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!