Nanny State

Your Yard Sale Is Illegal


Thinking of having a yard sale this weekend? Before you do, be sure to consult CSPC Publication #254 [PDF].

This handy 28-pager from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds the American people that, thanks to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (which I have blogged about here and here), the government is totally in charge of your yard sale:

This handbook will help sellers of used products identify types of potentially hazardous products that could harm children or others. CPSC's laws and regulations apply to anyone who sells or distributes consumer products. This includes thrift stores, consignment stores, charities, and individuals holding yard sales and flea markets.

Selling old kids books, anything with metal, paint, or plastic that a kid might use, old clothes or shoes with metal components that a kid might wear? You know, any of the stuff people routinely sell at yard sales? Technically, you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of fines. Obviously, it's unlikely the CPSA goons are going to bust up your yard sale. But putting out a detailed booklet that reserves the right to do so is hardly encouraging about where the implementation of this legislation is heading.

(Also, am I reading too much into the stock photos art here, or does it look like that baby already has a pretty serious case of whatever the folks at the CPSC are trying to prevent? Creepy.)

And read a big fat article on this by yours truly in the print issue of Reason that will be hitting newstands any minute now.

Via Walter Olson, who has been a rock star on this issue. Follow him on Twitter @walterolson for all the news.