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Who complies with product safety laws?

Discussion in 'Wholesale and Trade' started by tubatree, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. tubatree


    Jun 1, 2020
    I’m a professional software developer and in my line of work safety is everything given I work in the health sector. My work requires I conduct myself in a professional manner and utilise best practice methods.

    I’ve been looking to setup my own business in online retail and I’m just absolutely flabbergasted at how easy it’s made to look especially by the online e-commerce gurus as well as new online retailers that spring up all over the place not having a clue about product safety laws. Even Tim down the street whose setup an eBay shop raking in hundreds of pounds a day apparently.

    This is a bit of a rant as well as a question for all of you who have established businesses. To what extent do you actually follow product safety laws?

    I’m from the UK, various products have specific legislation such as nightwear then there’s the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 that cover non-specific products. I had the most exciting weekend familiarising myself with this instrument of law. I’d love to know how many business owners have done the same or was the first thing on the mind of eventual online sellers.

    Were they as passionate as me for making sure they didn’t sell something that would harm someone? Were they as eager as me to do their due diligence?

    The more I look into this the more I realise it’s a complete shambles. No names but I’ve contacted a few retailers and a few wholesalers about what due diligence they have done regarding product safety and these are the sort of responses I’ve had:

    1) Some do know what I’m talking about and try their best to explain (only one wholesaler btw)
    2) Some of them don’t have a clue of what I’m talking about and say they need to ask the suppliers which is complete bonkers as per the GPSR 2005 it makes clear that distributors/retailers have obligations for safety so who in their right mind wouldn’t ask their supplier about product safety compliance?!
    3) Some simply clam up when they see “product safety” and don’t ever hear back from them. Wonder if they would do the same if I wanted to place a large quantity order worth thousands.

    Even as something as innocent as combs surely you’d want to do your due diligence and ask suppliers if they are safe such as plastics used etc

    It’s even made me think to what extent do the local News Agents go around asking their suppliers for assurances and test certificates for the mars bars they sell?

    To me it seems the vast majority:

    1) Either have a complete disregard for the safety of their consumers due to their sheer greed and lack of decency which any upright human being would have
    2) They expect to reap all the profits and presume that it’s safe and expect someone else to bear responsibility.

    How do these people sleep at night? I’ll tell you what broke the camels back. I raised this with someone who is supposedly making millions on Amazon and his answer was take out liability insurance. I was just astounded at his suggestion and told him I’m not worried about covering my own back! I just don’t want to hurt anyone man! Is that too much to ask?!

    I’ve been told I’m too honest in my approach and that I’ll never get my business off the ground.

    Is this the reality we live in? No regard for the safety of fellow human beings? People are so blinded by making money that they have a complete disregard for the safety of consumers?

    Why am I finding this safety aspect so hard? I feel like I’m sitting on a gold mine. I have great ideas, I’ve built tools because of my software development background that I believe can make me a lot of money in e-commerce. It identifies trends and best sellers.

    But right now there’s very few suppliers I’m finding that are doing their due diligence and the sellers who are making a lot of money don’t appear to have a lot of regard for product safety laws.

    I feel there needs to be more monitoring and enforcement of these laws.

    Any tips and advice are much appreciated.
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