EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1976 - February 12, 2009     3 of 3

Revised CPSIA Guide Affects Online Sellers and Crafters

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The CPSC staff updated on Tuesday guidelines for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) banning phthalate and lead in products intended for children under the age of 12. If you make and/or sell any items that might end up in children's hands, it is worth familiarizing yourself with these new regulations. Etsy and eBay have been following these issues and getting involved since their users are heavily impacted by the testing requirements. Due to growing pressure, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently granted a 1-year stay of testing and certification requirements for certain products.

You can read the "Guide to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for Small Businesses, Resellers, Crafters and Charities," which was revised February 10, 2009, here (it links to a PDF file).

Table C: Commonly Resold Children's Products and Materials summarizes common products and how the new law affects their sale. For example, for Books ("ordinary" children's titles e.g. paperbacks and hardbacks) it states, "OK to sell, if printed after 1985." Later the guide goes on to answer the question, "Can I sell vintage children's books and other children's products that are collectibles?" The answer:

Yes. Used vintage children's books and other children's products sold as collector's items would not be primarily intended for children. Because of their value and age, they would not be expected to be used by children. Therefore, they do not fall into the definition of children's product and do not need to comply with the lead limits.

Note that the agency itself isn't committing to the guidelines, which states, "This information was prepared by CPSC staff, has not been reviewed or approved by, and many not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission. It may be subject to change based on Commission action."

You can sign up for email updates about the CPSIA here.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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