Monday, July 16, 2012

So armed my little checklist of things to look for on a counterfeit ergobaby, I waited patiently for my ebay purchase of a new designer ergobaby carrier in Innsbruck. I knew from the start that I was taking a risk, but I looked for a buyer that clearly had good feedback and a return policy just in case. After getting my carrier I excitedly went through my checklist and was feeling safer by the minute. It was so nice and super soft. After using it for a week I started to notice 2 things that sent up red flags and so I decided to contact Ergobaby directly. I had registered my carrier on their website so I thought I wouldn't have any problems...although in the back of my head I was already preparing for what she was going to tell me. My precious Ergobaby carrier was an impostor! No way!! I had spent hours researching, but I did notice I could find no information on this particular model of Ergos. It appears these fakers have gotten so good, its nearly impossible to tell unless you have them both in your hand at the same time. So I decided to contact the seller where he agreed to give me $145 to purchase a Authentic Ergobaby carrier and I got him to let me keep the knock-off so that I may do this blog. I just got my Authentic Ergobaby carrier from an approved vendor on their list and here is what I found........
The real Ergobaby carrier box is the lighter color with the upc lable on the top. The numbers are exactly the same, different patten upc bar.

They are doing a really good job duplicating the box these days. I couldn't find any typos or substandard printing, which is usually a sign to look for on the fakes. The cardboard box feels exactly the same.

Other than the color of the box being slightly lighter, the only other difference I could find was the color of the logo was different. The real box is on the left.

The real is on the left again. Really nothing different with exceptions of a few colors

This is how the real ergobaby carriers come. No plastic bag. The registration was attached and in the hood pocket along with the instructions
The fake ergo came in a plastic bag with registration card and an instruction booklet.

The registration cards are nearly identical. If anything the ergos card stock was stiffer. The model numbers look identical . I had no problem registering the fake ergo on their website. The one on the top is the fake card.

Registration card came attached to the carriers hood buckle and was inside the pocket.

This is the logo on the REAL Ergobaby. Exactly the same with exception to the top color on the logo. The REAL Ergo will be a light turquoise color.

This is the fake erogs logo. It appears to be white on the top...otherwise the same
Here is a side by side comparison of the 2. Right out of the box I noticed the REAL ergobaby is made of a stiffer more durable feeling fabric. I actually preferred the softness of my fake, but in the end it probably means the fabric will not hold up as well. Im sure the REAL ergos soften up nicely overtime. I also noticed the REAL ergobaby was more square and the fake having a more tapered appearance near the seat. The fake was also a bit taller. The REAL Ergobaby carrier is pictured on the Left.

You can see a very slight difference in the thread of the fabric. The one on the Left is the REAL ergo.

 I had done all my research on what to look for in spotting a fake and I was almost fooled until a few things popped up. The first red flag for me was the Ergobaby logo was upsidedown when the hood was out. The Ergobaby company would have enough attention to detail to have their logo facing the right way

The hood is also slightly larger on the Real Ergobaby. The REAL ergo is again pictured on the Left.

Now this is one of the areas we are told to check to spot a fake ergo. We used to have to look for a warning label that was only in one language, typos, and the label being placed somewhere other than the waist belt. As you can see they have become hip to the game and did them exactly as The REAL ergo baby. The one on the top is the REAL Ergo

There isn't a huge difference with the waist belt area. Maybe a little stiffer than the fake

Another area we are told to check is the waist buckle brand. We were told to look for Stealth buckles. The fakes do say Stealth but have other information on them as well making it hard to tell the difference unless you have something else to compare it to. The top is the Real Ergo buckle

The top buckle is real and says Woo-Jin Flex Stealth 50mm. On the backside it says WJ Dura-Flex anti-break....the fake says UTX-Stealth Warrior NOTE( The stealth buckles can be found on the real ergo's as well, so that isnt the only detail you should go on when identifing yours)




Fake

REAL

My next and final REd Flag was the safety elastic on the waist belt and shoulder belt began to stretch out and have a ruffled appearance. This being a "Safety" elastic, I knew for sure that this could in no way be an authentic ergobaby. I was really mad since I had sat there with my little checklist of things and at very first glance, thought I had the real thing. You can see clearly the defective area. Note also that the real ergobaby has placed their elastic right at the edge where as the fakes is about an inch into the belt. This would be one of the things I check in the future to verify authenticity.

