Monthly Archive:: November 2010

If it aint broke, ask for a partial refund!

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I’ve been a semi-active ebay member for over 11 years now, maintaining a 100% feedback record with little effort, just by being fair.  I’ve had a few minor issues, but all were eventually resolved.  One time I bought a coin that wasn’t what was shown.  The seller said it was the only one of its kind in his inventory so there was no other possibility.  It was a stalemate until the last few days that I could leave feedback.  I sent a message asking if the other coin had been found.  By some miracle, it appeared in the back of a drawer!  He let me keep the first coin, though it wasn’t worth anything over the 50 cents of the coin itself.  One other time I got an item that wasn’t as described.  The seller didn’t reply to a number of ebay messages or emails over a couple weeks.  Finally, I left him a “neutral”.  Within hours, they sent me an angry email.  Funny how stuff like that works.  Some time later, I noted that the member’s ebay account had been closed.  Go figure.

Well, here’s a new one for you.  I bought a computer game at retail and never had a chance to open it during the return period.  I just haven’t had time or interest for games lately.  It was new in a sealed box, so I put it up for sale on ebay.  It sold, for somewhat less than the retail amount I paid.  It was a limited edition that hadn’t been available at retail for some time and mine sold for one of the lowest recent prices on ebay.  I offered USPS Priority flat rate and UPS shipping.  The buyer opted for the cheaper one, of course, even though the auction clearly said USPS was, “at your own risk”.  I also stated “no returns” in the auction rules.  I shipped it next day and it arrived a couple days later.

The buyer claimed the outer product box was damaged (but not the contents).  He said that as a collector, “this detracts from the value of the item imo.”  He also said it was, “very imporperly packed.”  I politely replied that the item was packed exactly as stated, using the medium flat rate box specified in the auction and I even included extra cardboard lining the priority mail box for protection.  For a collector, I wondered why they hadn’t opted for the insured shipping option.

Guest Review: Britax B-READY Stroller, are you READY???

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I met Jon, from Britax on the first day of the ABC Kids Expo.  What a wonderful man he was.  I promised I would write a review on my personal experience with the Britax B-Ready stroller.  This was a stroller I purchased on my own, so a VERY unbiased review.

 

We took it on a neighbourhood walk. Here are my first impressions of it while walking:
-Pushes GREAT, almost as good, fully loaded, as the Phil and Teds three wheeler.
-Very comfortable seats for both children.
-Easy to fold

 

-It has nice suspension
-Its a big stroller, not exceptionally wide, just larger then I am used to
-The children loved to look at each other

 

-It pushes no different with the larger child in either seat, either direction, meaning it still pushes great, and it wasn’t tippy at all
-It has a section in the middle of the nicely padded handle, with extra grip on it, making it easier to push and steer one handed.
-The rear seat is really easy to put on, take off, and recline.
-The harness is going to drive me CRAZY if I don’t figure something out. I might try glue. I don’t THINK you need to be able to take the shoulder straps off the waist belt, but I will have to really check it out.  I actually talked to Jon about this.  Jon says they will be devising a new “clip” that will still be able to come apart, but will “click” together.  This clip is supposed to be updated on the new production of seats.  It wouldn’t look, or act any different (I am told), but will stay together easier.
-the basket is AMAZING!! SOOOooooo much room for both the toddlers feet/legs and a diaper bag, and easier to access then the phil and teds. I could never get things out of my diaper bag in the phil and teds, cause my toddler would just kick at me for leaning over him. With this basket, its very easy to access from the side or the front without disturbing the rear rider.
-Love the materials they used. The fabric is soooooooo nicely padded and comfortable.  I personally purchased the red stroller, but being at the ABC Kids Expo, I got to see all the others, and that emerald green is to DIE for.  Maybe Jon can send me a green rear seat, and we can do a “Christmas B-Ready”!!!  Really, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bright colours of the red and green on the material they used in the B-READY.
– LOVE LOVE LOVE the mesh in the peak-a-boo window on BOTH canopy’s. It was hot out tonight, I opened the baby’s window, and the air just flowed through, and the flap stays open with magnets.

So far, I am really in love. This stroller may actually keep me busy for a while, and keep me from buying any other strollers for some time. Its that cool.

I have taken it around the neighbourhood, through grass, rock, pavement, curbs, mulch, and so far it is amazing. My mom (who is in some of the photos!!) even enjoyed pushing this stroller, and she thinks I’m NUTS, for my stroller obsession. The true test was when my DH and I took the children into Vancouver City one evening for the international fireworks display. It was interesting to see how it did in crowds, and for a sleeping stroller, for when they fell asleep afterwards.  IT DID GREAT!  My Husband LOVES it, and he hates strollers.  Whenever we go out, I don’t even have to ask him to put it in the van,  its the first stroller he goes for (for a double).

