Unfortunately, due to the fact that the Doona Car Seat & Stroller is both popular and very expensive, it has become a favorite target of counterfeiters. There are literally tons of dangerous fake Doona-like products available for sale, both new and used, on sites such as Temu, Wish, AliExpress and Facebook Marketplace. These knockoffs even show up on Amazon – sold by shady 3rd party sellers.
If you want to learn to spot a counterfeit Doona, give us a few minutes to educate you. There are obvious signs to look for, even if you’re just looking at a picture on a website or on marketplace.
Why so many fakes?
The steep price of a Doona combined with the popularity of this product make it ripe for counterfeiters who don’t care that they’re putting babies at risk. Real Doona products cost $550 for a “core” version with no upgrades and up to $700 for the limited edition version. They almost never go on sale. A legitimate Doona sale is a very rare event so expect to pay full price if you’re planning to buy one new. If you’re the kind of person who can’t stand the idea of paying full retail price, keep your eye out for deals on the similar Evenflo Shyft DualRide which does go on sale from time to time and we’ve expect to see some good deals pop up over the holiday shopping season.
The allure of the knockoffs
Some of the Doona knockoffs sell for around $200 and others cost over $300. They’re definitely not cheap, but they’re also not over $500, so people think they’re getting a “deal”. Sadly, all they’re getting is a piece of cr@p that doesn’t meet any safety standards. And if you have a problem with your knockoff, there is no company to contact. You’re SOL.
Sometimes we see these fake products advertised on shady websites for less than $100 but I guarantee that’s just a scam and either you won’t receive anything, or you’ll receive some random cheap item like a screen protector. And of course the shady website disappears once they have your money. Please don’t be naive. Trust that little voice in your head telling you that it’s too good to be true. You’re not getting a Doona for $83.78 no matter what that shady website you found by go0gling is telling you.
Recently, my state child passenger safety and outreach coordinator picked up a fake and it was 10 POUNDS LIGHTER than the real Doona I have! I can’t even begin to imagine the subpar quality plastic that went into that knockoff. I was surprised to see that this fake actually comes with a chest clip (usually they’re missing the chest clip), although you can see that it’s not the same as the chest clip that Doona uses.
Signs of a Real Doona sold in the U.S.
- Only available through authorized retailers and prices are strictly controlled
- Always come with a base – although it can be safely installed in a car without the base
- Always have a chest clip on the harness
- Always have the Doona or Doona+ logo on the handle hubs and usually on the canopy as well
- Always have a small cutout for the seatbelt guide on the black plastic part of the HANDLE
If you are able to see the product in person, check under the seat for the Doona label showing the model number and date of manufacture.
Signs of a Fake “Doona”
- Typically don’t come with a base
- Often don’t have a chest clip on the harness but some do
- Don’t say Doona or Doona+ logo on the handle hubs
- Typically have cutouts for the seatbelt guide on the sides of the carseat, instead of on the handle
- May have sharp edges on the plastic and/or metal parts
- Price for new item is considerably less than the cost of a real Doona
Now that you know what to look for, spot the real and the fake below.
Easy, right? The good news is that the fakes are pretty easy to spot, even from a distance, once you know what to look for. The bad news is that now you’re going to notice them everywhere. 😢