Author Topic: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!  (Read 3672 times)

hegre2016

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Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« on: October 13, 2016, 03:07:43 PM »
So I'm a first time mom expecting in December and have gotten most everything for the baby free or second hand from a 'mom swap' facebook group for my small city. I said I wasn't going to get a used carseat - but a mom posted the one I want. Its the Britax B Safe Elite for $80 instead of the usual 200-250. Now I don't know her personally, but shes in the mom group. The carseat hasn't expired and hasn't been recalled (she posted the tag and I did a search). She bought it a year ago for her last baby and she is done having kids - which I believe, as I saw her selling other baby stuff. She says no accidents, and I think I believe her but again. I dont know!

Everything I read online makes you feel like a monster for buying a carseat used. This may have been discussed already in the forum but I'm having a hard time finding anything.

Does anyone have any experience with this or thoughts? I know I am taking some risk - but is it really terrible to buy this used? I do have the money to buy a new carseat - it just seems silly when there is another option. My husband said go for the used one but again - the internet made me feel like a horrible monster - so now I'm swayed again.

Help!!!

Goldielocks

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2016, 03:17:07 PM »
Check it over, but "hasn't expired" "not under recall", "no pets" and "doesn't smell like dust / smoke" are big ones for me.

I would get it, but I am also the type of person who would borrow a car seat from a neighbor if I needed one for a few trips -- i simply would not think about it.

Also -- I have had 2 kids, I got a lot more easygoing about this sort of thing after 2 kids and no one ever was injured / dies, so YMMV. 

 I have had a small car accident, though, and my first thought was "whew, I am glad we bought the good car seat and I spent the extra 15 minutes last month getting it to fasten right".

FerrumB5

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 03:22:47 PM »
With used carseats you never know if it was in the accident or not. The frame could be pristine but the foam inside (that absorbs the momentum) could be damaged.

a rose by any other name

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2016, 03:27:51 PM »
I wouldn't trust it unless it was from a family member or close friend and knew it hadn't been in an accident. One way to save money on a car seat would be to skip the infant seat and go straight to a convertible.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2016, 03:58:56 PM »
So I'm a first time mom expecting in December and have gotten most everything for the baby free or second hand from a 'mom swap' facebook group for my small city. I said I wasn't going to get a used carseat - but a mom posted the one I want. Its the Britax B Safe Elite for $80 instead of the usual 200-250. Now I don't know her personally, but shes in the mom group. The carseat hasn't expired and hasn't been recalled (she posted the tag and I did a search). She bought it a year ago for her last baby and she is done having kids - which I believe, as I saw her selling other baby stuff. She says no accidents, and I think I believe her but again. I dont know!

Everything I read online makes you feel like a monster for buying a carseat used. This may have been discussed already in the forum but I'm having a hard time finding anything.

Does anyone have any experience with this or thoughts? I know I am taking some risk - but is it really terrible to buy this used? I do have the money to buy a new carseat - it just seems silly when there is another option. My husband said go for the used one but again - the internet made me feel like a horrible monster - so now I'm swayed again.

Help!!!

Meh. I'd buy it. But I'm on my second kid and my anxiety level about this kind of stuff has shrunk pretty drastically. We got a used carseat from my friend for free. Both our cribs were free hand me downs (cribs are another thing that people discourage you from buying used). I wouldn't do a second hand breast pump, probably. If the carseat were from a reputable source, yeah, I'd buy it used. Do you think this lady is really the kind of person who would try to make $80 off a carseat that had been in an accident? That would be a pretty crappy person.

A piece of advice: don't listen to the stinkin' internet when it comes to raising kids. I swore off internet forums, pinterest, asking facebook, and mommy blogs at about the six month mark with my first. If the kid has a fever I call the pediatrician. I have a three pretty good books about sleep, discipline, and potty training, but even those I ignore a lot. Child rearing is hard enough without trying to do everything "right" according to the internet.
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mm1970

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2016, 07:11:27 PM »
So I'm a first time mom expecting in December and have gotten most everything for the baby free or second hand from a 'mom swap' facebook group for my small city. I said I wasn't going to get a used carseat - but a mom posted the one I want. Its the Britax B Safe Elite for $80 instead of the usual 200-250. Now I don't know her personally, but shes in the mom group. The carseat hasn't expired and hasn't been recalled (she posted the tag and I did a search). She bought it a year ago for her last baby and she is done having kids - which I believe, as I saw her selling other baby stuff. She says no accidents, and I think I believe her but again. I dont know!

Everything I read online makes you feel like a monster for buying a carseat used. This may have been discussed already in the forum but I'm having a hard time finding anything.

Does anyone have any experience with this or thoughts? I know I am taking some risk - but is it really terrible to buy this used? I do have the money to buy a new carseat - it just seems silly when there is another option. My husband said go for the used one but again - the internet made me feel like a horrible monster - so now I'm swayed again.

Help!!!

I've never bought a used car seat, but I did get an infant Britax as a hand me down from a friend.  So it was used.

And I sold it when he grew out of it.  To someone specifically looking for that brand of seat.  (This was 10 years ago.)

And I gave the friend who gave us the seat the fifty bucks.

