Staying abreast of new baby trends is not always easy for young parents who are just starting.
Baby cribs, diapers, clothing, and toy prices have risen considerably in recent years.
One of the most expensive major items among nursery necessities is the baby stroller.
Strollers have long been among the most expensive items for babies, but today’s prices are through the roof.
Why is this?
Why Are Strollers So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)
Transporting infants has always been challenging for new parents.
While baby carriages have been around for more than 300 years, new and better ones are being designed all the time.
Before the invention of the stroller, infants were carted around in baskets and slings.
However, this did not prove to be the most efficient way of transporting children, so a landscape architect, William Kent, designed the first wheeled stroller.
Considered a luxury item at the time, the issue of baby safety was not necessarily a priority in its design.
It was better suited as a means of entertainment for children than it was as a vehicle to safely transport them.
It was designed to be pulled by a goat or other pack animal and consisted of a shell-shaped basket that was affixed to large wheels.
It wasn’t until the 1920s that safety was integrated into the designs of baby carriages, and it remains one of the most important features of any stroller.
During the 1920s, an aeronautical engineer by the name of Owen MacLaren developed a foldable stroller that featured a metal frame that could help protect infants in case of an accidental impact.
Since that time, designers and engineers have further developed stroller models each year to include more safety features.
The latest strollers now feature ergonomic beds or seats that conform to the shape of a baby’s spine.
There are now many different types of strollers that have been developed for various uses.
Each of these designs requires design skills, adjustments in manufacturing, special materials, and marketing to assure parents that their infants can be transported safely.
These things have all contributed to driving up stroller prices considerably.
This is probably the primary reason that stroller prices are so expensive today.
The type of stroller that is needed is also a big determining factor in its cost.
For instance, a good general-purpose stroller can easily appear in the $450 to $1,000 range.
Strollers that are used for other purposes can cost more or less depending on what they are needed for.
Strollers that have travel systems also include the cost of a car seat that attaches to a stroller frame.
This type of stroller can be pricey as well.
The two components can be purchased separately, but sometimes compatibility is an issue, so purchasing the car seat that was made for a particular stroller model can be more expensive.
While foldable travel strollers can be the least expensive models, convertible ones can cost the most.
All of the strollers have different features that contribute to their costs.
Parents tend to be concerned about how much additional cost they will have to shell out to improve their infant’s comfort and safety while out and about.
Some of the most expensive stroller brands emphasize advanced features and practical upgrades.
Others concentrate more on the stroller’s style.
Naturally, parents should select those features that will impart accessibility and ease in their daily lives while going mobile with their infants.
A lot of strollers come with options for particular features.
Each feature that is chosen adds to the overall cost of the carriage.
Some of the options that are available include, but are not limited to, cushioned seats, ergonomically-correct beds or seats, automated folding mechanisms, oversized canopies, deluxe tires, shocks, storage compartments, and more.
Some of the most widely utilized extra features for strollers are extra-wide, comfortable seats with additional padding, a reclining mechanism, a reversible mechanism that allows parents to mount the seat facing forward or back, the option to attach an easily removable car seat as the seating element, a convertible design that adapts to the infant’s growing body, and expandable canopies.
4. Retail Inflation
Child-rearing costs have risen steadily over the last decade, contributing significantly to the prices of new strollers.
Because of this inflation, new parents tend to pay a lot more for baby products than they do for other familial items.
The retail industry is aware of this fact, so take advantage of this by commonly marking strollers up by as much as 50 to 90% more than is necessary to make a decent profit.
Unfortunately for the baby’s parents, these high payments can have little to do with the actual stroller or its additional features.
Retailers are tasked with establishing their own prices for larger international brands, which enables them to cover advertising and trade shows.
This also contributes to the more expensive stroller models, especially the imported ones.
5. Global Shipping Rates
Unlike a lot of consumer products that are passed through the supply chain, items such as strollers for newborns have unyielding deadlines.
After all, babies arrive when they are due, give or take the occasional week.
Some parents hesitate to purchase baby items very far in advance, but even those who do have been running into shipping snags due to items that were backed up for months.
