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New law for Thrift stores

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Red 1221
Happy Camper

Age : Join date : 2008-12-11 Posts : 57 Location :

PostSubject: New law for Thrift stores   Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:41 pm

I would think that they do more good then bad.
But nope they want a new law to shut them down. confused

From the Salvation Army to Goodwill, a new law that goes into effect on Feb 10 is causing waves of panic among thrift store operators, children’s clothing merchants and shoppers who worry that their options for affordable kids wear my shrivel.

The law, under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, was quietly approved by Congress last year, and calls for all merchandise, including clothing and toys, intended for children under 12 be tested for lead and other potentially dangerous chemicals used in plastic products.

Donated items often do not contain original labels and therefore it is nearly impossible to prove that that they are lead free without testing.

The tighter regulations come on the heels of severe scares throughout the globe over tainted products.

From lead-tainted paint in toys and poisonous melamine in baby formula, to lead-laced children’s jewelry and toxic candies from Mexico, consumers and government officials have been on edge over the possibility of deadly products infiltrating people’s homes.

In the wake of the global scares over lead-tainted products imported from China, the law was intended to make products safer for children. But as the date for implementation moves closer, business owners are feeling sick over the proposal.

The clothing would simply be too expensive to test, leaving them no other option but to toss it into the garbage can.

“This is crazy,” said Karen Weber, owner of Polar Bear, a popular Santa Barbara store that sells used children’s clothing. “I don’t want to close my doors. My heart and soul is in this place. It’s really sad.”

The retail industry across the South Coast and beyond is scrambling to figure out a way to combat the law. Some are seeking a phased-in approach, contacting lawmakers, or looking for possible exemptions. Questions are swirling over the change and operators have been busy trying to get a handle on their options.

For much of those affected, news of the law has come as a major surprise.

Kristen Amyx, president and CEO of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, said that some retailers were surprised by the new law.

“This is exactly the type of regulation that we oppose,” Amyx said. “While well-intentioned, it affects businesses that cannot comply.”

Weber started her boutique store 27 years ago. It’s a popular place for people to trade, donate or buy clothes for children. In pricey Santa Barbara, where big box retail stores are persona non grata, Weber has carved out a niche as an affordable place to buy quality children’s clothes.

“We don’t even have a JC Penny’s,” she said. “Santa Barbara is really limited. Everybody is trying to be high-end.”

On Tuesday she had contacted Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, but had not gotten a response. Like many others, she is hoping for a reprieve.

The intention of this law is good,” she acknowledged. “But I am hoping they will amend it somehow.”

At the Alpha Thrift Store, which has two locations in Old Town Goleta, managers are puzzled over the proposal.

“We’re trying to see how things are going to unfold,” said Wayne Kjar, manager of one of the stores. “If it came down to it, we would probably just end up not selling children’s clothes,” he said. “That’s what it looks like.”

He called the new law a good idea with many potential unintended consequences. He planned to talk about options with his board of directors and others this week, but the options looked somewhat bleak.

“There are a lot of people that would end up not being able to buy clothes for kids,” he said, in a disappointed tone. “It would do more harm than good, quite frankly.”

Thrift store shoppers were frustrated over the law and outraged that so many products these days are no longer safe and reliable.

“We’re remiss in importing Chinese goods that haven’t been tested,” said Linda Love, a Santa Barbara resident and ex-teacher. Wearing a Barack Obama baseball cap, Love scanned an outdoor rack of clothing at the Alpha Thrift store looking for a bargain.

“(The Chinese) poison their own children,” she said. “They don’t have any qualms.”

Regarding the law itself she said she is conflicted. She knows that it is important to make all products safer for children, but wondered whether it would hurt low-income families more in the end.

“It will impact poor people,” she said. “I know that people in this economy need to buy used clothing for their kids.”

The state of the economy has worsened matters. Thrift stores and boutique clothing shops have seen a boost in interest as shoppers have looked to cut costs and turned to discount and thrift stores where they can get more for their money.

The independent federal Consumer Product Safety Commission this week was considering exemptions that would soften rules. But the law stands for now.

Sarah Schmidhauser slammed the law while shopping at the Alpha Thrift Store.

“It’s well-intentioned, but poorly written,” she said.

She raised concerns over the environmental impact of the law. Sacrificing the Earth because of health concerns is a dangerous choice, she concluded.

“Throwing everything out is counter-productive,” she said. “That just means it is all going to the landfill.”
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Age : 59 Join date : 2009-01-09 Posts : 12 Location : Rockford, IL Midtown

PostSubject: Re: New law for Thrift stores   Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:18 am

Tell me again.....why is it that I need this F'd up government?
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Eddie Haskell

Age : Join date : 2008-12-01 Posts : 128 Location : AZ

PostSubject: Re: New law for Thrift stores   Sat Feb 14, 2009 9:15 pm

coffeeseven wrote:
Tell me again.....why is it that I need this F'd up government?
You need this great Government to bail out everybody so we can be a socialist country.
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