Identical organic cotton labels. I am starting to notice maybe a very slight difference in color on the scroll work. The REAL ergo seems to be a bit brighter

The Real Ergo baby is on the Left. Here you can see better how they have a more square shape and the fake is slightly taller and tapered towards the seat.
The padding in the shoulder falls a good 4" short of the real ergo carrier. REAL being on the left

On the shoulder straps there is a button to attch the sleep hood and a plastic loop. The REAL ergo has a sturdy squared plastic loop pictured on the left. The fake is rounded and on the right
Padding was slightly less padded. The Real ergos feel like the stitching is tighter and more sturdy all around
They sure do look alike. REAL on the left
Real on left

These are the hood straps. The Real ergo straps are on the Left. The buttons are a little different, bigger and slightly better quality
Fake Ergo label inside hood pocket
Authentic Ergobaby label inside hood pocket










Below is another fake ergo carrier I got as a handme down. Not knowing the brand much at the time, I loved it until the straps started to tear. Only when I went to sell it did I realize it wasnt an ergobaby. Now having had these experiences, its very obvious on this carrier. The logo looks similar but it clearly says "The Ergo Baby" on it

Not an ergobaby

This carrier also had no safety belt elastic nor could it be used in a side carry.


Heres where it ripped and I sewed it back together







Today I Ate A Rainbow is an interactive nutritional game that makes eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables fun for kids! Designed for children ages 3 and up, this product is made up of a colorful rainbow chart and bright colored magnets that allow up to 4 children (or two children and their parents!) to easily track the fruits and vegetables they eat throughout the day. We use this everyday. Approved by a buy mom of 40 Toes

 http://www.todayiatearainbow.com?ap_id=fortytoes





25 comments:

  1. The lesson here is, buy from ergobaby.com or a verified retailer. If you already have one as a hand-me-down, I wouldnt say you baby is going to fall right out of this. I researched the buckles the fakes used and they are a military grade suitable buckle. You can see in the design, it is very similar to the real ergos buckles and are both made by dura-flex. My only worry would be that the fabric and elastics wont hold up as well overtime.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sister in law recently bought an ergo from Target, a verified retailer, and it turned out hers was a fake. They suspected someone bought an ergo, and replaced it with a fake and returned it. It's always good to check.

      Delete
  2. I wouldn't use a fake if it was my choice. I mistakenly bought a second hand fake once from a "friend" and I found they used flimsier seat belt fabric, so it slipped and loosened as I wore it (I wore it for one afternoon and got suspicious). So while the buckle might be military grade, if the strapping slips out it won't help.

    One thing that jumped out at me as a very obvious visual difference between these carriers is the skinny strapping on the outside waistband is running in-line with the pattern on the real one (and is lined up so as to cause the least interruption to the overall pattern) while it is running sideways on the fake.

    ReplyDelete
  3. my real ergo from the ergo site i bought in 2010 has the so called fake buckle on it and i know its not a fake and my real ergo the elastic on teh waist band has stretched out some over time like in your picture of your fake ... so it coul djust be the older models i know mine isnt a fake i ordered from ergobaby.com myself !

    ReplyDelete
  4. Actually, the one you picture at the bottom might be a verrrry old (not New Generation but from the mid to early 2000s) Ergo. I've seen them before and there's a comparison graphic here: http://shop.bellybumboutique.com/static_pages/downloads/BCcomparisons.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you soooo much for this post! I recently ordered an open box ergo in this same print and it had ALL of the characteristics of a fake ergo as listed in your post. I was able to return it for a full refund. I own several other ergos and could tell the one I received was different, but your post was very helpful in making me feel more certain that it was in fact a counterfeit. Great work!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ok so I just ordered a ergo on amazon. The seller assured me it wasn't fake. The only difference I could find in mine after going through your checklist was the padding doesn't come all the way down to the top of the carrier. Should I be concerned about this? Please give me your input!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My PPB frolicking in Fez has a different buckle, box, and the padding doesn't go all the way down the front, it is slants and ends about 2 inches before the front where the baby is carried. I sent in several pictures of the box, buckle and padding in shoulder straps and Ergo assured me that my buckle was older and that the padding doesn't go all the way down. They assured me it was authentic. I purchased from an authorized retailer "Right Start" but was alarmed after I compared mine to this blogs checklist.