This results in parents being upset by supply chain turmoil which, in turn, costs a lot more money than it once did.
The pandemic indirectly helped lead to higher global shipping rates.
Many of the nicer stroller models are from foreign countries.
Shipping them to the U.S. has become an expensive endeavor, the cost of which is passed on to the consumer.
Retailers point to the many problems inherent with current shipping issues, including the availability of shipping containers, crowded ports that have backlogs, not enough truckers, and other logistical challenges when strollers and other baby items arrive at distribution centers.
All of these things are related directly, or indirectly, to the rise in global shipping rates.
6. Quality control
In addition to parts, labor, and other basic manufacturing expenses, quality control can add a significant rise in the overall cost of a stroller.
Some companies rely solely upon stroller manufacturers to take care of the quality control issues that can sometimes result in product recalls and damage.
However, high-end businesses will sometimes hire third-party assessors to oversee the quality of the brands the retailer buys from.
As some high-end stroller models guard their reputations and want to make sure their customers are consistently satisfied.
A dependable stroller manufacturer tries to make sure that all suppliers that are used are qualified.
In most instances, the manufacturer will employ a quality control inspector to make sure the strollers manufactured within the company meet all safety and quality standards.
These testers will simulate the weight of the infant that the particular model is being designed for and will adjust all backrests, seatbelts, and brakes.
The stroller will be folded and unfolded repeatedly to make sure that all mechanisms are operational.
During this process, the folded stroller will be measured and weighed, and the weighing process will continue when the stroller is set up.
A static test will be conducted, and the infant stroller will be put through a series of dynamic tests before it is ready to depart the factory to go into retail stores.
Each stroller is pushed while loaded with a model infant and is guided through a specific type of S-curve that has been designed to act as a test route.
It is also pushed on rough and smooth sidewalks between a series of cones.
The device will be taken up and down curbs, and will also be driven over certain obstacles to test its durability.
This includes tree roots, grass, and other items that are commonly found outdoors.
Finally, the brakes are given a thorough check, as is the overall stability of the stroller.
Every stroller goes through the same testing routine to best assure that when it leaves the factory, it will be guaranteed safe.
When strollers reach the retailers, they are often put through a second safety inspection.
This is especially true of strollers that are sold through high-end establishments.
These are normally conducted to ascertain standards for the rigidity of the stroller’s frame are up to par.
The rotation lock mechanism should be tested for ease of use, and the brakes checked for safety.
The handle is tested for comfort while pushing, and an infant model is used to determine whether the child’s legs or feet are able to touch the wheels of the stroller.
This is an important test because each stroller is manufactured for a certain size to help prevent injuries.
Each stroller is tested to determine whether it can be easily opened, folded, and lifted to the height of the average car trunk.
The modality is tested when additional weight has been added to the stroller since parents often add handbags or diaper bags.
During this test, the weight-bearing aspects of the stroller are measured while stable and again while the device is moving.
The stroller is tested to make sure that it doesn’t collapse when the infant is being placed into it or removed from it.
Design experts or engineers are used to test the ease of adjustments and, again, to test the seat belts for safety.
The seat belts should fasten and unfasten easily.
The device’s storage spaces are checked to make sure that extra carry-on pieces will fit without obstructing or cramping the area where the child is located.
The stroller will be loaded and unloaded into different types and heights of cars, and will also be tested to assure that it will lie flat inside the trunk of the car and that the car’s lid will be able to close securely while carrying the stroller.
A legal team is usually employed to create a comprehensive return policy and sufficient warranty to protect customers from any stroller defects.
Certification should be supplied to assure consumers that mandatory international safety standards are complied with and that JPMA certification labels have been physically applied to the stroller.
This assures consumers that the Association of Product Manufacturers has made certain that the stroller complies with all mandatory safety and operational requirements in addition to those set forth by the JPMA, which is the organization that rates the stroller for uniformity and basic standards.
Finally, the manufacturer must hire technical writers and/or engineers to write and illustrate operating manuals that explain all of the stroller’s moving parts, safety features, and operational requirements, as well as any necessary warnings.
