Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

Mum falls ill after wearing £4 second-hand shoes bought from Vinted

A mum has issued a stark warning after falling ill from second-hand trainers she bought for £4 from Vinted.

Becca Maddon bought the shoes after spotting them on the popular thrifting app that offers value items for those looking to save some money.

But the 29-year-old has told people to be careful when purchasing items online after getting a severe rash on her feet and ankles after wearing the sparkly shoes.

The rash quickly spread to her legs, leading the woman to call 111 to ask for advice. After visiting her GP, the doctor said it could either be scabies or an allergic reaction to the trainers.

Becca was prescribed medication and was worried it would spread to other members of her household.

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Becca, who lives in Watford, Hertfordshire, said: “I was terrified [when the GP mentioned scabies]. I was freaking out that my house may be filled with scabies but luckily no one in my family came up with any rashes.”

Now she is urging people who buy second-hand clothes to wash items before wearing them to prevent things like this from happening to them. Becca, a medical secretary, added: “I don’t want to put people off. Just wash and disinfect them and make sure you’re not allergic, and if you are throw them away.”

When the shoes arrived at Becca’s home earlier this year, she stashed them on her shoe rack and then in vacuum-sealed bags while she moved house. The mum of one first wore them on Monday, September 4 and the rash appeared soon afterwards. No one in her house became infected with scabies or anything similar.

Vinted said it recommends sellers “wash or disinfect” clothes in a manner appropriate for the clothing’s material and any defects must be listed in the description. The company, which was founded in 2008 in Lithuania, say buyers may wish to wash their items “before wearing if necessary”.

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“I’ve used Vinted for about three years and buy clothes and bags for myself off the app and clothes for my son. I love Vinted as there are so many sellers using it and you can always get great items on there, sometimes with the tags still on, for a much cheaper price,” Becca added.

“I wasn’t looking for any particular kind of pair of trainers. I just needed a pair and I’m always interested in glittery or funky shoes, they always catch my eye.

“They were chunky, glittery trainers with an iridescent design on them so when they go in the light they go a rainbow colour… Over the next two days the rash got worse and so I took antihistamines and then began to notice the red spots rising up my legs.”

The secretary has vowed to never buy pre-owned shoes again. She said: “They didn’t smell weird or anything so I didn’t wash them before wearing them. This has put me off buying second-hand trainers again no matter how much I want a discount. I will never buy shoes second-hand again but I will continue to buy clothes and bags. I will just make sure I wash and disinfect them before wearing them.

“I don’t want to tell people to not buy second-hand trainers. I just would urge people to wash them before wearing them as I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. I don’t want to put people off. Just wash and disinfect them and make sure you’re not allergic, and if you are throw them away.”

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Becca said she doesn’t blame Vinted or the seller for her allergic reaction to the pre-loved sneakers – and because of this hasn’t contacted either to complain.

A Vinted spokesman said: “We’re sorry to hear of the member’s experience and hope that she is in better health now. In our listing rules, we ask members to check their items before listing, as any items put on sale should be clean. We recommend washing or disinfecting them in a way suitable to the item’s material. Any stains that don’t wash off, defects or other flaws must be indicated in the listing description.

“On receipt of an item, we also ask members to check their item thoroughly and report any issues to us, so we can assist promptly. Members may wish to wash their items before wearing them if necessary. We encourage members wishing to list items to check their items first, some advice can be found [on our website].

“And should any members wish to report an issue with an item they have received, they can contact us directly within the app – just tap the ‘I have an issue’ button in the transaction.”

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