Buying a Used Car Seat

UPDATE, 3/14/2017:

 

There have been car seat recalls in recent months.

AZKidznMore researched our files to see if we had sold any of these recalled carseats. We did not. Our policy is to reach out to customers whose contact information we have (usually, those who consign with us) if they have purchased items that were later recalled.

These recalls were voluntary measures taken by the manufacturers themselves, who are cooperating with NHTSA and child safety organizations.

To check on your car seat, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s page on car seat recalls.


Mention a car seat, and you have our attention. We are firm believers that car seats and restraints should always be used for kids who need them.

In Arizona, this includes kids who are:

  • Under eight years old, and
  • 4 feet, nine inches tall or under

You can also use approved car booster seats for kids between five and seven years old and under 4’9″.

You can find information about car seat laws in different states at the website DMV.org.

What About Used Car Seats?

graco_3_in_1_car_seat
Graco’s 3-in-1 captain’s chair.

Many people will choose to buy a brand-new car seat and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, don’t dismiss all used car seats as unsafe, because this is not the case.

AZ Kidz n More sells used car seats but we certainly do not accept all that come through our door.

  • Any item brought in for consignment is checked for damage such as rips, tears, holes, cracks, stains, and defects.
  • We make sure all the parts are present and work properly, including straps and buckles.
  • We reject anything that’s dirty or smells.

As we’ve said before, if we wouldn’t use it, we wouldn’t let it go to your home (or in this case, your vehicle).

Our consigners are thoughtful people. They know we won’t accept items that don’t look gently-used or aren’t clean. They wouldn’t dream of offering us shoddy products. Many have saved instruction pamphlets and registration information with car seats, furniture, strollers, and other durable items they consign with us. These documents include information about proper installation, which can also be found on manufacturer websites.

We check the UPC code and other identification against recalls, using the USCPSC website. We do this with furniture, strollers, and toys as well.

Who Buys Used Car Seats Anyway?

Many of our customers who buy car seats are grandparents or other relatives expecting visitors who include a young child. Some parents also buy a car seat from us to have an extra one on hand for emergencies or to transport other children.

If a customer seems uncertain about buying a used car seat, we encourage him or her to buy a new one. We will never do a “hard sell” on a customer for any item in our store. We don’t want any customer to be anything less than 100% satisfied with a purchase from AZ Kidz N More.

Recently, a customer brought in an infant/toddler car seat from a  top manufacturer. We rejected it because there was a part missing from the carry handle. This part has nothing to do with securing the seat, but everything to do with getting a baby in and out of the car while strapped in. Still, two customers asked about its availability before the owner came to collect it.

Make Sure Your Car Seat is Properly Installed

Regardless of where your car seat originates, you must make sure it is properly installed.

Too many people don’t understand how to install a car seat. It isn’t always easy or obvious. A 2015 study by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found almost 60% of car seats and 20% of booster seats were installed incorrectly. Obviously, incorrectly installed carseats are less effective in protecting children during crashes.

You can get professional installation, though, preferably from a CPS (Child Passenger Safety) technician who has had special training. Use this link from Safe Kids Worldwide to find one in your area. We searched for Scottsdale, AZ (where our store is located) and discovered there are CPS technicians throughout Scottsdale, including at one of the city’s fire houses, and at fire stations on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community.

And before you know it, those kids will be in line at the DMV to get a driver’s learning permit!

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