ABC123

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2016, 09:31:54 PM »
I am using a used seat for my newbie, but it is from friends who I trust to tell me the truth about it. Chances are good that your seat is fine, but there is always the possibility that it is not fine. Only you can decide if the slight risk is worth the savings.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2016, 01:55:22 AM »
Chances are good that your seat is fine, but there is always the possibility that it is not fine. Only you can decide if the slight risk is worth the savings.

Hard to argue with this.  I'd put my kid in a clean, used car seat without hesitation.  Sounds like a good deal.
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Milizard

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2016, 09:06:45 AM »
So I'm a first time mom expecting in December and have gotten most everything for the baby free or second hand from a 'mom swap' facebook group for my small city. I said I wasn't going to get a used carseat - but a mom posted the one I want. Its the Britax B Safe Elite for $80 instead of the usual 200-250. Now I don't know her personally, but shes in the mom group. The carseat hasn't expired and hasn't been recalled (she posted the tag and I did a search). She bought it a year ago for her last baby and she is done having kids - which I believe, as I saw her selling other baby stuff. She says no accidents, and I think I believe her but again. I dont know!

Everything I read online makes you feel like a monster for buying a carseat used. This may have been discussed already in the forum but I'm having a hard time finding anything.

Does anyone have any experience with this or thoughts? I know I am taking some risk - but is it really terrible to buy this used? I do have the money to buy a new carseat - it just seems silly when there is another option. My husband said go for the used one but again - the internet made me feel like a horrible monster - so now I'm swayed again.

Help!!!

Meh. I'd buy it. But I'm on my second kid and my anxiety level about this kind of stuff has shrunk pretty drastically. We got a used carseat from my friend for free. Both our cribs were free hand me downs (cribs are another thing that people discourage you from buying used). I wouldn't do a second hand breast pump, probably. If the carseat were from a reputable source, yeah, I'd buy it used. Do you think this lady is really the kind of person who would try to make $80 off a carseat that had been in an accident? That would be a pretty crappy person.

A piece of advice: don't listen to the stinkin' internet when it comes to raising kids. I swore off internet forums, pinterest, asking facebook, and mommy blogs at about the six month mark with my first. If the kid has a fever I call the pediatrician. I have a three pretty good books about sleep, discipline, and potty training, but even those I ignore a lot. Child rearing is hard enough without trying to do everything "right" according to the internet.

+1  The internet will drive you nuts with all the conflicting advice.  You'll never be able to do anything right and start questioning yourself at every turn.

For the record, I used a hand-me-down infant seat for both kids from my SIL who purchased used.  The kids both grew out of it by 5 months.  Had new convertible seats after that one was outgrown, but never went with anything as nice/expensive as a Britax.  I would have bought it for my own kids, if given the opportunity.

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2016, 09:57:57 AM »
If this seat were offered by a trusted friend or family member, I'd say go for it. However, in your situation I'd opt for a perfectly good brand new Cosco Scenera NEXT for $45 rather than pay more for a used seat with more bells and whistles. That would both save bit of money and avoid the risk of a seat that might have been through a prior wreck.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2016, 10:27:45 AM »
 Unless purchasing a new seat is a financial or moral hardship for you, you might want to consider going with a new seat for your own peace of mind and a reduced risk of there being something defective with the seat. You are not a monster if you buy a used seat from a trusted source and give it a thorough look over.

It is important for new parents to remember that parenting recommendations/positions put forth from experts and medical groups like the AAP, WHO, and CDC are guidelines not rigid, absolutely-must-follow-or-you-are-a-negligent-parent rules. Trust me, this is not the only time you will feel guilty for not being able or willing to following the parenting recommendations exactly. I bought a brand new carseat and follow all the carseat guidelines perfectly, but I couldn’t exclusively breastfeed and meet the AAP/WHO/CDC breastfeeding recommendations no matter how many lactation consultants I saw, hours I nursed/pumped, or pills I took. It happens. Make the best decision for you and your circumstances now that you know both the risks and benefits of the used seat.

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2016, 09:48:53 AM »
I would not, unless it is given by  close relative/friend who I absolutely trust.

My children are more important to me than anything else in the world. I could not live with the fact that they were injured or worse since i tried to save 50$ on a car seat. My kids are grown up now and do not need car seats (25 and 16).

abhe8

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2016, 11:10:23 AM »
If this seat were offered by a trusted friend or family member, I'd say go for it. However, in your situation I'd opt for a perfectly good brand new Cosco Scenera NEXT for $45 rather than pay more for a used seat with more bells and whistles. That would both save bit of money and avoid the risk of a seat that might have been through a prior wreck.
+1.

This advice is spot on. The scenera next is an awesome seat. We love it. Don't be fooled by the "more expensive price = safer or better" mantra. While I would use a used seat from a trusted family or friend, I would not pay that much money for a used seat or buy from a stranger.

We also skipped the bucket seat. Saves time and cut down in the time baby is in a container, which cuts down the risk of flat/malformed head.

All my kids ride/rode in the basic diono radian, from birth until the seat expired or they are still in it. I paid $175-$180 per seat. My oldest still needs a booster, it was $12. The seats allow rear facing to 40# and are narrow enough to fit three across.

