As an educator, I get to work with many families and caregivers who are new to babywearing and nearly all of them ask me the same question, "What are the advantages of buying a new carrier?" My answer to this question is always this:
I recommend buying new and buying local whenever possible! If you can get your carrier from a small business, that's even better! Here are some reasons why!
When you are buying a carrier from a small business, you not only get the carrier but you also get the expertise of the sales associate that you are working with. These caring staff members are able to not only tell you about the carriers on their shelves and help you decide which one is best suited for your lifestyle and baby, they are often able to show you how to use the carrier easily and comfortably! What's even better is these stores also offer continuing care and education! If you were to take your carrier home and struggle with using it (or forget how to use it all together, which happened to me a time or two!) you can go back to the store and they will be happy to help you again!
If you are buying from a small online store, you will often find detailed descriptions of the carriers, multiple pictures, and links to instructional videos! They are often happy to email back and forth with you to help you decide which carrier might be right for you as well!
When you buy a carrier new, that carrier will come with a warranty! This means that if something were to break on your carrier (within reasonable wear and tear with normal use) you are able to go to the manufacturer for a resolution! (It's important to note that once the carrier has been sold "second hand" the warranty is void and the company is not responsible for fixing or replacing it!) During my early babywearing days, this was something that was very important to me. We were in a position where money was tight and I wouldn't have been able to afford to replace a carrier if it were to break or tear within a few months of purchasing it. With a new carrier you also receive a registration card, and I highly encourage everyone to fill that out and return it to the manufacturer! Doing so will give the manufacturer a way to communicate with you should they need issue a recall or provide additional safety information on their product.
Buying new also increases your chances of receiving the most up to date information for your carrier. As the babywearing industry grows and changes, so do manufacturer's recommendations and instruction manuals!
Another advantage is you know how the carrier you are purchasing has been treated! While most any carrier on the market is well made, using high quality materials, they are still made primarily of cloth and cloth wears out over time. How you wash and store your carrier can have an impact on the life of your carrier (similar to clothing) as will how the carrier is used. A carrier that is used every day for several hours a day will wear out faster than a carrier that is used once a week for a hour or two at a time.
I am sure there are points that I have missed, but these are just a few things that I tell my clients when they are beginning to shop for their new carrier!