I buy the majority of items for my kids at a great re-sale shop in Wooster, OH. My ability to continue doing this may be hindered by a new law taking effect on February 10, 2009.

HR 4040 is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. This law was poorly written and the language is currently being “interpreted” by the CPSC, enforcers of this law. This law will virtually eliminate the entire re-sale industry; Goodwill, Thrift Stores, Consignment Sales/Stores, Re-sle Stores, yard sales, church sales, internet sales, etc.

This law needs revised. It is imperative that all those concerned with the state of the re-sale industry contact the CPSC as soon as possible. Julie Vallese at the CPSC can be reached at 301-504-0339 or by fax at 301-504-0339. They are currently working on language and provisions to interpreting this law. However, they cannot change the law as written.

In addition, contacting the leaders in both the House & Senate, as well as the Chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee is important as they are the individuals that can introduce and acknowledge language revisions to this law. These individuals are:

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Henry Waxman, chairman of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Contacting your own State Senators & Representatives is imperative as well. Follow these links:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/mcapdir.html

Here is my letter (some borrowed and some written by me):
I am a mother of two small children who keeps an eye on expenses and I am asking for your help in fixing what are undoubtedly unintended consequences of the recent Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. These changes go into effect on 2/10/09, so time is of the essence.

It is my understanding that this Act requires anyone selling goods targeting individuals age 12 and younger to test nearly each and every item being sold for lead. While I applaud the good intentions, I believe unintended side effects will adversely affect my family and families across the country.

These regulations will make it nearly impossible for resale stores (which I patronize) to stay in business. The burden of testing every single item brought in for resale will make it prohibitive to do business and re-sell gently used items. In all likelihood they will have to discontinue selling a large number of items they currently do, and could potentially be forced out of business.

This will have significant adverse consequences for my family, for families around the country, and for our environment. What will the impacts be?

* My family will no longer be able to purchase reasonably priced, gently used items. Instead we will be forced to pay full-price (often exorbitant prices) for everything ranging from children’s books, to shoes, to clothes, to stuffed animals.

* Since people will no longer be able to re-sell or donate their previously used items, our nation’s landfills will receive tons and tons of additional “waste” each year as people dispose of perfectly usable items that they can no longer responsibly help someone else re-use.

* Donation centers such as Goodwill and others who raise money for good causes and serve a valuable community function by recycling usable items will have a significantly reduced ability to accept and resell children’s items.

The law as currently written will cost families money, and will create a huge amount of unnecessary waste.

Again, I applaud the intent of the law, but those of us who purchase re-sold items accept and understand that we accept a level of risk in doing so. Have us sign a pile of disclaimers, if needed, but please protect our ability to make smart financial decisions for our families and smart environmental decisions for our country.