…it probably is.
When we discuss purchasing a sling with our library users we often warn them to be careful about where they purchase from. Like many other products there’s a brisk trade on eBay in Chinese ‘copies’ of popular expensive baby carriers, (Ergo and Tula especially.) Even when we purchase carriers for the library at a discount for hiring out we still pay a significant portion of the RRP as the actual manufacturing costs are high. This is because safety is strictly governed in the UK and EU and sling manufacturers have to invest in getting their products tested rigorously for quality and safety. This includes things like testing the stitching supports the intended carried weight, (which is why you will see suitable weight ranges on carriers when they are sold – this is the range which they have been tested within,) and that the dyes are non-toxic and suitable for a baby sucking them etc!
Often the fake carriers are indistinguishable from the real ones to even the experienced user and come with tags and warranty paperwork that is made to look very convincing just like a real product. If it is being sold at a heavily discounted price however, it is more than likely not to be genuine.
How to make sure you buy a genuine branded baby carrier and protect yourself and your baby from fake goods:
- Buy from a reputable retailer – if not direct from the manufacturer, buy from an online baby wearing retailer like Slumberoo or Love to be Natural, or in stores like John Lewis. Our library staff will be happy to advise you where to shop and we may be able to give you a discount code for sling library users so its always worth checking!
- Be very suspicious of great deals! Its unusual to get more than 10% off a carrier unless its January or summer sales, for example.
- Avoid eBay and Amazon – unless its the verified store for a brand – Hanababy for example sell on Amazon via their own Amazon storefront.
- Pay using Paypal then if you have any issues which cannot be resolved via the retailer you can raise a claim via them.
- Should you have any doubts most carriers come with warranty info, a registration form and a serial number – so the manufacturers can issue product recalls if issues arise. If you contact the manufacturer directly with that information and query whether the product is genuine, they should be able to reassure you or confirm that it is not.
Having recently helped a library user who had unwittingly purchased a fake carrier we wanted to remind everyone what to avoid, so you are all well informed and carrying your baby in genuine carriers. If you do wish to try and save money, consider the second hand market but do your due diligence and check the carriers origins with the seller before purchasing and again use Paypal for buyer protection. If you’re not sure, send us a message and we will see if we can help!