We use the scenera in our second car and for travel.

wordnerd

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2016, 11:20:35 AM »
I wouldn't trust it unless it was from a family member or close friend and knew it hadn't been in an accident. One way to save money on a car seat would be to skip the infant seat and go straight to a convertible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is what we did. I also had a Dec due date last year, so we got ours as a Black Friday deal from Amazon. I think we ended up paying about $80 per seat for a new one.                                                                                                                                                                                                             

thd7t

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2016, 12:15:54 PM »
I will second checking the "expiration date". The adhesives in the seat can break down after 5 years. They spend almost all of their time in very hot cars. It's an invisible safety concern. You can't really inspect for it.

azu612

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2016, 06:41:13 PM »
Yes, definitely the Scenera next.  Don't use a used car seat.  You don't know it's history.

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2016, 08:27:16 PM »
We're onto the second used car seat for our son. I have no problem with that. Both were obtained free from a neighbor or online freecycle like group. I don't think anybody has a reason to lie and tell me the seat has not been in a crash when it has.

I'd also have no problem using an expired car seat, if it otherwise looked fine. Perhaps I'm a monster. I'm also ok with that. I say go for it.

And if I was really concerned about safety, I wouldn't be driving around in a motor vehicle in the first place I suppose :)
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Liberty Stache

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2016, 07:14:48 AM »
I while I agree with others that it is probably fine (>95%), I personally believe that it isn't worth the risk. There's frugal and then there's cheap. Are you really going to care about $150 if you are wrong and something happens to your child because the seat was damaged before?
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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2016, 08:35:11 AM »
I while I agree with others that it is probably fine (>95%), I personally believe that it isn't worth the risk. There's frugal and then there's cheap. Are you really going to care about $150 if you are wrong and something happens to your child because the seat was damaged before?

I completely understand this attitude, but it is why so much money is wasted on kids--everything can be rationalized under the "don't you want the best for your children" attitude.

I say buy the used car seat (or get the cheaper Cosco one recommended, if that's better).  What are the odds that another parent is going to re-sell a car seat that was in a crash?  Seriously, what kind of parent are we talking about that would do that?  Did they continue to use it after the crash and chance it with their child, or was the crash the last thing that happened to the car seat and they bided their time until their kid was older so it would look the kid aged out of the seat?

And what exactly is the significance of a car seat being in a crash?  Think about it.  The car seat is seat belted in. There's no reason that the car seat should touch anything in a crash other than the baby, and if the car seat is damaged as a result, imagine what happened to the baby.  I.e., that didn't happen.

There are so many seemingly "thoughtful" ways that child safety can encourage you to make ridiculous financial decisions.  I know because I made a number of them.

Ask the parent if the car seat was in an accident.  Inspect for some kind of damage.  But then trust it because of course the car seat is fine because another parent with the exact same concerns, etc. as every other parent bought it brand new 3 years ago and now has a car seat that he/she doesn't need.

Good luck!

Milizard

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2016, 08:56:16 AM »
I while I agree with others that it is probably fine (>95%), I personally believe that it isn't worth the risk. There's frugal and then there's cheap. Are you really going to care about $150 if you are wrong and something happens to your child because the seat was damaged before?

I completely understand this attitude, but it is why so much money is wasted on kids--everything can be rationalized under the "don't you want the best for your children" attitude.

I say buy the used car seat (or get the cheaper Cosco one recommended, if that's better).  What are the odds that another parent is going to re-sell a car seat that was in a crash?  Seriously, what kind of parent are we talking about that would do that?  Did they continue to use it after the crash and chance it with their child, or was the crash the last thing that happened to the car seat and they bided their time until their kid was older so it would look the kid aged out of the seat?

And what exactly is the significance of a car seat being in a crash?  Think about it.  The car seat is seat belted in. There's no reason that the car seat should touch anything in a crash other than the baby, and if the car seat is damaged as a result, imagine what happened to the baby.  I.e., that didn't happen.

There are so many seemingly "thoughtful" ways that child safety can encourage you to make ridiculous financial decisions.  I know because I made a number of them.

Ask the parent if the car seat was in an accident.  Inspect for some kind of damage.  But then trust it because of course the car seat is fine because another parent with the exact same concerns, etc. as every other parent bought it brand new 3 years ago and now has a car seat that he/she doesn't need.

Good luck!

+1

IMO, these recommendations are made for the lowest common denominator, in other words, built in with the largest safety margin.  There is padding in the expiration date.  There is a chance the seat would be damaged/compromised if it is in accident, so never, ever use a used seat, even if you have reason to believe it was never ever in any accident whatsoever.  Selling a crib made before a certain date is now forbidden because they changed the guidelines (drop-down rails) and they don't want to specify which ones would make the cut or not.  These aren't recommendations designed for people with common sense.  These are CYA recommendations.

LiveLean

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2016, 01:44:07 PM »
Let's take a step back here, folks.

If you're over 40, you went your entire childhood without a car seat and lived to tell about it. In fact, I'm 47 and my family did not use seatbelts at all until I was at least 7.

My mom drove her original car - a 1964 VW Karmann Ghia -- for most of my childhood. (The car was 5 when I was born). It did not even have a backseat, just this itchy bench in the back. That's what I sat on as a toddler/grade schooler.

