Dangerous products sold on online marketplaces are putting millions of people at risk.
From smoke alarms that don’t work to illegal car seats, combustable USB chargers to toys containing toxic chemicals
Our repeated investigations have found sites littered with dodgy electronics and unsafe toys.
Enough is enough. The government must do more to end dangerous products.
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Dangerous products sold on online marketplaces are putting millions of people at risk, despite repeated warnings.
The risk of buying a smoke alarm that doesn’t work or an illegal child car seat is obvious, but many online marketplaces fail to prevent them from being listed and sold.
When buying something on Amazon Marketplace or Ebay, many people assume they’re covered by the same protections that exist when buying from a traditional retailer. But they’re wrong.
Online marketplaces do not have the same responsibility as high street or online retailers for the safety of the products sold on their sites, as you’re buying through them rather than from them.
But demanding online marketplaces take their obligations to consumers more seriously is just the most recent push in our long-running product safety campaign.
When Whirlpool announced five years ago that over 5 million of its Hotpoint, Indesit and other branded tumble dryers had a risky fault, we were one of the first to demand a recall.
The company’s failure to issue the recall exposed the shortcomings of the UK’s product safety system and spurred us to campaign for better.
Following our demands, the government established a dedicated national regulator for product safety in 2018 – the Office for Product Safety and Standards.
And last year Whirlpool was finally forced to recall the remaining 800,000 unsafe tumble dryers still in UK homes.
But despite these victories, dangerous products still abound on online marketplaces.
Whether online or on the highstreet, shoppers should be able to buy with confidence, without having to worry whether a product is safe.
That’s why we’re demanding manufacturers and retailers remove unsafe products from the market and from our homes without delay.
Online marketplaces must take greater responsibility for ensuring consumer products sold by sellers on their sites are safe – and there is greater clarity over who consumers are buying from.
We also need a stronger enforcement system, equipped to effectively police online marketplaces – including establishing the Office for Product Safety and Standards as an independent regulator.