Selling Second-hand Goods
If you are selling second hand goods to raise funds for your charity or church, you have a responsibility to check everything is in order and the goods are safe to sell.
If you are selling second hand goods you have a responsibility to ensure the goods meet legal safety requirements. There is a range of legislation which might be applicable including the Consumer Rights Act, the Consumer Protection Act, and the General Product Safety Regulations. There is also specific legislation for selling certain categories of second-hand goods including furniture, electrical and gas appliances, toys, children’s clothes, prams, and pushchairs.
If you sell unsafe goods which result in injury or damage, then you may be liable to pay compensation. If you want further advice on your responsibilities, you should contact your local Trading Standards office.
Here are example hazards to look out for when selling second-hand goods:
- Protective headgear where you cannot determine if it has been damaged
- Toys with loose facial features, sharp edges, finger trapping or choking hazards
- Furniture without a fire label
- Damaged prams or pushchairs without a fire label
- Electrical equipment without a CE mark
- Damaged plugs, cables, and casings to electrical equipment
- Children’s raincoats, overcoats, anoraks, tracksuit tops or other clothes fitted with a hood cord
Here are some example precautions you can take when selling second-hand goods:
- Checking that all equipment is complete, with all necessary safeguards fitted, and free from obvious defects
- Obtaining vital information such as the age range of the product, particularly whether it is suitable for children under 36 months
- Ensuring that toys and electrical goods have a CE mark
- Get a qualified person to check electrical goods and label them to show this is done
- Ensuring that all toys are clean
- Never sell second-hand electric or fire blankets, as their history, usage and condition may be unknown
Starter guide to selling second-hand goods
1. When planning a sale, set out basic rules about what you can and cannot accept
2. Locate a room or suitable amount of space to store and check donations
3. Obtain any vital information for the goods that you may need to pass on to buyers
4. Document your arrangements and responsibilities for the sale of second-hand goods