5th April 2009
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With the recession biting harder than ever, more people are turning to charity shops, car boots and auctions sites to buy pre-used items and save themselves some money.
However, Trading Standards officers ae warning people on how some second-hand bargains can be more than they bargained for.
According to Lincolnshire County Council's officers you should never to buy crash helmets or child car seats secondhand. As you can't be sure of their history, it's not possible for you to know if they have already been involved in an accident - and therefore if their protection ability has been compromised. If either of these products have already been used to protect someone in an accident, then they should not be used again.
Also you should examine electrical goods for any signs of damage or missing parts. Try and get the instructions with them if you can.
Check that upholstered furniture complies with the 1988 safety regulations
Check for gaps between the head and footboards of bunk beds.
It's better to be safe than sorry, and it's not worth taking the risk and finding out too late that your great buy is a danger to your or your loved ones.
Having said all this, there's a great resource for people who either want to get rid of good and serviceable items but can't be bothered to sell them or don't want to take them to the tip, and that's the Freecycle organisation. This is a website where local people list items they don't want, and others simply find items they do want and go along and collect them. You can also post up requests for items that you're looking for. It's a great way of recycling and of beating the recession. Once you sign up you'll receive emails keeping you up to date with everything that's on offer, and it's a simple matter to respond or to post your own items.
Just go here and click on the area your'e looking for, East Midlands, and then find your area from the list. There's one in Rutland and one for South Kesteven plus Leicester, LIncoln and all around. It's well worth a look
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