Everyone loves a bargain, right? Right! I do, too.
There are plenty of bargains to be found when it comes to baby carriers. Some bargains are found on buy/sell/trade boards, and others at consignment shops. Some are on the clearance racks at the big box stores, and others are from flash sales at online specialty stores.
There is a type of bargain baby carrier that is really NOT a good deal, and that is the copy/knockoff or fake carrier. These come in two types: one that kind of looks like a specific brand carrier but is not labeled as that brand (copy/knockoff), and one that looks like, and is labeled as that specific brand, trying to pass for that carrier (fake). Many of these copies and fakes can be found on Amazon, eBay, or the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba.
Major brands that tend to be copied are Ergo, Freehand (a brand of mei tai that is no longer produced), Beco, Hotslings, Tula, Lillebaby, Bjorn, Moby, and more. Ergo is by far the most frequently copied and there are many FAKE Ergos out there. They are now copied so closely that some of them are impossible to tell the difference. The only ways to ensure you aren't buying a fake Ergo are to buy new from an authorized retailer (Ergo maintains information about these on their site), or contact Ergo with the information on the tag if you are buying used.
It pays to be cautious. The fakes are everywhere, and sometimes they are being re-sold by people who do not realize they are fake. Swap boards, consignment stores, and garage sales have turned up fake carriers, and it is always a sad day when someone is excited about their new carrier, only to find out that it is a fake, and essentially worthless. Then, they are without a carrier, and often out the money they paid for the fake.
You might be thinking: "well if it looks like an Ergo, and functions like an Ergo, who cares?"
Here's why you should care and beware:
If you are looking for a carrier and feel like a fake or copy is your only option due to budget, please reconsider, for the health and safety of your baby and your family. There are a number of authentic carriers that are comparable in price to a fake or copy, and I will highlight these in an upcoming blog post.
For further reading on fakes and copies, please see:
Put your mind (and baby) at ease, and only buy authentic carriers!
(This post is the third in a series about choosing and using a woven wrap. See Part 1 here and Part 2 here).
Today's post contains "everything you need to know" to make a secondhand wrap purchase.
Some benefits of buying secondhand
Some risks of buying secondhand
Where to buy secondhand
If you have an active local babywearing community, you may be able to find a wrap you like for sale within your community. Many local babywearing groups allow buying/selling/trading of carriers in their Facebook groups. You might also be able to find a secondhand wrap at a consignment sale or even listed on your local Craigslist.
If you cannot find one locally, there are many online options for buying secondhand.
Basic buy/sell/trade group guidelines and etiquette:
Buying a new wrap is great and buying secondhand can also be lots of fun! However, if you are more of a do it yourself type, stay tuned for the next post, about making a DIY wrap.
Beth. The babywearing lady.
copyright 2016 Beth Secrist
All photos used under the Creative Commons license through Flickr. Photography by: littletuesday12