Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Bought a Fake Ergo!

About a month ago, I was messing around on FB and came across a blog post a lady had shared in our local Cloth Diapering Group. The title of the post was How to Spot a Fake Ergo Baby Carrier and it sounded interesting, so I gave it a read. In the post, the writer compares two almost identical Ergo carriers and shows the reader which of the two is fake and how a consumer can spot a counterfeit Ergo carrier.
Rewind to around two years ago. I was pregnant with my son and was dying to have an Ergo, but didn’t really want to pay for a new one. I figured eBay may be a good option for finding a used one and after stalking the listings for a few days, I came across a decent offer and placed my bid. I ended up winning the carrier and was so pleased with myself for only having spent around $80 as opposed to the $110 or so it cost for a new one.
Back to the present. So, I’m sitting in my living room, reading the blog post- really more out of curiosity than anything else. I mean, who would fall for a counterfeit product, right? The first few differences listed didn’t spark any suspicion in me and I was 100% certain that MY Ergo was an original. Until I came to the part that talks about the warning label on the Ergo. The writer’s fake had it in one spot while the real thing had it in another. My heart sank- my Ergo doesn’t even have a warning label! It’s not just in a different spot, it’s non-existent. See here:

I began reading the post again from the top after getting my Ergo out of the car and compared every detail. First came the buckle. The original bears the word ‘STEALTH’. However, mine says ‘STEALTH WARRIOR’. Could just be a slightly different buckle, I told myself. Here is what mine looks like:

On to the label that bears the carrier’s logo. This is when I finally knew that my carrier was not the real thing- not only were the colors the same as in the photo of the fake, the name was also completely different. Instead of ‘ERGObaby®’ my carrier says ‘The ERGO Baby Carrier’. That’s not even a real thing! They didn’t even bother putting the ®. I felt so stupid for falling for such a blatantly awful imitation. See for yourselves:

Then the post went into all kinds of other details about stitching and buckles and zippers. Zippers?!? Ergos have zippers?!? Mine doesn’t…

The little label inside the pouch is supposed to say ‘Made in China’ and have a lot number on the reverse side. Mine is blank.


As I thought about it more, certain memories came to me about comments other mother’s had made, e.g. how they had never seen that pattern before, or how mine looked different than theirs. It made me wonder if they knew and didn’t have the heart to tell me. So, I searched high and low to see if Ergo had ever released my carrier’s pattern. Of course they had not! And all those times I had wondered why everyone else’s Ergo just felt a little softer suddenly made sense.

And so, as the evening went on, I became more and more angry. I just couldn’t believe I was the victim of such a deception! To be honest, I felt like an utter idiot! I also felt disappointed.
My husband and friends pointed out that it had served its purpose just fine all these months and that it really shouldn’t matter whether it was real or not. To a point, I agree. However, I would not have paid that much money for a knockoff carrier, so I was duped! Also, the carrier’s quality could have been awful and my child’s safety could have been at risk! I know it wasn’t and all was fine, but what happened here just isn’t right.
My son is getting to be a big boy and I have decided to upgrade to a bigger SSC (Soft Structured Carrier) I browsed around eBay again, looking for a good deal. After all, now I know what to look for, right? I found a carrier that I liked for a great price and asked for close-up pictures of all labels, etc. The seller was a little reluctant, so I explained my previous bad experience. This is the answer I received: “Once I get home from work I can take the pictures. These are made in China and not under Beco warranty.” In other words, the carrier I was considering was also a fake.
The moral of the story: don’t buy important items like baby carriers on eBay! You have no way to be sure that what you are buying is the real thing. Counterfeit carriers are not subject to the same standards as the originals and one cannot be sure of their quality and safety. Where our babies’ safety is concerned, it really is worth it to spend the extra few bucks!
Ergo has a section on their website that lists known distributors of counterfeit carriers as well as dealers that are trustworthy. eBay has a special section on their site about how consumers can spot a fake.

24 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness :( what a crappy thing to find out about such a special item. carriers are special tools for parenting &it's hard to imagine not having the safest carrier out there. I mean, these things get used a LOT& safety is a really big deal! I'm so sad to hear you got ripped off :(

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing your story. The fakes are getting harder & harder to fake. MOMS are knowingly running co-ops for counterfeit Ergobaby carriers. It's terrible. I'm glad you didn't suffer any safety issues with your carrier.

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  3. This just happened to me today! I picked up a second hand ERGO for my cousin and hung them side by side for fun and immediately noticed the different tags. A little Internet research and now what was my favourite baby carrier is junk. I bought mine off a local lady and I am sure she didn't know either. I've had it 5 years and through 2 children. I'm so sad and damn lucky it didn't break.

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  4. While I agree that yours might be fake, I wanted to point out that the lack of zipper doesn't make it a fake. Not all Ergos have a front zipper pouch. I purchased a Heartrose Ergo from BabySteals (a known authorized retailer) and one difference from the real Ergo I noticed was that there isn't a zipper pocket in front (which is probably one reason they sold them on BabySteals). There are a lot of convincing differences on yours, but I think this is a very good post to help other spot a counterfeit Ergo carrier, so thank you!

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  5. Yours *could* be a fake, but I also think it could be an older, original design Ergo. My Ergo is 6+ years old, from the first re-design generation, and a lot of the features that several blogs claim are markers of fakes are just the original, older design. The Ergo logo has also changed over the years. Your Ergo actually matches the description of the Classic design- http://shop.bellybumboutique.com/static_pages/downloads/BCcomparisons.pdf

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  6. I understand feeling irritated and angry for being lied to. However just because something is a knockoff does not mean the quality is poor. For example using a fake carrier for 5 years through two kids is not luck, it is because the quality of the knockoff is that good. Lets face it the ergo carrier is great, but still fabric and still made by people in china, and very likely made by the same exact people who make the real carrier.

    I was told I have a fake, but gosh the quality is excellent. I plan on happily using it for the next three years and then passing it on.

    I paid 70.00 for a great carrier, I am happy to not pay another 50.00 so I can have something that is "authentic" Of course I do not buy name brand clothes, or designer names, I do not buy things for a name, I buy things for their effectiveness and how well they perform the function they are designed to perform.

    And by the way I have checked its safety and even went down to Babies R Us to compare with the "authentic" carrier. Everything measures the same...No loose threads, buckle is great...

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  7. I also bought a fake from someone who advertised online and probably didn't know it wasn't real. It came with the box, cd etc. I didn't know there were fake Ergos out there! I already had a genuine ergo that I had bought with my first daughter and am still using with a toddler so I decided I needed another for the new baby. This one is terrible and if I had taken it out of the box I would know it was a fake right away. It is much lighter and the support foam in the waist is not the same. The straps are designed differently and the buckle is not as secure. I wish I had paid more for the real thing!

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  16. FYI that is a first model Ergo carrier...that has been discontinued for over 10yrs now...I have 2 of the same in a blue jean material....I spoke with Ergo just now regarding mine before selling them, and they are not fake....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did they give you any links for proof or anything. I have this exact same one she posted pictures of and I was curious after reading all these comments if I had a real on and not a fake like I thought. I am lucky I won mine for free on listia and didn't pay a dime. However I thought it was a fake all this time.

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  19. I would like to point out that the very first original logo DID in fact say 'The ERGO baby carrier' on the logo, they also had the label on the body not the waste band and had the word 'warrior' on the plastic buckle. If you email ergo they will confirm this, so please don't assume all carriers with these features are fake, they might just be the oldest version.

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  20. Actually this is a genuine ergo. Its just very old - the first generation. I have one exactly the same with embroidery, no warning label, same logo etc. Had it since the ergo first came out!

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