QLD: Second-hand doesn’t have to mean second-rate safety


The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning Queenslanders about the danger of buying second-hand products that may be unsafe or do not come with safety instructions or labels.

The warning comes after the death of an infant in the United Kingdom, who suffocated while sleeping in a second-hand cot.

The Coroner noted the cot did not come with safety instructions either on the product or separately as it was second-hand, which may have contributed to the unsafe way the cot was used.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Tony Johnson said that consumers should always get a copy of safety instructions whenever they buy second-hand nursery products.

“If the product doesn’t have instructions with or on it, make sure you can get them elsewhere before buying,” Mr Johnson said.

“You can contact the manufacturer or search online, as many manufacturers put copies of their product instructions on their websites for this very purpose.

“If you can’t find instructions for a product, we strongly recommend you consider spending a little more money for a new product that is safe and comes with up to date instructions for safe and proper use.

“It might be uneconomical to buy something second-hand if it proves to be unsafe or you don’t know how to make it safe.

“Products might be dangerous if used incorrectly and these dangers are not always obvious if you haven’t read the safety instructions.”

Consumers should source and read the safety instructions before using second-hand:

  • cots (including portable)
  • baby walkers
  • bunk beds
  • motor vehicle child restraints and recovery straps
  • electrical items
  • car jacks, trolley jacks and vehicle stands.

There are other safety tips to follow when buying second-hand goods. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it meet a mandatory safety standard?
  • Is it missing any safety instructions or warnings?
  • Is it obviously damaged or are parts missing?
  • Does it need special tools to make it useable?
  • Has it had a safety recall in the past?

The OFT is currently contacting weekend markets to make sure they are aware of their obligations to sell safe products.

For more information on product safety, visit the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtading or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Contact details

General enquiries: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

Product category