Be careful when choosing second-hand products from a photograph in a newspaper or on the internet. Usually, consumers cannot physically check the safety of a product without:
seeing the product
handling the product
testing the product.
Ask the owner/seller if the product has been in an accident. It is wise to avoid products that have suffered an impact. While a product may look undamaged, it may have weaknesses that make it unsafe for use. This is especially important for items such as child car restraints and motorcycle helmets.
Mandatory safety standards or bans may cover the new version of many second–hand or hand-me-down products. The list of bans and mandatory standards on this website can help to identify products to avoid because they:
lack compulsory safety features currently required for similar new products
lack compulsory warnings and instructions required for similar new products.
Using these products can increase the risk of serious injury or illness. This is particularly important for toys and infant and nursery products, as children are more vulnerable when using products.
Suppliers may have undertaken a past voluntary recall of a second-hand product that consumers may wish to buy or accept as a gift or loan. Recalls are usually undertaken because the supplier has identified a safety issue with the product.
Consumers may think a broken second-hand product is a bargain because it can be repaired or modified so that it will work. It is always wise to assign the original manufacturer or a specialist in the field to repair or modify a product. Repaired and modified second-hand products can also cause serious injury or death.