Mar 29, 2011

Buyer Be Aware

I love a good deal and a 'copycat' steal whenever the item I actually want is too expensive! Like this post I shared about the vanity I got for my kids' bathroom.

But you have to really be careful when you buy a copycat item. They are essential for someone like me with expensive tastes and a minimal budget...but sometimes you truly get what you pay for. If you only want to have the function and look of an item, then a copycat should be fine. But if you want the feel of the item...a copycat just won't cut it!

Here's a case in point. I fell in love with aden + anais blankets when I first saw them when I was pregnant with Isa. I saw the beautiful muslin blanket in a specialty baby store and splurged on one for my new baby. It was almost $35 for one blanket...ouch!  But it is the most luxurious feeling swaddling blanket ever! I got one that has little orange caterpillars on it but had actually wanted a plain white one. At the time, the brand was new in the US so I thought (for a second) about special ordering a white one from Australia and (almost) paid over $55 for it!

When I found out that we were having a baby boy this last time I wanted to buy some boy-specific blankets and saw that aden + anais had their products in Target now! They even had a plain white one! The price for FOUR blankets was less than $32 and I thought it was a steal! But after Henry was born I realized I just didn't use the swaddler as my 'go-to' blanket like I did for Isa. It didn't feel as soft or something.

Sure enough...I did a comparison with my first blanket and was quite amazed. Not only is the one from Target less soft, it is substantially smaller in size and the fabric is about half as thick as the original. Is the one from Target bad? No, of course not. It's still a nice swaddling's just not as nice as the blanket originally was made.

See the difference for yourself. The first picture shows the difference in length of the original (on the bottom with the caterpillars) and the Target version (on the top with the lions). The second picture shows the difference in thickness. (a little harder to show since it's a thin blanket anyway - but trust me, they feel quite different)

I have found the same to be true for nursing covers. I paid quite a bit for my first nursing cover from the maker's website and then bought another one from Target. The Target one is shorter (aka doesn't cover as much). Still a good product and a must-have for moms (imo) just something to be aware of.

So aware that sometimes when the 'it' thing comes to the big box stores it is a different product than it was when it became the 'it' thing.


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