Ten dangerous cheap gadgets that shoppers should watch out for on marketplace sites like Amazon and eBay | The Sun

ONLINE shoppers have been warned that cheap electric gadgets on marketplace sites could be so dangerous that they are a risk to your life.

Experts from Electrical Safety First uncovered unsafe items listed on Amazon Marketplace, eBay, Wish.com, Facebook and AliExpress.

A dodgy heater found on eBay was identified as one of the most dangerous products uncovered, the charity claims.

It allegedly let 240 volts run through a heating element with an insecure cover on it.

Bargain beauty buys for under £30 were also found to pose a serious safety hazard, with hair dryers and straighteners fitted with illegal mains plugs lacking a fuse presenting both fire and electric shock risks.

Even making a morning smoothie could end in disaster, with one kitchen blender available through an online marketplace fitted with a defective motor.

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In testing, it began to overheat and pour with smoke less than a minute after being switched on.

It comes as a poll reveals that nearly four in ten people are using online marketplaces to compare prices as they try to keep costs down.

The top 10 most dangerous products found include:

  1. An energy-saving device, with unsafe plug pins and unapproved internal electronic components.
  2. A portable heater, with easy access to live parts with 240 volts running through the heating element, posing an imminent risk to life.
  3. A ‘water-proof’ extension lead with no water-proof capabilities that presents a significant risk of electric shock.
  4. An EV charging cable failed lab testing, presenting a risk of electric shock and overheating to potentially cause a fire.
  5. A universal extension lead, found through testing to present an electric shock risk.
  6. A 5-in-1 hair styler, which had an unsafe plug without a fuse and presents a significant fire risk. The product also comes apart easily without the need for a tool, exposing live parts and presenting a shock risk.
  7. A plug-in light, with an unsafe plug without a fuse and presenting a significant fire risk. The product also comes apart easily, exposing live parts and presenting a shock risk.
  8. A fast charger 20W, with a non-compliant plug and body design that interferes with the socket switch.
  9.  Travel adaptor (universal), with easy access to live parts and presenting an electric shock risk.
  10. A 3200W food blender, which was found to present an overheating and fire risk in testing – produced smoke from the motor when turned on for the first time.

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Lesley Rudd, Chief Executive of Electrical Safety First, said "With so many people feeling the squeeze, we’re concerned that more shoppers than ever could be exposing themselves to risk from supposed bargains found on online marketplaces.

"These products can come at a dangerous cost."

An Amazon spokesperson said: "Safety is a top priority at Amazon and we require all products in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations.

"We have removed these products while we investigate."

An eBay rep said: "We take a proactive approach to keeping our users safe, it’s our top priority.

"We have removed the items that Electrical Safety First flagged to us, and alerted buyers who purchased one of the items within the last 90 days."

A spokesperson for Wish said: "All of the merchants trading on our platform are required to adhere to local laws and safety standards, wherever their goods are sold."

AliExpress said: "AliExpress takes product quality and safety very seriously.

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"The items identified as part of the investigation by Electrical Safety First have been removed."

And Facebook owner Meta commented: "We work closely with external partners and respond to valid legal requests including from the Office for Product Safety & Standards, to prevent illegal activity on our platforms."

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