Identifying Gaps in Consumer Protection in the Second-Hand Market in Canada


Linda Varangu, Tania Del Matto, Brendan Wylie-Toal, Nicholas Cloet, Paulette Padanyi, P. Wesley Schultz, Coral M. Bruni, Emmanuel Prinet


My Sustainable Canada




There is a need to explore whether sellers in the second-hand market provide the necessary level of protection to consumers and whether consumers have sufficient information to protect themselves. This research study sought to better understand consumer protection policies and practices in the second-hand market in Canada and provide recommendations on interventions that will enhance consumer safety and confidence when purchasing second-hand products.

Specifically, this study sought to address five research questions:

1. What consumer protection policies and practices are in place within the repair, resale and reuse market in Canada?
2. What are the consumer perceptions of the degree of risk associated with the repair, resale, and reuse market in Canada?
3. What second-hand or re-conditioned products pose potential risk related concerns for consumers?
4. What gaps exist in consumer protection policies and practices in Canadian markets?
5. What types of interventions will enhance consumer confidence in the purchase of second-hand or re-conditioned products?

The study provides useful data for understanding what gaps exist in consumer protection in the Canadian second-hand market. It is evident from the results that the government and sellers of second-hand items have important roles to play in protecting consumers. The study’s findings hold significant value for stakeholders who are looking to protect consumer interests and increase consumer confidence in the second-hand market. The study’s findings also hold significant value for stakeholders who are interested in promoting the reuse of second-hand and re-conditioned products.

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OCA Funded Research
This research received funding support through the Office of Consumer Affairs' Contributions Program.

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Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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