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Thousands of recalled products for sale on second-hand sites, Consumer Reports finds

Posted December 9, 2019 3:14 p.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2019 6:46 p.m. EST

— Consumer Reports found hundreds of recalled products — some of which are potentially dangerous — for sale on websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

The sales are illegal, and Consumer Reports wants sellers and websites to do more to protect consumers, especially when it comes to children.

The Fisher Price Rock’n Play Sleeper was recalled back in April after Consumer Reports tied the product to dozens of infant deaths.

But more than six months later, Consumer Reports found many people selling them second-hand.

A scan of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist found hundreds of the sleepers and other recalled products, like IKEA Malm dressers.

“It’s illegal to sell recalled products, including on the second-hand market, but people might not be aware of the law or may not realize the product they’re selling has been recalled,” Consumer Reports’ Rachel Rabkin Peachman said. “But the websites that host their listings should be aware.”

William Wallace, Consumer Reports’ policy expert, said second-hand retail sites have a responsibility for consumer safety.

“Second-hand retail sites need do much more to put safety first,” he said. “They really need to track every recall and block the sale of any recalled goods to make sure that it stays out of consumers hands.”

Neither Craigslist nor Facebook responded to Consumer Reports’ questions about steps taken to prevent the sale of recalled products on their sites.

EBay told Consumer Reports that the site uses a number of techniques to prevent the sale of recalled items, then agreed to remove all infant-inclined sleepers from the site, even those that were not recalled.

Fisher-Price said it “communicated directly with nearly two dozen major online marketplaces, including Facebook and Craigslist, urging them to ... prevent the sale or resale of Rock ’n Play Sleepers.”

IKEA said it “sent letters to Amazon, Craigslist and eBay to inform them of the recall” of dressers that can tip over too easily and injure children.

To protect yourself from buying or selling a recalled product, check recalls.gov or the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall site to make sure it hasn’t been recalled.

And anytime you buy a new product, make sure you take a couple of minutes to fill out the registration card. That way, the company can notify you if it is ever recalled or needs a repair.

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