why do people NOT shop off registry?? — The Bump
3rd Trimester

why do people NOT shop off registry??

Over the weekend my sister and I were discussing this. If you know where someone is registered- why would you not shop off of a registry?  I am looking for honest responses. Is it that you don't want the receiver to know how much you spent? Do you just disagree with registries in general? can you not be bothered? what?

Re: why do people NOT shop off registry??

  • I know a lot of people who buy an item that they found useful when they first had their babies. This may not be something you've thought of, so they are just trying to help.
  • I simply can't spend my $ on something I hate as a product or think is fugly. Sometimes I can find it cheaper elsewhere. And sometimes depending on the friend I like to do something more personal if I know she wants something that can't be registered for.
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  • I have never done it.  But reasons I have heard:  how close people live to the store you are registered at (yes, they can order on line, but why pay shipping?), they see something else they think you would like, they have an idea of something you could use from their own experience.
  • As a 2nd time mom I like to get gifts that I KNOW will be useful. Sometimes people put crazy things on the registry that I don't feel like buying. I also like to give personal gifts (like personalized onsies) and always give one of my favorite baby books. I am also a big fan of the element of surprise -- all moms to be stalk their registry (I was guilty!) and I like giving something that they don't know they are getting.

    If there is something on there that I want to buy, I will. If not I will buy what I want.

    Most of my favorite gifts from my shower were things that weren't on the registry.

  • I think a lot of times people either think they know better or are more creative than the person who created the registry.  Sometimes, in either case, they may be right, but other times, you might walk alway appreciating the gift, but wishing they would have stuck to your registry. 
  • i honestly have no idea.  i think sometimes with the "late" shoppers, either it's slim pickings to choose from and nothing is in the price point they want to spend, so they'd rather go elsewhere.  Or maybe people who have recently had kids believe that there is something you didn't register for that they absolutely think you need.  Or some people may have extras of things laying around from their kids that they want to throw together for you... which happened to be the case in a few of the gifts I received.  In those instances, nothing was the right size for the season the items were meant for, and that made me a little angry because I can't use any of it.

    We ended up returning a crap load of extra clothes that we didn't need or like to BRU and Carters.  In return I had a $500 credit at BRU and when I combined it with gift cards I got, we were able to purchase our rocker / ottoman and we were able to upgrade the jog stroller we registered for.  So, I really am not complaining.

  • I think people prefer buying cute, fun stuff.  I didn't register for toys or clothes (they change seasonally, and I got a lot of second hand clothes).  But many of my people wanted to buy adorable little outfits, cute toys, little blankets, etc.  Even if I had registered for more, people like picking things out in their taste.

    Breast milk bags are just not interesting, fun, or cute for the buyer.

    Other people are mothers with a really good idea of something you don't even think you need.  Some people may want to shop at a different store.  Your registry could become picked over (this happened to me, I didn't know how generous people would be - also, didn't know that everyone wanted my Target registry even though I put my stuff on BRU - only had Target for out-of-state people w/o BRU).


  • I try hard to buy off registries but I like to purchase things in the store so if the store isn't in my town or nothing within my price range is left on the registry, then I tend to buy something else, but usually from the store the person is registered at so it can be returned.  I've always bought of the registry for all wedding showers and weddings but I would consider I non-registry item for a baby shower.
  • From personal experience, I never used to buy stuff off any BRU registry because there weren't any stores close to my house and I didn't want to order online and pay shipping.  Lots of times I would get something similar at a different store, but sometimes it's just more fun to go to the store and pick out a cute outfit.  Buying things like diapers or crib sheets just isn't that exciting for some people.

    I also agree with pp that some of my favorite gifts were things people bought that weren't on my registry because I hadn't thought of them.

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  • I wonder the same thing! When we did our wedding registry, the stuff was a "wishlist"...if we got those items, it was great but we didn't actually need any of that stuff because it was mostly just "upgrading" the stuff we already had. The baby registry is all stuff we need because we don't already have any of it. Hardly anything was purchased off my registry. I am due in about 4 weeks and just had my second shower this past weekend. I am now going to go shopping for myself using my own registry!!!! Don't get me wrong, I am very greatful for the things we did get, but we now have WAY too many clothes and more blankets then we know what to do with. It would have been nice to get more the neccessities (sp??).
  • I wonder the same thing.  I'm grateful for what we receive (after all a gift is not a requirement), but I made a registry for a reason.  It's frustrating to know that I'll still have to go out and buy the things I actually need, and I have a bunch of clothes at home that I can't return and may never use.  For the life of me, I can't understand why my mom went with me to register and then didn't buy one thing from the registry. 

    For the record, DH and I have already bought all the big items ourselves. 

