Law Changes for Kid Donations & Consignment

February 27, 2009

I see you

Donating, consigning and buying second hand children’s items just got trickier.  We are going to have to pay closer attention to how these items are distributed once they are no longer needed in our homes.

There is a new law that anyone selling children’s clothing, toys, accessories has to qualify that the any lead content is within legal limits.  For seller’s of  new items this can be easily determined from manufacturers.  For folks selling second hand, it makes it impossible to do so.  Boston Globe article

There still seems to be some confusion between the Consumer Product Safety Commission and store owners.

“The National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops said the commission’s attempt to clear up questions only caused more confusion. Although the commission ruled that resellers don’t have to test products for lead and other chemicals, they “cannot sell children’s products that exceed the lead limit,” the commission said. Since many items found in consignment and thrift shops have never been tested, business owners are left to operate at their own.”

Many stores are closing. Many charities that operate thrift stores are taking children’s items off the floor in fear of breaking the law or being sued.  I know we want to keep our kids safe, but there also a lot of families that need these discount shopping venues with the economy the way it is. All or nothing can’t be the answer.

  • Before you donate to a “thrift store” charity such as Goodwill or Salvation Army call to see if they are accepting children’s clothing.
  • Before you head out to consign at your local kid’s clothing store, call to see if any policies have changed.
  • Charities that give items away for free to needy kids should be unaffected.

In a recent post I spoke about the need for donations for children is spiking.  Don’t let this stop you from donating, you just need to make a quick call to make sure your donations will be accepted.


2 Responses to “Law Changes for Kid Donations & Consignment”

  1. John Trosko Says:

    I guess this is all about disclosure and allowing consumers to take control of their situation by having the knowedge if something is free of lead, or not. Instead of putting it in the hands of consumers, they’re putting it into the hands of people distributing the merchandise either for sale or for giveaway. I can see the point of the law, but I can also see how there is confusion. I love that The National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops is challenging the interpretation but I can also see larger Thrift Stores refusing any item in question. It WILL happen, like it’s happened with some sporting goods, baby cribs and excerise equipment.

    John aka OrganizingLA

  2. Thanks for bringing up this important issue. You’ve highlighted for me that I need to follow up here in Canada and see what restrictions we may have. We have had the crib and carseat restrictions for many years. I haven’t heard of any clothing restrictions – and I just took another pile to Salvation Army this week.

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