14 January 2009

Alarmed Over Nothing?

Ok, so last night... the more I read, the more upset I became.

I had heard from a couple of people about the CPSIA affecting us who sell on eBay and all consignment shops and charitable organizations.
I was doubtful that it was as bad as they were making it out to be, but in my concern, I started researching it on the internet.

Now I am just confused.

The wording in this law is very ambiguous as to the exact responsibility of resellers, IMHO, but several people have sent me articles claiming that resellers and charitable organizations will be fully exempt.
But then I found this THREAD... And more importantly THIS.

It sounds like, to me, that they are leaving the door wide open for future decisions. While the government agency "says" they are not going after resellers, it is made pretty clear that resellers & charitable organizations will still be responsible for making sure NOTHING they sell has been recalled or contains lead or phthalates, or face serious and hefty fines.

Then I found THIS which seems to pardon all resellers from testing... as long as they sell no items that violate the ppm lead content.
Ah, but there's the rub!
To quote the CPSC, directly:

"The new safety law does not require resellers to test children’s products in inventory for compliance with the lead limit before they are sold. However, resellers cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit and therefore should avoid products that are likely to have lead content, unless they have testing or other information to indicate the products being sold have less than the new limit. Those resellers that do sell products in violation of the new limits could face civil and/or criminal penalties.

When the CPSIA was signed into law on August 14, 2008, it became unlawful to sell recalled products. All resellers should check the CPSC Web site (www.cpsc.gov) for information on recalled products before taking into inventory or selling a product. The selling of recalled products also could carry civil and/or criminal penalties."

Do you still think I am overreacting?

Most of my "eBay friends" are like me: We sell a variety of items:
*Clothing our children have outgrown
*shoes (also outgrown)
*anything else we find lying around collecting dust that we think we might be able to sell...

Do you think I have the time or means to research EACH and EVERY product that I am reselling? Seriously?
Ok, so maybe I just won't sell items that could contain lead or phthalates.... That knocks out books, toys, shoes, but what about clothing?
You would think clothing would be exempt, but you'd be wrong... especially if the clothing was made in CHINA!

So, although "technically" resellers and eBay sellers are "exempt" from the testing requirements, are we really?
If anyone can sue me for something I sell or if I inadvertently sell something that has been recalled, I will be penalized & fined heavily.
Does that sound like exemption to you?

Read this explanation from the link I posted last night:

The law applies to all products, even used items. This means that unless the stores (including eBay sellers and private parties) do the testing themselves, on Feb. 11 all of those products are to be treated as hazardous waste and destroyed. In a vague memo issued this week by the CPSA “resellers” may be excluded from certification, but these proposals also say that businesses owners will still face the same penalties if an item they sold ends up containing lead. It not only omits a specific definition of what a “reseller” is, it also fails to explain whether it applies to their entire inventory or just used items. So it exposes the store owner to the risk of either being shut down because of an item that may or may not have actually been purchased from them, but also to the nuts that could sue them if they claimed they were injured by the product. (Ouch, McDonald’s… I spilled my coffee!) It also is a very effective tool for competitors to use against businesses who they know can’t comply, a practice that has already been used by some of the big guys.

Here is one more link where you can get more info and see how your senator voted.
The Latest

So, whether or not you think I am overreacting or blowing this out of proportion is irrelevant. This WILL affect me and many, many of my friends.
I believe it threatens to change the very fabric (no pun intended) of the American retail & resell industry.
Only time will tell.

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