Most people now are aware of the problem with low-quality goods which come from the likes of China and Hong Kong. When this is a handbag which breaks after a few uses, no one is really all that bothered. Paid a fiver and got a fivers worth of use from it. When this is something you carry your baby in…….. well that’s another story!
There are a number of issues with ‘faked’ baby carriers. Firstly the dyes they use in the fabrics are somewhat of an unknown. It is not clear whether they are baby safe, or not. If they are not then they most likely contain heavy metals which are still used to dye fabrics in the far east. These can be toxic if ingested. Now I know my small person and he likes sucking on slings!
Secondly, the workmanship isn’t always that great. Think back to those eBay cheapie rip-offs which fall apart after a few uses. If you are carrying your baby and stitching pops due to weak thread being used (it has happened) then that is a pretty large issue.
Finally, the components used are often of inferior quality. Buckles have been known to break on fakes buckle carriers mid use which is obviously incredibly dangerous.
So now I have scared you all over talk of doom and gloom and falling babies, what is the point of this post? Well, the point is to tell you the existing well known fake brands and to let you know what you can do to protect yourself. Firstly the culprits…
Ergo – The original style ergo carrier has been widely faked for years. If you see a baby carrier looking identical to ergo on eBay even if it doesn’t say ergo, it is likely to be a fake ergo. The old adage too good to be true applies here. If the price is cheaper than from ergo direct and other registered suppliers, then you can pretty much be assured it is a cheap knock off.
Moby – These are often faked. The quality of the material used is poor and they lose their stretch and shape very easily.
Beco – The main version of this carrier which is fakes is the butterfly. This is no longer in production so if you see this being sold new then it is probably a fake.
Minizone – This is a rip off of a fantastic brand called Freehand. All of the minizone brand tie-on carriers are counterfeit carriers and the workmanship is shocking. I know as I have taken apart one of these and seen the disgustingly small seam allowance for the straps which take the weight of your baby!
Manduca – A relatively recent addition to the list but one which is being seen faked more and more.
Patapum – Another buckle carrier which its legitimate version is brilliant, has, unfortunately, been counterfeited.
Didymos Prima – Some counterfeit versions of this woven wrap have been reported.
Most importantly of all what can you do to stop yourself falling culprit to buying a fake carrier. First and foremost if you are buying new. ALWAYS buy from a registered stockist. If the price of a carrier seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Carriers are expensive for a reason. To use good quality components, fabrics and workmanship it costs a lot. And this is reflected in the price we pay to buy it. If you are purchasing your carrier second hand via eBay or Facebook selling groups, always ask for proof of purchase from the seller for all of the above slings. It doesn’t guarantee that isn’t a fake, but it drastically reduces the chances of it being one. And finally, always keep proof of purchases for the above slings. At some point, your baby will outgrow your carrier and you may want to sell it on. It is getting increasingly tricky to sell on the slings mentioned above without proof of purchase (a paypal receipt or email from the shop does the trick). Don’t make your life tricky by not keeping proof of the genuine carrier that you own for when you come to sell.