An online marketplace is a platform that allows businesses or individuals to sell products direct to buyers. The seller doesn’t own the platform that the items are being sold on. This often means that the platform doesn’t have responsibility for the items being sold.
There is currently no legal requirement for an online marketplace to check the safety of the products being sold on their site. So if you’re buying online, you should do your own checks to make sure the products you’re buying are safe.
Safety checks you can make:
Check the item conforms to UK and EU safety standards. Certain items sold in the UK, including toys, electrical and gas items, must be marked as meeting certain safety standards.
These markings include
UKCA and CE marking
UKNI and CE marking
What type of selling platform is it? Does the platform allow other business or private sellers to use it? What countries are able to sell on the platform?
How can you pay? Make sure you pay using secure payment methods and be wary of sellers that try to change details or payment methods once you’ve purchased.
If you’re buying toys there are other checks you should do.
Check if the item is a toy — There are many items that can look like toys or are advertised as toys but are not suitable for children.
Check the age suitability for your child and the product you are considering buying — do the pictures of the child in the picture match the age warnings on the product?
Know who owns the brand of toy or game — look for that name when searching an online marketplace, as well as on the packaging when you receive it.
When the item arrives, check it over before you give it to a child. Check for faults, detachable small parts, access to stuffing and loose or accessible batteries or magnets.
Where to find more information
For consumer advice or to report a seller you are concerned about to Trading Standards contact our consumer advice service 08082231133
The Office for Product Safety and Standards provide more product safety information when you are buying products. Check out their advice here:
The British Toy and Hobby Association provide more detailed information on purchasing toys safely : BTHA website
This content was produced in partnership with the British Toy and Hobby Association.