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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Operation Registry: Complete!

Happy Sunday, followers!  I hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend.  The weekend at the Baum household was a busy one indeed, but I am feeling better having marked one huge thing off of my list of things to obsess over worry about.  That's right, yesterday was registry day.

I have been worried about this day for a while for several reasons:
  1. I wanted to get it marked off my to-do list.
  2. Based on our only previous registering experience (wedding), I was worried that one of us (Dan) would not come out alive.  We basically both have an opinion on everything, so I was worried it would be very trying and had already lined up girlfriends to help me dispose of the evidence in case an emergency homicide took place.  :-)
  3. Just walking into baby stores is overwhelming, so I knew registering would stress me out.
As a result of said worries, I spent a LOT of time preparing.  I did tons of research (I mainly used consumer reports, Amazon reviews and other Mom friends).  We also went and visited baby stores quite a few times before registering so that we could make the big decisions (read: stroller, car seat, nursery furniture, etc. as blogged about in previous posts) before registering so that it wouldn't take as long.  Although I'm sure Dan was annoyed to have  missed a few Saturdays/Sunday afternoons of football, we were both actually really glad we did this.  It gave us time to think about it, do more research, and make informed decisions AND I think it caused the registering process to take a lot less time than it otherwise would have.  I was exhausted after every visit, so breaking it up worked out well.

All in all, the registering process went a lot better than expected.  I felt like my research paid off, even though I can admit that I am borderline ridiculously OCD.  The first thing we did was decide on where to register.  In the end, we went with Buy Buy Baby and Amazon Baby Registry for several reasons (If you want to skip the rest of this paragraph, here are the non-long-winded summarized reasons: [1] not ghetto, [2] better selections of brands we were looking for, [3] awesome coupons and price matching, and [4] return policy).  First, last month sometime we went to the Babies R Us closest to us to look at strollers, because the BuyBuy Baby closest to us at the time was around 45 minutes away (in Durham).  Not only did BRU not have any of the strollers we wanted to look at, but it was seriously ghetto.  I was afraid that I was being overly dramatic when Dan turned to me and said, "I'd rather make the drive, this place is gross."  Obviously, this is not the case with all BRU stores.  I have heard that the one in Durham is very nice; however, since we were making the drive to Durham, we decided to drive a little further and try the BBB since they carried a lot of what we were interested in looking at.  Turns out, BBB opened a Morrisville store about 3 weeks ago, so it worked out perfectly - close to us and brand new (read: not ghetto).  A second reason I like BBB is because of the coupons.  They are owned by Bed Bath & Beyond and therefore have the same coupon system: they send out 20% off one item coupons via e-mail and mail on a regular basis.  The only difference is, at BuyBuy Baby you can't use expired coupons like you can at Bed Bath & Beyond, BUT they will accept Bed Bath & Beyond coupons that aren't expired on all items except furniture.  Score one for us, as well as any gift givers.  We were able to use a 20% off coupon for each piece of furniture we purchased, and it saved us a lot of money.  Additionally, they will price match any competitor coupons or sales prices.  Some people have said that sometimes things are slightly cheaper at BRU, but since BBB price matches, I'm ok with it.  Can't beat the awesomeness of this store, I'm telling you.  One final reason that we chose BBB over BRU that I hadn't even thought about until hearing about my bestie's experience is their return policy.  I am sad that she is having to deal with all of this, but glad that she told me about her experience so that I could ask about it when we registered.  In a nut shell, they have had several showers and were given a lot of gifts with no receipt.  BRU will only let you return/exchange items without a receipt up to $75 per year per address.  So, for example, they got the high chair that they registered for but were hoping to return it to get a different color - over $75 so they can't.  I understand why stores like BRU, Target, etc. are doing this, but it still stinks.  And really, it's not like you can go back to the sweet church ladies and be like, "Hey thanks for what you bought me but do you by chance have the receipt?"  When I asked about it at BBB yesterday, they said that we would not have that problem in their store.  They said that since we registered, even if an item was not purchased off of the registry, our registry serves as our receipt and we will not have to worry.  Score again.  Additionally, one of the other Moms registering yesterday told me that usually if whoever bought you the gift uses a 20% off coupon, it isn't run through the registry, so if you are returning sans receipt you get a store credit for the full amount of the product, not taking into account the 20% off.  Loves.  Added bonus?  They have a SWEET gift wrapping station.  Possibly all baby stores have this and I've never noticed but I was impressed with it anyway.