And you're agonizing over whether to "risk it" with a used car seat? If so, be sure to put one of those plastic covers in every single electrical outlet in your home and any other home you might visit. Buy only organic, use only cloth diapers, and be sure to purchase at least one of those cushioned grocery cart covers. And wrap your kids with bubble wrap, too.

Good grief.
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FerrumB5

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2016, 02:15:24 PM »
And this plot shows you that 40 years ago you had 3x more chance to die in a car accident compared to our days normalized to miles traveled.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year#/media/File:USA_annual_VMT_vs_deaths_per_VMT.png

englishteacheralex

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2016, 02:16:40 PM »
In a way, I advocate for the same kind of laissez-faire thinking when it comes to babies--hey, watch videos of how they load up an infant on momma's lap on a moped in Tibet--you're worried about a used carseat? And I definitely think people play heavily to the fears of parents when it comes to baby gear. That's my kid, a defenseless, innocent baby; there is kind of an impulse to wrap him in bubble wrap and do every possible thing to protect him because I've never had stronger protective feelings about a living being in my whole life. There's nothing easier to exploit for financial gain than American parent-fear. 

On the other hand, I get pretty frustrated with my mom, who is always mocking our new-fangled parenting rules, like putting the baby to sleep on his back so he doesn't die of SIDS, or you know, using a car seat. "Back in our day, we just put the kid in a cradle in the back seat! And we were fine!"

Yeah, YOU were fine. That's called survivorship bias. Take a look at the statistics and you will realize that there is a very good reason for all the safety gear we're expected to buy and the baby techniques we're supposed to employ. There are grey areas--used carseats, in my opinion, are in a grey area, along with breastfeeding and gosh, a whole bunch of stuff. Which is why we're having the discussion.

Anyway, pretty much all my baby gear is used, but we did buy a very cheap Cosco car seat for $45 new at WalMart, because...yeah, if you can get a brand new one for $45, why not? Although our other car seat was a hand me down from a trusted friend.

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Metric Mouse

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2016, 06:19:27 PM »
And this plot shows you that 40 years ago you had 3x more chance to die in a car accident compared to our days normalized to miles traveled.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year#/media/File:USA_annual_VMT_vs_deaths_per_VMT.png

Psh. Not a problem - people survived. Lead paint? - not a problem, people survived. Ikea dressers falling on kids? - not a problem, people survived. Agent Orange? - not a problem, people survived. Airplane hijackings? - not a problem, people survived. Asbestos? - Not a problem, people survived.  Obviously people just worry about too much stuff these days. 40 years ago no one worried about these things and people still lived. I mean, a shit ton of them died, but, like, my parents lived, so no one should worry about it.
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FerrumB5

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2016, 06:59:06 PM »
And this plot shows you that 40 years ago you had 3x more chance to die in a car accident compared to our days normalized to miles traveled.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year#/media/File:USA_annual_VMT_vs_deaths_per_VMT.png

Psh. Not a problem - people survived. Lead paint? - not a problem, people survived. Ikea dressers falling on kids? - not a problem, people survived. Agent Orange? - not a problem, people survived. Airplane hijackings? - not a problem, people survived. Asbestos? - Not a problem, people survived.  Obviously people just worry about too much stuff these days. 40 years ago no one worried about these things and people still lived. I mean, a shit ton of them died, but, like, my parents lived, so no one should worry about it.

I put two of my friends into caskets because they were not wearing seatbelts. I'm expecting "40 years ago seatbelts were not a problem, people survived". I doubt you want to do the same, with your friends or even worse with your child. Not a problem, right? Most people survived

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2016, 07:29:56 PM »
And this plot shows you that 40 years ago you had 3x more chance to die in a car accident compared to our days normalized to miles traveled.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year#/media/File:USA_annual_VMT_vs_deaths_per_VMT.png

Psh. Not a problem - people survived. Lead paint? - not a problem, people survived. Ikea dressers falling on kids? - not a problem, people survived. Agent Orange? - not a problem, people survived. Airplane hijackings? - not a problem, people survived. Asbestos? - Not a problem, people survived.  Obviously people just worry about too much stuff these days. 40 years ago no one worried about these things and people still lived. I mean, a shit ton of them died, but, like, my parents lived, so no one should worry about it.

I put two of my friends into caskets because they were not wearing seatbelts. I'm expecting "40 years ago seatbelts were not a problem, people survived". I doubt you want to do the same, with your friends or even worse with your child. Not a problem, right? Most people survived

It's amazing what survivorship bias can do to a person's decision making processes. Sorry to hear about your friends.
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FerrumB5

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2016, 07:39:19 PM »
Thanks Metric Mouse. Hope no one will have to do the same

bogart

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2016, 08:24:22 PM »
The scenera next is an awesome seat. We love it. Don't be fooled by the "more expensive price = safer or better" mantra.

