BLOKES desperate for a haircut are risking a close shave after buying ‘dodgy’ clippers on websites including eBay and Amazon.
High street stores such as Argos, Boots and John Lewis have sold out of clippers due to high demand as hairdressers remain closed until at least July.
But health and safety officials have now issued a warning after dozens of unhappy customers ended up in a hairy situation.
One man claims his dodgy £16 clippers almost caught fire, despite being branded a ‘Professional Barbers Set’ on eBay.
The chap said: “Fire hazzard [sic]! Bought without reading reviews and out of desperation due to lockdown.
“By the end of the first all-over cut, [they had become] too hot to hold and could also feel the heat on my scalp. Burning smell also.”
Another, who paid 15 quid for his, claimed he could almost stick his finger on a live connection.
In a review, the man wrote: “The quality and build is likely to kill people.
“The set i received did not have a manufacturers name but had a CE mark – NO WAY should these be used. as the mains cable, moulded plug (where you can bend the pins), and the poorly assembled housing (if tried you could move the parts and put your finger on a live connection) make the product dangerous to use!”
A third said: “Make a weird noise like they’re about to blow up and I’ve just tried to cut my hair and they don’t even cut, they just rip chunks of hair out!”
Similar clippers on Amazon, described as ‘High-Performance Hair Clipper Trimmer’, are priced at £22.99.
But one customer warned: “DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!
“I used it for the first time today and After 5 MINUTES of use, while my son was cutting my hair the clippers exploded in his hand and started smoking.
“This is a serious hazard and he could have got badly hurt, even electrocuted.”
The products, which are sold by third party sellers, may not be up to UK safety standards.
Robert Chantry-Price, lead officer for product safety at the Trading Standards Institute, has warned men to grow their hair rather than dice with death by using counterfeit clippers.
He says: “It is very concerning to hear that quite a number of clippers bought on eBay are overheating.
“Many are battery operated that need to be charged at the mains and, if they were close to a towel and overheated while on charge, they could catch fire.
“They are really dangerous. If you live in a flat and they caught fire, we could end up with another Grenfell disaster, which is very worrying indeed.”
Mr Chantry-Price adds: “Buy a respected make, such as Wahl or Remington, a respected supplier, such as Argos or John Lewis.
“And if they are sold out, there is a simple answer; don’t go for the dodgy ones.
“It’s best to just have longer hair while you wait for them to come back on the market.”
Ashley Martin, from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, has also told desperate Brits to steer clear of bogus clippers.
He says: “Check that your appliance is made to relevant safety standards, that it is produced and sold by a manufacturer and retailer that you trust, and that you have read reviews that have been independently verified as genuine.
“Discontinue use immediately you have any concerns.”
Meanwhile, the charity Electrical Safety First has analysed 15 separate listings of electrical clippers, hair removal kits and other beauty salon gadget for sale on eBay, Amazon and Wish.
The charity deemed them all 15 to be “seriously dangerous to the user”.
Martyn Allen, technical director for ESF, says: “What we have found is an example of third party sellers putting consumers at risk through products that are of particular interest at this time.
“We would urge consumers to only buy electrical items from reputable retailers and for the Government to continue to give serious thought to better regulating online marketplaces.”
When contacted by The Sun Online, an Amazon spokesman confirmed it had removed the ‘High-Performance Hair Clipper Trimmer’ from sale pending an investigation.
He added: “Safety is a top priority at Amazon. We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations and have developed industry-leading tools to prevent unsafe or non-compliant products from being listed in our stores.”
A spokesperson for eBay said: “We are reviewing these items and will take action against any that breach our policies.
“The safety of eBay users is our priority and we work with organisations around the world including the EU market surveillance authorities and Trading Standards.
“If any of these authorities informs us that a product is dangerous, we ban it on all our marketplaces globally and inform and educate sellers on the ban.
“eBay has measures in place to limit these types of items being listed. Between March 2019 and March 2020, our filters automatically blocked four million listings from entering the marketplace on product safety grounds.
“We take enforcement action against any seller found to be in breach of our policies, which can include account suspension.”
Wish, meanwhile, said: “All of the merchants on our platform are required to adhere to local laws and safety standards wherever their goods are sold.
“In the rare instance where a product falls below those standards and sufficient evidence is provided, we take the appropriate action to remove the items as swiftly as possible.
“In some cases, we also apply sanctions to merchants who have intentionally circumvented our policies and safety standards.”
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