Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products
Tips for buying safe products online
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Products from all over the world, delivered to our door in a few clicks - that's the advantage of online shopping. But what about the safety of the products we buy? As consumers, we have the right to expect that the products delivered to us will cause no harm.
For this reason, there are safety rules and mechanisms in place that have to be respected before making a product available to consumers. And national authorities across the European Union are taking action to ensure that products sold to us are safe. But there are also a number of things we can do ourselves.
In order to make the best of online shopping and to buy SAFE products online, let's consider these 8 tips.
Know who you're buying from
When you buy something in a shop, you know where you can return it if there is a safety problem. But when you shop online, would you know who to contact? The more information you have on the manufacturer, the importer or the seller, the better. If contact information is visible, you know who to contact if a problem arises.
If it's listed in Rapid Alert System, don't buy it
Did you know that the European Commission keeps a list of dangerous products found across Europe? This information is collected in the
Rapid Alert System
. Find out how the system works and check what products to avoid. You can also check the
on worldwide product recalls.
Buying a toy? Check for safety warnings
Online product information doesn't always provide clear safety warnings. Examine any product illustrations and photos closely for warnings. For example, toys unsuitable for the under-threes should display a warning, often as a pictogram. For more tips on toy safety, click
Read the safety instructions to make the best choices
Read any safety instructions provided online. Check how to use the product safely. For example, a child's bicycle seat should be labelled with the minimum age or size of the child for whom it is designed. If you're unsure whether a product is suitable for your intended use, ask the seller or the website administrators for more information.
Check the product & website reviews
Read online product reviews to see if other consumers have experienced any safety issues. Bear in mind that there may be some fake reviews among the genuine ones. Reviews of the website itself may also be available, which will let you know if there are any problems with the online seller.
Found a safety issue? Speak up!
If you encounter a safety problem with a product, report it to the seller and contact the relevant authority in your country. Consider also writing a product review to alert potential buyers. It will help other consumers make a safe choice!
Consider registering your product with the manufacturer
If this option is available, you can register your product on the manufacturer's website. This way you will immediately be informed about recalls, software updates and safety information.
Stay informed about unsafe products
Get weekly notifications from the Rapid Alert System to stay up to date with the latest products identified as dangerous, new risks and trends. You can even personalise the alerts by specifying the type of product, brand, country of origin, etc. To subscribe to the weekly reports, click