Congress held a meeting on the CPSIA on Friday, 1/16 and the result is this post-meeting message they sent to the CPSC (link no longer active). I'm disappointed that Congress didn't definitively act to correct all the confusion, but instead put the onus back on the CPSC to issue rulings and exceptions and training to ensure this law still goes into affect as planned on February 10.
Though 4 years isn't enough time to get people ready for the conversion to digital TV (see my 1/8 blog post), 6 months is apparently enough time to change a $20 billion dollar toy industry. I don't even know what the scope of clothing, books, and other child-related equipment is.
There is a silver lining, though, at least so far as the second-hand industry goes: everyone we have spoken with and have heard from in the news and on-line has said that this is not a law targeted at the resale market. So while we are still pushing for amendments to the actual law to make that clearer and while we are still urging action on common-sense exemptions for handcrafted items, Enkore Kids will continue carrying quality second-hand toys, clothing, and equipment.
See our previous postings for contact information and please continue to urge Congress and the CPSC to action. There are some in Congress that see the problem. Read this letter dated January 21st (link no longer active).
And here is a letter from Macy's (link no longer active) to their vendors. It is dated January 15, 2009. If such a large company as Macy's was unaware of this law till now, how on earth is everyone else supposed to know what is going on? Please keep calling your Congressmen to have this law delayed till adequate refinements and guidance can be issued.
In the meantime, Enkore Kids will resume accepting children's items. We, as usual, will be checking the recall website, but we'll also be networking with other resale stores and manufacturers to share information on known or suspected used items that may exceed the new lower limits.
We have already been working with our vendors to ensure our existing inventory will meet the new standards and are confident that they do. However, though the law says items made before November 2008 don't need to be officially tested, items made after that date do require testing. This is not a problem for the national brands we carry as they have always tested their items. The problem is with the hand-made hair bows and barrettes, the Baby Capes and baby slings. These are made by micro-businesses, mostly work at home moms. To see the estimated additional cost for hand-made items for items under the CPSIA, check out Etsy.
Another problem with the law came to our attention, when co-owner Susan went to the dentist with her son: the pediatric lead vest that was used to protect him from unnecessary x-ray exposure was certainly designed for children under 12 and it is not exempt from the CPSIA as it currently stands. So, Mom & Dad: would you prefer a lead vest placed on your child and risk lead ingestion or ban the vest and ensure unnecessary x-ray exposure?
New Guidelines for Used Children's Items:
As I said, we will be immediately resuming appointments to accept quality children's items. As there will be additional work for us in processing things to ensure they meet the new standards, please follow these guidelines:
We will continue to offer cash or twice the amount in store credit for most items. However, some more expensive items and the Kids Sports/Dance items may also allow you the option of consignment. Car Seats are accepted only on consignment.
Hope to hear from you soon! And keep up the pressure on Congress!