Our survey results show that 31% of parents who have bought a baby sling or carrier have been duped into accidentally buying a fake sling or carrier from an online marketplace*.
Fake baby slings and carriers, which imitate products made by well-known brands, can present a serious risk to your baby, as they may not meet the British safety standards for construction and testing that big brands typically adhere to.
As a result, they could be unsafe to use, for example if they contain harmful chemicals and dyes, have bad stitching or flimsy construction.
Follow the tips below to make sure you don’t end up with a fake, and potentially unsafe, baby sling or carrier.
We conduct rigorous safety assessments on all the baby slings and carriers we test. Check out our reviews of the best baby carriers and baby slings to find out which models we recommend.
Five things to ask yourself before buying a baby sling or carrier online
1. Does the price seem reasonable?
Baby slings and carriers can be expensive, with some costing more than £150, and often those selling fake products will entice you in with cheap prices.
If you’re tempted by a seemingly good deal, check a few different retailers to see whether the product is being offered at a similar price elsewhere. It might look like a bargain, but if the discount seems too good to be true, there’s a chance it could be a fake.
We’ve uncovered a Best Buy baby sling costing less than £35. Read our baby sling reviews to see which offer the best value for money.
2. Is it an authorised retailer?
If you want to be certain you’re getting a genuine product, buying direct from an authorised retailer is the safest choice. Manufacturers usually list authorised retailers on their site so it’s worth checking this list before you buy.
While there are some authorised Amazon and eBay sellers, buying from these sites tends to be more risky.
3. Does anything look different?
Fake slings and carriers can be hard to distinguish from the versions they’re attempting to imitate, but if you look closely, there may be some discrepancies.
Check the photos and item description carefully against the product on the manufacturers site, to see if there are any subtle differences.
Fake slings and carriers are often sold in different colours, so have a look at the typical colours and styles sold elsewhere. If the photos are poor quality, it can be a sign that the product may not be genuine.
4. Do the reviews seem genuine?
As well as tempting you in with bargain prices, sellers may also use fake reviews to trick you into thinking it’s a good product.
They can be hard to spot, but there are some key signs such as reviews being overwhelmingly positive, or lots of reviews being posted at the same time.
Read our guide on how to spot a fake review to make sure you don’t get caught out.
5. Can you buy the same sling or carrier elsewhere?
Before you buy a sling or carrier online, it’s worth doing some research to check whether other sites are selling it.
If it’s an old model that’s no longer available on other retailer sites, but is being advertised as a new product, it could be best to steer clear.
If you’re in doubt about whether the sling or carrier you’re planning to buy is genuine, you can check with the manufacturer using the contact details below.
- Baby Bjorn Email: email@example.com
- Ergobaby Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Moby Email: email@example.com
- Izmi Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about the dangers of fake baby carriers and slings and how to avoid buying one, see our guide on how to spot a fake baby carrier or sling.
What should I do if I’ve accidentally bought a fake sling or carrier on an online marketplace?
Sometimes you might not realise a baby sling or carrier is fake until after you’ve bought it.
If you accidentally buy a fake sling or carrier, you’re legally entitled to a refund within 30 days. However, our survey results show that only 11% of parents that were in this situation requested a refund.
To prevent other people from falling into the same trap, it can be helpful to report the counterfeit product to the retailer. You can also report it to Trading Standards, which may lead to action being taken against the seller.
For more advice, read our consumer rights guide on how to spot fake products.
*Results based on a survey of 2,021 parents that have bought a baby sling or carrier, conducted in March 2021.
Which? baby carrier and baby sling reviews
We’ve got a batch of 15 slings and carriers being tested in our laboratories and being tried out by a panel of parents and their children right now.
Look out for the reviews going live next month.