Twice a year, you can usually count on the Target Car Seat trade-in event.
This is a great opportunity if you have an old car seat that you’d like to have recycled.
Also, if you’re in the market for a new car seat–or have a pregnant person in your life who is–you can save money on the purchase of a new car seat.
Let me run down the details.
When is the Target Car Seat Trade In happening
Usually, Target holds these car seat events twice a year–in April and also September.
You’ll be able to bring a car seat to Target April 16-29, 2023.
That happens to coincide with Earth Day, on April 22, 2023.
There is definitely a green element to the car seat trade-in, which I’ll explain shortly.
I don’t have the dates for the September car seat trade in event yet.
However, once I do, I’ll update this article.
Why would you need a new car seat
There are a few reasons why you might want to have a new car seat for your child.
One, you registered your child’s car seat with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration when you bought it and found out it was recalled.
Two, your child has outgrown their previous seat.
For example, they’re no longer infants.
Three, you bought a new car and your old seat doesn’t fit anymore–yes, it happens.
Or, four, you were in a car accident and needed a new seat.
Just like a bicycle helmet that’s been in an accident, and therefore should be discarded, it’s the same with a car seat.
This is true even if the child wasn’t injured or you were able to drive away from the scene.
You’ll never know if the car seat sustained minor damage that makes it unsafe to continue using.
Why risk it?
Eligible car seats
Target will accept all kinds of car seats for this trade-in event. This includes:
- infant or baby car seats
- convertible car seats
- car seat bases
- harness or booster car seats
- expired car seats
- damaged car seats
Why do car seats have expiration dates
Until I wrote this article, I had no idea that car seats expired or even that they had expiration dates on them.
But, according to Graco, most car seats are safe to use for seven years only.
Why would a car seat no longer be safe or be expired?
Well, materials in a car seat breakdown over time so even though you might be tempted to do a hand-me-down with a car seat, make sure that you refer to the expiration date sticker on the car seat.
This isn’t anything like best to use by dates on food, which are often about getting you to buy more food.
You’re talking about the safety of a child in a car.
However, it’s important to know that the sticker on your car seat that you would refer to for expiration is actually the manufacture date.
Graco says that a car seat expires seven years after it is manufactured, so you would add seven to the date on the sticker.
What does Target do with old car seats
According to this Target FAQ, here is what happens with old car seats that are brought to Target:
“Materials from the old car seats will be recycled by Target’s partners to create new products such as pallets, plastic buckets and construction materials such as steel beams and carpet padding.”Target.com
Since starting this car seat recycling program in 2016, Target says it has recycled more than 2 million car seats.
Also, the program has helped to recycle nearly 33 million pounds of car seat materials.
Timing of the car seat trade in and recycling
As I mentioned, Target is offering this trade-in program from April 16-29, 2023.
In exchange for bringing in a car seat to recycle, Target will give you a 20% off coupon for a single new car seat, stroller or other baby gear.
You’ll need to use that Target coupon by May 13, 2023.
Again, once I have the dates for the September trade-in event, I’ll update the information here.
Where to bring car seat
You’ll likely see car seat collection boxes in the front of Target stores, near guest services.
Nearly every Target store participates.
Here are other items you can recycle at Target.
The only exception is smaller format Target stores in city locations called City Target stores.
Steps to recycle car seat and get your coupon
You’ll need to download the Target Circle app in order to qualify for the coupon.
So, make sure you get that done before you get to the store.
Now, these are the steps you’ll take to recycle or trade in your car seat and get your coupon.
One, bring your old car seat or base to a nearby Target and drop it in the designated box inside the store.
Like I said, you’ll likely find these collection boxes–and they’re pretty big so hard to miss–near Guest Services.
Two, open your Target App to scan the code on the box to document that you’ve donated your car seat or base.
Three, once you’re done scanning, you should be able to check in the “Baby” section of the Target app for your coupon offer from donating the car seat.
Four, once you find the offer, click the plus sign (+) to add the offer to the app.
Finally, now that you’ve added the offer, you’ll be able to scan the bar code it generates when you checkout at the register when buying a qualifying baby product.
Also, you can use the offer when shopping online.
Again, you’ll need to redeem this coupon by May 13, 2023.
Find out why an infant car seat is a baby registry must have.