Two out of every three products bought on Amazon, Ebay, AliExpress and Wish failed to to pass relevant safety tests, according to Which?
Of the 250 products the consumer watchdog tested, some 165 (66 per cent) failed standard safety tests.
Many of the items that failed safety tests were directly responsible from preventing harm to users including bike helmets and smoke alarms that couldn’t detect smoke or carbon monoxide.
Other items posed their own safety risks such as Christmas lights that could cause an electric shock or USB chargers and adaptors that could cause fires.
“Online marketplaces have quickly become a popular way for people to shop online, and yet Which? testing has repeatedly exposed how large numbers of dangerous products are sold on these sites everyday,” Which? head of campaigns Neena Bhati said.
“These platforms have failed to get a grip on this despite years of warnings, so the government must now step in to make online marketplaces responsible for ensuring the safety of the products sold on their sites.”
Which? added that although the four marketplaces in question remove any unsafe item it brings to their attention, these often find their way back into listings.
It found six fabric child car seats that don’t meet EU safety standards available on Ebay and AliExpress, despite informing Ebay of them in 2017 and again in 2019.
Ebay responded stating: “Between October 2018 and October 2019, our filters automatically blocked five million listings from entering the marketplace on product safety grounds.
“Ebay also works with organisations around the world, including the EU market surveillance authorities and Westminster Trading Standards.
“If any of these authorities informs us that a product is dangerous, we ban it on all our marketplaces globally and action sellers in the form of a warning, restriction, suspension or ban.”
AliExpress, Amazon and Wish also all stated that they required their sellers to meet local safety standards and work hard to flag and remove those that don’t.