A new sense of thrift is on the rise as house prices and bank balances fall. It seems to have prompted people to cash in their unwanted stuff. So it’s no surprise that, anecdotally anyway, there seem to be more garage, tag and stoop sales than ever.
Good for thrifty consumers on both sides of the cash box, you might say. True, but one caution for sellers: The same law that bars manufacturers from peddling a million lead-tainted toys applies to the tag-sale host selling just one. And it’s now illegal to sell any product that has been recalled.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is in charge of enforcing the new safety law, (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) is offering buyers and sellers some guidance in the form of an illustrated booklet they can download.
Among the items that you cannot sell:
- Toys and other articles intended for use by children, or any furniture, with paint or other surface coatings containing lead over specified amounts.
- Products primarily intended for children age 12 or younger with lead content over a specific amount.
- Certain toys or child-care articles that contain any one of six prohibited chemicals known as phthalates.
The CPSC won’t be patrolling garage sales; a sense of responsibility should keep consumers from knowingly selling an item that could hurt someone, especially a child. So before you slap price stickers on the stash in your basement, check www.recalls.gov.
And if you’re shopping, we caution you not to buy a used crib, particularly one with drop sides or made before 1999. Also steer clear of car seats, play yards and any kids’ clothing with drawstrings.
The program should focus on buyers, especially those buying for children.
What to do with all nearly-new "used crib(s), ...car seats, play yards..."? Into the landfill they go? What a waste. If they are inherently unsafe, then I would not want them to be sold or given away. But these products seem to have a built-in obsolescence. Waste, waste, waste!
Thank goodness! On several occasions I have purchased items at rummage sales or thrift stores that turned out to have been defective, dangerous, and that I discovered had been recalled. It's discouraging to find a bargain and then learn that it's hazardous. Two months ago I purchased a pair of high-end (originally very expensive) electric space heaters that turned out to have been recalled due to fire hazards/short circuiting. Thanks for holding everyone accountable!
Why does the article caution us not to buy a used crib, particularly one with drop sides, or made before 1999? Is the concern lead paint or safety or both?
Cribs made before 1999 are not likely to meet even today's lax safety standards. Drop side cribs have been particularly problematic due to inadequate durability of their hardware. Millions have been recalled after many children were injured or killed due to defective drop sides.