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Serious Safety & Certification Questions Raised About Amazon Listed Products

Serious questions have been raised about the quality and more importantly the certification of products being sold on Amazon, Of major concern is their third-party partners whose products it appears are not being checked prior to being listed in the Amazon marketplace.

This is believed to be of concern to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission with Australian online shoppers able to access Amazon sites in several Countries.

The Wall Street Journal recently claimed that Amazon has limited oversight over items listed by millions of third-party sellers, many of them anonymous, many in China, some offering scant information for consumers.

Recently the NSW Fire Brigade issued a warning after several house fires caused by faulty heaters, ChannelNews understands that some of these heaters have been purchased online.

A recent investigation in the USA found that 4,152 items for sale on Amazon.com which can be easily accessed by Australians site that have been declared unsafe by federal agencies, are deceptively labelled or are banned by federal regulators—items that retailers such as Big W, Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys and Betta Electrical would ban from their shelves because of a lack of compliance.

2,000 listings for toys and medications lacked warnings about health risks to children.

157 items listed for sale were already banned, including sleeping mats the Food and Drug Administration warns can suffocate infants.

The WSJ were so concerned that they commissioned tests of 10 children’s products it bought on Amazon, many promoted as “Amazon’s Choice.”

Four failed tests based on federal safety standards, according to the testing company, including one with lead levels that exceeded federal limits.

All of these products are available for Australian Amazon shoppers.

After the Journal brought the listings to Amazon’s attention, 57% of the 4,152 listings had their wording altered or were taken down. Amazon said that it reviewed and addressed the listings the Journal provided and that company policies require all products to comply with laws and regulations.

“Safety is a top priority at Amazon,” says a spokeswoman. Amazon uses automated tools that scan hundreds of millions of items every few minutes to screen would-be sellers and block suspicious ones from registering and listing items, using the tools to block three billion items in 2018, she says.

“When a concern arises,” she says, “we move quickly to protect customers and work directly with sellers, brands, and government agencies.”

Albert Stokes’s helmet, bought on Amazon, and his bike before he was killed in a 2014 accident. PHOTO: STOKES FAMILY On June 3, 2014, Mr. Stokes was riding his red Kawasaki in rural Missouri in the USA when a Ford Ranger pulled out. He crashed into it, and his helmet came off. A friend phoned his mother to alert her. “When I came up over the hill on the interstate,” she says, “there was my son laid out on the highway.” The coroner declared Mr. Stokes dead at the scene, a day before he and his girlfriend planned to find out their unborn baby’s gender. His mother sued Amazon, claiming the helmet was flawed. Amazon in court argued it didn’t sell the helmet but merely listed it on the seller’s behalf. It settled for $5,000 without admitting liability. It declined to comment on the case. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last month that the helmet wasn’t DOT compliant and that it had been recalled. It was still listed, and as DOT compliant, last month until the Journal inquired about it, after which Amazon took it down.

Amazon declined to make executives available for interviews.

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