April 2023 Target Car Seat Recycling Trade-In Event FAQ: Everything You Need to Know
Updated March 2023
Just take me to the DEALS—I’m ready to SHOP! 🤑
Get ready, get set . . . The Target Carseat Trade-in Event is back on the calendar and it’s almost HERE 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.
*Some cities do have recycling drop-off locations, and Clek has a recycling program for their carseats and price is determined by seat.
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.
Target Carseat Trade-In Event (April 16-29, 2023)
From April 16-29, 2023, 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 25.4 million pounds of carseats in the 6 years they’ve had this program with the Waste Management company. Way to go, everyone!
What they take:
- Rear-facing only infant seats
- Infant seat bases
- Convertible seats
- Harness-to-boosters (combination) seats
- Belt-positioning boosters (highback and backless)
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, which can be redeemed TWICE
The coupon is valid until May 13, 2023 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. You can redeem the coupon twice, however.
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.
The biggest question we get asked? Will Walmart do a trade-in event?
No. That was a one-and-done fiasco of an event back in September 2019. *We* loved it; *Walmart* got screwed 😆 so they aren’t participating again. Maybe we can dream about them coming back in the future . . .
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 and don’t forget to also follow us on Instagram!
Target Car Seat Deals
We’ll post Car Seat Deals HERE when they happen!
Britax One4Life in “Black SafeWash” $399.99
Chicco OneFit ClearTex All-in-One $299.99
Evenflo Gold Revolve360 $399.99
Evenflo Sonus 65 in “City Lights” $107.99 10% Off
Graco Contender Slim in “West Point” $159.99
Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 $249.99
Graco SlimFit $219.99 (original model)
Graco SnugRide SnugFit DLX $172.49 25% Off
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Hi! Just went through the trade in process at my local Target and the process update that has the coupon loaded in the Target Circle app is a total pain in the butt!! The associates were super nice, but they were saying you could only use it once in store and once online, which makes no sense when I am standing there with two carseats to purchase, and couldn’t apply the discount to the second seat.The associate was lovely, but did not feel empowered to just override 20% discount to the second carseat. I actually had to have my Mom download the Target app and load the coupon to her, then “buy” the second carseat. (I still used my credit card for the second transaction, so not really). i just happened to luck out that she was with me. I called Target corporate about it, even though it all worked out for me in the end, because this update to the process makes it way more difficult than it was in the past! They should want people to trade in and upgrade because they are about safety AND because it is really good optics for them to care about safety! They need to improve the process. I probably could have pushed it at the store and asked for a manager to review and override to take the 20% off the second seat, but in my non-stop quest to never be a Karen, I just could. not. do. that. Hopefully they will take the feedback seriously and update this process so it is less of an ordeal. It was pretty easy in the past (2018ish?), before the offer needed to be loaded to the Target Circle app.
OMG, ugh! It sounds like they weren’t properly trained on their corporate policies 😔. Sorry to hear it was such a hassle!
Thanks for this post! So just to be clear, I can use my 20% coupon stacked with my red card 5% AND my 15% registry discount?
Hi Kim. Yes. The important thing is to go through your registry to make a purchase in order to have that discount count. HTH!
Okay, total noob question… If we can only have 1 coupon in the app, what happens if I bring in 2 seats?
Hi Grace. You’ll have to get someone in customer service to help you apply the 2nd coupon. Some stores are more helpful with this than others (they may not allow it), so if you’re on a local FB parenting group, you’ll usually hear about those stores pretty quickly.
Will there be another Target trade in event in March or April 2021? If so, do you know when it will be?
Hi Kimberly. We typically don’t find out about their trade-in events until a couple of weeks before and I haven’t heard anything yet. I’ll be keeping my eye out, though, because it’s time!