Checklist when buying products
When buying an electric product, you should check certain things and ask the retailer the right questions. This is particularly important if you are buying your product online. We provide a practical checklist to make it easier for you when you buy new electrical products.
Check the product
- Can I use the product in the way and in the environments I intended? For example, if you want to use the product in a bathroom or conservatory, check that it has the right ingress protection, or IP class. IP20 is most common for indoor use. The higher the numbers, the better the protection.
- Is the product CE marked? The CE mark must appear on all the electrical products you buy, whether they are manufactured in Europe or imported from elsewhere. The CE mark means that the product is protected against electric shock and electric fire.
- Is the product marked with a type designation or model designation so that it can be identified?
- Is the product marked with the current and voltage it is designed for?
- Is the product marked with the name and postal address of the manufacturer?
- If the manufacturer is not based in the EU/EEA, is the product marked with the importer's name and postal address?
- Does the product have a Swedish plug?
- Are the instructions and safety information available in Swedish? They might help you find out if the electrical product is designed to be used in Sweden, and in the way you intended.
- Do the manufacturer's instructions make it clear where and how the product can and must be installed?
If any of this information is missing, it may be an indication that the product is not designed to be used in Sweden. In that case, contact the retailer. If the retailer is unable or unwilling to answer your questions, do not go ahead with the purchase.
Check the retailer
- Check that the retailer provides its name, company registration number or equivalent, address, e-mail address, and phone number. This is particularly important if you are buying electrical products online.
- Check how the retailer handles questions and complaints. Try to find out if the company has established procedures for questions and complaints.
- Always be suspicious of very cheap deals or implausibly good products. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Buying electrical products online
When you buy electrical products online, you cannot examine the product in the same way as in a physical store. That makes it harder, but not impossible, to decide if the product is safe, and indeed there are usually no problems. First, check out all the information about the electrical product on the website you intend to buy it from. To check the markings, there must be clear pictures of the product. If you cannot find clear pictures, ask the retailer.
Websites that facilitate so-called private imports are becoming more common. If the product manufacturer is not based in the EU/EEA, and if the product is not marked with the importer's name and postal address in the EU/EEA, it is usually a private import. It is up to you to ensure that the product meets the requirements and is safe to use in Sweden, otherwise you should not import it. The rule of thumb is that if you import products for private use, you are subject to the same safety requirements as a company that imports products to sell them on.
Purchases from auctions or second-hand markets
If you buy an electric product at auction or from a second-hand market, you need to examine it carefully. Electrical safety requirements were lower in the past. There is also a risk that old cables will dry out and crack. If you suspect that the cable needs to be replaced or if the product has an unearthed plug, take it to an expert for repair. When you examine your purchase, you can also use the checklist on the Check your electrical products page.