In case you missed our blog about this story earlier in the year, the nanny-state strikes again. Back in January, we told you about a new consumer “protection” law, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, that was going into effect that would effectively put thrift stores out of business. Many retailers of second-hand items, including many in the nonprofit world who operate thrift stores, protested loudly. The Consumer Product Safety Commission backed off a bit, not only delaying the implementation, but also exempting second-hand sellers from mandatory lead testing, a previous requirement that would devastated the industry.
Well, the topic is in the news again. Seems that even though the testing requirements have been relaxed, the potential financial penalties for selling a recalled or otherwise unacceptable product has not. Imagine this scenario: Someone comes to your thrift store (or yard sale) and purchases a child’s toy. Unbeknown to you, the toy was recalled a couple of years ago due to child choking hazard. You could be facing up to $15 million in fines! Yes, that is the number 15 followed by 6 zeroes. Nevermind that no one choked on the toy. If that happened, then you have the parent’s civil suit to worry about.
Again, it seems we’re facing a situation where big government knows best and John Q. Public takes it on the chin. This wildly out of proportion law puts an undue burden on all resellers, especially charity thrift stores. If this at all matters to you, contact your Senator, your US Representative and the Consumer Product Safety Commission and make your voice heard. It works…just ask ACORN!
For the whole story, see New Government Policy Imposes Strict Standards on Garage Sales Nationwide