BuyBuyBaby Should Sell Everything

07Jul08

BuyBuyBaby Rules.I’m a huge fan of BuyBuyBaby. I didn’t expect to be – I was ready to hate everyone in the store for plotting to take thousands of dollars from me and my loved ones. I also couldn’t understand why I had to get on the Beltway for a half an hour to get stuff I could buy on the Internet.

But when I actually got to their Springfield, Virginia store, I had the single most positive retail experience of my adult shopping life. Everyone there not only knew what they were talking about, but seemed to truly love their work and being as knowledgeable as possible about their subjects. They don’t just learn the product propaganda and use it to push the high margin stuff. They know what it says in the Baby Bargains book, Consumer Reports, etc. – and when they spot you holding them, they know you’re people that educate themselves – so they talk to you like adults.

And boy, do they know their stuff. While we were in the car seat section and were discussing with an associate the benefits of one choice over another, some random woman walked up to us who didn’t work for the store and inexplicably started trying to refute what the salesperson was saying to us, bandying about results from some government report. He calmly and politely turned to her and cited a more recent government report (for which he knew the publishing date off the top of his head) that addressed the concern she was trying to raise. (I think she may have been one of those Car-Seat.org psychos, trolling for opportunities to squelch the ignorant.) This sales associate was not to be toyed with by an amateur.

Here’s the part that really won me over, though. After the same salesperson discussed with us our preliminary choice for our stroller (post on that to come), he noted that we had made a well-educated choice based on the materials that we had and that he couldn’t disagree that it was an excellent stroller. But then he did something I’ve never seen a salesperson do. He leaned in closer and said, “There’s a new one out that’s not in Baby Bargains yet, and it’s flying off the shelf. It’s better and it’s about $150 cheaper.”

He walked us over to the alternative, and he was right. It was by far the better choice. I nearly embraced the man. I hope he doesn’t ever realize he could make more money selling pharmaceuticals or software. At least not before my kid is three.

BuyBuyBaby was started by the son of the original guy who started Bed Bath & Beyond. (I was always fascinated by the Beyond part.) And now it’s owned entirely by the BBBY parent company.

It’s still a pretty small chain, with only a handful of locations in NY, NJ, VA, MD and IL, but I can’t overemphasize how impressed I was. I’ll happily pay the 5% or so premium over Clueless R Us, just for the straight talk.

Now, if I can only get them to start selling LCD TVs.

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4 Responses to “BuyBuyBaby Should Sell Everything”

  1. 1 jhoetzl

    Wow, I have to agree! We had an excellent experience with them, including the full replacement of a wooden crib side because it was delivered with a minor, and I mean minor defect, and, the handled the return and later exchange of our stroller perfectly.
    I know the other big chain is super saturated in the US, but if this chain can maintain the higher level of service and grow enough to compete a little closer on price with CRU (your name for them), it would be excellent for us parent types.

    BTW – they do have those LCD baby monitors, which, with the right parts, may make a fine set for the bathroom once the little one doesn’t need it… 🙂

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