Below you'll find my review of the top four registry options in the USA. Please post your comments if you know of other great places to register - or if you'd like to add a "pro" or "con". I'd love to hear from other metropolitan mamas.
babycenter store (http://store.babycenter.com)
- Online: Visitors can log in, buy, and ship gifts without leaving their home.
- Incredible selection: From strollers and slings to breast pads and bottles, this mega store has an impressive collection of big-name and specialty items.
- Online only: Family & friends who are technology-illerate may find the online registry a bit overwhelming.
- Location: 1500 stores in 47 states
- Convenience: Target is a recognizeable brand to people across the age/class continuum.
- Not-Just-For-Baby: Add vacuums, toasters, breadmakers, blenders, bathroom towels, maternity clothes, massagers, and more.
- Return Policy: Target will take back items if you have gift receipts without any qualms. They are sticklers, however, if you don't have a receipt. You can only return two items at a time - even if all of the items have the Target emblem.
- Limited selection: Target's selection has grown steadily over the past few years, but they don't offer many specialty items. [NOTE: Target's in-store selection of children's books is pitiful and you can't add books online!]
- Disorganized: As a shopper, it can be a bit trying to locate the items on the list.
- Mother's Room: A clean, quiet, comfortable, private place for mom and baby - this room has a changing table with complimentary diapers and wipes, a sofa, and a glider.
- Organized: Neatly stocked shelves and clearly labeled aisles.
- Free Gift Wrap: Gift-givers have the option to wrap their own gifts with complimentary gift wrap on their way out.
- Special Events: Pick up their store calendar and you'll most likely find a baby bonanza, fair, or class of interest.
- Other Amenities: There's a free gift when you register, free drinks if you buy an item off of a registry, and other great perks!
- Location: 232 locations nationwide - scant compared to the giant that is Target.
Sears, JCPenney, Dillards
- Cute baby clothes: Tons of clothes for the Fashionista Mama to choose from.
- Less selection: These stores haven't positioned themselves to be competitive with Target and Babies-R-Us. They offer clothes and furniture - a few other items here and there - but it's still rather "slim pickings".
- No Amenities: Surprisingly, these stores don't offer free gifts, free coffee, free anything.
As much as I love Babies R Us, one "Con" I discovered was this: if someone bought something for you ONLINE they give you a REALLY hard time about returning it TO THE STORE (unlike Target!)... so I had to exert a little "I'm a pregnant mom don't make me haul this extra stroller someone duplicate-bought me back home" pressure to get them to take back the item. It was frustrating to not know that policy up front!