Secondhand often means savings. However, after a recent incident in the UK, the Office of Fair Trading is warning Queenslanders about the dangers involved in buying used goods.

The warning was sparked after the death of an infant in the United Kingdom who suffocated whilst sleeping in a second-hand cot. It was discovered by the Coroner that the cot did not come with safety instructions 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 make sure they have access to a copy of safety instructions whenever they buy nursery items second-hand.

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

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

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

According to the Office of Fair Trading, items consumers should be wary of purchasing second hand include:

  • Cots
  • Baby walkers
  • Bunk beds
  • Motor vehicle child restraints and recovery straps
  • Electrical items
  • Car jacks, trolley jacks and vehicle stands

The Office of Fair Trading also recommends consumers ask themselves the following questions before buying second-hand:

  • 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?

Do you buy second-hand products? Have you had any dramas, or has it been smooth sailing? Let us know in the comments below!