Unsafe products can still be easily found on Amazon and Bol
Unsafe products can still be easily sold via Bol.com and Amazon.nl. Dutch consumer rights association Consumentenbond announced this on Tuesday following an investigation to see how well the sales platforms monitored items sold by third-party sellers.
Those external parties can offer their goods on both webshops, but both Bol and Amazon seem to exercise insufficient supervision over them, according to researchers from the Consumentenbond. They themselves offered nine articles for sale as part of their research that were already registered in Europe as being dangerous.
This concerns, for example, a mobile air conditioner known to be a fire risk, a children's swing that has been labeled as unsafe and a work light that is known to be faulty and can be dangerous. Seven of the products in question were able to be sold on Bol. Eight products passed a check to be sold on Amazon's Dutch market website.
The researchers managed to circumvent the checks with simple tricks, the researchers said. For example, they changed certain product codes. "It is shocking that it is so easy to fool the control systems of these large sales platforms," said Consumentenbond head Sandra Molenaar. "We are particularly shocked by the fact that products that are registered as dangerous end up on those websites so easily. This requires action. Checks must be greatly improved."
Bol.com emphasized in a response that it has 52,000 local sales partners, and the quality of goods sold is the purpose of the webshop, "and a team of dozens of people work on this every day." They said that such a test by the Consumentenbond, where dangerous goods are deliberately added to the website's offerings, is the exception, not the rule. "We rely on trust in our cooperation with local sales partners."
Amazon said safety is a "top priority" and added that it is disappointed that certain unsafe products still wound up in the webshop. "We are working to improve our controls," a spokesperson said in writing. The American company said it has invested 1.2 billion dollars (1.1 billion euros) in security measures. They are also meant to have a deterrent effect on rogue sellers.
Other sales platforms, including Blokker and Zalando, were also investigated by the Consumentenbond. There, the researchers were unable to offer the restricted merchandise. The products were not accepted there for various reasons.
Reporting by ANP