Recalled Toys Find New Life Online

One study showed it is easy for parents to purchase recalled items online.

Nov. 12, 2007 — -- In recent months the media have buzzed with toy recalls. But a new study says some of the toys earmarked as potentially hazardous are finding their way into homes through online auction sites like eBay.

According to a new Injury Prevention Journal study, 190 online auctions contained, or were suspected to contain, a recalled children's item.

The study also concluded the products were being sold from addresses within the United States with sellers from Canada, Australia, Great Britain and Ireland.

"We are seeing more and more products that are posted online for resale," said Scott Wolfson, of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The study monitored eBay for 30 consecutive days for the presence of 141 child and infant products that had been recalled.

All of the items were recalled between 1992 and 2004 and researchers used the site's search function to hunt for the items.

In its own search, ABC News found 10 recalled items in only a few minutes.

While it is not illegal to sell recalled products online, some parents said it shouldn't be allowed.

"Something should be done," one parent said.

The online fraud protection company MarkMonitor said it found 349 ongoing auctions for just four recalled toys.

"There are a lot of people who clearly know that they're selling a bad toy online," said Frederick Felman, of MarkMonitor said.

EBay, the Internet's largest auction site, has a policy where reselling recalled items "is strictly prohibited." But, it told ABC News it is too difficult to create a database to block all such sales.

Instead, eBay links people to federal recall information.

The best way for consumers to protect themselves is to check the CPSC recall Web site before they purchase any item.