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How Are We the Bad Guys?

by Ian on January 23, 2009

Several of our vendors didn't really appreciate being informed of the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. They accused us of being alarmist, fear mongering and wrong.

After talking to some other Catholic stores it appears that these vendors are telling other Catholic stores that we are a bunch of trouble makers that are making their companies have to work harder now that they are being flooded with calls from stores wondering about compliance.

Let me get this straight:

  • We find out about a draconian new law that could put a bunch of honest people out of business.
  • We research the law and find out that it is as bad as people are saying.
  • In the interest of supporting our industry we take days out of our regular business to inform our vendors and competing Catholic stores about the problem so that they aren't caught unawares on February 10th.
  • We deal with followup calls from stores wanting more details.
  • We post a special section on our website to track compliance to SAVE OUR VENDORS FROM HAVING TO FIELD HUNDREDS OF CALLS.
  • We are now the bad guys for not ignoring the law and letting others in our industry be put out of business by the horrible fines that the law mandates.

I don't get it.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Deacon Patrick January 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Sure you get it, Ian. Following Christ means being countercultural. As a general rule, when people on both sides of the spectrum are mad at you you’re doing something right! Sardonic grin.

Reply

Rachel January 23, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Hello Ian,

I just want to stand behind you and let you know that you did the right thing in contacting stores, and I wish more of the Christian community would do the same. I have searched on so many Christian websites, and yours is the only one I have found that is trying to actively alert Christian companies. I am truly shocked about that. I applaud you on your efforts.

To further the point about resellers and retail stores, even though you do not have to test, you have to know by means of certification from whoever manufactured the products you are selling, that your products have been tested and pass the CPSIA laws. So, if people want to play Russian roulette with the law and just use their better judgement to guess about whether their products are ok or not, then they will be subject to the consequences. If you read the CPSC clarification more closely, note that you will still be liable if you sell something that has too much lead in it under the new CPSIA laws, up to $100,000 per infringement and up to 5 years in jail.

There is so much information out there on official sites now regarding just how far reaching these laws are, that those of you who are in doubt really need to wake up. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, American Library Association, National Association of Manufacturers, to name some, are certainly troubled. In fact, even those who pushed this law through in the Department of Energy and Commerce, are alarmed about the real confusion that this has caused, and the CPSC is at a loss as to how to deal with the real repercussions that they did not intend for small to medium businesses, including hand-crafters.

This is not a time to be pointing fingers at this website, which is bravely making what is actually true known to you.

Members of the Department of Energy and Commerce, Ranking Member Joe Barton and Member George Radanovich, have even contacted the Chairman Henry Waxman and Member Bobby Rush, the two who pushed this bill through, to call for an urgent hearing to bring clarity and to hopefully postpone the enforcement of this legislation. These are all searchable documents and facts on the internet.

Keep up the good work!

Reply

Shirley January 24, 2009 at 8:34 am

Hi Ian,
After seeing it here for a couple of weeks now, I FINALLY have seen an article on one of the regular business sites I read:

http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jan2009/sb20090121_173927.htm?campaign_id=rss_smlbz

Hang in there, we love to purchase stuff from you guys! Who you gonna trust?!

Shirley

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