      Delete
    2. Mine also doesn't have the padding all the way down. Same buckle. I know mine is authentic, too.

      Delete
  7. I would say its a knock off. The missing padding creates a weak spot right were the most wear is put on the carrier

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm 99% positive that I was sold a fake PPB Ergo on eBay. I opened a case against him already. How did you go about requesting $145 for a new one? That sounds like a great thing. Please let me know! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I found your site after a friend told me there were counterfeit Ergo carriers being sold. I of course started Googling everything possible to see if the one I had just received (purchased via Amazon) was real or fake. The only thing "off" on mine was the buckle...but mine is different from what I found on any site about the fakes vs. reals. SO, I went to my local Babies R Us to compare mine to the one on display there. The only thing I found "off" on the one in the store (in comparing to what all the sites said a real would have" was the waist buckle. The one in my BRU store had the buckle like you picture about that says "UTX Flex Stealth Warrior". Upon reading so many different sites, you'd think it was a fake! But why, and how, would Babies R Us have a fake Ergo displayed?? It is SO confusing to try figuring out if my carrier is real or fake.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The padding is definitely not a sign of the fake, as you can see right on the ergo baby website that the padding does not go all the way down on the original ergo baby, mine is definitely authentic and the only think it lacks is the padding all the way down but you can clearly see in this picture (taken from ergobaby.com), which is the kind I have that the padding does not go all the way down in the front, this model is obviously supposed to be this way. http://store.ergobaby.com/mas_assets/cache/image/1/a/3/419.Jpg ...this is great information but some may not be a certain way to tell a fake, thanks for the comparisons though!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a 100% authentic ergo and the buckle does say Stealth Warrior bought in 2011

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like the one of the ergos you are comparing is just an older model.

      Delete
    2. Mine is authentic too (i checked with ergobaby), and it says stealth warrior. (bought in 2012 from buy buy baby after buying a fake one from china. )

      Delete
  12. While I agree with and appreciate the info in the top half of your post, the bottom carrier is not a fake at all. It's a pre-2004 Ergo carrier. If you like, you can view what the Ergo line (including the carrier pictured here!) looked like back then via the web-archive here: http://web.archive.org/web/20041209014347/http://ergobabycarrier.com/index.html

    Ergo used to have their history on the website, but not anymore apparently :( I would encourage you to remove or amend the bottom portion of your post, as it detracts from the good information shared at the top.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate your info. This particular carrier pictured was infact identified by an ergo baby rep as a fake. It does look almost identical to the old models. Counterfeiters are extremely good at what they do. They copy every detail with a small change in a thred color or color pattern. The only fool prrof way to tell if yours is fake is just to contact ergobaby directly. They are very helpful and great at identifying fakes if you send them some photos.

      Delete
    2. I had an ergo rep say the same thing about mine til I mailed it in....the older original ones cannot be authenitcated or stated as fake unless mailed in to them, due to the fact there is no info to go by, but ergo themselves told me they have had no fakes of the original come in since this started. And I discussed it with them in the past month

      Delete
  13. Thanks for the post, and my wife is wanting to get a ergo baby carrier so we don't have to take a stroller everywhere we go. Do you think that it would be worth getting?

    ReplyDelete
  14. "It appears these fakers have gotten so good, its nearly impossible to tell unless you have them both in your hand at the same time. So I decided to contact the seller where he agreed to give me $145 to purchase a Authentic Ergobaby carrier and I got him to let me keep the knock-off so that I may do this blog"

    That's impressive! How did you convince them to do that!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks so much of this!! Because of your post here I was able to determine that unfortunately my ergo carrier was a counterfeit one and know that when my other one arrived it was the absolute the real thing!!! Thanks for ppl like you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good for you! Now I have confirmed mines is a fake. Wish I saw your post in 2012 Aug and thank god nothing happened to my baby,though the straps went loose a few times! I brought mines from ebay and thinking to file a case against the seller.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I know this post is a little old now, but being a seamstress, I immediately noticed that in the fake one, the pattern wasn't aligned nicely like the real one is.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The ergo on the very bottom you say is older and fake is in fact real, and an original ergo....i own 2 of them that are 9 years old and in the denim but the same style etc....I contact ergo regarding them and they are real, they didnt start faking them til more recent

    ReplyDelete