So you are thinking about buying a used car seat.

Hi everyone, I've seen a lot of car seats for sale on facebook groups, Kijiji, Craigslist etc lately. They all look to be in good condition and not expired but there are some things we should be aware of when buying a used car seat.

Firstly, make sure it has never been in an accident. Do you trust where you are buying it from? Do you even know who you are buying it from? This cannot be over stressed. If a seat has been in an accident, even a small one, there could be micro fractures in the plastic that you cannot see with the naked eye. I would like to think no one would sell a seat in this condition but you would never know if they did.

Then you need to make sure it meets current safety standards. Transport Canada is a good place for this, click here for their site.

Make sure it has a CMVSS sticker (a round sticker with a maple leaf inside) this sticker is the National Safety Mark. Some people go to the US to buy a seat so they can save some money. These seats likely do not have Canada's National Safety Mark and are therefore not allowed to be used in Canada. They may look the same but there could be differences in how they were tested.

You must check the expiry date, it will either be on the label, in the instructions or stamped right in the plastic of the underside of the seat. If you cannot find it then do a Google search with the type of seat and it's date of manufacture and you should be able to find it on line.

Recalls! If you are a registered owner of a seat then the company will proactively find you to tell you about a recall. If you buy it used then you will not be the registered owner. There is a database online of car seat recalls that you can check, you just have to be proactive and look for it every week or so.

In my personal opinion as someone with 2 little ones. I would not put them in a used seat.

In my professional opinion, there are very valid reasons for someone to think about a used seat, the main one being financial. Car seats can be very expensive! Getting a gently used one is a great way to save some money.

Something to remember is that if a seat is being sold in Canada it has passed the safety standards set out by Transport Canada. Many have bells and whistles that increase the cost. Ask yourself if your child needs 2 cup holders, extra plush this and that etc.

If anyone has questions feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to answer them. Also, check out the Helpful links section of this site for more info.