Posts filed under ‘Breaking news’

Update on selling kids' items.

I posted last week about the new law concerning lead testing in kids’ items.  It seems that the Congressional commission appointed to review this law has determined that it will NOT affect consignment stores and resellers.  It will ONLY affect those businesses who initially produce the good.

While I’m happy to hear that I can still buy cheap at the consignment stores – after all, who wants to spend a bunch of money on clothes they’re going to outgrow in three months? – I am still disturbed by how this affects small businesses around the nation.

The advent of online retail establishments such as and has enabled the blossoming of a cottage industry focused on handmade toys, clothing, and kid accessories.  Most large-scale manufacturers – such as Fisher Price, Hasbro, Carters, etc. – can absorb the cost of lead testing into their production budgets by ultimately passing the additional costs onto the consumer.  Small retailers cannot do this.  The cost of testing is too exorbitant and will shut down most of the small businesses within the industry.

I still say Congress needs to re-examine the language of the law and narrow its scope.  And I still encourage you to write your Congressperson and ask for their support in doing this.


January 12, 2009 at 7:46 pm Leave a comment

This is ridiculous.

Congress recently passed a law declaring that all consumer goods sold for kids under the age of 12 must be inspected for lead before selling.  While the intent of the law is to protect consumers from toys and baby goods that contain a high lead content, the law’s broad language also includes clothing.

The law, which takes effect on February 10, effectively kills the children’s secondhand clothing industry.  Small consignment businesses such as Kid to Kid and Once Upon a Child will be forced to shut their doors.  Thrift stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army will no longer be able to accept children clothing.


And what about consumers?  Many Americans, already feeling the pinch from the recessive economy, have been buying gently used clothes for their children.  The law forces parents to buy their children’s clothes brand new at retail stores.  Clothes that your child wore once or twice before outgrowing will either have to be discarded or given away; you won’t be able to earn any money back by selling them at a consignment store or even through a garage sale.  Millions of articles of clothing that could be reused and recycled will be considered to be obsolete and will go to the landfill.  Talk about waste; these items could be used to clothe children who otherwise cannot afford new clothing.


A Congressional commission does have the opportunity to review and reinterpret the language in the law.  There is a chance that they could find the law does not apply to articles of clothing that are made of natural fibers.  However, overturning the law requires another act of Congress, one which is not likely to happen anytime soon.

While I appreciate Congress’ attention to the dangers of lead-based materials in highly used baby items, this law is ridiculous.  There should have been more thought given to the ramifications of a broadly-sweeping piece of legislation that affects consumers and small businesses alike.  I encourage each of you to write to your Congressperson expressing your concern and demanding that the law be rescinded.

January 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm 1 comment

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