Just for the record, I'm still in shock. If you follow us over on Facebook, you already privy to the scoop! Why? We bought a crib! A crib for a baby. A crib that rocks! A crib that was only a few dollars outside of our budget. A crib from a store whose baby merchandise we can only ogle at but truly not afford. Yep, it was a good day last Sunday. We scored a huge find and we can't wait to share our process with you.
First of all, we haven't even looked at the first crib. I've gotten numerous amazing emails from dozens of girlfriends with crib suggestions and brands they own and liked. Many told me to 100% consider spending a wee bit more on a conversion crib. I wasn't aware how much these suckers even 'convert' until we stepped foot into the Restoration Hardware Outlet in San Marcos, Texas...about 40 minutes south of Austin.
When we first arrived to the outlet mall, we hit up our favorites and were mainly trucking it down there to survey the goods. We weren't going to 'buy' but just check out our options for decor and baby goods at these three outlets: Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn/West Elm/PB Kids & Restoration Hardware. We hit up the first two outlets and saw some things that piqued our interest. We packed a picnic lunch adn I wasn't feeling super great (tired, hot and bloated from walking so much) so it was great to sit down for about 30 minutes and re-charge. Next up and possibly our last stop, Restoration Hardware.
We walked in and I saw it, almost immediately. One of the most handsome (but still rather gender neutral) cribs I've ever laid eyes on. The Marlowe Conversion Crib was seriously smiling at me. Winking it's perfect handsome brown eyes and beckoning me to come over and take another look. Walt was carrying Zola and had wandered off into the baby section to check out bedding options. On the top of the crib sat a price tag that made my eyes bug out of my head. I took a triple take and then screamed 'Wallllllllt! Come over here!'
(Sidenote: Walt loathes when I do this, ha! But I don't do it often. He thinks that people that are super loud in public or talk on their cell phone at ridiculous levels while shopping need to get a ticket! Yeah, his face was like, 'This better be important cause that was loud, woman!')
After the R.H. worker looked at me like I was crazy, Walt walked over and this is the conversation that took place. My Mom has always said to me that I shouldn't give all my secrets away but I really am hoping that reading our store will have our readers searching for their perfect big deal purchase. We would've shopped sale/consigned cribs for months before making a purchase, we just happened upon the perfect scenario on our first day of baby furniture shopping. Read on for the story!
Morgan: "Did you see this? Seriously, I think I'm shaking!"
Walt: "That's one good looking baby crib!"
Morgan: "I know, right? It's exactly what I've been imagining for our lilttle Bubba. Check out the price, are they for real?"
Walt: "Woah! Does that really say $315...down from $1049?"
Morgan: "Ummm, yeah...yeah it does. I'm seriously not leaving the side of this crib until I figure out why it's so low. Stay here, I'm going to grab that sale guy! Seriously, I'm shaking with excitement!"
I walked over and got Mike, our new favorite person. He was super helpful and informed us that this exact model was a floor model (and showed us some really small dings on the front left leg and on the back of the crib (which converts into a full size headboard (below) so you never will even see it!)
Then he pointed out the rather big dinger on the top of the front rail. Of course, we'd already spotted it but Walt informed me that a furniture pen and some TLC would make it perfect looking in no time. He was afraid there were other issues in addition to those dings. One quick google of 'how to fill in furniture dings' and THIS post has me thinking we're golden. Ok, so yeah, it's not perfect but who cares. After years of use, it's not ever going to be perfect anyway. (And rest assured, we'll have a follow-up DIY post on getting those dings smoothed out!)
Per my usual, I asked Mike if there was anything they could do for us further. I asked him if I could speak with the manager about a price reduction since we'd be happy to pay in full, in cash. (A little trick we learned through our FPU class HERE!) Bottom line to always remember, all they can say is no. So how did the conversation with R.H. Mike go...keep reading.
Morgan: "Mike, can we speak with your manager? We'd love to ask him if he can take another 10% off if we pay in full in cash."
Mike: "Actually, prices are set by corporate so there's no wiggle or negotiating room. I can say that if you go to the Outlet Center Management Office you can buy a coupon book for $7 that'll score you an additional 15% off any purchase in our store."
Morgan: "Oh my gosh, great info. So we have to guy buy a coupon book to score this deal?"
Walt: "Thanks for the pointer, Mike. I'd actually rather throw $7 your way for the discount than buy the book, hahaha!"
Mike: "You know what, I'll totally knock 15% off the price...that'll make the crib $267.75 plus tax. Don't worry about the book, it's dumb!"
Morgan: "Can I hug you?"
Mike: "Haha, sure!"
Walt: DYING LAUGHING AT ME!
So after Mike threw the deal our way, we told him to put a HOLD sign on the crib for one hour while we made some phone calls. First call, my parent's house. Hoping to find my Mom and have her google the crib and explain the conversion to me, my Dad answered. He informed me that my Mom was at an Open House (she's a realtor) but he'd help. Now let me just give my Dad a million gold stars for effort and help. Seriously, he was a champ...clutch hit in a sticky situation.
He was all over the internet for us. Googling the crib and telling us how it converted and even suggesting we ask the sales staff to show us on their computer/in the catalog how the crib converts (we did both later and it really helped us make the decision to buy!) He also went on Craigslist in Austin and scouted on similar conversion cribs and said we were getting a great deal for a NEW CRIB. He quoted prices around $180-$250 for used cribs that were from big box stores and maybe not even made of real wood.
Then there was a phone call to my sister whom I grabbed right as she was leaving with her daughter. She also ponied up to her laptop and totally sung the Marlowe crib praises. She has been telling me that the dimensions of a crib are super important, if you have the room (which we do!) She loves Minnie's huge crib and highly suggested getting the biggest crib we could find. She wishes she would've bought a conversion crib and even busted out her tape measurer to compare Minnie's crib dimensions to the Marlowe. The result? The Marlowe is 1" thinner in width, that's it! So that was another win for Marlowe!
Then Walt and I (I literally hate to make rash decisions for big purchases) hunkered down in THESE rockers, in the store and discussed. Our hour hold was almost up and we decided to go for it. Walt made one more sweeping look at all the pieces and bolts and screws and made sure everything was there. We bought it and I couldn't stop smiling. We scored this crib, with tax for $289.94!!! Surpassing our conversion crib budget of only $39.94...not too shabby!
I think I'm still smiling. We celebrated with happy hour Sonic slushes on the way home and kept laughing at our luck. We venture out to 'look' but sometimes when we spy a deal like this, you just have to take advantage and go for it. We feel blessed that we have money set aside for purchases like this, as we've been diligent saves for Baby Boy Cullen. We still have a very, very long way to go and can't wait to share any other great (and frugal) purchasing ideas for amazing baby furniture with you in the near future. If you have any great pointers, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!
Want more info on our entire BABY ADVENTURE? Click HERE!