Posts Tagged ‘Sale

Some kids like to wear shoes, others just socks, still others run barefoot every chance they get.  And most of the time, we are happy to indulge them.

At daycare or preschool, though, there’s often a footwear requirement – usually the ambiguous term “slippers” – or socks at the barest minimum.  And this makes sense to us parents – hard flooring can be cold in winter, slippery for foot races, and downright unsanitary in the potty.

Enter, Bical Grippers – the sock with a shoe attached!  Bical offers a snug-fitting performance sock with a fiercely grippy full-length rubber sole.  This alone would be the perfect toddler “shoe” but they go a step further with colors and patterns ranging from simply cute to absolutely badass.

Our shoe-shedding toddler pulled these on the moment they arrived, and had them wrestled off at bedtime.  She wore them the full day at preschool, even waiting patiently to don her “piggies” before racing off for the indoor slide.

Bicals retail for around $22.00 ($24.99 for the knee-high version) but there are a number of great stores offering them for less.

Online deal (updated 5/22/10): – currently on sale from $15.50 on up.

Local steal: Bella Stella in NE Portland regularly stocks new Bicals for around $16.

Be careful buying Bical second hand on eBay, since the washing instructions are very specific and you’ll want to inspect them pretty closely for snags from the grippers.

Also: Bicals run almost a full size *small* so definitely size up to buy a little growing room.


If you like eBay or Craigslist for baby gear, add Returns For Sale ( to your bookmarks.  As the name implies, the site sells discount open- and closed-box merchandise returned by buyers, or discontinued by the manufacturer.  It looks like a great resource for budget shopping, especially for grandparents, or for extra items you might need for a brief time with a second child.

As always, smart shopping requires due diligence.  Before completing a gear purchase, however attractive the price, you should:

  • Double check the advertised retail price on – – occasionally, you will be able to find a new item at a similar price to that of a discount site, especially in the case of discontinued or deprecated models
  • Visit the home web site for the product’s manufacturer (or your favorite baby gear site), to learn what upgrades have been made for a next-generation model, in case you’d be willing to pay full price for these features
  • Ensure the product was not part of a safety recall. has a good article on how to find baby product recall information, or you can go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission web site directly.

Dear Readers,

I was going to stay relatively impartial and let this one go – but then I realized there were probably hundreds of gear blogs out there *celebrating* the Babies “R” Us “Great Trade In,” so perhaps it was worth contributing some cautionary words in the interest of the planet.

I love a 25% off sale just like anyone else.  I especially love free-cycling sales where you can bring in a broken kitchen appliance for a discount off a new one.  But for every busted blender there is inevitably a perfectly serviceable stand mixer in “last year’s color,” or a yogurt machine that “just prefers ice cream.”

Babies “R” Us (if that’s your real name, megastore with strategically placed quotation marks…) provides a decent write-up on their intentions – – calling particular attention to items that have had recalls, or with safety improvements in newer models.  This is good!  This is smart.  But they don’t say what happens to the products once you trade them in.

Are trade-ins triaged for possible donation?  If so, where do they go?  What about sending them to Haiti*?  I couldn’t find any mention of “what’s next” for the items in their web site’s three-point FAQ, which leads me to fear the worst.

[deep breath]

But what kind of blourgalist would I be if I left these questions unanswered?  Tomorrow, I’m sending some emails…making some phone calls.  In the meantime, hang on to your used stuff…consign it if need be (take that $20-$30 cash money which is already a 25% equivalent of most baby items), and STAY TUNED.  I may not get any answers, but I’m going to give it a try.

Yours Truly,

Mama Gaga

*NOTE:  Toys R Us (BRU’s parent co) did make a very generous $150,000 donation to Save The Children in response to the disaster in Haiti.  This is of course commendable and needed.  What we’re asking in this post (and others) is what happens to the stuff, which we hope will be donated rather than destroyed (where possible).

Update 1/31:  Am attempting to contact both external relations for BRU and marketing contacts I can access through LinkedIn.  Making an honest effort to track down info on end-of-life, existing BRU Haiti connections, and opportunities to donate gear through other organizations in lieu of BRU.  Post any leads or email me at talktogaga (at) gmail (dot) com.

  • None
  • 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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