Why I Chose Encore
I was nervous to create a registry. I didn’t like the idea of people spending a lot of money on us. I had also watched a video on the story of stuff.
Babies grow so fast that their items usually only last them a few months. What was the point in getting something brand new that would still be new when we were done using it? It would just add to the stuff problem.
One day, I decided to google second hand baby registries. That’s when I learned about Encore. It’s completely free to use, and they have a helpful sample registry. They encourage hand-me-down gifting. The platform also allows for homemade gifting options.
I’m going to walk you through how awesome Encore is using my own registry as the example.
To start with, Encore provides you with great help to understand second hand gifting. There is a tab labeled ‘secondhand scoop.’
The ‘Why Go Secondhand’ link lists five reasons why second hand gifting is worth it. My favorite reason is that it’s cheaper. I didn’t like the idea of people spending a lot of money on me, especially when I knew my home is more financially stable than other homes in my family.
‘Secondhand Safety’ is the most important link in this list. It has a recall link so you can find out what products are no longer considered safe. It provides information on how safe items like breast pumps and cribs are as hand-me-downs. There is even more information to be found here, so be sure to check it out.
‘Hand-Me-Down Etiquette’ provides helpful guidelines to gift givers and receivers. Some items can be gifted as loans rather than as permanent gifts. And that’s okay. This link helps you to define what items you want to keep and which ones you only want as a loan.
The last link helps you and your registry guests find places to second hand shop at.
Now for the fun part. There are two different views of the registry to go over. First, what your guests will see. Second, what you see and how to edit items. Be sure to pay attention to how to navigate. Navigation is there, but it took me some time to figure out.
When your guests go to Encore, they can follow the path ‘Gift Registry -> Find a Registry’ to get to this page:
All people need is the title of your registry. Our registry name was Baby Stiles (Sara didn’t have a name until after she was born). It’s still up there. Feel free to search for it, and see it for yourself.
Welcome Info and the Registry List
What comes up is our welcome message.
That’s something I wrote up myself. And at the bottom, you can see it can link to other registries that provide new items. Or you can just do everything on Encore. I’ll demonstrate how later. What comes up next is the child’s info and an explanation of how it works. The ‘how it works’ bit is a canned statement by Encore that you can choose to use. I liked it and decided to keep it posted. The next part is what everyone is waiting for: your registry!
All the items will be listed out according to the category. This is a screenshot of Bath and Potty. When someone gifts an item, it will be labeled as ‘GIFTED.’ If only 2 out of 3 items have been gifted, that will be noted. People can either put the number of items they are gifting in that box that currently says 0 and scroll to the bottom of the page to click ‘Give Gift’ or click on the link.
An item that has no details attached will come up like this. It says how many you want, if you want it used, and if it’s something you’re willing to give back. Right below there will be a ‘give gift’ option. (The edit option only appears if you’re the registry owner)
For Navigation purposes, do you see under ‘Bib’ where it says ‘an item of Baby Stiles’? That’s where your guests will click to get back to the main registry.
We didn’t care what we got for bibs, but there were some items we cared about.
We wanted this specific changing pad. So we added the link to the description to make it easy to find. Finding items from Amazon is even easier.
Encore works with Amazon. You can search the Amazon directory and add their items. When you do, Encore will pull the Amazon picture and description for you. Then there is a nice little button for your guests to view the item on Amazon and buy there.
When your guests click to ‘Give Gift,’ this screen will pop up:
They can choose to list if it’s a loan or permanent gift, add a picture or description of what they’re giving, choose to remain anonymous, or receive an email confirmation. The address to send the gift to will also pop up here.
Once they click ‘Give Gift,’ they’ll be redirected to a confirmation page.
Once again, they’ll be shown the address where to send the gift(s) along with a link to get back to your registry. And that’s how simple it’ll be for your guests to use.
Registry Owner View
Once you create a registry, you can get back to it for editing by following the path ‘Gift Registry -> Manage your Registries’.
Your view is a bit different. You don’t see the welcome message and have edit options. At the very top of your registry, there is a purple section. Here you can navigate to see what your guests see under the name of your registry (in our case the link is Baby Stiles), Edit your Welcome Message and other basic details, or delete your registry when it’s all done.
Here you can change the title of your registry, add a password (we didn’t feel a need for one), and manage your welcome message.
It’s a small box. So you may want to type it in word then copy it over.
Next, you can check if you want to use the generic ‘How this Works’ message. You can edit it if you want. If you have a partner who is raising the baby with you, this is where you can add their name. There is a section to identify gender. You can also add a countdown for additional fun.
