As consumers begin thinking about what to buy their kids for Christmas, a new study from The British Toy and Hobby Association has revealed that 48% of toys sold by third-party sellers on marketplaces are unsafe.
The study has also found that 88% of toys tested were illigal to sell in the UK and 69% of recalled toys have identical listings still for sale. Some of the offending toys lacked conformity markings (e.g. CE, UKCA) and had incorrect age warnings displayed on them. To put the issue into perspective as of the end of September this year over 50% of recalled toys could still be purchased on Amazon, eBay and Aliexpress.
Online marketplaces are not currently recognised as economic operators in the UK regulatory framework, even when products are purchased and transactions
are completed via their platforms and fulfilment channels. As a result, there is currently no legal requirement for online marketplaces to check the safety of the
products that other sellers are listing on their sites. UK consumers find it difficult to distinguish between safe and unsafe toys and taking legal action is proving to be difficult.
The BTHA are currently running a petition asking for better regulations on online marketplaces, preventing third parties from selling unsafe products. If you sell toys on marketplaces it would be wise to prepare for legislation governing the safety of such in the future.
“We’ve grown increasingly worried that many toys sold through online marketplaces don’t comply with UK safety standards. As consumers, we assume that online marketplaces are actively policing the safety of the products they sell. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. What’s more, the government has limited powers to force them to check if toys are safe or not. That’s why we really welcome the work that BTHA is doing to raise awareness and put forward potential solutions. We need everyone who sells toys to sell safe toys. Online marketplaces shouldn’t be the exception to this rule.”
– Katrina Phillips, CEO, Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT)
If you are a third-party seller of toys on marketplaces, it’s a good time to make sure you are getting your stock from reliable and safe places. With logistical issues at an all-time high, we might find ourselves steering away from our usual sources but it is important to put safety first when it comes to kids toys.