I agree with this basic point, but I bought more expensive seats (Graco, I think -- certainly not Britax) for my son not because I thought they were inherently safer -- I didn't -- but because the ease of adjustment of the straps (tightening, loosening, repositioning as the kid grew) was excellent in the models I chose, something that was not true for the less expensive Cosco models (and some other less expensive models).  I now have an inexpensive Cosco that I use with my step-grandkid and truthfully, I kind of wish I'd paid for the more expensive (and more easily adjustable) one.  No, the more expensive seats aren't safer, but having the kid strapped in appropriately matters, and I know I for one can get fed up/hurried/careless/etc. in a way that makes me less likely to get it right if it's harder to do right.  And one does a lot of strapping and unstrapping, so you don't want it to be hard to do  (the difference in age between my grandkid and my son is less than a decade -- such is the nature of step-grands -- so we're not talking about major changes in technology here.). 

Not an argument for buying the Britax, I will say the "higher-end" (to us) seats I bought, cost new about what you're looking at paying for used.  I never bought a used seat (or used one, except as a loaner e.g. from family when traveling), but I did pass mine along when we were done with them -- didn't sell them however.

As for --


We also skipped the bucket seat. Saves time and cut down in the time baby is in a container, which cuts down the risk of flat/malformed head.


OK, but I loved, loved, loved the bucket seat.  I found it saved time, and more to the point, made it much easier to avoid waking a sleeping baby, and I'd do almost anything to avoid waking a sleeping baby ...

YMMV, but I love those things.

CarrieWillard

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2016, 07:29:28 AM »
I would ordinarily say that a new car seat is one item I would insist upon buying new, but when I was pregnant with baby #6, I found a NEW Britax convertible seat (my preferred seat because it was one of the only ones that truly fit a newborn to toddler and was easiest to fit in nearly any car) at a thrift store.

The owner of the shop said a Grandma had just dropped off the seat because the grandkid never visited her. She had bought it to cart the baby around in her car when she visited.

It was obviously unused (car seats get grimy FAST) and the velour on the seat was pristine and looked untouched. The tags were still hanging off the thing. Used that car seat for 3 years.

So, it depends....

acroy

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2016, 08:25:11 AM »
Let's take a step back here, folks.

If you're over 40, you went your entire childhood without a car seat and lived to tell about it.

Well, obviously.
The ones that died are in the ground.
Deaths/mile continue to decrease, and it's not due to quality of drivers.... It's due to quality of the cars & safety systems.

Buy the used one, or a cheap new one. It's fine.
MUCH more importantly: be a very alert, defensive driver!! The 'driver mod' is the MOST important!
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Liberty Stache

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2016, 10:18:07 AM »
I while I agree with others that it is probably fine (>95%), I personally believe that it isn't worth the risk. There's frugal and then there's cheap. Are you really going to care about $150 if you are wrong and something happens to your child because the seat was damaged before?

I completely understand this attitude, but it is why so much money is wasted on kids--everything can be rationalized under the "don't you want the best for your children" attitude.

I say buy the used car seat (or get the cheaper Cosco one recommended, if that's better).  What are the odds that another parent is going to re-sell a car seat that was in a crash?  Seriously, what kind of parent are we talking about that would do that?  Did they continue to use it after the crash and chance it with their child, or was the crash the last thing that happened to the car seat and they bided their time until their kid was older so it would look the kid aged out of the seat?

And what exactly is the significance of a car seat being in a crash?  Think about it.  The car seat is seat belted in. There's no reason that the car seat should touch anything in a crash other than the baby, and if the car seat is damaged as a result, imagine what happened to the baby.  I.e., that didn't happen.

There are so many seemingly "thoughtful" ways that child safety can encourage you to make ridiculous financial decisions.  I know because I made a number of them.

Ask the parent if the car seat was in an accident.  Inspect for some kind of damage.  But then trust it because of course the car seat is fine because another parent with the exact same concerns, etc. as every other parent bought it brand new 3 years ago and now has a car seat that he/she doesn't need.

Good luck!

I agree that there is a line that many here try to not cross when it comes to spending ridiculous amounts on their kids. Its one of the many reasons why I drive a 10+ year old car and haven't upgraded for incremental safety features. However 30,000 to 40,000 people die each year in car accidents and if you have a damaged car seat, you greatly increase the risk to your kid. Everyone needs to find their own balance.

As far as the odds of another parent selling a car seat that's been in an accident, it's higher than you think. Obviously no one is going to sell the car seat that was in the car accident that totaled the car, but what about a vender-bender? The impact (read: sudden stop, not necessarily physical collision to the seat)  could have been enough to damage the car seat without it being visible. The original parent may not know to throw it out, or thinks, what's the big deal, my kid will be in the next size up in a month anyways and it doesn't look damaged.

Sorry, but for $150 difference, we aren't talking a ridiculous amount of money. If a 1 or 2 time purchase of $150 is going to impact your FIRE plans in any real way you should seriously spend the time increasing your income vs. spending time looking on craigslist for a used car seat.
"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright" ~Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

Liberty Stache

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2016, 10:22:27 AM »
And this plot shows you that 40 years ago you had 3x more chance to die in a car accident compared to our days normalized to miles traveled.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year#/media/File:USA_annual_VMT_vs_deaths_per_VMT.png

Psh. Not a problem - people survived. Lead paint? - not a problem, people survived. Ikea dressers falling on kids? - not a problem, people survived. Agent Orange? - not a problem, people survived. Airplane hijackings? - not a problem, people survived. Asbestos? - Not a problem, people survived.  Obviously people just worry about too much stuff these days. 40 years ago no one worried about these things and people still lived. I mean, a shit ton of them died, but, like, my parents lived, so no one should worry about it.