  • I honestly don't know. I always buy items off the registry.
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  • Agree with other pp's frustrations as I am dealing with them myself. Of course I am thankful for every gift but for me clothes are really personal and things I'd rather select myself -- plus we already have TONS from close relatives (ahem, mom) who have been buying all along. The things that are not on my registry that other moms really use are often things I have picked up myself too -- maybe there was a good sale or something. The one time I went off-registry was a last minute shower invitation for an acquaintance who registered at Target and BRU. The BRU is about 30 minutes away so I opted for Target which at the time was about 20 minutes away. For some reason NOTHING on her registry was available at the store. I didn't have time to run to BRU so I got clothes -- and I felt terrible about it! If I really could think of a good personal gift or could make things like a quilt, etc. I might do that. But probably not, I want to get people what they want. The random stuff we got for our wedding was such a turn-off I will never buy off-registry again :)
  • Actually I think the real reason is that it's more fun to buy cutesy baby things than some of the more practical items.  I just had my shower this weekend and we got some of our registered items but we got a ton of clothes, etc that weren't on the registry.  Baby cloth shopping is just more fun.
  • Yeah, we just had our first shower, I didn't even want to register (my mom made me do it) because I was hoping that people would buy things I hadn't registered for that they thought I would need. But they didn't.  Everyone bought me pink outfits in size 0-3.

    So, even though I picked a ton of inexpensive items and tried to pick things that would be useful, a crowd of experienced moms (my aunts and cousins, most have at least 2 kids) couldn't restrain themselves from buying little pink things.

    I don't care that much I guess since we can afford to buy things, but I wish I wouldn't have had to waste 2 saturdays at BRU carefully picking everything out.

  • I would be so annoyed if people didn't buy off my registry.  I mean you go to the trouble of setting it up because the items you put on there are things you need/want. 

    I'm putting together my shower invitations now and I'm including a line that says "We kindly ask that you purchase gifts exclusively from our registry."  Is that too bitchy? I just don't want to end up with a lot of useless toys or pink clothes that I don't want to use.  Especially since I've already purchased the clothes that I want for now and a newborn seriously doesn't need many toys. 


  • Solelle, I don't think you can put that on your invitation...even though I was kind of annoyed at all the tiny pink outfits, there were still some nice presents.  Like one of my aunts crocheted me a baby blanket, and one of my cousins who doesn't have much money but who does have a 3 month old bought me a package of her favorite diapers and some other little things.

    I think the most you can do is tell your hostesses that you prefer things from your registry over clothes and toys, and maybe you can toss in a complaint about BRU's difficult return policy and how you hope people will include a gift receipt.  Maybe that will get the message across. 

  • As much as I wish people would buy exclusively from my registry, I would not put that on your shower invitation.  Most people consider that "gift grubbing" and would find that very rude.  I know how badly you want stuff.  I'm very picky and spent a lot of time researching exactly what I wanted.  That being said, I need to be grateful for anything anyone gives me.  I'm secretly hoping for gift receipts though.
  • Several different reasons for me. 

    #1-If I know a lot of the stuff they registered for is stuff they really won't use-and I know, the new mom thinks she needs it or she wants it, but alot of times I know people who have bought similar items and taken them back or never used them, so I refuse to buy those things for anyone.

    #2-There is something they didn't register for that I loved or found invaluable and think they could use as well.  Some of my favorite gifts at my shower were things I never would have thought to register for.

    #3- If I see something cute or fun that I want to get for them.

    #4- I will sometimes buy things on their registery at different places, say the couple registered at BRU, but Target sells the same thing for $20 less, I am buying it at Target, sorry!

  • See, if I were invited to Solell's shower I would politely decline and NOT send a gift at all. It's my money and I will spend it as I choose. If i would rather buy you a pink outift than a back of bottles, then that is what you get.

    A shower is not a requirement and you should be greatful that you are getting one at all. I can't imagine TELLING people that they need to buy off of my registry.

    A registry is really a guide, or a wish list, it's not a shopping list for all of your guests to follow.

    I will be embarassed for you if you actually PUT that on your invite.


  • I found that my family & friends shopped almost entirely from the registry.  Most of DH's mom's relatives and ALL of his dad's relatives did not use the registry.  They just wanted to buy cute baby clothes, which worked out fine since my family had already bought most of the things we needed.

    I also think you need to register at more than one place.  In my neck of the woods, using BRU only is a big mistake if you're hoping to get items from your registry.  You have to add Target or Kohl's or Walmart.  My Target registry is complete, but the BRU purchases were basically just my mom, MIL and 2 or 3 other guests.

  • I understand buying it elsewhere to get it cheaper (I had a few of those this past weekend, which is fine with me bc I know where I can return if I get 2).  But it's buying something that's obviously a registry item (bathtub) somewhere else, just something you think is nice and NOT attaching a gift receipt.  I don't mind not buying off a registry, just please include a gift receipt!

    So I'm venting with you, not answering  your question.

    I think it's cuz either they didn't have time to go to where you're registered, found something they thought was nice somewhere else or did find a better deal somewhere else. 

  • I know what you mean.  I am having the same trouble.  My shower is in 2 weeks and not much is bought off my registry.  I think it depends on how convenient your registry location is.  I'm registred at BRU and the nearest one for me is an hour away.  Target is closer but sucks, they didn't have much at all.  So maybe its just location and convenience.  But personally if someone were registred somewhere that wasn't convenenient for me I would wait till a weekend and then go find the place. I know its aggrivating
  • My sister called me last week and asked me for the size of clothes I wanted. She said she wasn't going to buy off my registry because she wanted to pick out the items.
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