Babywearing = Awesome
I love wearing Zane. It brings us closer together and allows me to multi-task with ease. There are numerous benefits of babywearing! But with the recent heat wave in San Diego, I decided that it’s time to get a more breathable carrier than the Moby Wrap, and I’ve heard that Ergo is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Moby! Zane settles right into it and loves being part of the action. But it’s just not as practical in the summer heat, and I’m growing tired of wrapping myself every time I want to wear him. Maybe it’s a slight case of laziness, but every moment is precious for this work-at-home mom!
Gearing up for my Ergo
My budget-consciousness led me to check a popular baby resale store in San Diego that claims to be an “authorized” reseller of Ergo carriers. Let me preface this by saying that I love this store. They carry quality items, have exceptional prices and the service is excellent. I always support the “mom and pop” shops of the world whenever given the option.
I checked their Facebook page and didn’t see any Ergo carriers on there, so I thought I’d give them a call to see if any had come in before they had a chance to update their inventory. Serendipitously enough, they had just taken in 2 Ergos. One was a sport and the other a Petunia Pickle Bottom organic carrier, part of their Designer Collection. I asked them to put the Petunia one on hold and went down to check it out. I loved it. With a retail price of $160 (I never would have paid full retail price), how could I turn down the $90 price tag at the resale store? It came with the original box and looked brand new. The store told me that they confirmed the serial number with Ergo, so it was authentic. At this point I had no idea that there was even a market for counterfeits, so I didn’t think twice about it and brought my new Ergo home with a huge smile on my face.
I was so proud of my purchase and couldn’t wait to put Zane in and take our first walk. My happiness didn’t last long. I got home and decided to peruse the Facebook babywearing San Diego group that I had joined. One of the moms had commented that she just had to return a fake Ergo to that same baby resale store. After a quick interaction with her, I learned that the one she got came from the same seller as the one I had bought. Uh-oh. Gulp.
Seriously? Counterfeit Baby Carriers?
I immediately contacted Ergo by phone, where they confirmed my serial # was a real one. That wasn’t enough for me, though. I also contacted them by email asking for an authentication beyond just the serial number. It’s a good thing I did! They asked me to send them a series of photos along with my sales receipt. Here are the photos I sent them:
To my dismay, Ergo promptly replied:
I called Ergo to ask them what made mine a fake, but they were unable to disclose this. When I asked them about my prior phone call when they confirmed the serial number, they did say that the counterfeiters fake those too. People have no shame! Upon further investigation, I discovered a series of blogs that explain some of the differences between an authentic Ergo and a counterfeit, like the print on the buckle and the logo appearing upside-down on the inside of the hood (among other things). I also discovered that the shoddy workmanship of the fake Ergos can result in the baby falling out of the carrier. Yikes. It’s not like owning a fake Coach handbag that might have a few cosmetic stitching issues; this counterfeit item could actually cause harm to a baby! Not cool. UNLESS this is just a scare tactic generated by Ergo to increase their sales? That seems extreme to me. But conspiracies do exist…
Learning the Hard Way
There’s a lesson to be learned here. Only buy an Ergo from their website or from one of the authorized retailers listed there, keeping in mind the following:
If you do decide to buy one from another website or used, make sure the seller is not on Ergo’s Counterfeit List. I am always a proponent of saving money on items that will eventually be outgrown, but in this case I think it’s worth paying full price to make sure it’s the real deal. When I get my new (authentic) Ergo, I will update this blog with comparison photos to better illustrate the difference between a real and a fake. Until then, Happy Babywearing 🙂