Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Case of the [Not] Counterfeit Ergo Baby Carrier

I figured I would blog about this situation because I found blogs useful during my quest to determine the authenticity of my Ergo Baby Carrier.  I hope this blog entry can help someone else in the same quest.

I could go on a long narrative about this as I usually do, but I think I'll just copy and paste the email I sent to www.snugglebugz.ca and http://store.ergobaby.com/ this past weekend.  I think it will give you a pretty clear understanding of the situation:

Hey there,

To clarify the recipients of this email, I'm sending this email to both companies involved (Ergo Baby and Snugglebugz.ca) as well as to the potential Craigslist buyer I was corresponding with.

In the spring of 2009 we purchased a Forest Green Organic Ergo Baby Carrier and Infant Insert in anticipation of the birth of our son who was born in early November 2009.  See invoice below.

When our son was born we found that the Ergo did not live up to our expectations as we hoped it would be more friendly for hiking, etc.  It turned out we didn't like it, so after using it once we returned it to the box and it has since been sitting in a closet.

We were doing some clearing out of closets and storage this past month, and we pulled the Ergo and Infant Insert out of the closet and posted them to Craigslist.  See ad:  
[Ad location here]

I was contacted by a potential buyer, [buyer name here], and she asked me to take several pictures of the Ergo, including the inside warning on the Ergo itself, the logos, and the shape of the insert.  There are photos of all these things and more in this album (I didn't want to put attachments since they are such large photos): 
[http://imgur.com/a/RXbQs#0]

[The potential buyer] has concluded, having seen these pictures, that this is not a genuine Ergo but a counterfeit. 


I would like some clarification on this matter.  If this is, in fact, a counterfeit Ergo, I would like a refund of my money from Snugglebugz and an explanation.  It would be helpful if both Snugglebugz and Ergo Baby could shed some light on this.

I can be reached at this email address, or at [
xxx.xxx.xxxx] at any time.

I hope for a timely response, please, as I do want to sell the Ergo and I will not feel comfortable doing so if it is indeed a counterfeit.

I'm sorry for troubling you all with this if this is, in fact, a genuine Ergo. I have a lot of respect for Snugglebugz.ca and Ergo Baby as companies and I understand this could be a very stressful matter for all.  Please don't think I am being accusatory, I would, in fact, be totally astounded if this were anything but a genuine Ergo.


Cheers,


Monika Whitney
[XXX.XXX.XXXX]

The email also contained an exact copy of the original snugglebugz.ca invoice from  6-10-09.

So there you have it. TL;DR: I am selling my Ergo on Craigslist, a buyer believed it to be a counterfeit, and instead of "letting it go" I had to get to the bottom of it. 

I received a quick and timely response from Snugglebugz.ca as seen below:


Hello Monika,

Thank you for your inquiry and feedback!  On our end, we sell legitimate Ergo carries and we are aware that there are links that are selling counterfeit ones as we’ve had customers wanting us to price match them on those illegitimate sites and have refused because of that. Your best bet is to contact Ergo to confirm that what you bought was legit.  From the pictures you sent us, it looks like you have a legit one, but just follow up with the company about it.  Hope that helps, have a great day!  J

Thanks,
Sandy
Snuggle Bugz Sales Team
P: 1-877-768-4284 x 57

After receiving this response, my last hope was that I'd receive a response from Ergo.  I wasn't entirely certain I had sent my email to the appropriate parties (I tried hannah@ergobaby.com and info@ergobaby.com), so this morning I decided to forward the entire thread of emails to ca@ergobaby.com.  Literally within minutes, I received a call from Cathy at Fulton Sales.  Cathy assured me that Fulton Sales represents Ergo in Canada,that their distributor is Alca Distribution, and that Snugglebugz.ca is, in fact, an authorized Ergo seller. To re-confirm what I then already knew, I simply went to the snugglebugz.ca website, looked at the address of one of their two retail stores, and typed it into the tool on the Ergo Baby website that helps you find an authorized retailer:

http://store.ergobaby.com/Content/Retailers#

You can see for yourself, the two addresses of Snugglebugz retail stores are "3245 Fairview St Burlington, ON L7N 3L1" and "1160 Steeles Ave. East Milton, ON."

Ergo Baby does address counterfeits on their website, and there are also several blog entries on the same topic.   However, Cathy from Fulton Sales said that two things may have thrown my potential buyer off was that my Ergo was from 2009 which meant:

1.  It came with an OLD style of the infant insert
2.  It came with a DVD, which Ergos no longer do

There are probably some other factors as well. For example, my Ergo is Canadian, and some of the "counterfeit detection" posts are US Ergos.  A US Ergo has Spanish on the inside, and a Canadian one has french, for example.  Then of course, you have to factor in the age of my Ergo.

I considered writing my own "how to spot a counterfeit Ergo" post on here, but then I realized, there are probably exceptions to the rules which would mean a post like that would probably just give someone ELSE with a genuine Ergo a bunch of trouble if someone were to stumble upon my post in an effort to try and determine the authenticity of their Ergo. There are so many "exceptions" that I don't think that sort of diagnostic would be entirely helpful. 

The happy ending here is that I'm 100% confident my Ergo is a genuine one now, and even though we won't likely be using it again, I'm still happy to know this. 

There's something else I'm confident about:

If you want to purchase an Ergo and you want to be 100% certain it is authentic, you may have to be willing to shell out the additional $$$ in order to purchase the Ergo new and from an authorized dealer.  Not every Craigslist seller is going to be willing to jump through these sorts of hoops so that you can save $75+ on a used Ergo.  I know it's often cheaper to buy used on Craigslist, but if it matters that much to you, you may as well just be willing to shell out the full price for the genuine article. 

A picture from the one occasion we actually wore Aias in the Ergo. 




 
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