What started out as a pain point for new mom Kristin Langenfeld soon became an opportunity.
Confronted with the sheer volume of necessities for her baby, from onesies to swaddles to expensive essentials like strollers, bassinets and bouncers, Langenfeld believed there was a less expensive way to outfit a nursery than buying every item brand-new from store shelves.
“It was something that I experienced firsthand, where I had a young baby who needed a ton of stuff that was extremely expensive,” the Denver-based mom of two told In The Know by Yahoo, “and I didn’t want to buy it full price.”
“You have to go on and apply. And then to buy something, you literally have to know the lingo, and then you go back and forth. And people are so flaky, and then you drive to their house and it’s super-sketchy, and you have to negotiate. It’s super-awkward and a complete waste of time,” Langenfeld said.
“And I was like, ‘Surely there’s got to be a better way to do this,'” she added.
A better way to buy (and sell) baby gear
That’s when she decided to figure out a way to help fellow parents who were struggling with the same challenges. In 2016, Langenfeld and co-founder Jessica Crothers launched GoodBuy Gear, a company based on sustainability that helps boost the so-called circular (or secondhand) economy. In addition to being a co-founder, Langenfeld also serves as CEO.
GoodBuy Gear helps parents buy and sell baby and kid gear online, saving them money while also helping the planet. By reselling pricey necessities that parents might need for only a short time, moms and dads can clear out their kids’ rooms, earn a percentage of the sale and know that they are contributing to a more sustainable process.
“One of the best things that you can do for the environment is buy something that already exists,” Langenfeld said.
The company also operates drop-off locations in Denver, Dallas, Houston and Philadelphia, with locations in Washington, D.C., New York and California opening soon. If you don’t live in any of those locations, you can drop certain gear off at Buy Buy Baby and receive a gift card on the spot.
On the flip side, buying upcycled items — which GoodBuy Gear cleans and inspects for safety — has its perks, too, even beyond saving money.
“It’s something that many people don’t realize,” Langenfeld shared, “but buying something secondhand reduces the need or eliminates the need to manufacture new [products].”
GoodBuy Gear has also partnered with EcoCart to further its sustainable practices. As part of their Global Forestry Project, EcoCart will purchase offsetting credits from the Global Forestry Project Portfolio for every GoodBuy Gear order placed on Earth Day, helping to neutralize GoodBuy Gear’s carbon footprint from a shipping perspective by planting protected trees and plants that can absorb carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
‘As a parent, your most precious resource is time’
Not only that, but according to Langenfeld, lots of parents want to participate in the secondhand economy. The only problem? It takes too much time, she said.
“As a parent, your most precious resource is time, and you don’t have time to be doing any random things,” Langenfeld told In The Know. “You need to be focused on the most important thing in your day, spending time with your family, and that’s not talking to strangers on Facebook and meeting up in a parking lot.”
While the company got its start as an app, connecting buyers and sellers, what Langenfeld and her team soon realized was that GoodBuy Gear could actually help parents save time by picking up items or having parents drop them off, avoiding the whole stranger element altogether.
Buyers can now search online inventory by product and age range and have items delivered, whereas sellers can have items picked up or drop them off (in certain cities).
In the process of making what can be an expensive and hassle-heavy burden for parents something that’s actually easier on the wallet and big on convenience, Langenfeld also scored the win-win victory of helping the planet as well.
As Langenfeld told In The Know, “It’s really easy, and it’s a great service for families to buy the best items for their kids and not feel guilty about it.”
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