Retailers are vital to consumer product safety as they are the main interface with consumers. If you are a retailer, following the steps here will help you ensure the products you're selling to your customers are safe for them.
As the main interface with consumers, retailers have the unique opportunity to help people buy safe products and use them safely. Whether in a shopfront or online, retailers are the first port of call for consumers. This is why consumers often associate a product with the retailer they bought it from rather than with who made it.
Many products need testing to check that they are safe. As a retailer you must ensure that the manufacturer or your distributor has done any required tests before supplying the products.
Check the section on mandatory standards to see whether products you intend to sell require testing. If so, ask your supplier for proof of independent testing and certification as well as test reports. You may also need to get copies of relevant standards and other documents to check this.
You can visually check some safety aspects, such as safety devices and labelling. Check your stock before putting it out on the shop floor or for sale online to ensure all products are safe and comply with mandatory standards.
It is illegal to make claims about a product that exaggerate or misrepresent what it is designed to do, so consider all of a product’s key safety aspects before advertising or marketing it.
Advertisements, catalogues and displays
Make sure that any statements about a product and any photos or displays of it show the product exactly as it is when a customer buys it. If a product comes with mandatory safety features or labelling, it may be illegal not to show these.
Marketing and sales
Don’t overstate what a product is capable of, even though it might be tempting to do this when trying to sell it. This can have safety consequences as well as legal ones. Make sure your sales staff members know to avoid this.
A key difference between retailers and other suppliers is the opportunity to work directly with consumers on product safety.
In the shop
Sales staff can talk to their customers and find out what their product needs are. This way they can help people buy safe products, as well as help them understand how to use the products safely. Many hazards relate to how consumers use products.
You can advise your customers about product safety by having good product knowledge and/or providing printed information at the point of sale.
Retailers selling online have an even easier way to help customers understand the safety of their products. Links to this website and other product safety websites can help make everyone aware of product safety.