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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    What are the rules for buying faulty second-hand products?


    What are the rules for buying faulty second-hand products?

    There are several key issues to contend with if you are considering making a claim for compensation as a result of an injury you have sustained from a faulty product. Probably the most significant factor, and usually the one that makes the difference between a successful claim and an unsuccessful one, is who the responsible party is. In the case of new products this is likely to be fairly straightforward, but where second-hand purchases are involved it can become trickier. That is why we have put together this list of the salient points to consider when trying answering this question: “What are the rules for buying faulty second-hand products?” Of course, you are always welcome to give us a call here at Accident Advice Helpline, where one of our team will be happy to advise you further.

    Firstly, it is important to remember that in general, second-hand means ‘buyer beware.’ There are a number of exceptions to this rule, but the consumer has far fewer rights when you purchase from another individual, unless they have provided their own guarantees and you are able to prove it. As a rule, you simply do not have the same level of risk-free purchasing at the second-hand level that you do when purchasing new. It is for this very reason that buying second-hand is far cheaper; you are effectively paying for the risk.

    On some occasions, it might be more advantageous to bring a case against the person who sold you the product rather than its manufacturer. However, this is usually only applicable in quite rare cases. For example, if an engineering expert modified a belt sander in such a way that when used in line with the original instructions it became dangerous, but failed to warn you that the modification had been made, you might be able to argue that they were responsible for any injuries it caused. However, proving culpability in a private case relating to faulty second-hand goods is far more difficult than in one involving a manufacturer and a guarantee. Give Accident Advice Helpline a call today if you are uncertain how to proceed.

    In terms of second-hand products purchased from a retailer, the situation is a little clearer. Usually, retailers that sell goods second-hand as a regular part of their business, such as trade-in shops, will often provide some form of guarantee or warranty. Although the warranty itself may be shorter, the presence of a guarantee or warranty means that it is likely that the manufacturer will still be considered responsible for any injuries that arise. This is because by offering the product for sale, they are legally required to have checked it out to ensure that it is safe to be sold. Though there are variations, this is usually the case when considering what the rules are for buying faulty second-hand products.

    Finally, if a store does not offer guarantees and warranties — for example, charity shops — they should make it clear upfront that products purchased and used are at the consumer’s own risk. However, if this is not made clear when the product is purchased, there can be some grey areas with regards to claims being made. Needless to say, an expert should always be consulted to try and establish in more detail the identity of the responsible party. Here at Accident Advice Helpline, we are here to help if you have any questions.

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    Date Published: October 8, 2013

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.