Read these tips from the European Consumer Centre Ireland on how to ensure you are not buying dangerous products, particularly when shopping online.
- Verify the source: Online shopping requires great diligence – it is important to review information about the manufacturer, importer, online marketplace channel and direct seller of a product, particularly electronics and toys.
- Read the reviews: Look up the product reviews online and read the reviews by buyers of the product on the website you intend to make your purchase. Online product reviews can uncover potential safety issues experienced by other consumers.
- Check safety warnings: Make sure you review the safety warnings that come with the product, especially in terms of the suitability of toys.
- Comply with safety instructions: Carefully read the provided safety instructions and familiarise yourself with proper usage guidelines.
- Alert the appropriate authorities: Help other consumers by being proactive about reporting safety issues. If you encounter a safety problem with a product, inform the seller and contact the relevant product safety monitoring and enforcement authority in your country.
The European Commission recommends the following also:
“Register Your Product: If feasible, register your purchased products with the manufacturer. Registration often occurs on the manufacturer’s website and provides timely updates about recalls, software upgrades, and safety notifications.
“Stay Informed: Stay well-informed about hazardous products. Receive weekly notifications through the Rapid Alert System, which keeps you updated about dangerous products, emerging risks, and trends. Personalize your alerts by specifying preferences such as product type, brand, and country of origin.”
The European Commission keeps a list of dangerous products found across Europe in the Rapid Alert System. You can also check the OECD portal on worldwide product recalls if you are buying outside the EU and EEA area.