I only very recently found out about the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that goes into effect on February 10th. The intention of the law is to give added protection to children's products in regards to safety and in reaction to the recent spate of unsafe imported toys and toy recalls.
However, the law has been written so that it will affect any sale (or resale) of a children's item including handmade toys, clothing or furniture - even books! This means that I will no longer be able to sell my handmade stuffed animals, baby blocks or any future items without having to pay an insanely prohibitive fine to have the item tested.
Aside from how that will affect just myself, as general consumers our choices will now be severely limited. The costs associated with testing will prohibit many smaller manufacturers, both in the U.S. and abroad, from putting items in the marketplace. That means that you will not have very much choice as a consumer when you go to buy a children's product. Additionally, thrift and resale shops will no longer be able to resell used items. That means that all used items will have to go into the trash! What a waste.
It seems to me that this law was written hastily and is reactionary. The problem of safety is definitely legitimate and needs to be addressed. However, a quickly passed law that will affect businesses and consumers alike by effectively making it impossible for small business to compete is not the answer.
For more information, please check the following links and please consider writing your congressperson to ask for more thought into how they can protect small business and competition while still maintaining the intent of the law.
LA Times Article on reselling
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