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Finders Keepers Responds to Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008

Originally Published Feb 6, 2009, 3:09pm (Updated Feb 6, 2009, 3:09pm)
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On Aug. 14, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSIA) of 2008. The law was originally passed to protect children from unsafe toys after the widely publicized recalls in 2007. "Children's products is defined in the law as "a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger.”  As of Feb. 10 any children's product that exceeds 600 parts per million of lead or more than 0.1 percent of phthalates will be banned from stores. On Jan. 8 the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued guidance for resellers and while the guidelines exempt resellers from having to test their products, they will have to face the consequences if they are caught selling a banned item.

"My number one concern is a child's safety and I completely agree with the original conception of the law,”  said Bonnie Kallenberg, Owner of Finders Keepers Consignment Shops and Secretary of the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops. "I have always stayed up-to-date with recalls, but as an owner of a secondhand store I will never receive proof from the manufacturer that the products are safe, so there is no way for me to definitively know that a product is safe for purchase.

Finders Keepers Fashions sells a variety of items including children's clothing and toys. In accordance with the law, as of Feb. 10, 2009, Finders Keepers will no longer sell children's items

intended for children 12 and younger. Clothing is included because painted zippers and decorative plastic, typically found on children's clothing, can contain lead and phthalates.

"The new clarification to the law has only made things more confusing for resellers. Yes, the new clarification says that as consignment shops we do not have to test our products, but it also says that if we sell merchandise that exceeds the new limits we could face civil and/or criminal penalties,”  said Kallenberg. "It is nearly impossible to know the lead and phthalates levels of the merchandise that comes through the store and since I cannot afford to test the products myself, it is not worth the risk to me to sell the items.

Kallenberg planned to open a new store dedicated entirely to children's consignments this year. Unless a change is made to the current law, Finders Keepers Kids will not open in 2009.

Several children's consignment/thrift stores will close their doors on Feb. 10, 2009 due to the risk involved with keeping their doors open. Consumers around the country are joining in the fight to Save Children's Resale. It has taken on a life of its own with resale shoppers contacting Congress, signing petitions, posting on blogs and even organizing rallies. If you want to be able to shop children's resale on Feb. 10, please make your voice heard by visiting www.narts.org and clicking on "Save Children's Resale.

About Finders Keepers Consignments
Finders Keepers has three consignment stores located in Avondale Estates and Decatur. The original store, Fashions, carries gently used clothing and accessories for men, women and kids. The Furnishings store carries consigned furniture and home decor from antique to contemporary. The newest store, Boutique, features designer and fashion forward apparel and accessories for women. Each store has its own personality and inventory changes daily. For more information, visit www.fkconsign.com

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