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16 Dec 2021

How to check if a second-hand marketplace pushchair is safe

Looking to buy a second-hand pushchair? Make sure it's in good shape before you part with your cash
Woman browsing second-hand pushchairs

If you're looking to bag a bargain when you're shopping via pre-owned marketplace sites, make sure you check the pushchair is safe and in good nick before you buy it.

There's a sizeable market for second-hand pushchairs if parents want to save money.

You'll find them being sold via local Facebook groups, eBay, Gumtree, Preloved, Buggy Revival and more.

Read on to find out what steps you should take to check the safety of a second-hand pushchair, or head straight to our pushchair reviews to discover the best ones we've tested.

What should you check before buying?

It's best to buy the pushchair from somewhere that lets you inspect it before you hand over your cash. Look for 'collection only' sales and consider the following:

  • Photos If there aren't enough on the listing, don't be afraid to ask the seller for more. If the listing mentions any scratches or other wear-and-tear issues, make sure you see images of these to decide whether they're dealbreakers.
  • Folding/unfolding Try the fold yourself a few times to make sure you feel comfortable with the mechanism, as you'll be folding the pushchair day in and day out. Ensure it doesn't get caught at any point.
  • Wheels Check they're not coming loose or appear rickety. If the pushchair has pneumatic tyres, are there signs of the rubber cracking near the rims? It's worth taking the pushchair for a quick circuit to make sure the wheels are aligned and that it steers well.
  • Brake During your circuit run, make sure the brake holds well, particularly on a slope.
  • Size If you want to take it on car journeys/public transport or carry it up flights of stairs, make sure it's comfortable enough for you to manage and won't be too heavy or bulky. Once it's folded, check it fits in your car boot, and consider space for other items, such as the weekly food shop.
  • Additional accessories The pushchair might come with a carrycot, rain cover or a pump if it has pneumatic tyres, so check if they're included.
  • Instructions They're something you might overlook, but the instructions will include important safety information and useful help, particularly for more complex models such as travel system pushchairs. If the seller can't locate the original copy, see if you can download them from the manufacturer's website.
  • Check the safety label All pushchairs in the UK, new and used, are required by law to comply with British Standards. The most current one is EN 1888:2018. A label indicating compliance should be located on the frame or seating cover. If you can't see this in an obvious place, be wary.

See our list of the best pushchairs we've tested

Pushchairs lined up

Problems that might affect a second-hand pushchair

The safety risks from buying a second-hand pushchair are far less than those for a car seat.

However, it's worth checking if the model you have in mind has been subject to any product safety recalls. You can do this by visiting the Trading Standards website.

You can also take a look at our Don't Buy pushchairs to check if it's included there.

Many of our lowest-scoring pushchairs have failures with safety and durability, which could be a warning sign if you're buying it second-hand as it's likely that it will have had a fair amount of use.

Some of the common safety risks our lab uncovers

Lab bite test on pushchair bumper bar
  • Foam bumper bars If it has a removable cover with a zip or poppers on it, then it could be easily removed by a child. The foam handle beneath could then be chewed on by a small child and chunks removed, causing a potential choking hazard (see above).
  • Cracks on the chassis Check the joins where the chassis parts have been melded together. Hairline cracks now could become weak spots later on.
  • Badges, buttons and poppers Give them a tug to see if they feel loose, as these could be a choking hazard if swallowed, particularly if they're small.
  • Harness stitching Check for any areas where the stitching might be coming loose (see below).
Loose harness stitching on pushchair

What about if you want to sell your pushchair?

If you've got an unused pushchair (or two) lurking about, here are some ways to free up storage space and maybe make some extra cash while you're at it.

Give it a good clean first

Use some warm soapy water on the frame. Wash removable fabrics in the washing machine or by hand.

Check for wear and tear

Take a good look over it to make sure there are no damaged or worn parts, too.

Then, once you're ready, here are some ways you can sell it:

Sell it online

There's a thriving second-hand market online for pushchairs - particularly for models in good condition from popular brands such as Bugaboo, Mamas & Papas, iCandy and Silver Cross.

Don't forget to factor in listing and selling fees.

Use NCT and second-hand baby product sales

Try a Nearly New sale organised by your local National Childbirth Trust (NCT) group. There will be a commission payable to the NCT or a set fee.

If there aren't any in your area, check online for details of upcoming car boot sales.

Read more of our advice on pushchair safety tips.