I put two of my friends into caskets because they were not wearing seatbelts. I'm expecting "40 years ago seatbelts were not a problem, people survived". I doubt you want to do the same, with your friends or even worse with your child. Not a problem, right? Most people survived

Exactly.

And this plot shows you that 40 years ago you had 3x more chance to die in a car accident compared to our days normalized to miles traveled.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year#/media/File:USA_annual_VMT_vs_deaths_per_VMT.png

Psh. Not a problem - people survived. Lead paint? - not a problem, people survived. Ikea dressers falling on kids? - not a problem, people survived. Agent Orange? - not a problem, people survived. Airplane hijackings? - not a problem, people survived. Asbestos? - Not a problem, people survived.  Obviously people just worry about too much stuff these days. 40 years ago no one worried about these things and people still lived. I mean, a shit ton of them died, but, like, my parents lived, so no one should worry about it.

I put two of my friends into caskets because they were not wearing seatbelts. I'm expecting "40 years ago seatbelts were not a problem, people survived". I doubt you want to do the same, with your friends or even worse with your child. Not a problem, right? Most people survived

It's amazing what survivorship bias can do to a person's decision making processes. Sorry to hear about your friends.

Metric Mouse - Take this one step further with the thought experiment that you knowingly purchased a used car seat to save $150 that ended up being the difference between you kid surviving or dying. You might have been right with the "expected value" calculation that says its most likely OK and that you should save the $150 however, that thought experiment I just mentioned could literally rip people apart from the insides / destroying their life. Again $150 is not worth it to me, but it is definitely a personal choice.
"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright" ~Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

FerrumB5

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2016, 10:31:47 AM »
(When I said "I put two of my friends into casket", I didn't mean it was my fault. Just they crashed their own car, not belted, flew out of the window)

thd7t

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2016, 10:34:51 AM »
Poor Metric Mouse. No one got that he was highlighting survivorship bias by demonstrating that even when "people survive", tragedy is personal.

Liberty Stache

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2016, 10:59:39 AM »
Poor Metric Mouse. No one got that he was highlighting survivorship bias by demonstrating that even when "people survive", tragedy is personal.

I understood what he (she?) was saying. I just fundamentally disagree that $150 is worth risking the worst case scenario. It's short money.
"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright" ~Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

thd7t

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2016, 12:58:24 PM »
Poor Metric Mouse. No one got that he was highlighting survivorship bias by demonstrating that even when "people survive", tragedy is personal.

I understood what he (she?) was saying. I just fundamentally disagree that $150 is worth risking the worst case scenario. It's short money.
My impression was that Mouse agreed with that. I can't even tell, now, though. Internet snark is too inscrutable.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2016, 11:43:29 PM »
Poor Metric Mouse. No one got that he was highlighting survivorship bias by demonstrating that even when "people survive", tragedy is personal.

I understood what he (she?) was saying. I just fundamentally disagree that $150 is worth risking the worst case scenario. It's short money.
My impression was that Mouse agreed with that. I can't even tell, now, though. Internet snark is too inscrutable.

I was disagreeing with the sentiment that "any car seat is ok, because 40 years ago there were no car seats, so car seats don't do a damn thing that a good stiff-arm wouldn't do in a crash". Obviously a case of survivorship bias in that line of thinking.

In the particular case of a clean, undamaged car seat that has not expired; I would put my child in one. The odds that I will be involved in a motor vehicle  crash, and that my child will be in the car seat at the time, and that the car seat is damaged, and that it is damaged in such a way that it would be the soul difference between safety and severe injury in the particular impact are so miniscule that I can't be bothered to worry about them.  Obviously there are many people who disagree with that conclusion.  Agreed; it's a personal choice. Agreed; there is no 'wrong' answer.  No one here is suggesting something crazy and dangerous like taking their child to a pool.
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thd7t

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2016, 06:13:05 AM »
Poor Metric Mouse. No one got that he was highlighting survivorship bias by demonstrating that even when "people survive", tragedy is personal.

I understood what he (she?) was saying. I just fundamentally disagree that $150 is worth risking the worst case scenario. It's short money.
My impression was that Mouse agreed with that. I can't even tell, now, though. Internet snark is too inscrutable.

I was disagreeing with the sentiment that "any car seat is ok, because 40 years ago there were no car seats, so car seats don't do a damn thing that a good stiff-arm wouldn't do in a crash". Obviously a case of survivorship bias in that line of thinking.

In the particular case of a clean, undamaged car seat that has not expired; I would put my child in one. The odds that I will be involved in a motor vehicle  crash, and that my child will be in the car seat at the time, and that the car seat is damaged, and that it is damaged in such a way that it would be the soul difference between safety and severe injury in the particular impact are so miniscule that I can't be bothered to worry about them.  Obviously there are many people who disagree with that conclusion.  Agreed; it's a personal choice. Agreed; there is no 'wrong' answer.  No one here is suggesting something crazy and dangerous like taking their child to a pool.
See, that's what I thought you meant.

I enjoy how you finish your clarification with a return to the original tone!

