Buying a child car seat online can be a really great option. You have a wide selection to choose from and plenty of product reviews at your fingertips. But, where do you really start when a simple Google search can turn out hundreds of web sites to look at? First, decide on the type of car seat you need. Searching for just “car seat” will turn out results for infant car seats, child car seats, convertible car seats, car seat covers, etc. Say you have decided on a convertible car seat, start your search there. Then, click on a link for a retailer that has multiple brands and styles of convertible car seats, such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, or BabiesRUs.com. Look at a few pictures of the car seats available and see what style you like or which one suits your needs. Then, look at the descriptions of the car seats you like. Maybe the pink convertible car seat is perfect for your princess, but when you read that is has sueded fabric that can be hard to clean, it may not be the best choice. Also, one online retailer may offer a car seat in two or three additional colors or even in an exclusive print that another online retailer doesn’t.
Next, when you have decided on a few car seats that you really like, read the reviews of them. Which car seat was easy to install? Durable? Easy to adjust? Comfortable? Which had the best features? How many stars on average did it receive in the reviews? Pay attention to how many reviews are available. A car seat with just 4 or 5 reviews may not be as helpful to consider as one with 15 to 20. Read all the reviews, good and bad. Keep in mind that maybe someone gavea bad review just because they didn’t like the color or someone gave it a good review just because they have brand loyalty. Read reviews from multiple sites and even take a moment to visit the actual product site. If you have a Britax car seat in mind, visit Britax.com and to get a feeling for the product. It may be helpful to see if the site lists recalls or product safety issues and if they have a phone number or email that makes asking questions a breeze.
Once you have narrowed down your decision, decide if the price is right. Is the $180 first choice really that much better than the $95 second choice? When you have it down to your perfect car seat, shop around to get the best deal and keep in mind shipping costs. Target.com gives you free shipping if you use your Target card to purchase, but BabiesRUs.com gives you 10% off with their store card and free shipping to your local store. So, that $95 car seat you decided on may be a better buy at one retailer over another. You can also choose to buy from a web site like Amazon.com that gives you a list of multiple retailers’ prices and shipping charges to decide which the best price is. Also consider the return process. Can you return a car seat you really didn’t like to a local store? Can it be shipped back with a complimentary shipping label? You may not want to buy a product that you may end up paying extra to return.