Consumer Association Which? recently called out e-commerce giants Amazon and eBay for selling unsafe toys for kids. The association said that the toys on sale on both platforms were declared unsafe by the European Union.
The British Association has requested the new government to upgrade the regulation on online marketplaces. It has demanded that dangerous products sold over online platforms should be marked by the government.
Which?’s investigation blames online retailers
Which? Runs numerous campaigns to help shoppers get fair and transparent treatment. In its most recent campaign, it investigated a few products on sale on eCommerce sites that can be fatal for children. They investigated some products that were registered as dangerous under the EU safety gate system since 2017. Products listed on the system were either withdrawn by the stores, recalled or stopped at the border over safety issues.
According to Which? these toys were flagged due to the high concentration of chemicals, excessive lead usage and the possibility of intestinal blockage or choking hazards due to small working parts. eBay sold products like a transformer’s helmet, toy slime, and a cartoon helicopter, all of which fail at the EU’s safety parameters. Amazon sold an inflatable swimming ring, a set of magnetic building and a few remote-controlled cars.
Amazon has taken down five such items, and eBay has barred 12 flagged items from sale.
Hell breaks loose for Amazon
Which? tested the credibility of Amazon’s systems by listing a squishy toy on the platform. The toy was banned from sale in October 2018 as it could lead to suffocation or choking. The Association was surprised to find that Amazon did not take actions against the toy for two weeks. It further noted that a soft fabric car seat banned in the UK was still available on the e-commerce site.
The British Hobby Association claims that every fifth toy sold on Amazon and eBay was risky for kids. It asked the online retailers to curb the sales of nitrous oxide and to take down dangerous car seats that were being sold for $8. No existing regulation makes it compulsory for online sellers to check the safety hazards posed by their products.
eBay immediately informed its sellers that they could not list hazardous products on its platform. Every flagged product has been taken down from the website, and sellers have been directed to contact the customers. They will issue a safety notice and will also provide refunds to customers soon.
Online retailers have stated that consumer safety is their biggest priority. They will be working towards effectively informing users about product safety.