6 Questions To Consider When Buying Electrical Items Online #DontBeElectricked

6 Questions To Consider When Buying Electrical Items Online #DontBeElectricked

Have you ever bought an electrical item online without a second thought, only for it to turn out faulty or bogus? Yeah, me too! It’s been estimated that there has been a 12% rise in the number of counterfeit items sold in the last year alone. Despite this, it’s surprising to find that there are no regulations in place to prevent the sale of defective or fake electrical products, especially since any individual can easily set up a trader account on sites such as Amazon Marketplace, eBay and Wish!

Did you know that 25.9% of accidental dwelling fires have been caused by faulty appliances and leads? Electrical Safety First are currently campaigning around the safety of electrical items bought online in order to prevent injury or death caused by dodgy items – you can get involved by signing the petition here.

They’ve also created this poignant video to support the #DontBeElectricked campaign:

You’re probably thinking about how you can prevent your dud purchase from ending up deadly, especially if you have young children in the house, so here are some things to question before purchasing that electrical item you’ve had in your basket!

What’s the voltage?

The UK’s usual domestic voltage is 230V/50Hz as this is what most electrical items function at. It is also a legal requirement for all electrical products to be tested in order to certify them with CE marking. This ensures that they are safe to use and do not pose a risk of injury or cause damage to property in the event of a fire.

Are the seller details available?

With so many online businesses to choose from, it’s essential to purchase from an official retailer or trusted seller. Before buying an electrical item, be sure to locate the seller’s contact details and familiarise yourself with their T&C’s as well as their returns policies – this will not only ensure that you are bagging a legit product in full working order, but it will also protect you with a warranty if things go wrong.

Can you pay safely and securely?

Being able to carry out transactions in a secure manner should be one of your top priorities when purchasing from an online business. The easiest way to check this is by locating a green padlock at the start of the web address in the web browser. This ensures that your payment details are encrypted, so they are less likely to be leaked to a third party.

Is the price too good to be true?

If the answer to this question is a resounding yes, then it probably is! It’s always best to do a price check on the internet before purchasing an electrical item online; especially if it’s available at a bargain price from a new business or seller. Chances are that it’s faulty or not genuine, so considering a difference in price will save you from worry down the line in case of any potential issues with the product.

Have you read online reviews?

Always go with your instincts and read up on the reviews left by previous customers when buying an electrical item from an online business or seller. This way you’ll be able to decipher whether the product on offer is genuine or not, as well as know what to expect in terms of the quality of customer service provided.

Do you know your basic consumer rights?

In this day and age, it’s worth having a clear understanding of your rights. Businesses and sellers are legally required to provide full details of the product they are selling and customers normally have a 14 day return window from the date of purchase, although this can vary depending on where an item has been purchased. Moreover, if a credit card is used to spend £100 or more on an item, both the seller and credit card company can be held liable if something goes wrong with the transaction.

On a final note

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so taking extra precautions before purchasing an electrical item online will protect you, your family as well as your property. To take it one step further, be sure to do your part in changing the regulations around selling faulty or counterfeit electrical items online by signing the petition here.

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