, but jogging strollers and some traditional strollers are definitely not. City folk may want to be sure they can carry 17 or more pounds in one hand, while cradling an imaginary infant in the other as they pretend to get on a bus or walk stairs. Also, be sure there is some comfortable way to carry the stroller -- a strap, handle, etc.
Number of years you expect to own the stroller. The upper and lower weight ratings on a stroller are an important guide as to when you can start using your stroller and how long you can use it. Some strollers won't accommodate an infant without a car seat or bassinet, so the stroller seat may not be able to be used until 3 to 6 months. If your children tend to be taller or larger, you want to look for a higher weight rating so they won't outgrow it as soon.
Frequency and duration of stroller usage. If your child is going to be in the stroller a lot, look for comfort features, such as a well-padded seat for older children. Infants should not be in a car seat for long periods of time, so look for a bassinet or a full recline. If your children are closely spaced, an optional standing board is a great feature.
Your environment and circumstances. Traditional and umbrella strollers work best on smooth terrain. If you have to walk over gravel, in light snow, on playground mulch, or through grass, look for a stroller that does well on more challenging terrains -- generally sturdy, hard rubber or foam wheels that can lock. Jogging strollers typically have these features. If you take your baby on a lot of errands, choose a more compact stroller with a narrow wheel base that is easy to maneuver even in smaller shops -- an umbrella stroller may fit the bill. Ample storage is a plus, too. If you walk long distances on sidewalks, look for all-wheel suspension for baby and an easy push for you. If you take public transportation, be sure you can fold and lift the stroller easily with one hand. A standing fold would be a handy feature for public transport as well.
A stroller can cost a big chunk of change, but it's easier than ever to recoup part of your investment. While you can always go the traditional resale route via a children's consignment sale, online options such as Craigslist and Facebook resale groups may be even more convenient. You might think that pricier brands have a better resale value, but the authors of gear guide "Baby Bargains" say that's not necessarily true. Mid-range brands Britax and Baby Jogger perform particularly well in their analysis, while Maclaren, manufacturer of pricey umbrella strollers, falters. Resale should ultimately only be a small consideration when you're choosing a stroller -- buy what works best for your family, budget, and lifestyle.
If you want to increase your chances of making back some money on your stroller, here are a few tips:
Choose your fabric carefully. Neutral colors will work for both a boy and a girl, while darker shades won't show wear as easily.
Store your stroller inside. If you have space in the garage or closet, it's best to protect your stroller from the elements when it isn't in use.
Perform any recommended maintenance. Your manual may specify certain steps you can take to give your stroller a tune-up. For instance, wheels may need to be lubricated, or if they're air-filled, you'll want to regularly check the pressure.
Clean it thoroughly before resale. Vacuum all cracks and crevices for goldfish and graham-cracker crumbs, and scrub the frame and any plastic consoles. A magic eraser may help eliminate scuffmarks. Wash the fabric if your manufacturer allows; if not, you may be able to spot-clean marks with a gentle dish detergent.
Take clear photos. If you're selling your stroller online, take some care to get good photos. Make sure you have ample light -- outdoors photos are usually preferable. Take pictures of the stroller folded and unfolded. Include close-ups of any special features, as well as any defects.
Don't sell a recalled stroller. The industry has seen its fair share of recalls, and most consignment sales or stores bar you from selling recalled baby products. Double-check on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website if you're unsure.
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