Yard sales are a great way to find deals, and get rid of old stuff, while helping to keep products out of the landfill. This story makes it clear that the CPSIA is making this a much more risky proposition. Please don't misunderstand. I do not condone selling recalled cribs. However, reselling recalled items of any kind has been illegal for some time now. That being the case, one has to ask WHY are some recalled items still being sold at yard sales and other places? Additionally, given that the fines are intentionally astronomical, seemingly to encourage people to do their "homework". Perhaps a lack of awareness?
Certainly some products have been documented to be unsafe and recalled. I have heard that recalled items are listed somewhere on the CPSC website if you want to see if your crib, wooden puzzle, or plastic train is recalled. However, this law goes beyond recalled products, it assumes that everything is potentially dangerous unless it fits a very narrow profile (see the guidebook) or has been tested...in the case of yard sales, by you the consumer.
If this is truly such a dangerous situation that warrants millions of dollars in fines, would it not make sense for the CPSC to do more than simply issuing a guidebook and our government to do more than simply pass a law with outlandish penalties? I would think that public service announcements and serious PR would be called for.
If the CPSC and our government is so concerned about yard sales it has passed such a harsh law, then why doesn't it publicize the law and really explain it to the American people so that we can save ourselves?
Perhaps the CPSC is worried there would be a backlash from "Joe & Marylou Citizen" in Topeka, KS and across the country when they actually read the guidebook and realize that most NON-RECALLED children's products they want to sell would be disallowed.
You see, what was NOT in this Fox News story is the myriad of other products that are perfectly safe, but potentially hazardous to your financial well-being. For instance, if you sell a pair of children's pants with a zipper (most have that) you should be pretty certain it's lead content does not exceed the CPSIA regulations. Now, remember, lead in zippers is not the same as nuclear waste. It doesn't jump out and infect you. It must be ingested. That may well be, but if it has lead more than 300ppm, it is illegal to sell. Did you test the zippers in the clothes that you sold last week? How about testing for lead or phthalates in buttons? Or in the plastic toys? None of these items should be sold without back-up (contacting the manufacturer or testing). Oh, and don't even think about selling those old pre-1985 kids books....