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It is important to inspect and carry out PAT Testing on used electrical appliances prior to offering them for resale. In addition to this there are other precautions that need to be taken and these are presented here.


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This Guide is jargon-free and will take you through the benefits of selling second hand electrical goods, as well as guiding you through the implementation of selling second hand electrical goods. Selling electrical goods in your shop(s) significantly increases the income for your charity and is a valuable source of additional stock. Making the decision to start accepting and re-selling second hand electrical goods is a simple one once you understand the reasons why it really helps charities, and how easy it is to implement. This FREE Guide is an ideal place to start.

Is it an appropriate appliance for resale?


It is strongly advised not to offer used electric blankets for resale. If used electrical appliances cannot be checked for correct operation (e.g. Washing machine, personal computer) then there is a strong risk that the customer may return these for faults.


Is the appliance in a reasonable state for resale?


If the used electrical appliance has been supplied in it’s box and has instructions, then it is going to be easier to sell. If it is rusty and or caked with grease then there is no point in proceeding any further.


Does the appliance have a rating plate?


There needs to be a label somewhere on the used electrical appliance (known as the rating plate) which will give some information about the appliance. This can be found on the base, rear or side of all appliances. Some appliances, say like mains extension leads, have this information moulded in. If this cannot be found then the appliance has to be failed.


Does the label have suitable approval markings?


All used electrical appliances offered for sale, MUST have either the CE or UKCA approval mark. If this is missing, then fail the appliance.


Do the Live and Neutral pins on the plug have insulation?


The plug must have insulated Live & Neutral pins. If this is not present, then the safest approach is to fail the appliance. (Some may advocate the changing of the plug to an appropriate one. However, an appliance without the correct plug is likely to be quite old, and will quite likely have other safety related issues).


Does the appliance protect the user from electric shock?


The Formal Visual Inspection and PAT Testing (covered in the On-Line PAT Training ourse and in the Handbook of Portable Appliance Testing) will ensure that the appliance will indeed be electrically safe. Microwave ovens will have to be tested for the correct power output and for leakage.


Are there clear instructions on how to wire the plug?


All used electrical appliances have to be provided with a plug. This can be either a moulded type or a re-wired type. These have to be supplied with a label that advises the user on how to re-wire this, in case they have to change the plug.


Does the appliance work?


If the appliance is new, supplied in it’s original packaging and has user instructions, then there is every likelihood that it will work normally. However if a used electrical appliance is supplied, then it is important to carry out a full functional test to ensure that it is working correctly.


Is the appliance dangerous if used incorrectly?


If used electrical appliances are supplied without clear user instructions, then an assessment has to be made of likely risks. It is a good idea to develop a set of generic instructions that can be supplied with appliances that ensures their safe use.

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