What to watch out for
Faulty electronics can catch fire or give you an electric shock. Appliances and gadgets should be safe no matter:
- how much they cost
- if made in New Zealand or imported from overseas.
Ask the supplier if it meets NZ safety standards or look for this symbol:
If buying second-hand, avoid anything with:
- worn cables
- exposed wires
- scorch marks or discolouration.
Appliances with a short lifespan, eg hairdryers and electric blankets, are best bought new.
Check the back of second-hand appliances to make sure they have been certified by an electrician.
The best way to avoid unsafe products is to buy from a reputable retailer. Electronics on overseas websites will not have been checked to see if they are safe to use in New Zealand. Some will not be the right voltage to work here, and might not meet New Zealand electrical standards.
Electric equipment and appliances(external link) — WorkSafe
Counterfeits, or fake products, may be unreliable and unsafe. It's illegal to sell counterfeit products. And if you buy fake products, you're unlikely to have any comeback if something goes wrong.
Signs a device or gadget is a copy:
- typos in marketing and on labels
- unusually low price
- no manufacturing information, eg manufacturer's logo or seal, patent number, model number
- poor quality packaging or workmanship.
Replica chargers and accessories
Use chargers designed for your device. It is safer to use batteries and chargers produced by the device's manufacturer. Copies can be less expensive but might damage your device. Look to see what others say about the replica before you buy.
You can be fined for using some electronic devices from overseas. Different frequencies mean certain devices made for overseas markets can disrupt New Zealand's cell phone coverage, radio broadcasts, and emergency services, eg police and ambulance.
Problem devices include:
- baby monitors
- cordless phones
- wireless microphones
- wifi transmitters
- radio controlled models or toys and models
- mobile phone signal boosters.
Cell phone jammers and certain animal tracking and training devices are not allowed in New Zealand.