My five secrets for saving money at Pottery Barn Kids on high-quality items that are perfect for nurseries, kids’ bedrooms, and playrooms.
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I wanted to buy that adorable elephant rocker with a white grosgrain ribbon around its neck for my toddler, but it was too expensive. I just couldn’t justify spending $150 on another toy when I needed to buy diapers, pouches, pajamas, etc. But I knew it would fit in the corner of the nursery so perfectly. I could almost hear my toddler reaching out to touch the gray plush saying, “So soft!” So I tucked the image of that elephant rocker with gentle eyes into the back of my mind, and I did what I almost always do: I waited for a sale.
I love the classic, preppy look of Pottery Barn Kids. I’m always drawn to the clean white furniture, traditional patterns, and sweet details that I find there. But Pottery Barn Kids definitely isn’t cheap.
A few years ago, even before I first encountered the elephant rocker, I wanted to find ways to get the things I really wanted from Pottery Barn Kids without paying full price. Over time, I’ve developed strategies that regularly save me up to 79% off! Today I’m going to tell you my five secrets for saving money at Pottery Barn Kids. I’ll tell you all about how I find ridiculously good deals there on items I really love. You can have Pottery Barn Kids at Pillowfort prices (or even below them) using my five secrets.
Secret #1: Keep A Wish List
I’m a serious list maker. I keep an active list of items I’m looking for from Pottery Barn Kids at any given moment. (I use the amazing Wunderlist app on my phone.) Then when sales pop up or I happen to be in-store, I can stay focused on getting a good deal. This also limits my impulse spending.
I can also refer to this list when I’m specifically searching, which I can tell you more about further down.
For example, right now I’m looking for:
Linen Ruffle Blackout Curtains
Skunk Halloween Costume
Letter Hooks (“G”)
Keeping this wish list actually helps me save money at Pottery Barn Kids because it means I have a plan. I know exactly what I want to buy and will be when I spot a deal.
Secret #2: Browse Craigslist (or your Local Classifieds Board) Regularly
I browse the for sale: baby & kid section of my local Craigslist several times a week. I’ll enter “pottery barn” into the search box first to see what’s been listed. Sometimes a PBK item will be for sale but it won’t be labeled as PBK. You’ll start to be able to identify certain pieces fairly easily. You can always ask a seller if the item they’ve listed is manufactured by Pottery Barn Kids if you’re not sure.
I bought a huge set of Sabrina baskets and liners using Craigslist. This set contained two medium baskets, four large baskets, and two extra large baskets. They really help with organizing the nursery. We use them to store board books and toys. Had I purchased them new from Pottery Barn Kids, I would have paid $240 or more. I paid $60 for the whole set when I found them gently used on Craiglist. That’s 75% off and a savings of over $150.
I also purchased two Carolina chairs on Craigslist for $30. This pair of chairs costs $140 brand new. I saved $120 and 79%. Now I just have to watch carefully for a matching Carolina table to crop up! Or maybe I’ll buy one with one of my other strategies for saving money on Pottery Barn Kids items.
Secret #3: Always Check the Clearance Section
I always, always, always check the clearance section when there’s something I really want at Pottery Barn Kids. Sure, there’s a lot to wade through in the clearance section, and this strategy does take time. However, I’ve found on more than one occasion that sometimes items move to the clearance section for a short period of time on deep discount, and then later return to full price. I’m not talking about the regular sales where PBK knocks off 20-25% one or two categories. I mean I actually see full price items move to clearance for a few days at extremely good prices, then return to full price.
For example: I found a Catalina Dresser in the online clearance section for $150. It usually retails for $499, so that’s 70% off and a savings of $350. I was even able to secure free furniture delivery with that order!
Another example: I dreamed of getting a Pottery Barn Kids kitchen for my daughter, but I knew they were way out of my price range. (Especially when there are some pretty darling affordable options out there, like this classic choice from KidKraft.) However, I was cruising the clearance section earlier this summer and I found the All-in-One retro kitchen in gray for almost 50% off! It was still a splurge, but I had to get it! Now the same kitchen is back on the Pottery Barn Kids website listed at $400. I saved around $200.
The lesson here: Always check the clearance section at Pottery Barn Kids.