LouLou

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2016, 07:15:10 AM »
Like many others, I would only accept a used car seat from someone I knew and trusted.  Car seats are the only thing that I definitely wanted new.  They are a last resort in the off chance that you are in an accident with the baby in the car.  With so many people using their damn phones all the time, you can still have an accident when you are a perfectly safe driver.

OP, if you still want this car seat, you can interrogate the seller more when you meet to buy the seat.  No accidents?  No fender benders?  Did anyone else besides the seller drive the car with the seat installed? 

Mr. Green

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2016, 08:54:38 AM »
I have to LOL at some of the things we stress over today with respect to safety. Sure, children are everyone's most important thing in their life, and if you really wanted to reduce their risk of injury you could lock them in a padded room and never let them out and feed them broth with non-pointy objects. There's a statistical risk in everything. It's humorous when you stop to actually do the math. The CDC says that 9,000 children under 12 died in car accidents from 2002-2011. 9,000 divided by 300 million (for round figures) is 0.00003 of the population. That's three one thousandths of one percent over a ten year period. If people are stressing over that I hate to see the list of all the other things that has an equal chance of happening that people worry about. It's a wonder anyone can function!

Of course there's always the person that says the statistics might look trivial until it happens to you. I can't relate to that because that sounds like someone who expects all of life to be risk-free. Some times bad stuff happens no matter what precautions we take. Questioning whether a used car seat caused an injury or death in the event someone does find themselves in that 0.00003% group would be the same thing as questioning every choice someone made leading up to the event. I could have had a safer car, I could have driven slower, the list goes on and on. Even with a new car seat there would still be all those other questions to ask, which is why you simply have to accept the fact that there's risk in living, no matter how small it is. Not that that's an argument to throw all safety precautions out the window.
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thd7t

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #40 on: October 20, 2016, 11:03:13 AM »
I have to LOL at some of the things we stress over today with respect to safety. Sure, children are everyone's most important thing in their life, and if you really wanted to reduce their risk of injury you could lock them in a padded room and never let them out and feed them broth with non-pointy objects. There's a statistical risk in everything. It's humorous when you stop to actually do the math. The CDC says that 9,000 children under 12 died in car accidents from 2002-2011. 9,000 divided by 300 million (for round figures) is 0.00003 of the population. That's three one thousandths of one percent over a ten year period. If people are stressing over that I hate to see the list of all the other things that has an equal chance of happening that people worry about. It's a wonder anyone can function!

Of course there's always the person that says the statistics might look trivial until it happens to you. I can't relate to that because that sounds like someone who expects all of life to be risk-free. Some times bad stuff happens no matter what precautions we take. Questioning whether a used car seat caused an injury or death in the event someone does find themselves in that 0.00003% group would be the same thing as questioning every choice someone made leading up to the event. I could have had a safer car, I could have driven slower, the list goes on and on. Even with a new car seat there would still be all those other questions to ask, which is why you simply have to accept the fact that there's risk in living, no matter how small it is. Not that that's an argument to throw all safety precautions out the window.
Well, there are not 300 million children in the US (74 MM).Your point is reasonable, but you aren't doing the other side of the equation. How difficult/costly is it to mitigate this risk.

For example, 25 infants suffocate on plastic bags annually. This accounts for.01% of infant mortality annually. Not a huge risk. That doesn't mean that you should use your crib to store plastic bags.

A useful (but maybe harder to find) data point would be caraway mortality rates when using a used or expired caraway. If one found that expired caraway accounted for 8000 of the 9000 deaths annually, that would be useful information. Likewise, if they account for 100.

mxt0133

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #41 on: October 20, 2016, 11:29:17 AM »
I wouldn't trust it unless it was from a family member or close friend and knew it hadn't been in an accident. One way to save money on a car seat would be to skip the infant seat and go straight to a convertible.

All you have to do is take 5 minutes take off all the covers and check.  I have had only one new car seat and it was a gift.  Everything else has been used.  If a car seat has been in an accident where it was structurally damaged, I have enough faith in people that they would not be reselling it.  Trust, but verify.


MrsCoolCat

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2016, 08:19:43 PM »
Yea, online says don't do it... prob for the same reasons already listed here. Mainly safety.

Becki5676

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2016, 04:24:21 PM »
I personally wouldn't unless I knew the person I was buying it from. I went with this seat. It has high safety ratings but doesn't cost a fortune. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B006PB2B6O/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1481930149&sr=8-1&keywords=evenflo+car+seat&pi=SY200_QL40

NeonPegasus

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2017, 11:19:17 AM »
So I'm a first time mom expecting in December and have gotten most everything for the baby free or second hand from a 'mom swap' facebook group for my small city. I said I wasn't going to get a used carseat - but a mom posted the one I want. Its the Britax B Safe Elite for $80 instead of the usual 200-250. Now I don't know her personally, but shes in the mom group. The carseat hasn't expired and hasn't been recalled (she posted the tag and I did a search). She bought it a year ago for her last baby and she is done having kids - which I believe, as I saw her selling other baby stuff. She says no accidents, and I think I believe her but again. I dont know!

In your situation, I would most likely do it.

1. I've had Cosco Scenara. I have Britaxes. The Scenara sucks compared to every Britax I've had, from comfort to ease of installation. I am actually going to drag a friggen Diono Radian (the heaviest MFing seat in the world) on a flight to CO to replace the Scenara I had drop shipped to my FIL's house out there because the Scenara sucks so bad. My kid hates it.

