Many newcomers find that buying a few things second-hand is a great way to make the dollars stretch, especially in the early stages of settling in.
Recycling or getting further use out of something instead of junking it is also good for the environment.
However, there can be issues with products you pick up from informal sources.
Be aware of the potential risks of buying or using second-hand items from garage sales, flea markets, second-hand stores, the In-ternet and family and friends.
Find out how you can protect yourself and your family when buying second-hand products. The tips below will help you avoid potential problems.
Put safety first.
Look for labels.
Ask questions about the product.
Stay on top of recalls.
In Canada, it is the seller’s responsibility to make sure that their products are safe, but you should still be careful when buying anything second-hand. Products sold second-hand, especially at garage sales, may not meet current regulatory or safety requirements.
Avoid items that are banned, damaged, or missing labelling or instructions.
By law, some products (such as cribs and car seats) need a label that clearly states the manufacturer, model number and date of manufacture.
Every product has a history. Here are some questions you may want to ask before buying something second-hand:
How old is it?
How much use has it had?
Has it been repaired?
Has it been in an accident?
Some second-hand products may seem harmless but they can be potentially dangerous. Be extra cautious about buying the following items:
Cribs, cradles and bassinets
Strollers and carriages
Other children’s products
Smoke or carbon monoxide detectors
As a buyer, you should be informed about product recalls, safety alerts and changes to regulatory or safety requirements.
If you are lending, giving or selling an item, it must meet current Canadian regulatory or safety requirements.
Homemade products must also meet the same regulatory or safety requirements. Get more information for shoppers of second-hand products on the Health Canada website.
If you need to find out if a product has been recalled, you can contact the retailer or manufacturer and check for recent recalls and safety alerts.
Certain products are banned in Canada because they are dangerous to human health or safety. They are banned under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. It is illegal to sell or give away banned items.
Some of Canada’s banned products include:
Infant self-feeding devices
Jequirity beans and products made with jequirity beans
Lawn darts with elongated tips
Polycarbonate baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (BPA)
If you have bought a banned product or one that has been recalled, you should destroy it and/or dispose of the item safely.
– Courtesy Health Canada