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Can You Resell a Recalled Product? Answers & Tips for Selling Used Baby Gear

The following is an excerpt from the safety specialists at WeMakeItSafer.com in a blog post titled, Tips for Selling Your Baby & Toddler Gear. ConsignmentMommies.com is pleased to partner with WeMakeItSafer to increase awareness about Children’s Resale Safety.

As your children outgrow their gear, selling it at a consignment sale or in an online marketplace is a great way to reduce waste, promote reuse and make some extra money to help pay for that next batch of “stuff” they will need. But not everything is suitable to be passed along. Before putting your baby’s items up for sale, be sure to first check that they are safe for continued use. In addition to keeping children safe from unnecessary risk of injury, there are laws against selling certain secondhand products.

Here are some tips to help you make sure the items that you and your baby once loved are safe for a new home.

Tip 1: Check for Recalls

The first thing you should do is check that the item has not been recalled. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 made it illegal for anyone to sell recalled products, even in yard sales or thrift shops. WeMakeItSafer has a Recalled Product Search tool that makes checking for recalls easy.  It is available as a mobile web-app just by visiting WeMakeItSafer.com on your mobile phone.

If you are planning to sell many items, try using Simply Check, a tool that checks items for past recalls, then keeps monitoring daily for new ones. Simply Check also provide a special WeMakeItSafer Seal number that you can write on your tags so that the sale event organizer or consignment store owner knows you checked. Some consignment locations are beginning to either require or provide incentives to sellers who include WeMakeItSafer Seal numbers as proof that an item has been checked for recalls, so be sure to ask.

Tip 2: If Recalled, Get it Fixed

Recalled products usually can be remediated, most often with a free repair or replacement offered by the manufacturer.  Typically, once a recalled product is fixed per the manufacturer’s instructions, it is legal to sell (ie, it is no longer the recalled version); however, there are exceptions to this. (See Tip 3)  If, for some reason, there is no remedy available, then it is best to dismantle the item and recycle as much as you can before disposing of the rest.  Although rare, this can happen if the company is no longer in business, for example.

Tip 3: Avoid Selling Troublesome Products

In addition to recalled products, there are some items that most often should not be sold secondhand for a variety of reasons, including tricky safety laws. Here are some of the baby gear and other items that require special consideration before selling:


Cribs have special rules! If your crib is more than two years old (manufactured before June 28, 2011), it is unlikely to meet all the new safety standards and if it doesn’t, it is illegal to sell, regardless of whether or not it was ever recalled. Dropside cribs, even those that have been fitted with immobilizers, are also illegal to sell.

Car Seats

Did you know that car seats expire? Because the Styrofoam and other materials used in car seats to cushion and absorb force on impact break down over time, car seats are not structurally sound forever. Sunlight and heat, like that often found in parked cars, can speed up the degradation process as well. Check the labels on your car seat carefully to locate the expiration date before giving it away or selling it.

Also, do not sell your car seat if it has ever been in an accident or shows any visible signs of wear and tear such as cracks or dents in the foam or plastic.

If you determine your car seat is in good condition and saleable, be sure to include all the parts and the instruction manual.

Children’s Metal Jewelry

Although most secondhand items have been excepted from new lead limits, jewelry is one item that still cannot be sold (or given away) by anyone if it contains lead over the legal limits. The amount of lead that is acceptable in children’s products dropped to its lowest level, 100 ppm, in August 2011.

Because it is almost impossible for a product-owner to tell whether or not an item contains lead without special testing, it is best to not sell any children’s jewelry with metal on it that was manufactured before September 2011 unless you can identify a Certificate of Compliance on the manufacturer’s website that specifies your version of the product complies with safety standards.

Play Yards and Playpens

New safety standards for play yards, also known as travel yards or playpens, were passed on February 28, 2013. Although it is not automatically illegal to sell older model play yards, there are some things to watch out for to make sure yours is safe to sell.  Please see  ”New Play Yard Safety Standards – What Does it Mean?“ for more information.

Soft Plastic Child-care Articles for Children Under 3 and Soft Plastic Toys for all Children

Beginning in 2009, certain phthalates were banned in the US for use in child-care articles (e.g, pacifiers, teethers, etc.) and toys because of health risks to children. It is illegal to sell products that contain these phthalates, even if they were manufactured before 2009. Although manufacturers and importers have been required to obey the new laws since 2009, they were not required to do third-party testing for phthalates on many children’s products until 2012.

Like lead, it is almost impossible for a product-owner to tell whether or not an item contains phthalates. It is best to not sell any soft plastic items for infants and toddlers, or soft plastic toys for children of any age, unless you are sure it was manufactured after 2009, or you can identify a Certificate of Compliance on the manufacturer’s website that specifies your version of the product complies with safety standards.

What are phthalates? Phthalates are chemical plasticizers used in the production of plastics to make them soft and pliable. They can also be found in certain inks, and other products.

Want to Show Your Support?

Across the nation, Consignment Sale Event holders, Resale Store owners, and Parents who consign are taking the Safety Pledge! As a community, we are committed to checking products for past recalls, and registering them for future recall alerts. Our Children are Worth it!

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