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Baby Stores are used by thousands of people every day. Whether you're eagerly anticipating your first child or grandchild, celebrating your friend's adoption, or contributing a gift to the office baby shower for a coworker, you know that babies need many things to be safe, warm, and comfortable.
From small items like pacifiers and onesies, to big-ticket items like convertible car seats and cribs, the possibilities are nearly endless! Shopping for baby products at local stores, however, can be time-consuming and expensive, particularly if you have a specific item in mind. Nearby stores may not carry what you're looking for, and if they do, you're at their mercy with respect to pricing.
Thursday, January 21st
Originally created under the name Baby-Wise, Baby Earth grew out of two parent's frustration with not being able to find the newest, most innovative baby items in their local Austin, Texas stores. Owners Heather and James Bendle started their company in order to make those cool new products available to online shoppers.
Using the Baby Earth website is easy. Customers can browse products by category such as Clothing, Bath, Feeding, and Eco-Friendly, or simply type an item into the search box at the top of the page. Also, a "Hot Deals" button is featured prominently at the top of the page; these deals can include such things as a 20% discount off nursery furniture, or a free accessory bundle worth $90 with the purchase of an Infant Car Seat.
Baby Earth's prices are very competitive with other, better-known online baby stores. For instance, in the DaVinci Kalani line, Baby Earth had the lowest price among its competitors for the 4-in-1 crib in cherry wood finish. There is also a rewards program that gives members 5% back in Baby Earth Rewards dollars on all eligible purchases.
Shipping costs are competitive with other retailers we reviewed. Orders over $99 ship for free, and orders with amounts less than $99 ship for $7.95. If you happen to live in the Austin area, you can get free same-day delivery.
Another feature we liked was Baby Earth's return policy. Most purchases are eligible for a refund if returned in new, unused condition within one year from purchase. This is exceptionally customer-friendly, especially when buying gifts using Baby Earth's registry or products that might not be needed for several months (such as until the baby is born, or is big enough for a forward-facing car seat).
On top of all this, where Baby Earth really shines is in their commitment to customer service. As a merchant with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a Google Trusted Store, Baby Earth has an excellent track record. No retailer is immune to issues with shipping problems, items going out of stock, or other problems, but numerous customer reviews compliment Baby Earth for handling such issues in the way good companies do: apologetically, efficiently, and accurately.
With competitive pricing and a stellar reputation for satisfying customers, Baby Earth earns our highest rating for the best Baby Store available today.
Buy Buy Baby is part of the Bed Bath & Beyond family of brands (hence the abbreviation "BBB" for both stores), with more than 100 retail locations throughout the US. As an online Baby Store, their selection is ample, from cribs to car seats and more.
Buy Buy Baby is strongly competitive with respect to price, but comes up somewhat short in terms of availability. For example, we looked for the DaVinci Kalani 4-in-1 crib and combo dresser in a cherry finish at every retailer in our review. Buy Buy Baby had the lowest price on the crib ($219.99, free shipping) in other colors, but cherry was unavailable. Also, the matching dresser wasn't listed in any finish. Fortunately, they do offer a robust Price Match Guarantee, and many customer reviews indicate that BBB makes the process very simple either using the instructions provided on the website or by making the request in-store.
We think most customers will be pleasantly surprised by BBB's return policy: one year from the date of purchase, in unused condition. Even if you don't have a receipt, they will make every effort to locate the record of the purchase using the credit/debit card number, order number, or any other available identifying information.
Shipping costs are equally customer-friendly: free standard shipping on orders over $49, including Alaska and Hawaii (some retailers don't ship there at all, let alone for free). Oversized or extremely heavy items will have a surcharge, and those items are clearly marked on the site.
We also love BBB's shopping tools that include Guides & Advice, videos, and a glossary of terms that might help new parents-to-be or clueless gift-givers to understand exactly what a particular baby product is used for. Included in those shopping tools are adoption checklists, to help parents-to-be who may not have had nine months to prepare; we love that BBB even thought to mention supplies like laundry detergent and culturally-appropriate clothing that would be useful for those traveling internationally for their adoption.
The only aspect of Buy Buy Baby's customer experience that left us scratching our heads was in regards to baby registry gift returns. While the site seems to indicate that the process is simple - return the item to a retail location or via mail - we found more than one customer review that stated that when they returned an item from their own registry, the purchase price was refunded to the gift-giver's credit card rather than as an in-store merchandise credit to the recipient. This may have been an error on the part of the store associates, but we do recommend that registry users find out for sure before creating their wish lists with Buy Buy Baby.
Overall, Buy Buy Baby is a good choice for customers who want baby items at the best possible prices, especially if their needs are flexible (for example, they're happy with the Kalani in a finish other than cherry). Buy Buy Baby earns high marks.
