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Wed Dec 10 2008 22:49:11

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, issued an open letter warning of the unintended consequences new legislation could impose on some members of its community. "Many Etsy artists and craftspeople have expressed fears that they won't be able stay in business due to the burdensome cost of testing and certification pursuant to the proposed legislation." Etsy urged members of its community to contact their governmental representatives to ask them to consider how the Act will impact independent craftspeople.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) imposes an additional third-party testing requirement for all consumer products primarily intended for children twelve years of age or younger. Every manufacturer (including an importer) or private labeler of a children's product must have its product tested by an accredited independent testing lab and, based on the testing, must issue a certificate that the product meets all applicable CPSC requirements, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Etsy's letter explained, "Etsy wanted to reach out with this open letter to see what can be done to ensure that small businesses and micro enterprises are being taken into account with this legislation. Our members would like to better understand how the CPSIA took into account these smaller businesses operating with fewer resources for testing and compliance. We believe Etsy artisans are pro-testing and pro-safety; the problem is the prohibitive certification costs relative to their small businesses' incomes. Our community is concerned that this legislature disregards small businesses in its attempts to regulate large corporate entities."

The WalletPop blog posted an interesting reaction to the legislation, stating that "all toymakers must pay a testing fee of $4,000 per type of toy they make, as well as permanently labeling them with a batch number and date (requiring them to create new molds in many cases)."





Comments (49) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: So What?

Thu Dec 11 04:58:22 2008

It's the cost of doing business. Stop coddling these home made craftspeople and MAKE them pay up or get out.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Whateverebay

Thu Dec 11 06:00:37 2008

this is a "You Gotta Be kidding me!" moment..... There must be a way to work-out a plan to protect the consumer and provide the "handmade" industry a fair structure to allow them to compete. This must be revisted.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: voodoo

Thu Dec 11 06:34:27 2008

Excuse the hell out of me but my childs health and life is a lot more important then the handmade industry. Bring on the new laws. Just like anything else in this world if you can't afford to do then don't.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Jeremy

Thu Dec 11 07:32:36 2008

I honestly don't know how this country survived without a government agency to test everything for us. I guess everyone before 1950 popped out at the age of 13. Honestly people try using some good old common sense with things. (and no I am not a toy seller and I do have children).

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Daisy

Thu Dec 11 07:52:27 2008

We're a lawsuit happy country. Some are warranted, but a lot aren't.

I agree with Jeremy, how did we baby boomers survive our childhoods?

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Thu Dec 11 08:11:18 2008

$4000 is a lot less than the $20 million that the crafter will lose in the lawsuit where a family sues because the homemade teddy bear's button eye got lodged in their baby's throat causing brain damage.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: kitty

Thu Dec 11 08:25:40 2008

Crumb, this is bad.  As a mother of 3 kids, I'm amazed daily at the stupid labels on my children's items.  Heck on the stroller there is 5 stickers.  Do not fold stroller closed while baby is inside.  Do not leave baby unattended.  Strap baby into stroller.  Unstrap baby before picking baby up.  Apply stroller brake on any incline.
You know that these stickers are there due to someone suing the manufacturer due to their own personal stupidity.

When is the comsumer going to take any responsiblity?

I do not sell toys.  I have 3 kids, who I watch and make sure they are safe.  I do not leave it up to toy and clothing manufacturers to be fully responsible for my actions or my children's actions.

@Bob...Make sure you do not have buttons on your shirt when you hold a new baby or you may have to sue somebody.....
@voodoo whatever happened to good old fashioned common sense.  Guess the next craft fair I go to will be completely blotted out with warning stickers for my own protection.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: UknowUneedAnother

Thu Dec 11 08:50:48 2008

This problem was ultimately caused by the poorly run companies within this country. The CEO's opted to sub out work to other entities to prop up a BS labor %. These same people were unwilling to take less money or give up one iota of overinflated compensation and bonus packages.

I think that the crop of CEO's who have exemplified slop work ethics should all be in cages, and not the hotel ones reserved for corporate crime.

I see no GOOD reasons why the average person should pay the price being exacted for the results their PISS POOR leadership qualites.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous

Thu Dec 11 08:55:12 2008

Simply put a note in your listing "Item is not intended for children 12 and under".

Problem solved.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Gaz

Thu Dec 11 09:44:18 2008

Anonymous

Better reword that label -

"Item is not intended for legislators and other persons of IQ-12 and under"

This really is taking things beyond a joke, but echoes what happened to the IT industry in UK & Europe 10 years ago.

- every possible configuration of a PC had to be CE and EMI tested - so change a Hitachi 32MB RAM module for an LG one and you had to take the new configured PC back to the testers.

If the RAM maker changed from 16 chips on a module to 8, it was back off to the testers for certification.  At $2000 per test ... well you figure out how many variants can be created for a basic PC build.

It's why I sold a GBP 20,000,000 a year in sales computer business, and took retirement age 40 to the tropics.  The guy who bought it went insolvent the following year.

Who needs BS legislation like this, especially during a global economic crisis?

Hopefully Obama will spot this crock of poo and stomp on it.  He's several times said that his focus will be SME businesses as engines for the economy.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Peter leeflang/CEO Leeflang Archives Corp

Thu Dec 11 10:05:41 2008

The 'small sellers' reap what they voted for.

