Discount Shopping: Purchase Safely
By Mike Rozembajgier
No one can deny the joy of holiday giving. And the good news for consumers is that despite recent and highly publicized baby recalls, the total number of recalls during 2009 have fallen sharply from prior levels. Clearly, heightened interest from the federal government, manufacturers and retailers, and the average shopper is making our products safer.
But when it comes to family and friends, you can never be too safe.
Data show that forty percent of shoppers have turned to discount retailers this season to purchase gifts on a tighter budget. While outlet stores can hold hidden treasures, their merchandise is often more difficult to track. Once a manufacturer’s product leaves its primary supply chain, it can be difficult to track and remove goods from the marketplace. In addition, consumers should be mindful of hand-me-down toys and items purchased at second hand stores.
- Check your shopping list in advance. Consumer safety websites, parenting websites, the CPSC and others provide helpful information on children’s product safety. As shoppers go online to look for sales and discount coupons, they might also cross check their shopping list for safety. All product recall announcements are archived and easily searchable on the CPSC website (www.cpsc.gov).
- Remember to check the toys twice. Look again at toys that have been sitting in lay-away or that were purchased throughout the year and stored.
- Be aware of current product safety issues. Most consumers know to look for lead paint levels or toys with small parts that can cause choking. Don’t forget prior recalls as you shop at deep-discount stores who purchase unsold lots, which could contain hazardous toys.
- Complete registration cards for the products you purchase. By doing so, you are allowing the company to contact you directly in the event the product poses a safety or health hazard to you or your child.
- Watch for product recall data after the holiday season. Just because your gift wasn’t recalled when you purchased it, doesn’t mean it won’t be. Keep an eye on recall news in case you need to remove the toy and make a return.
ExpertRECALL applauds manufacturers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for taking the necessary steps to manufacture safer toys and we encourage consumers to do their part in keeping their children, families and loved ones safe this holiday season.
Stericycle ExpertRECALL™ is the industry leader in recall logistics and regulatory compliance for consumer product, pharmaceutical, medical device, juvenile product, and food and beverage recalls. ExpertRECALL’s professionals are experts in recall management who can help you streamline the entire product recall process.