Resellers Beware: Reselling Recalled Products Violates Federal Law

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today released its top ten list of recalled children’s products. The goal is to get these dangerous products out of resale stores and off the Internet.  For those who aren’t aware, reselling ANY recalled product (for adults, as well as children) is a violation of federal law.  The law not only applies to thrift stores, consignment shops and charities, but to anyone holding a yard sale or flea market.

The government says you are not required to test your products for safety.  But to protect yourself, it recommends checking the CPSC web site, www.cpsc.gov, to identify potentially hazardous products. Ignorance of the law is not excuse. 

That may be so, but this law is news to me. And I have to wonder how many average Americans who hold garage sales every weekend are aware of it either.  I’m reconsidering whether or not I should hold a garage sale anymore.  Of course, my kids are teenagers now, and have outgrown the products that show up on these recall lists, but still… What about charitable organizations, like churches and other non-profits who hold yearly fundraisers? Will this put a crimp in their plans? Or should they do like a friend of mine suggested, and put a laptop out for the potential buyer to check the product themselves?

After all, most people acknowledge that they’re taking a chance buying stuff at garage sales.  You get what you pay for, as they say.  But you don’t want to knowingly buy or sell dangerous items either.  Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, make sure you check the CPSC’s recall list before you decide to sell or buy.