Most vote for liberal confiscatory politicians and now they are getting their bill presented.

These 'small sellers' voted for politicians who have been regulating, taxing, robbing an deven jailing regular companies, their owners and staff for years.

The 'businessman' and 'the 'corporation' are 'enemies #1' in their view.

Let these losers now feel how those 'enemies #1' feel, when their lives are being made impossible.

How to resolve this problem?

Vote for politicians who leave you alone and protect your individual freedom, not those who restrict it.
 

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Wendy

Thu Dec 11 10:31:11 2008

I wonder how our kids health will be when they can't walk around the mounds of trash that will be the result of this law that is retroactive. That means all existing inventory on store shelves that was made legally will now be illegal with the new regulation on Feb. 10th. These products are not dangerous, but they will be landfilled because it is not cost-effective to test them.  P.S. All your current childrens items will need to be tested or trashed. There will no longer be a secondary market.

p.s. Only one politician voted against this, just one. It isn't a liberal or conservative thing. It is a knee jerk short sighted thing. Of course we don't want toxins in our kids things. Decimating an industry - large and small, corporations, retailers, crafters big and small is not the way to fix it.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Angela

Thu Dec 11 11:28:16 2008

So, the same liberals that detest huge corporations are all in favor of laws that give exclusive power to big corporations.

Put me in the camp of people who wants the freedom, especially because it commands a level of personal responsibility.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous

Thu Dec 11 11:34:53 2008

Sorry commentors, but it's not the law they're arguing against... it's the way it's written. These same safety measures could be taken in a way that costs a lot less money. Testing the same component 10 different times is not "the cost of doing businessess."

Say what you will about caring about the health of your children... but after this law puts all of the small US based companies out of business, the only thing left you'll be able to buy are all of those crap Chinese imports. Oh, and they'll cost twice as much. Have fun with that.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: wendy

Thu Dec 11 11:42:05 2008

This is not about big business vs. small business. This legislation will also bankrupt big business. Large corporations who lawfully produced product to meet us regulations are now forced to destroy that inventory. They use their inventory for collaterol for loans. Destruction of that inventory will result in default on those loans and bankruptcy for those companies. Oh.. yeah, but the govt will probably bail them out anyway. I on the other hand will have to handle the major loss' I will incur when I close my childrens resale shop myself.

Nobody that I have seen is arguing against the need for stricter requirements and testing of many products. It is the implemenation of this law that will cause widespread economic and environmental damage in the short term with little measurable benefit to our children.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Angela

Thu Dec 11 11:47:56 2008

It won't drive the bigger corporations out of business. They can easily spread the testing cost across their multi-million unit production.  

I am absolutely against any farther consumer product testing laws by the government.  When China started importing lead paint, people quit buying Chinese toys.

We don't need to spend $4000 per toy to be sure their aren't any buttons a toddler can choke on. Parents have eyes!

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: wendyu

Thu Dec 11 12:04:22 2008

Perhaps it won't drive Mattel or Fisher Price out of business but mid-size companies will be gone because of the retroactive clause. They will need to throw away millions of dollars of inventory. Future testing is not the problem.

Unfortunatley most folks don't have access to toys not made in China. Even my local independent "thoughtful" toy store is probably 80% china made toys.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: Ruth

Thu Dec 11 12:34:21 2008

Good grief! We're talking about grandmas who make sock dolls and sell them on Etsy! Or someone who crochets hats!

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: just me

Thu Dec 11 13:43:49 2008

Amazing! The government wishes to crush nice, quiet, creative and thoughtful, caring people who stay at home creating fun little handmade goodies, while they allow China to feed our children lead and other poisons by the barge-load. Yeah, that makes loads of sense. Not.

Let's hope once Obama takes office, he'll put an end to these abuses of power imposed by the current administration.

Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople   Etsy Warns New Legislation Harms Craftspeople

by: UknowUneedAnother

Thu Dec 11 15:17:59 2008

Maybe part of the answers lie within everyone being a bit more accountable.

Business people figure out how to keep manufacturing at home. It will be easier to supervise.

Parents, the children are yours. Apply some common sense. I was also a child of the 50's and 60's. I made it! And we had all sorts of dangerous toys. They were the best ones!

People really do need to de-wimp-afy abit. I played with creepycrawlers. If you got burnt you learned to NOT TOUCH the areas that heated up. I took the tip of a finger off on a snocone machine. You better believe that it taught me to slow down and to put the guard on top instead of trying to cram a ton of ice at one shot. I learned to ride a bicycle without the use of training wheels.

Everyone wants a quick fix to everything. This was a contributing factor to industry being shipped overseas.

Buy less toys but consider investing in higher quality items.

Learn to say the word NO to a child. You'd be amazed at what they are capable of learning. There is no need for a child to have every single toy that has come out on the market. I don't believe a child can even begin to appreciate the material goods if there are too many choices. Are these things really for the child or are they feeding adult egos?

Governmental people, stop turning a blind eye to corporate greed and then enacting another bureaucrasy to clean up slop work that should have been avoided in the first place.

Consider capping executive salaries. We have a minimum wage, why not enact a maximum? It seems to me that this could be useful in creating salary money and research dollars to enable us to go back to being a productive country.

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