How To Avoid Buying A Fake Baby Carrier

July 31, 2017

Babywearing is a beautiful tool that so many parents find invaluable in those first few years.

Unfortunately, even in this industry, there are companies and people who sell carriers that are fakes or blatant rip-offs of well-known brands.

{Prefer to listen than read? Check out our podcast episode on this topic here or search The Babywearing Broadcast on iTunes!}

Fake baby carriers are often seen on ebay and amazon and also in the secondhand market on places such as gumtree, or just your regular buy/swap/sell groups on facebook. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Unless you can prove that the carrier is real (I’ll talk about how you can do that in a second), you should assume that it is fake.

Baby Carriers that are commonly reproduced include Baby Bjorn, Ergo, and Manduca. However, just about any type of carrier is susceptible and often carriers can be sold without even a brand name- these are pure cheap rip-offs.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Fake Baby Carrier

Baby carriers hold our most precious cargo. And like car seats and prams, you should only purchase something that you are 100% confident will safely carry your baby. Fake baby carriers take shortcuts on materials, design, and offer no after-sales support.

baby carrier safety

Using a fake carrier risks your child coming into contact with textiles and dyes that are not safe for sensitive skin or to be sucked on – and babies chew/suck on everything!

It also risks issues like buckles breaking mid-use, limited safety features, seams tearing, fabric wearing thin, and more. The design itself may not adhere to safe babywearing practices, and it may lack appropriate instructions to ensure that you use it properly.

Authentic carriers go through oodles of testing and compliance before they’re allowed to be sold, and they nearly always come backed with a warranty.

Aside from that, you might also be concerned about the ethics of companies who produce and sell fakes. Their products are notorious for being low quality, but perhaps just as concerning are the personal values of the people behind them. Where do they stand on things like child labour, sweatshops, wages, tax, and other issues? Supporting a business by buying a fake can affect much more than just you and your baby.

How to Spot a Fake

Sometimes, spotting a fake can come down to the finer details… this could include:

  • A different looking logo to the main brand
  • Contact information lacking
  • Less likely to include product registration information
  • May break easily
  • Stitching less neat
  • Lower quality materials
  • Different warning label
  • Different stitching colours
  • Different canvas colours
  • Packaging differences
  • Spelling errors

fake baby carrier infographic

How to Know if it’s for Real

Brand New Carriers

If you’re in the market for a brand new carrier, it is much easier to ensure you buy the real deal. Every brand of baby carrier manufacturer should include a section on their main website that states their approved stockists around the world. If your carrier is being sold somewhere not listed in this section, it’s best to steer clear.

In particular, you should be wary of all new baby carriers being sold on e-bay – these are almost always fakes as approved retailers are not allowed to sell through this platform.

However, if you’ve found an approved stockist, you can buy with confidence!

Secondhand Carriers

There is no guarantee that a secondhand carrier is legitimate. But you can take steps to reduce this risk.

  • Only buy from reputable secondhand markets, such as Babywearing Buy Swap Sell Group. These are carefully policed and monitored by administrators, and should include a thorough feedback system. Avoid buying from Gumtree or E-Bay.
  • Ask to see proof of purchase from the seller. Check these records against the approved stockists for that brand of carrier.
  • Ask for details and pictures on the condition of the carrier. Is there any fading? Stains? Worn fabric? Fraying? If it’s not in fairly good condition, regardless of the brand, you might be safer to go with a brand new carrier.
  • Purchase your items using Paypal. This will also give you some security if you happen to run into trouble with the seller.

But I’m On a Budget…

If it feels like all you can afford are potentially dodgy baby carriers, I feel for you. :-( Babies are expensive! And it’s wonderful that you want to wear your baby!

I know you wouldn’t want to put your baby in harm’s way, but you also shouldn’t miss out on the amazing benefits of babywearing just because of the cost of a decent carrier. Here’s what I recommend you do:

  • Go to a babywearing meet as soon as you can. That way, you can try out some different options and know that the carrier you choose to invest in will be perfect for your situation (get a good fit from the start and you might only need one carrier, ever!).
  • Borrow a baby carrier from a local lending library (possibly even at your babywearing meet).
  • Ask in a local babywearing meet if anyone is willing to loan you something short-term.
  • If you feel as though it might work better with your budget, buy your carrier through a site that offers a payment plan or a service like AfterPay (we do!!). That way you can get your baby carrier immediately, and budget for the repayments over a period of time.

As with everything else in parenting… trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, it probably is.


Happy babywearing!

Angela & Brooke xo


P.S. Found this info useful? You have my full permission to SHARE! :-)
P.P.S. Remember what I said about us having AfterPay? We’re also an authorised retailer of a range of babywearing products, including Kokadi, Fidella, and Manduca carriers. Buy with confidence now, and pay later.


Brooke Maree © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Being a copycat or blatantly stealing is never cool. There is a fine line between inspiration and stealing, so please be respectful, honest, and full of integrity when sharing this piece of writing or using its information. Many hours of work, planning, and editing goes into our pieces to ensure the highest quality first-hand information. Any of our work that is plagiarised will eventually be found and brought to attention. That being said, you are ALWAYS welcome to share our content, as long as you attribute and link back to the source. xxx

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