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Sunday, December 14, 2008

New law will put Etsy toy makers out of business?


On February 10, 2009 a new law requiring every toy made be put through more stringent lead testing procedures will go into place. This law applies to every toy and every item marketed or potentially marketed to kids under 12. This will include handmade toys, bags, clothing, jewelry and games. While I am all for higher standards of testing to avoid things like last year's Chinese made toy recalls, I (and lots of other crafters) see the writing on the wall for handmade toys, and Etsy in particular. This law is called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and will require lab certification that lead and phthalates are not present in toys or clothes. Each type of item will be required to be tested, at a cost of up to $500 per test. You can read more about this on Boing boing, StartupNation, or mothering.com. There is a great collection of links on this article at Cool Mom Picks.

I urge you (beg you, even) to follow this link to a sample letter, print it out and send it to your Congressperson. You can find the names and addresses of your Congress person here and your Senators here. If you need help with this, please email me.

Please?

8 comments:

  1. I'm going to the Post Office to mail my Christmas cards tomorrow and will get these letters out with them.

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  2. they will only get my etsy by prying it from my cold dead hands.

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  3. Wow! I had no idea about this.

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  4. Yes, even though I'm in Canada my customers have all been American. I'll either have to drop my child items or refuse US buyers. It's not right! And many sellers will be closing. So many beautiful handmade things will disappear.

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  5. While I agree that this could spell trouble for handmade toymakers, I also think that it would be an easy fix through the bill's language to ensure that lead poisoning and other instances do not occur while allowing handmade toymakers the freedom to create and sell without hefty financial burdens.

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  6. Ms. Onion, thanks!

    PG- SEND A LETTER. Or make the unhelpful houseguest do it for you!

    Trish- I had no idea until last night. Please send a letter for me? I had big plans for next year.

    Chris- It's going to put quite a damper on a lot of people's income. Let's make it EVEN HARDER to make a living, shall we?

    Serena- That's all the letter asks for- for different guidelines for items that are produced in quantities of less than 5000.

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  7. There are definitely some fine things at Etsy. I never knew about that place, but checked it out just now. Sorry to hear about your troubles. I'd love to help out, but I am in Denmark, so not going to be of that much help anyway. I would think (although not knowing for sure) that we have much the same laws here though, as there are extremely strict rules for what you can sell and how you can sell it and so on. Bureaucracy in it's worst form and not ALWAYS helpful to customers or manufactures. I hope for the best for your handmade-business'es.


    Louise

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  8. On the one hand livelihoods are at risk, and on the other hand LIVES are at risk. Clearly there needs to be a legal framework to protect lives but what is NOT clear is what it should be. I am glad I dont have to write it.

    I believe in choice. We as parents should choose quality toys and items for our kids. If we stopped buying cheap plastic junk then guess what, people would stop making it.

    Most of us following this story support or make handmade, but the general public dont give too hoots and carry on feeding the beast.

    Cheers all. Best of luck to everybody involved in this little triangle, buyers, sellers and the poor beaurocrat writing this law

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