Utah-based Baby Cubby wants to bring shoppers "the best of everything baby". Their selection includes a decent selection of baby care items, feeding supplies, clothes, and nursery/decor products.
One of the best ways to shop this baby store is by clicking on "Cubby Picks". Baby Cubby prides itself on hand-selecting only the best, most useful/innovative/safe baby items, and their favorite picks can be found here.
But, for those who are looking for a particular product or just a good selection of baby products, how does Baby Cubby rank? In order to compare "apples to apples", we looked at the popular DaVinci furniture brand, to see how each baby store measured up. Baby Cubby carries nothing in that furniture line, and in certain categories their selection is quite limited. For example, they only carry five cribs in their inventory, compared with dozens - or even hundreds - sold on other baby stores' websites.
Other categories of baby products - Diapering (in the Baby Care tab at the top of the page) and Clothing, for example - were equally limited to a handful of brands and/or styles. We found many pages of headbands and bow ties, and one brand of cloth diapers, but very little of what we think many customers of baby stores would be expecting: familiar brands of disposable diapers and onesies, and so on.
On the items carried by Baby Cubby that can be found at other baby stores, their prices are surprisingly competitive: when looking at strollers, for instance, we saw that Baby Cubby's prices always met or beat the prices offered by their competition.
There are also ways to save extra money when shopping at Baby Cubby: at the time of our review, new customers who signed up for the Baby Cubby email newsletter could get a 10% discount on their first purchase. Also, all orders ship for free at Baby Cubby, even on smaller items. Finally, Baby Cubby has a price match guarantee - if you find a baby item at a lower price at another retailer, they will either match the price and place the order over the phone with you, or they will refund you the price difference after the fact if you've already placed your order.
Baby Cubby's return policy is neither amazing nor awful: unopened, unused items can be returned within 30 days of purchase. You'll need to get a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number from the customer service department beforehand, in order to request your refund.
We weren't overly impressed with the Baby Cubby website. The phone number listed on their return policy page matched the number for a fishing net supply company and a pet store in Utah, leaving us confused - and that wasn't improved by seeing references made to Seven Seas Aquarium on that same page. We also found typos, missing words and other details that left us feeling like the Baby Cubby website was lacking attention to detail.
On the other hand, we found numerous compliments from Baby Cubby customers - both of their online baby store and their in-person retail location - praising their friendly, personalized attention, excellent product selection, and overall shopping experience. Given that these reviews were written starting in 2016, we get the impression that Baby Cubby is fairly new to the baby stores marketplace - and we hope to see improvements as they gain experience and popularity.
Overall, Baby Cubby is a middle-of-the-road baby store: not the widest selection, but competitive pricing on the items they do carry. We hope to see good things from them in the future, including a more extensive product inventory.
Bambi Baby has a long history as a family owned-and-operated Baby Store in the greater New York area, having opened its first retail location in 1976. Customers will find many of today's hottest brands of baby gear, such as Dolce Babi, Natart, Britax, and more.
In order to compare Baby Stores, we chose a popular nursery furniture set - DaVinci's Kalani 4-in-1 crib and combo dresser in a cherry finish - to determine availability and pricing with each retailer. Bambi Baby is one of two stores in our review that did not carry either of these items. However, they do carry a wide range of convertible cribs by other manufacturers such as Roma and Maximo; shoppers should be aware that much of what Bambi Baby carries is distinctly higher-end and thus might not be the preferred retailer for customers with more modest budgets. Fortunately, the site offers a 5% discount off any purchase for signing up for Bambi Baby's mailing list.
You also won't find some of the most common baby items at Bambi Baby. If your shopping list includes diapers, feeding accessories such as spoons and dishes, or basic clothing, you'll need to look elsewhere. Bambi Baby does have some items that aren't easily found using the navigation categories; for example, we didn't find baby monitors listed under Gear or any other category, but one did turn up after using the search function.
Customers will receive free shipping for orders of more than $100. Bambi Baby also has options that include delivery to the room of your choice ($349) or white glove delivery plus assembly ($399). Unfortunately, shoppers outside of the 48 contiguous United States are not currently served by Bambi Baby (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii!).
Bambi Baby is the only store in our review whose return policy specifically mentions replacements for incorrect orders, damaged products, or items that arrive with pieces missing. Customers only need to contact the company at the toll-free number listed on the order receipt, and the customer service team will take care of the appropriate arrangements. For returns on unopened, unused products, shoppers have 30 days from the date of purchase to get a refund or exchange. Given that baby items are often purchased well in advance - as a baby shower gift months before the little one arrives, for example - this may not meet some shopper's needs, especially compared with several other retailers in our review who allow returns for up to a year.
Overall, Bambi Baby is ideal if you're looking for higher-end strollers, car seats, and furniture and you plan to use it right away.
