Tuesday, September 22, 2009

CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS AND GARAGE SALES

New laws could threaten hefty fines for anyone running garage sales or church rummage sales if they're caught selling merchandise (mostly children's merchandise) that has been recalled because of safety concerns. You may need the 24-page "Handbook for Resale Stores and Product Resellers" available from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. While the standards set in 2008 were originally meant for new products with problems like too much lead content, the CPSC has claimed the standards also cover used items. So its new restrictions include hundreds of items recalled in the past that most sellers today know nothing about. We wonder if antique show promoters must now worry about early 1900s teddy bears with shoe-button eyes or old handmade cribs with bars too far apart or tiny 19th-century children's tea sets that could be swallowed.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good Grief!

I understand the motivation behind this - protecting people from hazardous items - but it places an unconscionable burden on fleamarket vendors, antique dealers, etc. Do we now have to research everything we resell, and where will we readily find this information? I say "caveat emptor"!

llrob11 said...

If we sell antique children's things, maybe we should add this to the price tag: "Warning: You must be 21 to purchase!"
How many collectors would let children handle their treasures?
Use a little common sense with this regulation, please!

Anonymous said...

Inez Tenenbaum, whom President Obama appointed as the new chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, (CPSC), has decided to make it a punishable crime for a person having a garage sale to sell a product no longer needed which may contain lead that exceeds limits set by the federal government, or, sells an article which has been placed on a recall list. Under Tenenbaum’s new public policy dubbed the “Resale Round-up" , violators caught selling prohibited items face a fine of up to $100,000 per sale and $15 million for a series of infractions.

Unless there has been a revocation of the United States Constitution that I am unaware of, only the Congress can pass a new law. This woman has clearly exceeded her authority and that of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

On their own website FAQ regarding leadbased paint on toys, for example "For currently effective lead paint limits (600 ppm), general conformity certification is required for products manufactured after November 12, 2008 based on a test of the product or a reasonable testing program for products. Third-party testing of the product for currently effective lead paint limits by accredited third party laboratories is required for products manufactured after December 21, 2008."
http://www.cpsc.gov/about/cpsia/faq/101faq.html#leadeffectivedates

This is all just stupidity on the part of a person who lacks the authority to implement such action against private citizens or organizations. Personally I would completely ignore the entire handbook as the threats contained therein will never be enforceable.

If it is of major concern to organizations, yardsalers, etc I suggest they write to their Senators and Congressman requesting they take action against Tennebaum and her handbook of threats.

Please remember the phrase "...of the people, by the people and for the people" Do not react as a victim in situations such as this.
It is your livelihood that is being threatened. Do something.

Lizzy said...

HUSH! Don't give them any ideas about more "buttinsky" practices! Antiques are what they are, and should not be under the same 'saftey' standards as modern merchandise. If that were to happen, the entire antiques market would collapse, as no one would be allowed to sell, and no one would buy. BAD train of thought!

And any 'modern' stuff previously recalled? Most of us don't have a clue, as the article points out.. so, we must either throw away perfectly serviceable items into the landfills (a horrific concept to anyone raised with standards of conservation and frugality) ... or...sell them at a flea market instead!...you get a booth without providing ID., are paid in cash...no paper trail. The goods can't be traced back to you, and someone in bad shape financially gets a perfectly useable item they could not have afforded if they had to buy brand-new.

And as far as these new laws go, shoot, they were not in effect when my generation was growing up, and we survived just fine!

Too many of the new so-called 'saftety' laws are an attempt to excuse parents who will not keep an eye on what their kids are up to, and/or leave them to their own devices because they are incapable (for whatever reason) of providing proper interaction with said child. Laws and government snooping are not the answers!

The truth of the matter is, these laws are focusing on the WRONG things! "Consumer Protection" laws should instead be watching out for the mischief created by banks and big business; garbage imports, and items designed to fail(planned obsolescence).

And what ever happened to 'caveat emptor?' People have gotten lazy, and suffered the consequences of their own INaction. No sympathy vote from me. As I say in my e-mail signatures: "George Orwell was right: he just got the year wrong."

Anonymous said...

I once bought a play pen at a yard sale for $2. On my way home I heard on the radio that this pen was being recalled due to safty problems. I call the information number, received instructions on returning it to the manufacturer, and eventually received $10 for my effort!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that I am still alive. After living almost 60 years and having played in an old chicken coup as a play house and eating vegetables right out of garden. Now I need to be concerned about reselling my toys.

Anonymous said...

Is this new "law" supposed to apply to individual yard/garage sales? As the first commenter said, "Good Grief!".....just who is supposed to monitor and enforce this law? I live in a rural area with a very high unemployment rate and there are countless private sales going on around here every weekend! Dozens of them are listed in a free paper every week that covers several counties.
It sounds ridiculous to me that anyone holding a garage sale must know about EVERY recall for years back. Hope this "law" gets recalled!

Alison said...

Perhaps just call it:"antique" or "collectible" to differentiate an old juvenile item, now only of interest to adults. I have yet to sell a >50-year old Raggedy Ann doll to or for any young child. I assume that dolls of the '70's, which are washable, should meet these harsh guidelines.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous all right. Or maybe someone is trying to kill the used/antique/collectable markets. While it is important that our represenatives in Congress should be contacted about this mess, I wonder if there might be another way. That is to label items "NOT a toy" "For display purposes only" "Warning" Keep away from children.", etc. Any ideas on this?

Anonymous said...

QUOTE from Kovel's Article: "We wonder if antique show promoters must now worry about early 1900s teddy bears with shoe-button eyes or old handmade cribs with bars too far apart or tiny 19th-century children's tea sets that could be swallowed." -- When were the above articles RECALLED???? That is what the law is about, isn't it????

Anonymous said...

I remember clearly reading somewhere that we did not need to worry about this as they had no intention of enforcing this at the flea markets, yard sales, Goodwills, etc.

sapphire said...

You have got to be kidding me! I really don't know how I lived as long as I have without all the insanity that is being forced on us as a free and responsible people. This is absolutely ludicrous! I can't believe that I have lived this long without a seatbelt and booster seat in the back of a car when I was little in the '50's. I don't know how I survived playing with my toys and not eating them! Or chewing on them! Or never wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle or skating! And I did a lot of both on cement sidewalks! Good grief I should be dead! When is this insanity going to stop and when are people going to rise up and say enough is enough. Children should be watched and toy s should be bought for age appropriate and that should not be the sellers responsibility. This is a tax on the middle class trying to make a living or just getting rid of items no longer needed.
I agree with anonymous that said about obama appointing the new chairman. Congress makes the laws and that is when the people have the right to say no to such stupidity. The only ones getting rich any more is the elites in the government. Wake up AMERICA AND NOW.

Kathy Kaiser said...

A question for dealers experienced in selling dolls, doll clothing, and doll house furniture: Are these items generally purchased for adult collections, or for children to play with?

I'm new to the business, and have many doll items I would like to sell. It sounds as if the guidelines would allow me to sell them if adults purchase them for themselves or another adult.

Jimmy and Shell said...

On January 8, 2009, the CPSC issued a statement regarding concerns raised by consignment and thrift shops, clarifying testing requirements for the resale of children's toys and products. The release stated that resellers are not required to test inventory of children's toys and products for lead. The release also stated that resellers are prohibited from selling children's toys and products that are likely to exceed lead limits.

Inez Tenenbaum was confirmed in that position unanimously on June 19, 2009...so HOW could this be her fault? Am I reading the website wrong?