It's quite common for people to buy and sell second hand car seats online, at markets or between friends and family. While it's a way to save some money, and get some more use out of a car seat, there are some things you need to look out for when buying privately to protect yourself and your child.
Second Hand Car Seats - The Essentials
You want visual confirmation of the following things before you purchase anything;
The SAI Global 5 Tick Sticker - Located on the car seat shell. This tells you it is a certified, Australian car seat that has been tested to the Australian Standard.
The Date of Manufacture - Either a sticker on the shell, or dials moulded into the plastic. This will tell you whether the car seat is still within the recommended 10 years from date of manufacture. It's it's beyond that, the seat should be destroyed.
It's also nice to have Proof of Purchase - a copy of the receipt tells you that this is the original owner, and wasn't already a second hand car seat.
It's extremely important to understand that it is essentially impossible to know if a car seat has been in an accident. You are taking the seller's word at face value. This is one reason we recommend only dealing with people you know and trust in real life when it comes to using second hand car seats.
It's worth noting that there are many budget friendly car seats available across Australia and New Zealand. Often times a new budget seat can work out to be cheaper than a second hand seat purchased online.
If you have any doubts about a second hand car seat, the best rule is not to buy it.
If you have any feedback or questions, please pop them in the comments!