Buying second-hand products

Be aware of the potential risks of buying or using second-hand items from:

  • garage sales
  • flea markets
  • second-hand stores
  • the Internet
  • family and friends

In Canada, it is the seller's responsibility to make sure that their products are safe. You should still be careful when buying anything second-hand. Products sold second-hand, especially at garage sales, may not meet current regulatory or safety requirements.

Avoid items that are:

  • banned
  • damaged
  • missing labelling or instructions

Look for labels

By law, some products (such as cribs and car seats) need a label that clearly states:

  • the manufacturer
  • model number
  • date of manufacture

Ask questions about the product

Every product has a history. Here are some questions you may want to ask before buying something second-hand:

  • How old is it?
  • How much use has it had?
  • Has it been repaired?
  • Has it been in an accident?

Commonly available second-hand products

Some second-hand products may seem harmless but they can be potentially dangerous. Be extra cautious about buying the following items:



Buyer and seller responsibilities

As a buyer, you should be informed about:

  • product recalls and safety alerts
  • changes to regulatory or safety requirements

If you are lending, giving or selling an item, it must meet current Canadian regulatory or safety requirements. Homemade products must also meet the same regulatory or safety requirements. Get more information for shoppers of second-hand products on the Health Canada website.

Stay on top of recalls

If you need to find out if a product has been recalled, you can:

Banned products in Canada

These products are banned in Canada because they are dangerous to human health or safety. They are banned under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. It is illegal to sell or give away banned items.

Some of Canada’s banned products include:

  • baby walkers
  • infant self-feeding devices
  • jequirity beans and products made with jequirity beans
  • lawn darts with elongated tips
  • polycarbonate baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (BPA)

If you have bought a banned product or one that has been recalled, you should:

  • destroy it and/or
  • dispose of the item safely

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