Go, Go, Recycled Gadget!

Posted on: May 19, 2010

Would you buy a refurbished stroller?  How about a car seat?  Exersaucer?  Play gym?

Most of us wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a hand-me down sweater, or a set of toy blocks.  But product safety is always a top concern when evaluating used, refurbished or recycled baby gear.  While many items in visibly good repair prove popular in resale or as hand-me-downs, the market for second-hand gear is unapologetically caveat emptor, heavy on the caveats.

This is nothing new.

What’s new is that gear companies are finally thinking outside the dumpster when it comes to excess inventories, returns, and open-box items.  Like a “Certified Used” car, “Recycled” baby gear may be here to stay, offered not just by third parties like but by the originating companies themselves.  And why not?  Who better to certify a Revolution than BOB?

GoGo Kidz Recycled Travelmate

Photo Credit:

Of course, BOB’s still not in on this game.  Nor are any of the volume guys like Graco, Chicco, Cosco, at least on the surface.  Major players have their channel partners dialed in, so inventory just keeps flowing downstream.  The dumpster is in somebody else’s parking lot (though still visible on Google Earth).

As often happens in business, it’s the little guy who tests innovation – in this case, Go-Go Babyz, makers of the brilliant gogo Kidz Travelmate *and now* Recycled Travelmate.

Travelmate is certainly a good candidate for this kind of recycling.  Although it attaches to a car seat, it is not the car seat, i.e. not a litigious hot potato.  It’s a pretty simple gadget.  Scenarios for “bad things happening” at the fault of Travelmate are fairly limited and probably quite remote in their possibility.

With a six-month limited warranty and a discount of $20 over the virgin product ($69.99 instead of $89.99), it’s hard to see how Recycled Travelmate really pencils out for the company once you add up original manufacturing costs, customer service, return processing, refurb parts & labor, testing, and reissue.  But they’re barking up an important tree – and again, it’s a simple gadget, so the typical “fix” is probably pretty simple, too.

At any rate, it’s encouraging to see a company smartly weighing the risks and offering refurbished “like new” product direct to consumers.  What’s the African proverb?  If we’d all just sweep in front of our own doorsteps, the whole world would be clean?  Now *that’s* talkin’ about a Revolution.


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    • JHeff: I have read a good number of comments about most users of the boba not really ever using the foot rests. Looking at the videos I've seen, the back on
    • Mama GaGa: Oh, boo! Thanks for the manufacturing update - I will make note in the post. Cheers - MG
    • Cathy: I know this is a couple years old but I ran across this post and was so excited when you said the Boba was made in America - a big selling point for m

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