For Britax’s reputation in the past, for poor quality strollers (sorry Jon, but that is the opinion of other moms, ;0)), the B-READY seems like it is very well made.

One of the other complaints I have is, I WISH they offered air tires. The tires that are on it are okay, but I HATE plastic tires, and these ones are all plastic. The spokes, and the foam tires. The rest of the stroller is sooooo well made (so far) and they put crappy tires on it. I don’t get it!?!?!?!  This, I also spoke to Jon about.  Will Britax listen, and offer air tires as an option?  We shall see………

Anyway, that’s all I can comment on so far.

This is my honest opinion, and things may change over time. I will be sure to keep updating if I receive any more B-Ready products.  I’d love to use the Chaperone infant seat on the stroller, and the bassinet as well.  So, if I get a change to do that, I will be sure to update with more pictures and my findings.

UPDATE!!!!!!

So, I got to take this beauty to Vancouver for the fireworks display.  Its like it was made for me!!  LOL!!

First, it fits PERFECTLY in the back of our van, in the well, standing up on its end, and it doesn’t flop around, or bang against the tailgate.  (We have a Dodge Grand Caravan).

My DH, who is 6’3″, doesn’t kick the back seat at all.

He HATES my stroller addiction, and usually hates every single stroller I bring into the house, or at least has horrible complaints about them, and this time he actually really enjoyed pushing this stroller.  His only complaint was, “I wish this thing had air tires!”.  HA, the same thing I said!!  He also was wondering why it was so hard to “tip” backwards to get up over the curbs!!  LOL!!  I explained it to him!!  “Honey, Britax designed it to not tip when there is a child in the back toddler seat, and not one in the front seat, so it makes it harder for US to tip is as well”.  He said he could live with it!!  LOL!!

I have been using it, faithfully since we got it (for a few months now) and I am STILL IN LOVE !!!!  I usually know right away if I am really going to keep a stroller or if its going to end up on the chopping block, and right now, its staying off of Craigslist!!  I will update again, after I have had a chance to use it for longer, but honestly, I have owned a few hundred strollers, and I have to say, this one, I can’t say enough good things about.

Britax, thank you for your safe carseats, and now THANK YOU FOR THE B-READY!!!

Stay tuned……………

Editor’s note:  We would be remiss not to point out all the seating configurations on the Britax B-ready stroller, like the universal carseat adapter, the bassinet and a second stroller seat, plus a full array of other accessories like rain covers, mosquito nets, cold weather boots and snack holders.

An Unboxing Video and Our First ABC Bag ‘O Stuff Giveaway

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We told you about the Britax Parkway SGL in our ABC Kids Expo coverage.  We’ll be having a full review before it hits the shelves around the end of this month.  In that it is pretty similar to the original Parkway SG, it should be a pretty easy one to write!   The main differences are the new ISOFLEX LATCH attachments, a revised armrest design and a single strap design for the Secure Guard feature.  We had a nice demonstration video in our ABC Blog, but I wanted to give my new Nokia N8 a try to see how the video quality looks (crank it up to 720P HD if you like)!  I watched so many lame unboxing blog videos before I bought my cellphone, it renewed my energy to create lame unboxing videos for car seats!

Speaking of the ABC Kids Expo, we haven’t forgotten about our traditional giveaways of all the assorted promotional items we collected!  We make no guarantees on what you will get, other than you will get a tote bag with at least one baby related item inside.

Graco Signature Smart Seat All-In-One Preview

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We broke the story for you a few weeks back at the ABC Kids Expo.  Graco is releasing their first All-In-One carseat, the Graco Smart Seat.  This week, Graco released some additional information at a product launch event.  Unfortunately, no photos or video were allowed, but they did provide some more stock photos.  We hope to have a full review for you within the next few months.  Until then, here are some talking points to tide you over until the Smart Seat appears on shelves at Babies R Us in early 2011.  Yes, I have some measurements and some information from the manual, too, some of which I already posted on the forums and FacebookThe manual was a final draft and the evaluation models were late prototypes.  While they should be representative of the final retail product, changes are still likely. So, please be aware that any information below is still preliminary!

Stay-In-Car Smart Base:  Similar to an infant carrier, there is a unique, wide base that installs with LATCH or seat belt.  Then, you can remove the seat and turn it around and put it back in the base.  You don’t have to uninstall anything from your vehicle to switch from rear-facing to front-facing or back.  The base is not used for booster mode.  Though the base is wide overall, the LATCH and seatbelt routing path inside the base is relatively narrow, making installations fairly easy in the various vehicles we had available.  The base also includes a seatbelt lockoff, like those Graco uses on some infant seat bases.