CPST for pay? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-06-2010, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I'm really a carseat safety nerd and I am need of making a couple bucks every months. Can car seat techs charge for their services? I've gone to two checks for help, one at a local extension center and one at a Volvo dealership and both were free.

(ETA: I would do teen moms for free, and all other single moms half price)

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#2 of 10 Old 07-06-2010, 05:44 PM
 
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I think you could set up a nice little business if you offered to come to people's houses (or meet them somewhere). You might also charge to help people choose a car seat. If you had people come to you, you would need to set appointment times and stick to them. The biggest complaint I hear from car seat techs is that some people get VERY upset with the long waits at the free checkpoints. I think that would go triple if they were also being charged.

I am a childbirth educator and I've been wondering why no one is doing this as a business. Around here there is only one checkpoint a month and I know many people would be willing to pay a reasonable fee to avoid waiting. You could contact childbirth educators, OB offices, birthing Centers, etc. to advertise. You would probably need some kind of legal disclaimer to absolve yourself from responsibility for any accidents that occurred with seats you installed.

I really think that you would do well if you could get the word out. Good luck.
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#3 of 10 Old 07-06-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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To be honest I didn't have any trouble installing my car seat in my car. Installing my child in the car seat is another matter. My instructions tell me how to adjust all the adjustables (not too hard if you ignore an obvious lost-in-translation wtf) but I must have spent four hours recently trying all the various configurations of inner/outer loop, middle/lower slot. I'd do it one way and he'd slump forward, another way and it would be too tight. Far too much trial and error, and I'm a guy who has rebuilt a straight six cylinder engine and carb in his apartment (successfully).

So if you're looking for ideas .... ^^ I would have paid you if you could have saved me all that time

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!" - Dr. Seuss
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#4 of 10 Old 07-06-2010, 06:43 PM
 
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it seems like the biggest problem would be liability-- if a seat was accidently put in improperly, could you be sued?

In my area, fire stations, hospitals, police stations no longer inspect seats. We were lucky to find a safe kids burlington coat factory 'event' 45 minutes away a few weeks before I was due.

I'd have loved to pay 30 bucks or so for half an hour's worth of time to show me how to install both my convertible and infant car seat forward and rear facing.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#5 of 10 Old 07-06-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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There is nothing preventing CPSTs from charging for their services, but most of us don't. (I have accepted a few $$ when I've driven a long way to meet a family.) If I were to charge, I'd want to make sure I had a huge liability insurance policy.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#6 of 10 Old 07-06-2010, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC_Jan View Post
I am a childbirth educator and I've been wondering why no one is doing this as a business. Around here there is only one checkpoint a month and I know many people would be willing to pay a reasonable fee to avoid waiting. You could contact childbirth educators, OB offices, birthing Centers, etc. to advertise.
Yes, I was thinking to do it just like that. I have been giving serious thought to becoming a post-partum doula and I thought this would tie in nicely.

WRT liability: Both times I attended a check, the tech did an install to show me how and then promptly unhooked the buckle and made me do it. For one, the whole point was for me to learn how to do it right, and also I was told that they avoided liability by not being the last one to install before the child drove away.

Comments?

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#7 of 10 Old 07-06-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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Laws are different in every state, but in general liability as a volunteer is much more limited than liability as a for-profit business. This is something you'd need to discuss with an agent in your state.

Carseat-checking (CPST) and WAH mama to a twelve-year-old girl.
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#8 of 10 Old 07-06-2010, 10:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
Yes, I was thinking to do it just like that. I have been giving serious thought to becoming a post-partum doula and I thought this would tie in nicely.

WRT liability: Both times I attended a check, the tech did an install to show me how and then promptly unhooked the buckle and made me do it. For one, the whole point was for me to learn how to do it right, and also I was told that they avoided liability by not being the last one to install before the child drove away.

Comments?
That's how they do it here too. I'd check and double check the laws in your state before setting up shop. And being totally honest, people don't always hear what you said correctly. I just had a couple tell their postpartum nurse they couldn't breastfeed until the baby was one hour old because "that's what I told them". How could you prevent something similar from happening? I rely on printed info a lot. There are some affordable car seat safety brochures and you might be able to get some for free from Safe Kids. You probably also need parents to sign a waiver releasing you from liability.

I know lawyers can seem expensive, but it's much less to pay one up front to make sure you are covered. I really do think it's a great idea and a needed service, I just want you to be protected.
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#9 of 10 Old 07-07-2010, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome advice, thanks! Off to make this happen...

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#10 of 10 Old 07-07-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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Liability, mostly. The organization I'm involved with pays for liability insurance, but it only covers our free clinics. The only other business in town charging for installs is a baby store and their insurance covers them. I wouldn't be comfortable in the business without liability insurance.

Kelly - Children's Restraint Technician Instructor - Mom to my December boys
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