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CPSIA – Congress and CPSC in the Clouds . . . .

I have heard from an old friend today, a resale shop owner. The store owner is as frustrated as anyone by the CPSIA and has some interesting observations. The store owner’s point is that it is utterly impractical for store personnel to be up-to-date on recalls or to manage recall issues on a day-to-day basis. Think recalled baby monitors with “remedies” like a new warning label. Think also of the national chain of resale shops that told us that many of their MANAGERS are paid $8 per hour. Can you get a sense of the brilliance of Congress’ master plan yet?

The store owner sent me a picture worth a thousand words:

The store owner: “The photo I’ve attached is of my six-inch binder of printouts for every recall on children’s items since the early 90′s. The papers on the floor are the new recalls since September 2010. I printed those last week, so I need to go back and print the newer ones. I take this binder to all my events and strive to search it thoroughly to keep recalled items out of our events. I’m going shopping today to pick up a second six-inch binder as I’m obviously going to need it.” [Emphasis added]

Sounds very practical. I am sure Scott Wolfson and Sean Oberle have some useful tips for this store owner on how to manage all this data. It is worth NOTING that rifling through 20 years of CPSC recalls is not the store owner’s main business – their business is selling gently-used merchandise – but it probably seems like it nowadays.

The store owner is also a victim of unscrupulous “gaming” by a competitor who seeks to capitalize on fear and the ambitions of local politicians to put pressure on him/her. The store owner: “I’m no longer comfortable posting publicly about CPSIA since a local children’s resale full-time store owner has told several of her shoppers that she’s planning to call the [local] Attorney General to come investigate my next seasonal consignment event to be sure I’m in compliance with CPSIA. Since I don’t have XRF vision, there is no way to prove I’m in compliance with the instructions to not resell anything over the lead limits, despite the fact that I’m not required to test. I still don’t have a clue what do to about phthalates, but I’ve banned all bath books, bath toys, & teething toys from our events anyway.” [Emphasis added]

There’s a stimulus plan for you. . . .

Did you catch the store owner referring to any topic relating to safety, such as injuries or concern for the health of children? Nope. It isn’t the concern of the competing store owner or the local Attorney General, either. This is about officious bureaucracy, paperwork for paperwork’s sake, all to satisfy a neurotic anxiety without a basis in FACT.

I used to ask “Where are the victims?” The zealots in the last three years have been able to produce exactly ZERO injured children from lead or phthalates in children’s products. So I guess I have to nominate my friend the store owner – a prototypical victim of this law.

Job well done, Congress and CPSC!

Read more here:
CPSIA – Congress and CPSC in the Clouds . . . .

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