Resale Roundup: Coming Soon to Your Town!

I warned you about the dangers of getting busted for selling untested, unlabeled toys at the beginning of yard sale season. I even provided a handy link to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Publication #254 [PDF], with guidelines explaining that most of the stuff you'd naturally sell at a flea market or yard sale was technically verboten, thanks to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). 

And yet, today's Morning Links and Drudge Report links to an article which suggests all of you have failed to do the supplementary reading in the rest of the CPSC's publications:

As part of a campaign called Resale Roundup, the federal government is cracking down on the secondhand sales of dangerous and defective products.

The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that's been recalled by its manufacturer.

The Feds are trolling for contraband items at Goodwill, on eBay, and at church bazaars. It's a shame really. "Resale Roundup" sounds like something fun, maybe a western-themed version of Antiques Roadshow. But no luck. Reality is far bleaker:

[Jim Gibbons, the chief executive of Goodwill], said the nonprofit group was accustomed to inspectors from the Consumer Product Safety Commission making unannounced visits to its stores.

Read Reason's archive about the land of forbidden toys here.

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  • hammeredHead||

    More proof that Bush and Obama are the same person.

    Hopefully people will simply have all purchasers sign a form stating that these are collectables and are not to be given to individuals under 12.

    There must be some simple way around this foolishness.

  • ||

    There must be some simple way around this foolishness.

    Yeah, but bureaucrats are like rats. There are thousands more behind the walls for every one that you see. You have to burn down the house to get them all.

  • ||

    They'll get my lawn darts when they pry them from my cold, dead hands! Or from the eye sockets of my little sister, whichever comes first.

  • ||

    Hey, now, this ain't right. I'm not so much into selling used crap as I am into buying it. This is wrong on so many levels.

  • ||

    The Feds are trolling for contraband items at Goodwill, on eBay, and at church bazaars. It's a shame really.

    The Founders must be spinning in their graves, every single one of them.

  • ||

    More proof that Bush and Obama are the same person.

    Bush killed millions of children in Iraq and Afghanistan.Obama and the CSPC are trying to save children's lives.

  • ||

    Bush killed billions, man. Can you get nothing right?

  • Brian Lockwood||

    Just give Obama some time. I'm sure he can rack up a total higher than Bush.

  • Russ 2000||

    The Founders must be spinning in their graves, every single one of them.

    Sounds like another form of renewable energy. But please don't tell the Obamabots.

  • ||

    Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

  • Medic001||

    Whats next? BIG brother going to knock on each American's door and ask to see all the toys in every house hold?


    why does this remind me of a NAZI style book burning?

  • Geotpf||

    So you are arguing that it is a good thing for Goodwill to sell unsafe toys? Okkkkkaaaayyyyy....

  • Irwin Mainway||

    I'm in luck. My garbage bags full of sharp broken glass don't have a recall on them.

  • @||

    Show of hands: how many of you are really worried about this?
    Will you be cancelling your garage sales? No?

  • ||

    The Feds are trolling for contraband items at Goodwill, on eBay, and at church bazaars.

    Clearly an excellent use of our tax dollars.

    Perhaps it has some kind of stimulative effect too. We should hire people to go around chastizing people that curse, and taste wine in front of children, and other such offenses against the public decency. Maybe add a special devision for making sure that women don't show any ankle below the skirt.

  • ||

    Show of hands: how many of you are really worried about this?
    Will you be cancelling your garage sales? No?


    The vast majority of the public probably has no idea that some federal asshat is likely to be snooping around their yardsale looking for contraband children's books and such. But I am eager to see the news coverage the first time someone gets fined.

  • No Name Guy||

    Hazel, Hazel, Hazel...... don't you know how it works when the feds find 'contraband'? They kick in your door at 4am with a SWAT team, shoot your dogs and terrorize your pregger wife while they cuff you. And a fine? Oh never - after all, its for the CHILDREN. Jail time for you, sucker. Toss you in right next to Bernie.

    Because, after all, it's in the Constitution that me selling crap at a garage sale to my neighbors is some how interstate commerce.

  • Tricky Prickears||

    I stay away from yard sales and the like. I've got enough of my own damned crap.

    Does that include bootleg designer crap like fake Gucci handbags? And what about all of the "Gray Market" electronics on ebay?

  • ||

    Show of hands: how many of you are really worried about this?

    Show of hands, how many of you think that we shoudn't even have to be talking about it in the first place?

    The Obama legacy: death by a thousand cuts.

  • ||

    So you are arguing that it is a good thing for Goodwill to sell unsafe toys? Okkkkkaaaayyyyy....

    Almost a good question, Geotpf. Nobody here is arguing that this is necessarily a good thing. What we are arguing here is that a federal agency policing yard sales is a ridiculous overreach, and a dangerous expansion of federal government power.

    The "but what about the children" argument that you imply will not get you very far here. For us (libertarians) this debate is about rule of law and limiting government powers. The cost of the "good" that would be achieved by allowing CPSC to regulate the noncommercial resale market is far outweighed by the danger of unchecked government power. And what about the right and responsibility of the parents to safeguard their own children (which includes doing their own research and making their own informed decisions)?

  • ||

    If plastic toys from the 60s, 70s, and 80s are so dangerous, perhaps we could gather together loads of them, and drop them on taliban positions in the Pakistani tribal areas? Maybe Bin Laden will wind up playing with one, and put an eye out or something?

  • ||

    If my neighbors' children are at risk if I sell the toys, then my (hypothetical) children would be at risk if I kept them. All product recalls should be therefore enforced with SWAT teams. All purchases of any kind (since you never know what will turn out to be dangerous) must be registered with the Feds. This will have the added advantage of letting them know who is living beyond the means of their declared taxable income.

    I luvs me the total state!! **SQUEE**!!

  • mark||

    All purchases of any kind (since you never know what will turn out to be dangerous) must be registered with the Feds.

    If you haven't read JPFO's analysis of the FairTax it sounds awfully like what you wrote.

  • ||

    I wrote up an article on this resale roundup over at garage sale tracker and the feedback we got from the community was that this was a real shot and insult to the yard sale community.

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