Friday, 30 October 2009

Irresponsible sellers of lethal products

Well there was me saying I hadn't had chance to see any new products, but then someone sent me a link to this item currently been sold on eBay in the UK.

Ok, so its not new, its another Bug-a-like I hear you say, well its more than that just that.

Been sold by an irresponsible seller for a start, who is only out to make money, has no idea of regulations, standards, safety or any will to think about the fact that what they are selling is been used by babies and children. Never mind the fact that it infringes on Bugaboo's patents and design registrations, as they are a company that can fight to protect their own product. My fear is with the nieve shoppers that don't know the potential risks that such a product can be to their child for the sake of saving a few pounds.

Well I couldn't just sit back, so I thought I would raise a few questions with the seller/company on eBay:

Dear miwheels2010,

You state that this item conforms to British standards, which standard? Do you have a test certificate? And which test house was it tested in?

In relation to the car seat, which test have you tested this to? And again with which test house?

Also have the fabrics been tested to conform to FR regulations?

I thought these were some simple questions to test the water with the seller, and this was their reply:

Hi yes its the en1888 cert tested in china also have the cert supplied by the german company the car seat has not been tested an it states in the intrction booklet that the car seat is not for use in car. only on the main frame of the stroller can the car seat be used the fabric is fr regulated and also it is fire protected fabric Thankyou

- miwheels2010

So mudling my way through the poor spelling, it wasn't hard to realise that this seller has no morals orconcern for their potential customers. How can they list part of the item as a car seat if it can't be used in a car? I had to write back for more information:

Dear miwheels2010,

A en1888 cert is not a British Standard, its a European standard that it has been tested to, so your listing is misleading, and you have not tested to British Standards.

Which test house has certified this in China?

What is the regulation/standard that you have tested the fabrics to? As the German company will not have done this as its not a European requirement, its only a UK requirement, so I do not believe you.

Why do you call the car seat, a car seat, if it cannot be used in a car? Again very misleading, and potentially dangerous to any child that might be put in a car with your unsafe item.

Everyone wants to make money, but you are making money by putting childrens lives at risk by selling an unsafe item, never mind the fact that it is bound to break any number of patents and design registrations relating to the Bugaboo.

And this was their response to this reply, not even covering all of the questions I raised with them:

ok we will changeit to european standards car seat is listed in its instruction pack an what do you mean i am lieing about the fabric? an if you are so clever why dont you take it up with the company miwheels in germany tnx

- miwheels2010

Can you sense me getting more and more annoyed with them? How dare they not use a spell checker, its no wonder they haven't a clue about pushchair standards and regulations, when they can't even type, how could I have set my bar so high hoping that they might actually care?

Dear miwheels2010,

There is no point taking it up with the German company, as its not a regulation that they need to conform to. It is a regulation that YOU need to conform to as you are the seller in the UK, all responsibility for conformity to UK standards is yours, so if a child is injured by this item or how it is used then it is you that will be prosecuted, not the company in Germany.

Just as the EN1888 certificate is issued to the German company this will not cover you to sell it in the UK, you need to have a certificate with your company name and address on it.

Just because you state in the instructions that it is not to be used in the car is not enough in my opinion, as you are clearly listing it as a car seat. And you can't call something a car seat if it can't be used in a car. You should call it the pointless seat.

You obviously have no idea of the regulations, standards or any desire to protect those that you sell to, or use your product, but I am sure trading standards will be interested.

I've just read the questions at the bottom of his eBay page, yeah ok, I was hoping maybe just a bit too much to see that mine were put up, but the question about if its compatible with the Maxi-Cosi car seat has got to me even more, where they state yes, but it also comes with a car seat!!!

How can people sell products for children and have no concern over the safety?

I hope we can get rid of sellers like this before someone does get hurt.

I'm not expecting another reply from the seller, but I have reported it to eBay, and also asked a friend at a big brand to help get Trading Standards straight onto them as he gets on well with his local officer and can stress how dangerous this is.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

No news is good news

Well I've been quiet I guess updating the blog, but I guess its a bit of the lull before the storm.

All the new products will be hitting the stores soon, and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on them in person without a heavy sales patter on why they are so good.

Also been busy with 'real life' too, which has kind of got in the way of thinking about strollers.

But what I have heard from the UK show in London is that there was an uplift in sales for those that attended the show, and the first day of exhibiting beat the sales for the entire show in Birmingham for some exhibitors. So maybe this will be staying in London from now on. But I think it would be better to be in a personal venue, say Islington where there could be a social side, which is what the industry loves!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

new from Maxi Cosi

A quick look at the two new products from Maxi Cosi.

Then the new Quinny Senzz, a fixed seat 4 wheel stroller, but only with 2D folding, price I hope is going to sell this, otherwise we have another Halo on our shelves, offering nothing different, but trying to sell purely on brand alone.

The Mila which was previewed last year in Germany but not fully rolled out.

Based on the Loola, but with a fixed seat, and a more light weight chassis, to compete perhaps with Maclaren or premium stroller such as Dazzle.

M&P - Peg

It also seems that Peg is late on the uptake too, with a new three wheeler based on their successful Aria platform, although at least if its not a great seller the tooling investment won't be all that high compare to other companies.

Silver Cross Surf

Out in Germany Silver Cross finally showed their new Surf to the trade.

Although previewed the year before in a closed room, but held off from launch due to it not being travel system compatible, they have finally said that its going to be on sale.

Details are sketchy at the moment, but as far as we can see from the samples on the right of the image its very similar to the new Graco Symbio or the Recarro model that has been on sale for a number of years.

So what is different? What is unique?

Nothing that we can see, it seems another step in the direction of 'we are Silver Cross' and the hope that the brand and advertising will sell the product just as with the Halo.

When will they learn that people want innovation, not just design and attention to detail? Where are the products that are unique like the Sleepover?

And if rumours are true that the product will retail at around £600 for the pushchair, then what does it offer that the Symbio doesn't other than a brand thats a little bit older?

New from Recarro

Well I've not managed to find out the name or price indications yet, but this product really got me interested.

A sleek smooth design, from the Recarro design studios gives us another product to consider purchasing and combining with their infant carrier.

But are they too late?

As sales are steadily moving from 3 wheelers to 4 wheeler in Europe, just as they have done in Australia over the last few years. And as the UK market place is heading slowly towards following.

But with introductions of new wheels from Recarro this makes them a real competitor for Britax and Maxi Cosi, as well all know that the choice of infant carrier we purchase is related to the wheels that we can fit it on.