Warnings Over Buying Cheap Electrical Products Online: We all like a good deal, just think about the almost legendary DFS Sale! However, there are some areas where it most definitely pays not to buy cheap! Electrical goods! How many of us have bought something online that has turned out to be not quite what we were expecting? Social media sites are full of funny stories and wry articles about how expectations of online bargain hunting have fallen far short of reality.
Warnings Over Buying Cheap Electrical Products Online
The trouble is we simply can’t resist a good bargain. However, it does get serious when buying cheap electrical goods. An alarmingly high number of electrical bargains are counterfeit and either don’t work properly or are extremely hazardous! The ultimate price is probably more than most of us are prepared to pay!
What is so wrong with snagging an electrical bargain?
At best these fake electrical goods are a waste of money, at worst they are a serious fire hazard and can end up causing serious injury and even the death of a loved one. Trading standards quote that “99% of counterfeit Apple chargers bought online fail a basic safety test”.
Counterfeiters are getting more clever, the charity Love Money state “A third of us have accidentally bought dangerous fake electricals when shopping around for a bargain online” Now that is a scary thought.
Some counterfeit products are easy to spot, the BS mark may be incorrect or the product logo might be slightly wrong, but some are not at all easy to spot. Relying on British Standard Mark or the CE stamp is not enough as these too can be forged. Electrical Safety First say “nearly nine out of ten electrical fires are caused by products, either through misuse or faults.”
What Kind Of Products Are Counterfeit
Small portable items are usually targeted. Things like:
- Phone chargers
- E-cigarettes and their chargers
- Extension leads
- Hairdryers, curlers and straighteners
- Small kitchen appliances
However, there have been significant warnings posted about larger “White” Goods too. It pays to be diligent when purchasing any form of electrical product online.
What Can You Do To Avoid Counterfeit Electrical Goods?
Here are some tips to help avoid buying counterfeit and potentially dangerous electrical goods:
- Buy products from a reputable retailer. High Street shops and their online stores are usually your safest bet.
- When you purchase electrical products outside the UK they may not meet British Safety Standards. Remember not all websites with a UK domain (.co.uk) are based in the UK! Do your research, where is the company based?
- Are the electrical goods the correct voltage? The UK’s usual domestic rating is 230V, 50Hz. If the product you are looking at is any other rating then don’t buy it!
- Does the branding look correct, how about the safety standard markings?
And finally remember, if the bargain seems too good to be true, sadly it is quite often fake!
Until Next Time… Stay Safe!