Watchdog program removes dodgy goods

The ACCC says its new safety pledge for online retailers is working to protect shoppers.
The ACCC says its new safety pledge for online retailers is working to protect shoppers.

Unsafe products are quickly being taken off online markets via a new consumer watchdog program.

As shopping ramps up in the run towards Christmas, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says online markets that have voluntarily signed a safety pledge have taken down 90 per cent of dangerous items within two days of them being identified.

Major sites including eBay, Amazon, AliExpress and Catch.com.au have signed the pledge.

The commission estimates 145 people a day are injured due to unsafe products, with at least two people dying.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said consumers should check her organisation's safe online shopping tips to protect themselves.

"With the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales we are also urging shoppers to be careful and consider product safety when buying online," she said.

"It's important to know who you are buying from; make sure you do your research and read online customer reviews about the seller or product."

Ms Rickard stressed the importance of children's toy safety, with one in 10 product recalls due to things posing risks to children like suffocation, cuts and burns.

The ACCC pledge sees sellers commit to safety actions going beyond legal requirements.

Innovations used by the signatories include using predictive technology and web crawling to remove unsafe items.

Australian Associated Press