Thursday, February 13, 2014

How Following My Gut Saved Me From Buying a Recalled Carseat

My DD was nearing the weight limit on her infant car seat and it was time to move her to a toddler car seat. Not to mention I thought my arm was about to fall off if I carried her around in her car seat much longer! 

I had spent weeks researching which car seat to buy. I not only researched what brand and model were recommended the most but the pros and cons of buying a new vs. used car seat. I knew I wanted a convertible car seat that would allow me to do extended rear facing. (I had happily switched my first four kids around to front facing at age 1 without a second thought.)

The car seat I saw recommended everywhere online that was within my price range was the Graco MyRide 65 LX. (Honestly I wanted a Britax but that didn't fit my budget.) I watched several car seats that were for sale on eBay as well as compared prices and length of shipping on internet sites. 

Something held me back from bidding on any of the eBay car seats. Every article that I read on buying a car seat cautioned against buying seats where the history of the car seat was not known. I've been using eBay long enough to know that even though a seller claims the car seat is new, that it isn't always true. I could end up buying a car seat that was several years old and had been in an accident for all I knew!

There were several online retail stores that sold the car seat I wanted at a discounted price but the problem was the shipping seemed to take considerably long. With Skylar only two pounds away from her infant seat no longer being safe, I didn't want to risk not getting the car seat in time.

So I decided to look around in the stores and see what I could find. I live in a small city and the selection when it comes to car seats, strollers, and baby items has always been pretty slim. Babies R Us didn't have the Graco MyRide 65 LX. My Babies R Us store tends to carry only high end items so I wasn't surprised. I drooled for awhile over the Britax $299 car seat but eventually tore myself away and went to Walmart where I needed to do some grocery shopping anyway.

Walmart in my area tends to be the opposite of Babies R Us. Walmart tends to have the low end crappy baby items that look as if they would fall apart if you put an actual baby in them. So I was pretty shocked when I found the exact car seat that I wanted. Well almost exactly.

The car seat was the same model but the color was different. I wanted the color to be Sonata. This color was Lana. The price was also almost $25 more than if I had ordered the car seat from Walmart. I weighed the pros and cons. I could order the Sonata and wait two weeks for it to arrive risking Skylar outgrowing her current infant seat or I could buy this car seat right now. I decided to go for immediate gratification but there was also this gut feeling telling me to buy this car seat.

I had been using the car seat for only a day and a half when I came across a post on a parenting Facebook page sharing an article about Graco recalling 3.8 million car seats. I wasn't happy to learn that the car seat I had spent so much time researching, watching, and had just purchased had been recalled. The date on my registration card is July 6, 2013 so I wasn't sure if my car seat was included in the recall or not. (Car seats made from 2009 to July 2013 were included in the recall.)

However, I only needed to take one look at the seat to know I had gotten lucky. I knew when I saw the square button on the harness buckle. This version had the "new and improved harness buckle." Usually my need for instant shopping gratification got me into trouble. In this instance, it actually save me from some trouble. 

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