Garage and yard sales. They’re everywhere every weekend, and baby items always seem to take up a significant amount of space at each one. Even Consumer Reports says garage and yard sales are an excellent, economical source for baby clothes and baby items.
Naturally, you’re going to pass up torn or badly faded clothes and damaged items like car seats, cribs and toys. But here’s something you might not be aware of that can cause potential harm to a baby or child:
The federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act applies to both giant toy manufacturers and stores that sell products from China–and garage and yard sales. Anyone selling products, including used ones, that have been recalled or banned by the act is in violation.
DO THEY CHECK BEFORE THEY SELL?
The difference is that resellers aren’t required to test used products for unsafe materials like lead, phthalates and flammables, but resellers (including those who hold garage and yard sales) are expected to educate themselves about product safety and ensure that none of their products is in violation. How many garage-sale holders do you think actually do that?
IT’S UP TO YOU!
You’re the first line of defense between unsafe baby products and your child. If you love to buy baby items at yard sales, keep a list of recalled or banned baby clothes and products in your car, so you can check at the point of purchase. At the very least, you should check recalls on the Internet for the items you bought when you get home. If you do discover an unsafe item, you may be able to return it where you bought it by citing the law and showing proof that the item has been recalled or banned. Or, you just have to eat the loss. I’m sure you’ll agree your baby’s worth it.