Online marketplaces embroiled in recalls of Christmas lights

Online marketplaces embroiled in recalls of Christmas lights

Posted: by Stericycle on Dec 22, 2019

An Australian company is frantically trying to recall thousands of its outdoor Christmas lights from consumers who purchased them from four online marketplaces.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) raised an alert on 14 December amid concerns that exposed wiring could electrocute people. The consumer watchdog said that the wiring in the product’s controllers was not fit for purpose.

This particular notification has yet to appear on the European Commission’s rapid alert system; however, that will be because the data will not be loaded until week 51. We expect there to be a few more recalls like this making an appearance before the year-end.

Looking at the EU data as it stands now for December in the electrical appliance and equipment category, there has been 16 notifications, 10 of which pose a serious risk.

These 10 include power adapters (7) converters (1) a rotating outlet (1) and a USB (1). 

Nine of the 10 were made in China, with the remainder marked as ‘unknown’ in the country of origin section. All of the products have been recalled from end users or withdrawn from market. One consignment of power adaptors was destroyed.

Online marketplaces are appealing to consumers and vendors for numerous reasons, but convenience and price have proven to be the biggest draw of all. In October this year, Electrical Safety First penned an article about counterfeit products online. The charity said that almost one third of people in the UK are falling victim to counterfeit scams – the equivalent of 18million people.

It is important to stress here that, we - the team at Stericycle Expert Solutions - know there are many highly credible online marketplaces that provide a great service to their customers. Recalls happen all the time and are commonplace on the high street too. The difference between the two marketplaces is that consumers find it difficult to determine who is selling legitimate merchandise and who is not.

Electrical Safety First encourages consumers to only buy from an online retailer they trust – direct either from the manufacturer’s website or a trusted high street name. If they do decide to buy from an online marketplace, buyers should check for the seller’s contact information. If no address is supplied, the seller should be avoided.

This same rule of thumb applies to businesses who buy from an online marketplace who then sell it on. Vigilance is key to protecting your brand’s reputation. If in doubt, leave it out.

If you would like to know more about the product recall work we do here at Stericycle Expert Solutions, visit our hub - - for all the latest recall trends and insights across Europe.