PKSD Newsletter: Be Aware of Retailers Selling Dangerous Products Online This Holiday Season

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on December 10, 2020 in Firm News
Updated on April 24, 2024

image of toy truck with gift boxCOVID-19 has impacted nearly every area of our lives for months, including where we work, who we get to spend time with and even whether we can travel. Another big area, for many, is how we will shop for presents this holiday season.

In this month’s PKSD Newsletter, our firm talks about toy safety during the pandemic. Additionally, we discuss shady third-party sellers who may take advantage of online marketplaces, like Amazon, to sell substandard toys and other products that may be dangerous.

Third-Party Sellers Have Little to No Oversight

Third-party sellers of counterfeit, poorly-manufactured goods bypass many of our stringent U.S. federal restrictions by shipping their goods directly to retail warehouse giants. Therefore, they are able to operate free of the same safety standards and protocols that other products sold in any physical, brick-and-mortar shop must meet.

Wall Street Journal Investigation

A recent investigation by The Wall Street Journal led to the discovery of more than 4,000 items – just on the Amazon website – that federal authorities tagged as:

  • Unsafe
  • Carrying misleading labeling
  • Had previously been banned by federal agencies

One horrific example of the dangers of using an unsafe toy includes a small child who accidently swallowed magnets that fell from a toy after it broke open. The child had to have an emergency operation that resulted in the removal of part of his colon and intestines. Further investigation into this case revealed that the toy was a counterfeit manufactured and sold by a Chinese company through Amazon’s third-party seller program.

Tips When Purchasing Gifts or Toys Online

This month’s PKSD Newsletter provides tips for pre-screening toys and other items you consider purchasing online. While it may seem a minor inconvenience, it can help you to keep a potentially dangerous product out of the hands of your loved ones.

In addition to pre-screening products, it can also be helpful to know who you are really buying a product from. You can typically discover this information by reviewing the product and/or description to find out whether:

  • A product is sold and shipped to you by a third-party seller – This may mean that the country the toy or other product was made in does not have to adhere to the same strict materials or manufacturing laws that we have in the U.S.
  • Sold by a third-party seller but shipped by Amazon – Be careful when you read the description for this type of product that you do not mistakenly think it is sold by Amazon, rather than just being shipped on behalf of the third-party seller from the Amazon warehouse.
  • Shipped and sold by – While not completely foolproof, products sold and shipped by Amazon are likely legitimate as they must adhere to U.S. safety regulations.

Injured by a Defective Product? Contact Our Firm for Legal Help

At PKSD Law, we stand ready to provide legal help if you were injured by a counterfeit or defective product.

Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential legal options and learn whether you may have a valid case. Our Milwaukee-based defective product attorneys are dedicated to holding at-fault parties accountable for their negligent actions.

PKSD Law. Trusted lawyers fighting for you. 414-333-3333

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