News & Opinion | July 2, 2019 1:45 pm

Why Amazon Still Won’t Sell You Fireworks

And why it probably won't be changing any time soon

Fourth of July fireworks
Loud, booming fireworks will always be a part of the Fourth. (Getty)
Roven Images/Unsplash

If you haven’t stocked up on fireworks for the Fourth of July yet, don’t count on Prime 2-day shipping.

Yes, you can buy just about anything from Amazon, but the site does have its limitations, and those limitations happen to include fireworks.

While laws restricting fireworks sales have loosened in recent years, there are still several factors that make it difficult and/or risky for Amazon to sell them. Ahead of the holiday weekend, Wired broke down the various hurdles separating you from Prime shipping your celebratory explosives, starting with the likelihood of — you guessed it — self harm.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 9,100 fireworks-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in 2018 alone, with more than half occurring throughout a one-month period around the Fourth of July. As Wired noted, Amazon also bans the sale of a number of other products the CPSC has flagged as safety threats, so it’s no surprise fireworks didn’t make the cut.

Before you even have the chance to potentially misuse your fireworks, however, Amazon would have to contend with a number of other obstacles. The US Postal Service and other carriers like UPS won’t ship most fireworks, and although Amazon is working on expanding its own delivery network, it’s unlikely they’ll be eager to start shipping the products themselves. According to Wired, far less ostensibly dangerous items, such as bear spray, have caused accidents in Amazon warehouses.

Moreover, if the retailer were to begin peddling fireworks, Amazon would take on the daunting task of ensuring each item was manufactured safely. While the company is no stranger to criticism for selling counterfeit items, it’s unlikely Amazon would want to assume the risk of taking responsibility for any accidents resulting from faulty fireworks.

While Amazon continues to expand rapidly, it doesn’t look like fireworks are anywhere in the company’s immediate plans. For the time being, you’ll just have to get your goods the old fashioned way.

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