The expected date is mandatory, and it’s good practice to add the shower date. Otherwise, people will not know when to do their shopping by! (The dates in the photo are intentional off to protect Sara’s privacy)
Next, you list your address. This is what will show up when your guests click to send a gift. Following that, you have an opportunity to list other sites you have a registry on. And that’s the last of it. At the bottom of the page is a button to save your changes.
After an item is added, you can go back in and edit it. Encore does have canned statements and titles you can use for most things. If you don’t like the canned statements, you can delete them and make your own. You can list out item quantity, if you want it new or used, and if you accept the item as a loan.
Next, you get to add an image. Encore provides standard images for common items. But they don’t have an image for everything. You can google a picture, download it, and then upload it. I highly recommend making sure your registry has good photos for each item. It will help your guests understand what you’re looking for and make the registry more visually appealing.
Once you hit update, you’ll get a confirmation page:
You can click to view what you just did, add another item, or go back to your page for editing the registry. This comes up after a successful edit or add.
What I haven’t shown yet is what appears on the left side of the page. If you are the registry owner, this block will always appear on the left of the page no matter what view you are using.
As you can see, it can be expanded to show sub-fields of categories. The categories provide easy navigation to find items in the field you want. Notice the ‘add item from Amazon’ option at the bottom.
Clicking on the sub-field ‘nursing’ brought me to a page with pre-listed items that are commonly added under ‘nursing.’ There is also the option to add your own item. Whether you click on a pre-listed item or click to add your own, the view is the same as what I showed you before in editing an item.
Clicking on the ‘Add an Item from Amazon’ option will bring up this page.
Type in your item description and search within a specific category.
Encore will pull up those items in Amazon’s directory. You get to pick which one you want. Notice how it provides pictures and descriptions for you. That information can’t be edited, but you can add additional comments in the edit page.
Some things require multiples of different sizes, scents, flavors, or other variations. Encore makes this easy. To your guests, it’ll look like this:
You add these size options in the edit menu.
Right below where you can add pictures is where you can check to add sizes. Then you just list how many of each size you want. If you leave some sizes as zero, as I did, they won’t show up as an option for your guests.
An additional location you might need multi items is under parents gifts.
Many people are coming to love essential oils. If you intend to use them for yourself and your new baby, you can add them to your registry.
MAKE SURE YOU READ UP ON WHAT IS SAFE TO USE FIRST!
You can identify what oils you want in the description:
Then, when people gift, they can leave a description of what they’ve bought, so others don’t buy the same thing.
Another great option here is for meals post-baby. See my post on postpartum tips for how important this can be.
As with the Essential Oils, you can list out what meals you’d like. Then people can leave descriptions of what they can make and how long it’ll last. If anyone in your household has food allergies, that would also be good to mention here.
At the top right, there is a drop-down menu labeled ‘Account Tools’ right next to the logout button.
We’ve already covered the first few items. ‘View Gifts to You’ is the first big item on this list. It’s where you go to check what’s been gifted and by who.
It states who gave the item, what it was, how much, photo, description, and lists if you need to return it.
Gift givers can choose to remain anonymous until the expected birth date. After that date, their names will appear. Birthdate is chosen over shower date for the reveal of names because some do not have a shower or have multiple.
This page is helpful for post-shower. Sometimes gifts arrive without a name. In that event, this list helps you identify who gave what so you know who to send thank yous to.
There is also the option to add additional notes. The notes section is good for adding details you need to know like when should a gift be returned by. If you do add any notes, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page and hit ‘Update Notes’.
The next link is for managing your account.
Here you can edit your personal information. Notice your place of residence info. If you change the shipping address under ‘Manage Your Registries’ it does not change the address here. The reverse is also true. The information entered here is what shows up when people search for your registry.
If you change anything, be sure to click ‘Update Profile.’
The Registrant FAQ link helps you find quick answers to any questions you might have about site use. And if you want to let Encore know what you think of their site, complete the survey. Your input can help them improve their product to provide a better experience.
Second Hand Gifting is a Great Option
Most of the items your baby will use will be used lightly. They can be passed onto other new moms. And it’s okay to receive a hand-me-down. Those items are just as good as new ones. If you do your shower online as we did, I recommend googling second hand online stores. There are several out there. It can be difficult for people to ship items. So having a store do it for them helps out a lot.
Let me know what you think in the comments below! Are there any additional details you’d like to see added? Have you had good or bad experiences with second hand items?