With a tagline proclaiming "Only the best for Baby!" it's no surprise that aBaby, a retailer with a showroom in Brooklyn, carries a wide range of high-end products for infants, toddlers, and children. As the only store in our review that offers custom baby furniture, aBaby might be the perfect shopping destination for customers who are looking for a one-of-a-kind, heirloom-quality crib, cradle, or other baby furniture.
Using the aBaby website is simple and intuitive: shoppers can use the top navigation to sort products by themes, gifts, and occasions, or go directly to the desired items, which include:
For customers looking for bargains, aBaby makes it easy to find deals on the Sales & Promotions tab. Shoppers can find weekly specials, markdowns, and closeouts that offer significant discounts over list prices.
In general, aBaby's pricing is somewhat competitive with other online retailers. For example, in the DaVinci Kalani series, the convertible 4-in-1 crib in a cherry finish sells for $229 at aBaby, with an additional $24.99 for shipping, while the combination dresser retails for $399 and ships for free. Other retailers offer the crib for $219-$250, most with free shipping; aBaby's competitors sell the dresser for $249-$409.
Noticeably absent from aBaby's inventory are standard baby supplies such as diapers, car seats, and clothing.
aBaby's return policy is fairly standard: customers can return items for refund or exchange within 30 days of receipt. Shipping costs are non-refundable, and the customer has to pay the shipping costs on any returns. There is a 15% restocking fee on larger items, and no returns or exchanges are accepted for custom items.
With respect to customer satisfaction, aBaby's results are definitely a mixed bag. On the one hand, we're impressed with their A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for the greater New York City area, and that nearly 100 reviews on aBaby's site show five-star feedback from happy shoppers. On the other hand, reviews on other sites indicate serious issues with customer service. Some shoppers waited months for their product to be delivered, and in some cases the order never shipped at all. When those late or never-shipped items are needed in time for the arrival of a baby, customers are understandably upset. Other complaints mention that the color of the furniture didn't match what was shown online, and that it was a hassle to get a refund without being charged a restocking fee.
While we love the idea of being able to get custom-made furniture that can be passed down from one generation to the next, we would like to see a higher degree of customer satisfaction, particularly with respect to prompt shipping of in-stock items.
Albee Baby is a family-owned retailer of baby products, based in the New York metro area and with more than 100 years in the industry. Customers looking for car seats, nursery furniture, toys, strollers and more will find more than 100 brands to choose from, including well-known names like Avent and Bumbo.
Compared with other retailers in our review, Albee Baby tends to come out on the expensive side. For example, in the DaVinci Kalani series we used as a basis for comparison, the combo dresser in cherry retails for $409; other stores carry it for as low as $249. Also, the matching 4-in-1 crib was not listed on Albee Baby's site, so a shopper looking for both items would need to shop elsewhere.
We found Albee Baby's selection to be somewhat limited overall. Looking at a common baby item, diapers, we saw none of the familiar brands one would expect: Pampers, Luvs, Huggies, and so forth. And, in the brands they do carry - Bambino Mio and The Honest Company - several sizes were out of stock at the time of our review.
Shipping costs are one of the best we've seen: free for all orders of $49+, and a flat rate of $4.95 for all other orders. However, shoppers should be aware that Albee Baby has a considerable list of locations to which they do not ship, including PO Box addresses, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Similarly, while the return policy looks customer-friendly on the surface - full refund if merchandise is returned within 60 days of receipt - Albee Baby does charge a 30% restocking fee on most furniture items, and there's a long list of products that can't be returned under any circumstances (such as feeding and diapering accessories, potty seats, changing pad covers, and so on).
Albee Baby has an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, which would indicate that they are handling customer concerns well. On the other hand, numerous reviews tell a different story. We found more than a few customers who ordered items, only to be told days or weeks later that it was out of stock. Given the nature of baby products, often ordered to line up with a due date, it's easy to see why shoppers would be angry. And, many other reviews describe problems with impolite customer service representatives when customers have contacted Albee Baby to try and resolve problems with late shipments or items damaged in shipping.
On a positive note, a unique feature Albee Baby offers is a rewards program. Customers can earn points for purchases, product reviews, and referring friends; these points can be exchanged for savings on future orders.
Because of their higher prices, out-of-stock items, and significant issues with customer satisfaction, we give Albee Baby lower marks.
Fortunately, online baby stores make it easy, efficient, and affordable to find everything you need for the little one without ever leaving home. With just a click of a mouse, you can have infant and toddler products - diapers, wipes, themed nursery bedding and decor, and much more - delivered right to your doorstep.
As you consider shopping at online baby stores, you should keep the following criteria in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Baby Stores available today. We hope these reviews help you find all of the baby products you need at the best possible price!
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