Consumers could be buying recalled items online - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Consumers could be buying recalled items online

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Products that are being pulled from store shelves are popping up online. (WFSB) Products that are being pulled from store shelves are popping up online. (WFSB)
HATFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Products that are being pulled from store shelves are popping up online.

Shopping on websites like Craigslist, eBay, and even Facebook auctions are great ways to scoop up a deal, but shoppers may not know exactly what they are buying.

“The old Latin expression ‘caveat emptor’-- let the buyer beware. I think is even more valid today,” said David Cadden, professor emeritus at Quinnipiac University. “I don’t think there is enough awareness.”

Reports of recalled goods being sold on the resellers market have been surfacing.

“You don't necessarily know the person that you're dealing with, as far as the seller goes. It's probably even more important that you make sure that the product is safe,” said Jonathan Harris, commissioner of Consumer Protection.

Product recalls are constantly being released, and it is tough to stay on top of what impacts each consumer.

“I think the sites that they are being sold on, there's little recourse or even an incentive to inform the consumer that that could be the case,” Cadden said.

For example, a certain child’s wagon was recalled two years ago, but it shows up on eBay, and there are several auctions for that very item.

There is no way to tell if that wagon was the particular model that was part of the recall or if the manufacturer fixed the issue.

“The onus of responsibility falls on the buyer,” Cadden said.

Experts said if shoppers see an item online that sparks their interest, check Recalls.gov, where there is a searchable database for any recalls.

“With Google, nowadays, and the search engines, you can pull up a lot of information pretty easily,” Harris said.

Craigslist prohibits the sale of recalled goods, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

It’s on the buyer to do their homework before making a purchase.

“The safest consumer, is an educated consumer,” Harris said.

If a shopper does end up buying a recalled item, the Department of Consumer Protection wants to know about it, as it monitors the market and can alert other consumers.

For more information on known recalls, click here.

To file a complaint, click here.

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