An increasing number of people areÂ contacting us after they buy an ERGObaby carrier online and get suspicious about its legitimacy when it arrives.
Lo and behold, after we check it, it becomes clear that it’s not an official ERGO carrier but a fake.
How to spot a counterfeit seller as opposed to a genuine second hand seller
- Most people who have bought counterfeits have done so from the leading auction site (you know the one!) or from smaller ones that also have local sites.
- They are being sold as a new boxed unwanted gifts or because their child did not get on with the carrier.
- Online counterfeit sellers often have more than one carrier to sell. That should send alarm bells as no one selling a genuine one will have more than one to sell.
- The seller is private so you cannot contact them online. A genuine seller would be happy to answer questions
- They have lots of positive reviews, making you think they are a genuine seller. These are generated by other fake sellers or the same person setting up multiple accounts.
- Only authorised ERGO retailers like Born are allowed to sell ERGOs in-store or online (we are listed on the ERGO Europe website). Anyone who has a shop selling them new is doing so unlawfully.
Weâ€™ve been selling ERGObaby carriers for many years now and I (Eva) have been shocked at how good some of these fakes are.Â However, what they look like and their safety are two very different things.
A fake ERGO is not the same as a fake designer handbag
If the straps break on a handbag the worst that will happen is youâ€™ll lose or break a few of the contents. A fake ERGO is carrying your baby â€“ your most precious of possessions and not something that should be trusted to a dangerous piece of kit.
It makes me so angry to think that these counterfeiters have no moral scruples selling something that is carrying a human life with no regard for its safety.
What to look out for in a fake
After seeing lots in-store, these are the things that make a fake stand out:
- The price â€“ genuine carriers are around ÂŁ100 fakes are being sold at around ÂŁ50-60.
- The box â€“ the pictures and all the words are correct but the quality of the print is usually poor and not as vibrant as the real thing.
- The poppers on the hood â€“ will not work on accessories such as the rain and cold weather cover.
- The straps are not sewn into the main body of the carrier and with a significant weight can easily rip. We were able to undo stitching with very little effort on a fake.
- The fabric is poorer quality and thinner than originals. It wears much quicker so even if you thought it was a bargain and were prepared to trust your baby in it, it wouldnâ€™t last very long.All Organic ERGObaby fabrics are both GOTSÂ and OKO Tex certified. Non-organic carriers are safety-tested to strict EU chemical content standards for baby carriers.Fake ERGO fabrics will not be and so could contain all sorts of nasty chemicals that you baby could be breathing in or absorbing through their skin.
- Limited edition prints are nowhere near as vibrant as the originals and can also be blurred.
- Buckles are not genuine and so will not be safety tested and could easily break. Becky (Big Mama Slings), our sling Guru has been to the place where they safety test slings and was disgusted at the quality of the fake ERGOâ€™s. There is no way any of these would have passed the strict UK and European testing standards for baby slings.
What to do if you have unknowingly bought a fake
If in doubt, weâ€™d be happy to check your sling and, of course, sell you a genuine one. Â If you canâ€™t come into a store you can post it to us.
All authorised sellers are listed on ERGO Europeâ€™s web site, so if the seller is a store and not listed here, you can say you are not happy and send it back for a full refund.
Take it up with the site, complain to them directly.
If you have paid with a credit card ask them for help.
Report the issue to your local Trading Standards. The more people who do this the more likely Trading Standards are to act and shut these illegal sellers down and take them out of circulation.
For every person who realises they have a fake, there will be quite a few others who donâ€™t who are unknowingly putting their babyâ€™s life at risk.Â We owe it to them to do what we can to stop these sellers from getting away with this.
See ERGObaby carriers and accessories on our website.
Update 19 October 2012
ERGObaby UK are currently in talks with eBay and Amazon UK regarding the sale of fake ERGObaby carriers on their sites via third part resellers.Â Please be aware that authorised ERGObaby resellers like ourselves are not allowed to sell on eBay or Amazon so it is incredibly likely that anyone who is selling on these sites will be selling a fake.
ERGObaby also recently updated their logo and website in an attempt to prevent fakes, however the counterfeiters are already manufacturing fake carriers with the new logo’s and packaging, so please do not assume that a carrier will be genuine if in the new packaging or if it has the new logo.