How to safely list a child's car seat restraint

How safe car seats are regulated in New Zealand and what you need to be conscious of when listing yours on Trade me

By Trade Me 5 February 2021

Safely listing a second hand car seat on Trade Me

When it comes time to purchase things for your children’s use, product safety can play a huge role in what you end up buying. Here at Trade Me we also take your children’s safety seriously, and for that reason we have a whole lot of rules around what can and can’t be sold on the site

In New Zealand the law requires that all children under seven years of age must use an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and size. Travelling in a car with a young child can already be a nightmare, so we don’t want your trading experience to be one as well.

Given car seats can mean the difference between life and death, Trade Me is extremely cautious when it comes to car seat safety. Where there is any doubt, we will pull a listing – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The official standard stickers to demonstrate compliance

All children's child restraints (e.g. car seats) for sale must comply with at least one of three standards:

  • US Standard FMVSS213
  • European Standard ECE44
  • Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1754.

Restraints must have a standard sticker physically on them. If Trade Me asks a seller to send a photo of one of these stickers on the item, sellers must be able to provide that photo.

The standard stickers can look like the below. For more information you can read about the standard stickers.

Australian standard 

Additional requirements to demonstrate compliance

As a seller, you are expected to be able to demonstrate compliance with a standard should we ask.

Sellers of brand new car restraints must supply the instruction documentation (e.g. the manual). This is also a legal requirement.

Even if your seat does have the correct sticker, you may not be able to list the restraint on Trade Me for one of the following reasons:

  • Restraints that have been involved in an accident or have sun damage should not be listed (and probably should be destroyed).
  • If the restraint shows signs of deterioration, including cracks in the child restraint shell or fraying of the harness it should not be listed (and probably should be destroyed).
  • If the harnesses or straps on a restraint are frayed or heavily soiled they must be replaced, not just cleaned.If a restraint has been cleaned, these guidelines should have been followed.If the restraint has been modified, and Trade Me has concerns it will no longer be up to the legal safety standards, it should not be listed.
  • If the restraint is expired it must not be listed (and probably should be destroyed).

If Trade Me has any doubts about a restraint, for whatever reason, it will be removed and you will be unable to list it on the site.

An expired restraint date means it cannot be listed

Trade Me doesn’t allow expired child restraints on the site, even if they could still meet the general safety standards, and even if they are second hand items.

Expiration dates are based on the date of manufacture, and restraints can never be older than 10 years.

When determining whether or not a child restraint is actually expired you could get conflicting information from a bunch of different places. To help clear up any doubt, we reached out to some of the most popular brands that get listed on Trade Me and asked them directly for their expiration guidelines. They came back with the below.

If the brand of child restraint you are keen to list isn't included below, then you can check out expiry guidelines via this page.


Infra Secure - This brand’s items have an expiration of 10 years.


Safe N Sound - This brand’s items have an expiration of 10 years.


Dorel (the parent company for a number of brands) provided the below information on their items:

Safety 1st and Maxi Cosi capsules made to US Safety Standard have an 8 year lifespan.  Please refer to the underside of the product for the exact date written in the shell.  For example do not use after December 2013.

All Safety 1st and Maxi Cosi convertible car seats have a 10 year lifespan under US Safety Standard.  Please refer to the underside of the product for the exact date written in the shell.  For example do not use after December 2013.

Maxi Cosi Capsules, Bases and Boosters out of the Netherlands under the European standard have a 10 year life span (if manufactured after Jan 2016), prior to this they had a 5 year lifespan.  Please refer an example below of an E sticker with the manufacture date on it: For example this unit was manufactured in week 22 of 2013, therefore this has expired and cannot be sold.

All Cosco capsules come with an 8 year lifespan.

All Cosco convertible seats have a 10 year lifespan aside from the Cosco Next which has 8 years.

All Mother’s Choice capsules and convertibles made to European standard have a 5 year lifespan, those made to Australian Standard have a 10 year life span.


Phil & Ted’s provided the below information on their items:

Legacy infant Capsule

These capsules range in manufacturing dates from 2004 - 2012

Phil & Teds bebe (there are several models of this) - 6 years

Phil & Teds quest - 6 years

Phil & Teds optimum - 6 years

Mountain buggy peppy - 6 years

Current infant capsules

The Mountain buggy protect and Phil & Teds Alpha capsules were released in 2013.

In 2016 they re-launched the alpha and protect capsules and at this time they changed the lifespan from 6 to 8 years.

Mountain buggy Protect -  Released 7/4/16

Phil & Teds Alpha - Released 19/5/16

As a visual indicator, if the liner in the main seat has black piping (edging) around it, then it is the older style and has a lifespan of 6 years.

If the liner is a complete block colour, then this is the newer version and this has a lifespan of 8 years.

Legacy Car seats

These seats were manufactured between 2004-2012

Tott - 6 years

Tott XT - 6 years

Bebe recline -  6 years

Cocoon genius - 6 years

Travelfix - 6 years

Current Car seats

The Discovery, Columbus and Evolution have also had a change of lifespan with new versions that were released

The visual indicators are:

Phil & Teds Discovery (with red fabric) - 6 years. Discovery (with black fabric) 8 years

Phil & Teds columbus (with red fabric) - 6 years. Columbus (with black fabric) 8 years

Phil & Teds Evolution (with grey harness straps) - 6 years. Evolution (with black harness straps) - 8 years.

Mountain buggy saferotate - 8 years

Mountain buggy haven (mushroom/black fabric) 6 years  - mountain buggy haven (silver/black fabric)- 8 years

The table below is for their most current products




From model


6 years

8 years

May 2016 - Liner with no piping


6 years

8 years

April 2016 - Liner with no piping


6 years

10 years



5 years (red Fabric)

10 years (black fabric)



6 years (red fabric)

10 years (black fabric)



6 years

10 years


Universal base

6 years

10 years


Safe rotate


10 years



6 years

10 years



We’re not the experts in this area so we recommend you talk to people who know a lot more about car seat safety:

  • The New Zealand Transport Authority has a good write up on using child restraints safely, as does Consumer New Zealand.
  • Plunket has a guide to buying a second hand car seat and also offer a handy car seat hire service if your preference is not to buy one.
  • The NZTA also has a list of child restraint technicians who can provide informed advice on the type of child restraint you may need and assist with fitting your restraint.

Trade Me works hard to ensure members have the information they need to list safe products, but we also rely on help from the community keeping an eye on things.

If you ever spy a listing for a restraint that should be removed, let us know via the Community Watch function.

Finally, you can recycle your car seat as part of the Seat Smart program!