We got our son a Strider off Craigslist for only $15. It was very worn (rusted) but works just fine. He was about 18 months and started using it right away. Now he's 3 and still using it. My son absolutely loves it.
And it's great for me too because it means we can walk the dogs farther or go on jogs without a jogging stroller. It's such a well-used item for our family that I bought another one (a knock-off I found on amazon) for grandma's house.
I love these bikes so much that I looked into being a seller. But I figured that if I wasn't willing to pay full price then I doubt many others would either. However, I know the reasons I would give to potential buyers if I were to start selling them myself:
- foam tires mean the kiddo can ride on all kinds of surfaces without popping a tire. It's much easier to maintain.
- although you can remove the pedals from regular bikes, those bikes are still very heavy. toddler balance bikes are generally very lightweight. Easy for the kids to maneuver and easy for you to transport (to the park, beach, etc)
- strider bikes offer lots of customization. You can buy the bikes in a variety of colors and there are cool accessories too. My son loves his little Strider water bottle we attached to his bike.
- Strider has events where kids can ride together or even compete. Afaik no other balance bike offers that.