September 2021 Target Car Seat Recycling Trade-In Event
Updated September 12, 2021
Get ready, get set . . . The Target Carseat Trade-in Event is back on the calendar and it’s coming up soon so get your carseats ready for drop-off. Target has taken the “What do I do with this outgrown/crashed carseat?” problem and solved it for us, but we have LESS THAN TWO WEEKS to drop them off and be rewarded with a coupon (ah, bless the Target gods).
Did you know most towns and cities don’t have recycling programs for carseats*? When you’ve been in a crash, many carseat manufacturers want the carseat to be replaced, whether or not it was occupied during the crash. Crash forces can do damage to the plastic we can’t see, and engineers design carseats to absorb forces, just like our vehicles have crumple zones to mitigate or lessen, crash forces.
Before there were trade-in events, most of us had very few choices besides throwing out the carseat when it was expired or if it had been involved in a crash. Babies R Us started the trade-in trend in 2010, partly to get recalled items out of circulation, and Target got in on the fun in 2016. Walmart joined in once to offer discounts to those who wanted to ditch some seats for coupons, but discontinued their trade-in event early when everyone with a carseat took advantage of the great deal they were offering. Unfortunately, Walmart is not running a trade-in event this year to our knowledge.
From Sunday, September 12, through Saturday, September 25, 2021, Target will have a large box at the front of the store where you can place your carseat. The seat can be expired, damaged, or recalled. Or it can be perfectly fine and you just don’t need it anymore. All carseats will be recycled by the Waste Management company. Target claims to have recycled over 17 million pounds of carseats in the 5 years they’ve had this program with the Waste Management company. Way to go, everyone!
What they take:
- Rear-facing only infant seats (bases-only have been allowed in the past)
- Convertible seats
- Harness-to-boosters (combination) seats
- Belt-positioning boosters
What they give you:
- A coupon for 20% off a new carseat, stroller, or select baby gear (playards, high chairs, swings, rockers, or bouncers) for each seat turned in
The coupon is valid through Saturday, October 2, 2021, and the code can be used in-app if the brick and mortar store doesn’t have your preferred item.
Target now has you using their Target Circle app so everything is contactless. Download the app before you leave home to save time, if you don’t already have it (and your Target REDcard loaded into it for easy spending!).
What to do and tips for success:
- Plan to drop off your carseat and buy your new one early! Supplies may be limited in-store, though you can use the Target app right there to buy online (yes, thanks, Target, for taking more of my money as I’m walking your aisles!)
- When you get to the store, place your carseat in the big box at the front of the store*.
- Open the Target app and scan the code on the box. If there’s a problem, talk to a team member in Guest Services.
- Open your Wallet in the Target app and tap on “Extra offers.” You’ll see your coupon there plus any others.
- Tap the red + next to the offer. You can either place an online order or scan the barcode at the register (don’t forget to do this!).
*You may want to call your Target first to see if they’re participating before you drive there. In the past, some didn’t participate at all.
Will they actually give you 1 coupon per carseat turned in if you have a bunch of carseats? Yes. You can only receive one coupon per Target Circle account, though some cashiers may give you credit for an extra turned in carseat. You can, however, use 1 coupon for 2 carseats 🙌. Because it’s in your app, you can’t share the coupon with anyone.
Can I combine/stack coupons?
You can only use one (1) 20% off coupon per carseat or baby gear purchase, but you can stack the coupon with other discounts like Target Circle and the 5% discount you get when you use your Target REDcard. If you’re purchasing something that’s on a registry, buy the item through the registry if you want to use your registry coupon too.
Once you have your coupon, use it fast. For the last several trade-in events, carseat stock has been low and sold out fast so it pays to do your research now and be ready to use that 20% off since Target won’t issue rainchecks. Amazon generally does lower its prices at this time, but there are Target-exclusive fashions, especially with Graco products. If you prefer to use your computer to shop instead of the app, fill your online cart, then give customer service a call and they’ll help you apply your 20% off coupon before you click the “I’m ready to check out” button.
Check out our Recommended Carseats List and our Reviews. Also, don’t forget to check out our Deals page: we may have a better deal listed than you’d find, even with a coupon. Don’t be afraid to ask us questions in the comments or on our Facebook page! Please share if you find this helpful!
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