Car Seat Buying Tips: Watch Out for Fakes & Scams!

Online Car Seat Shopping Advice

Unfortunately, car seats are not immune to scams and knockoffs. Finding out that you purchased a car seat from a fraudulent seller that never delivered your item is bad enough but putting your baby in a counterfeit car seat that is untested and doesn’t meet federal safety standards could be even worse!

5 Tips for Getting the Best Online Car Seat Deals:

1. Buy from reputable stores & sellers. Amazon, Target, Walmart, BuyBuyBaby, Kohls or other major online and brick & mortar baby stores have a real presence for customer service in the USA or Canada. Haven’t heard of a website even though it has authentic brand logos? Call the manufacturer or message them on one of their social media channels to ask if this is an authorized retailer. Car seats can be expensive to ship back if there is any issue, so ask first if they offer free return shipping or in-store returns.

2. Even at Amazon and Walmart, be wary of third party sellers.  Most are legitimate, but some are fake storefronts that will disappear with your money or sell knockoff products with no possibility of customer service or returns. For example, the safest buys at Amazon are car seats listed as, “Ships from and sold by Amazon” with, “FREE Returns.” If you’ve never heard of a third party reseller, read their reviews and make sure they have contact information including an address and try their phone number to ask about their return policy!

3. Avoid unknown brands. Read our report on cheap, portable carseats that are not compliant with safety standards. Car seats that meet government regulations require extensive/expensive design, testing and certification. These major corporations have customer service staff for questions and warranty issues. Un-certified, cheap carseats sold directly from overseas do none of this and those shill companies are likely to disappear when their products are found to be defective or illegal. Brands you trust like Britax, Clek, Maxi-Cosi, Graco, Cosco, Chicco, Evenflo and others are major companies with legitimate retail presence online and in stores.

4. See our guidelines on secondhand car seats. Read about used or like-new carseats before buying on Marketplace, eBay, Craigslist or other resale stores. A gently used car seat in very good condition handed down from a relative or friend may be fine to use, but one with an unknown history may not be!

5. Know where to find the REAL DEALS! We have a Car Seat Deals Tracker that our experts update manually at least daily during the shopping season. We notify quickly when the best deals hit, so bookmark our tracker, “like” our facebook page and follow our deals post for the latest sales and coupon codes! Only legitimate name brand products from reputable websites make our list!

Not sure what to buy? Check our Recommended Carseats list with Editors’ Picks in each budget category from our expert staff with decades of experience in the industry.

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