Buying or selling a secondhand child car restraint
It makes sense to recycle children’s clothing and there’s big business in selling used cars… Here’s what you need to know when buying or selling a used child car restraint.
WHILE PLENTY OF people buy and sell children’s clothing (the Bober clan included) when it comes to buying or selling secondhand child car seats one has to be very careful indeed. Sure, you can save yourself a few bucks when buying used, but it’s absolutely vital you remember your child’s car restraint is an item of safety, like a motorcycle helmet or the roll cage in a race car.
That means even the slightest amount of damage can render the thing both dangerous and useless. The following is what you need to think about one, when buying a used child car restraint and, two, when selling a used child car restraint.
- Make sure you know the complete history of the seat;
- Find out if it was ever involved in a car accident and, if it was, walk away (white stress marks on the plastic are a tell-tale sign);
- Check the shell for signs of cracking, and if you can’t physically inspect the seat ask the seller for detailed photos);
- Check that the seat is less than 10 years old. Why? because over time plastic becomes brittle and is more prone to cracking, and that’s why child car restraints carry a use-by date – if the seat you’re considering is beyond the use-by then walk away, but not before telling the seller the seat should be rendered unusable;
- Check that all of the parts that came with the seat when it was new are with it now;
- Check that the buckles work smoothly and that the webbing (straps) are not frayed or have any little nicks or cuts in them (obviously, if you’re buying or selling a child car restraint online this can be difficult to demonstrate/inspect);
- Check the manufacturers label for: Manufacture’s name; Model Name; Model Number – Ensure the seller provides an image showing this as it will allow you to look up the seat online and check if there are any recalls out for that particular child car restraint, via recalls.gov.au;
- Check the child car restraint meets AS/NZS 1754, version 2000, 2004, 2010 and 2013 – there will be a sticker somewhere on the seat’s shell.
- And remember, if in doubt about the seat, then walk away. Sometimes issues with the plastic shell aren’t visible and can be a ticking time bomb… buying new really is best sometimes.
Rendering a seat unusable
If you want to dispose of a child car restraint because of cracks in the shell, or because its older than 10 years, then make sure you cut all of the straps and remove the seat padding. Dispose of all three items separately to ensure no-one tries to reassemble the restraint. You don’t want the child car restraint to be usable by anybody else.