Secret #4: Open Some of Those Emails
If you’re on the Pottery Barn Kids mailing list, you know those emails never stop! (I must get three a day, I swear.) However, opening them some of the time can pay off. They often extend and combine their sales, so you can end up with 25% off one item + free shipping, which is a great time to buy small goods like towels, holiday décor, backpacks, or gifts. If you’re on the mailing list you can also quickly scan the email to see which categories are on sale and check those categories against your wish list.
For example, I’m watching my emails for a 25% off one item + free shipping coupon code. When I see one, I’ll buy my daughter’s Halloween costume.
Certain Pottery Barn Kids items are excluded from most of their promotions. Usually this includes their designer collaborations, items they receive from third-party vendors, and more. (You can read the fine print at the bottom of those regular emails to see the long list.)
You’ll also want to watch the emails from Pottery Barn Kids for flash sales around Black Friday and through Christmas. In 2016, they ran promotions on different popular gift items for several days in a row. They discounted Anywhere chairs, dollhouses, play kitchens, and other big-ticket items that are popular on Christmas morning.
If you’re using this strategy, don’t forget to apply the coupon code when you check out!
Secret #5: Find Pottery Barn Kids Lookalikes
When it’s tough to justify the cost of a certain Pottery Barn Kids item you want it’s a good strategy to consider lookalikes. You won’t always find a perfect substitute, but you might be surprised by what you do find!
For example: I thought a PBK Anywhere Chair would make the perfect Christmas gift for my one-year-old. But those chairs are definitely expensive. By the time you pay for tax, shipping, the delivery surcharge, and personalization, an Anywhere Chair can cost you $150. All we’re talking about here is some foam in a cute slipcover!
Not only that, but to my disappointment, Anywhere Chairs are often excluded from regular promotions. Now and then some Anywhere Chairs will hit the clearance section, but you often can’t be picky about the color or style. (If you want a gray Anywhere Chair with white piping, trust me, I haven’t seen it hit the clearance section yet!)
The good news is that Target’s Pillowfort line makes a lookalike called the Luna Lounger. The lookalike even comes in several different colors. It usually costs $75, so that’s about half of what you’d pay for the original. However, you can often find Pillowfort furniture discounted. Right now the Luna Lounger is $63.74.
It’s not quite as pretty as the authentic Anywhere Chair at Pottery Barn Kids, but it will be more than adequate for a savings of around $85! I recommend buying the Luna Lounger online, because the in-store specimens are often dirty because they’re not wrapped in anything protective.
Lookalikes in the Toy Section
I love leveraging this lookalikes strategy in the toy section at Pottery Barn Kids. PBK generally sells high quality toys that are beautiful and well made. Many of these toys are produced by well-known third-party manufacturers like Melissa & Doug, Green Sprouts, and Skip Hop, but with their designs licensed out to Pottery Barn Kids.
For example, Skip Hop manufacturers the darling activity gyms sold through Pottery Barn Kids. These stylish gyms range from $89-$139. (You can read here about why they’re my number one toy for newborns!) Of course you can use one of my other strategies and wait for a coupon, which means you could get one of these activity gyms for around $70. Or, you could just buy a similar Skip Hop gym from another vendor. Skip Hop’s activity gyms start around $70, and it may be easier to find additional discounts. This won’t save you tons of money, but you’ll often still save $20 or more!
Another example in the toy department at PBK: this silver toy Dyson vacuum that costs a pretty penny. I’ve known several toddlers who had a fascination with vacuums, and this is a great gift option for them. I can’t justify spending $70 on a mini toy vacuum. So it’s time to consider lookalikes. To my surprise, I found a toy Dyson on Amazon for $21. The only downside is that this vacuum is a much louder color. So the question is, am I willing to pay an extra $50 for gray paint? Not in this case. Choosing the yellow Dyson would save me 70%.
There’s No Need to Pay Full Price
I hope you’ve enjoyed my five secrets for saving money at Pottery Barn Kids! If you’re patient and use some of these strategies, there’s really no need to pay full price at Pottery Barn Kids. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars using these secrets, and I know you can too. Now what will you do with those savings? Why, you’ll buy diapers of course!
If you’re interested in more tips on how to save money on high-end baby gear, don’t forget to sign up to my email list below!
My name is Kate and I live in a California beach town with my husband & baby girl. At High Low Baby, I review baby products at high and low price points.