You Got a Good Deal – But At What Cost?

Who doesn’t love a good deal?  At garage sales, consignment stores, Ebay, Craig’s List, yard sales and the like, shoppers can snap up gently used products for a fraction of what the item would cost new.  But in some cases, the good deal is an illusion because the product has been recalled and actually poses a danger to you and your family.   For instance, in 2013, there were 5 separate recalls for baby strollers.  The risks associated with these recalled strollers ranged from strangulation and choking hazards to projectile and fall hazards.  Needless to say, regardless of the price, these particular strollers were not a good deal.  

The good news is you do not have to choose between safe and full price.  Instead, before purchasing used items, take a few moments and run a quick search on www.saferproducts.gov.  The site will give you recall and other technical information on the product you are contemplating purchasing.  It will also give you some piece of mind.   

As part of the purchase negotiations, ask for the owner’s manual to be provided with the product.  And while I know that most people do not relish reading an owner’s manual, take the time to do so to ensure you use the product correctly.  Trust me, if you are injured by the product, and a warning about the issue was detailed in the owner’s manual that you did not bother to read, your product liability claim is going to be undermined.  Not to mention, by reading the owner’s manual, you can often pick up a few handy tidbits about the product that you might not have otherwise been aware.  

After you purchase the product, visit the manufacturer’s website and register the product in your name so that you will be alerted to any future issues with the product.  And finally, if you should have an issue with the product, be sure to report it to www.saferproducts.gov or www.cpsc.gov so that appropriate action can be taken to protect other consumers.