***UPDATE: Steph just told me after reading the blog that I made up the $75 amount for BRU (pregnancy brain?) - it is actually $250 per household.  She also said that the problem arose with people who didn't buy from their registry, not those who did buy from the registry.  Just thought I'd share in the interest of full disclosure!***

We arrived to register, and due to the yucky weather yesterday, we hit the only snafu of the day: everyone else had the same idea.  There were literally 6 other couples who showed up around the same time as us wanting to register.  It didn't end up being a big deal - just took a little longer than it would have had we gone on like a Tuesday afternoon.  Part 2 of this snafu was that since the store is brand new, so are the employees - so the woman who was assigned to help us was slightly clueless on the registry process and as a result created a registry for us 3 different times.  So, those of you who are curious and did a search for ours and saw 3 come up: ours is the last one listed, #12522220, and they're working on deleting the others.  We also registered at Amazon because they have a huge selection of everything you could possibly ever want.  Additionally, the pack 'n play was the only thing Dan wanted a say in, and the one he insisted on of course cannot be found in any store.  Both have great benefits, return policies (Amazon's is 365 days!), completion discounts, etc. so I'm really happy with both choices.

I have mentioned to all of you before that I am seriously crazy/OCD.  The proof lies in the following photo, my registry preparation materials:
Not kidding.  I started with the BBB book that they give every couple who registers - I requested mine on one of our earlier visits when we were looking at strollers so I could begin my research (ugh, nerd).  I also printed out all of the e-mails and blog comments I've gotten from girlfriends with must-haves (special thanks to Emily, Lindsey, Andrea, Diana and Carly - you were all so helpful!).  Since there wasn't a ton of room in the registry book to make notes, I transferred the checklist into an excel document and added a column for which specific brands we'd decided to get, based on our research as well as recommendations - and then I included a column for checking things off.  To be safe, I also turned this into a Google document and e-mailed it to both Dan and myself so that we could take the iPad in case that was easier.  To be fair, this part of the crazy was suggested by Dan, but considering that I was mad that I hadn't thought of it first, I guess we're even.  We did not end up using the iPad - my dorkalicous handy dandy excel checklist worked just fine.  Also, thanks to Steph for suggesting that I take water - I would have never thought of it.  I took a bottle, but they also gave us as many bottles of water as we requested while registering - score yet another one for BBB. 

This is getting long, so I'll try to wrap up quickly.  Registering went very smoothly - there were no arguments, so I was surprised.  He won on several items, I won on several others - compromising at its finest, folks.  Towards the end, I realized that the snack supply I normally keep in my purse had been depleted the day before in an emergency situation, so I got crabby, but that was the worst of it.  I let Dan be in charge of the scanner gun, so I knew there was no telling what would show up on the registry - and we had some cleaning up to do anyway (i.e. things we scanned and changed our minds about but couldn't figure out how to delete, things we realized we forgot but I was hungry and NOT going back through the store, etc.), but we took care of most of that today.  The whole process, from the time we started scanning, really only took around 2.5 hours - so that was a bonus of having gone in several times before to test some things out, I suppose.  I'm sure that I will do some editing between now and my showers - I have plenty of time - but all in all I feel a lot better having just gotten that marked off the list.

One more thing we were able to mark off?  Purchasing the glider!  I'm so excited about this one.  It is so comfortable and so pretty (as well as neutral so that it can be used in future nurseries), and I can't wait to rock baby girl to sleep in it:
The color pictured is the one we went with (I guess there are several pictured, but it's the cream-colored one with the swatch book laying on the ottoman) - you can't tell, but it's textured - they almost look like little squares.  I took my nursery fabric samples and laid them out on the ottoman to make sure they matched, and they look perfect.  Anyway, it's really pretty.  It was in stock but we decided to wait and have it delivered with our furniture (whenever it comes in) since neither of us have a huge car.  Using the handy 20% off coupon that my future brother-in-law got for us by signing up for e-mails (thanks Joshie!), we got a great deal.

I guess I've bored you enough with this post.  Today, Dan has a retreat all afternoon for one of the boards he's a member of, so I'm going to do some grocery shopping, clean up the house, and have a delicious pot of chili waiting on him for dinner when he gets home.  Yum!  Then we're carving pumpkins, and I'm really excited about it.  Better late than never, right?

Hope everyone else had a fantastic weekend!


1 comment:

  1. Oh Sarah...I'm not sure OCD fully describes you... :)


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