2. Minor fender benders are not a problem for carseats. Evidence - https://us.britax.com/faqs/after-a-crash/ I would feel comfortable with a close inspection of the seat and padding in it.

3. If you know anyone in the mom group personally, PM them about this mom and see if they know her and can vouch for her. Most likely, they can. Even then, I wouldn't worry about it.

By the way, this is coming from someone who has spent hundreds, if not thousands, on carseats over the years. I believe in good carseats and I believe in making my kids use them forever. My 9 year old still uses a booster (Bubblebum), my 7 year old is in a 5 pt harness/convertible (Britax) and my 3 year old is still rear facing (Britax). I have used Cosco Scenara, Evenflo and Diono Radians and nothing compares to the Britax, IMO.

smella

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #45 on: January 13, 2017, 03:28:41 PM »
I bought that very Britax used off craigslist last year for 50 bucks.  The family had received 2 off their registry and were too lazy to return the second one//had waited too long (oh the world of non-mustachians)... they assured me it hadnt been in an accident, and I trusted them even though they were strangers... because what would motivated them to lie to me? they clearly didn't NEED the 50 bucks that badly.

i love how it clips into Britax b agile stroller (i also got that on craigslist from someone else for 50). very convenient! unfortunately my son refuses to nap in it, so i spent 30 minutes walking home today with him screaming XD

dragoncar

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2017, 08:23:50 PM »
I try not to necrothread too badly, but I don't feel bad if its a timeless issue that wouldn't be improved by starting a new thread.

Take a look at the statistics and you will realize that there is a very good reason for all the safety gear we're expected to buy and the baby techniques we're supposed to employ.

I just watched a TED talk on carseats and it seems the statistics don't always support our societal expectations.  Sure, I plan to follow state law that says children must be in a car seat until age 8, but it kinda pisses me off to think that this is more a result of lobbying than actual statistics.

Came to this thread not because I want to save a couple bucks on a used seat, but because I may end up buying a used stroller bundle that includes a used carseat from an unknown party claiming no accidents.  The question is whether I should simply throw it away.  I'm going back and forth because while I don't want to be "cheap not frugal," I also agree with cycling stache that I really doubt a parent who originally shelled out over $1k on new baby gear (or any parent really) would be so cheap as to lie about the car seat just to make an extra buck.  If I meet the person, maybe I can trust my guy on their honesty?

jezebel

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2017, 11:31:05 AM »
I agree that almost everything can be gotten second hand for a baby/child.  We actually bought almost everything second hand, including a drop side crib (recalled due to deaths) on craigslist and my husband reinforced the drop side so it was immobile.  But I would shell out for a new low-end model car seat before I would get a used car seat that I wasn't 100% certain hadn't been in an accident. 

Most people don't even realize that a fender bender qualifies as an accident for car seat purposes, or they forget that the car seat was in one, or they don't even know.  (We loaned car seats to my parents to drive our children around and my mother was rear ended at some point.  When they returned the seats, I had already forgotten that they'd been in an accident.) So the "why would someone lie about that?" argument fails on more than one level.

The issue is not visible damage to the car seat, which is obvious, but weakened plastic or internal components.  Almost all car seat manufacturers recommend replacing car seats that have been in an accident because they don't want to be sued when this so rare event occurs.  http://thecarseatlady.com/aftercrash/  The problem with a used car seat is that you don't have the background to properly assess the seat. 

New car seats can be inexpensive and very safe; suggesting that someone put their kid in a bubble because they are questioning the safety of used car seats sounds like a gas lighting technique.  Cars are very dangerous.  Yes, you lower your risk by being a vigilant, defensive driver, but you can't control the truck driver in the highway behind you who is looking down at his cell phone.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #48 on: August 30, 2017, 07:08:02 AM »
Most people don't even realize that a fender bender qualifies as an accident for car seat purposes, or they forget that the car seat was in one, or they don't even know.  (We loaned car seats to my parents to drive our children around and my mother was rear ended at some point.  When they returned the seats, I had already forgotten that they'd been in an accident.) So the "why would someone lie about that?" argument fails on more than one level.

If a car seat was unoccupied in a fender bender like you mention above (not a major accident), it is still safe. That is what the car seat manufacturers say.

jezebel

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Re: Should I buy a used carseat??? Help!
« Reply #49 on: August 30, 2017, 07:43:57 AM »
Most people don't even realize that a fender bender qualifies as an accident for car seat purposes, or they forget that the car seat was in one, or they don't even know.  (We loaned car seats to my parents to drive our children around and my mother was rear ended at some point.  When they returned the seats, I had already forgotten that they'd been in an accident.) So the "why would someone lie about that?" argument fails on more than one level.

If a car seat was unoccupied in a fender bender like you mention above (not a major accident), it is still safe. That is what the car seat manufacturers say.

That is not correct, we actually called the manufacturer in our case.  A very minor accident where there is little to no bumper damage is generally ok (but you have to check the criteria of the specific manufacturer).  But a relatively minor accident can cause major structural damage to a vehicle (which was the case in the accident that I mentioned).