I decided Marianna's room needed redecorating when I caught sight of her pile of Christmas presents. There was scarcely enough room in there to get the door open as it was, and there was no way she could actually play with anything. The obvious solution was to go for a loft bed to try and make more space - but I just didn't trust Marianna to use a ladder to get in and out of it.
We looked at various options, from making our own staircase using an IKEA trofast, to somehow finding the £400+ for a bed with built in storage steps. To be fair there are some lovely beds with built in storage, but our problem was finding space for stuff Marianna already owned - doll houses, play kitchen, etc - so there would have been no point in us going for that kind at the moment.
(As an aside, if you're an entrepreneurial type there's a definite gap in the market for loft/bunk bed stairs and ladders you can buy separately!)
Finally I did what I should have done in the first place and turned to eBay, where I came across a gently used Scallywag high sleeper for £75. Solid pine was way better quality than we could have afforded new and, crucially, the ladders are designed to be a bit safer for kids. The only problem was that we're in South Wales and the bed was in Surrey.
I'd heard of Shiply - a service which allows delivery firms to bid for your job - but had never actually tried it. I was worried it would be complicated, or something would go wrong and I'd be left out of pocket. I was really pleasantly surprised then when I just input the eBay item number and, within a few minutes, I had a whole list of quotes to go and collect it for me.
You can check out the feedback profiles of each company to help you choose, and there is an easy messaging feature if you have more in depth questions. Once you accept a quote you need to fill out the collection and delivery details - so you need to ask for the eBay seller's email address and phone number - and pay a deposit as confirmation.
It was all so simple I kept worrying that something was bound to go wrong but, in spite of my pessimism, the bed arrived well within the two week time frame, with all the bits in tact. Delivery cost me £70, bringing the cost to £145 altogether, which was about as much as I was going to have to spend on the bed itself, before having to build steps to go with it.
So, yeah, I am definitely a Shiply convert!
(My spare room is already afraid...)
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