All of these things weigh heavily upon the expense of the stroller and are reflected in the device’s overall cost.
7. High-Quality Extra Features
A basic stroller is one thing and can be quite affordable.
However, when consumers begin to note all of the high-quality, optional features that are available, the temptation to buy them is great, and this can make strollers very expensive!
Not all strollers are alike, and a lot of parents want to convey the impression that they will go the extra mile for their new babies.
The least expensive strollers tend to be those known as umbrella strollers.
These are commonly seen at grocery stores, the zoo, or festivals.
Parents enjoy the fact that they are lightweight and easy to transport.
However, these strollers are commonly made from high-density plastic and have small wheels that can result in a bumpy ride for the baby.
These are not good strollers for newborn infants, so parents are more tempted to go for something sturdier.
Midrange to top-of-the-line strollers have metal frames and are designed for maximum longevity and durability.
Many parents go for sturdy metal frames but also want a stroller that is lightweight and easy to handle.
They pay premium prices for these options.
Likewise, a stroller’s wheels can play a huge role in the cost of the device.
Some wheel options include those that ride on air cushions and that swivel 360 degrees.
Others are made from rubber-based wheels that are puncture-proof.
Then, there are things such as design features, such as luxury patterns that appear on the stroller’s canoe and optional blankets that match, or specific colors.
While the temptation is great when it comes to choosing stroller options, they also add up quickly.
8. Luxury Strollers
Luxury strollers or designer strollers can be astronautically expensive.
Sometimes, new parents are tempted to buy them, whether they can afford them or not.
This is due to a certain belief in the status of purchasing a recognizable designer label or because they honestly believe that these strollers are the safest, highest quality strollers for their infants.
Are they really?
What do these strollers have that ordinary strollers do not?
The first thing is marketing that appeals to a moneyed demographic.
Luxury strollers will be typically advertised using such phrases as, “Design innovation and superior quality,” or “… providing exceptional experiences.”
While luxury strollers do tend to have luxury, washable fabrics and provide smoother rides for infants, buying them does not mean that purchasing an “ordinary” stroller that has been safety inspected is a bad thing.
Like any luxury item, a luxury stroller is more about status than anything, and it costs more.
9. Unrealistic Expectations And Dishonest Marketing
Sometimes, marketing companies zero in on the fact that sometimes new parents have unrealistic expectations about the influence a stroller will have on their child’s life.
One can see advertisements that talk about better posture or feelings of security or deeper sleep that is affected by paying more for a stroller.
These ads convince new parents that, unless they pay top dollar for their new baby’s stroller, the child will be missing an important developmental step that could have been improved with the addition of a fancy, expensive stroller.
“Pram envy” can be an influential factor among new parents, especially those who drop their children off at daycare or put them in nursery schools where a lot of parents take their children in strollers.
A cursory search of Google, however, did not yield any information, whatsoever, about how any child was developmentally penalized because their parents did not spend an extraordinary amount of money on a stroller.
As long as a stroller is in good condition and has passed all of its safety inspections, chances are it will be just fine in terms of providing a safe and efficient ride for infants.
Why buy one that is so expensive when it isn’t necessary?
10. Buying New Is Always More Expensive
Much money can be saved by purchasing baby gear that has been gently used.
Buying a new stroller is a lot more expensive than getting a used one.
New parents can get very excited about saying hello to a new child.
Most want to provide the very best for the baby but do so, at times, from an irrational perspective.
Parents who insist on buying luxury strollers for their babies can do so without paying retail prices for them.
Upon learning that a new child is on the way, parents can save a lot of money by planning ahead and searching for a used luxury stroller that is in good condition.
This provides the best of both worlds.
They get what they want, but can avoid the expensive price tags.
Parents often unload their baby gear after their children reach a certain age, and often do so well before the life of a stroller has come to an end.
In fact, with a good search, it isn’t that difficult to find strollers that are barely used but are selling for prices well below retail cost.
Buying new baby gear can be extraordinarily expensive, yet this is an unnecessary expense.
Like cars, new strollers begin to depreciate in value the minute they leave the showroom floor.
Buying a new stroller is very expensive!