JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Recalls. We announce a new one almost daily. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the government agency that announces the recalls is swimming with them.
They use words like "strangulation hazard" and "choking hazard" making retailers and producers pull the recalled items from the shelves. But unsuspecting shoppers can still get them online.
"We take that very seriously," says Nychelle Fleming with the CPSC, "but we prefer to work cooperatively with the onsite sites and consumers instead of having to use enforcement actions."
EBay. every thrifty shoppers friend, can't possibly police all of the millions of items on it's billion dollar web site. And those hazardous items are there for the inexpensive taking.
We concentrated on toys. Take a look at the CPSC's web site under recalled toys: over 900 recalls, almost 30 every year. After a few clicks, we already found and purchased our first recalled toy, one your kids may already have: Little Tikes Nails. They go with Little Tikes workshops. They were deemed a choking hazard and recalled by the CPSC on September 28th.
We also found the Fisher Price Kick and Crawl Gym. Millions of them have been sold and millions of them recalled because of a faulty valve on the inflatable tetherball. @ But, our used kick and crawl gym, while it looks just like the recalled version, isn't. That is when online shoppers need to do their homework. Fleming say,
"Some products appear to have been recalled, visually, but may have been retrofitted may have been a different model."
What about the sellers? Can they, or you for that matter, get in trouble for selling recalled items online?
"There's a new law called the consumer product safety act that made it illegal to sell recalled products."
If you realize you've been bought something that's been recalled what do you do? Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says you have options.
"A number of recourses are available with online retailers. Whether it be macys.com or walmart.com or eBay. Your problem will be if you purchase something from an overseas vendor and we can't track down who sold it. Consumers need to be educated on the front end. Know who you are buying from and know what your options are if, lo and behold, you bought an item that's been recalled."
So where do you go to know for sure? The Consumer Product Safety Commission's web site, www.cpsc.gov lists decades worth of recalls and you can sign up for email alerts every time a new one comes out. You can also search previous recalls to make sure you're online steal isn't a raw deal.