Online retail might sometimes seem like an unregulated wilderness, but these days it gets just as much attention as regular bricks-and-mortar stores. This week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a warning to parents after finding an online store selling toy cars that didn’t meet Australian safety standards (which require no small parts which under-3s might choke on). That applies not just to removable elements but also parts which might break off, as the ACCC explained:
“Young children, particularly those under three, put most things in their mouth. They haven’t learned to cough things up that might become lodged in their throat. This is why small pieces of toys or bits that break off easily are so hazardous to young children and must be kept away from them.”
The retailer in question seems to have handled the situation in exemplary fashion, contacting each of the purchases and offering them a refund (something that’s much more difficult with a meatspace store). However, it’s a timely reminder if you fancy setting up shop selling toys on eBay as a sideline, you’d better be across the relevant consumer laws.