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Resale and Thrift Store Frequently Asked Questions

These questions and answers discuss how CPSC regulations apply to thrift stores, consignment stores, flea markets and people holding yard sales and giving away products

What should Resellers do to be in compliance with CPSIA and other CPSC regulations?

Resellers should closely examine their products in inventory prior to resale to make sure that their products are safe and compliant with federal laws. You can also use the Resellers Guide to help you make sound business decisions to protect yourself and your customers. Consumers may use the Resellers Guide when buying used products to identify hazardous products and check for recalls

  • Search Recalls: has a listing of CPSC recalls and consumer reports of harm related to consumer products.  Review the list of recalled products before taking a product into inventory or selling it.  You can also receive information about CPSC recalls by subscribing to the CPSC’s recall e-mail list. and downloading CPSC’s free android application at

  • When in doubt, throw it out!  Products used in the nursery, especially cribs and bassinets, have caused deaths and have been the subject of numerous recalls of millions of units. Do not sell any broken or wobbly nursery furniture or durable infant product that is missing parts, even if it has not been recalled.  A baby’s life could depend on it.  The risk is too high.

Visit the Resale Safety Information Center for updates on this information and to sign up for the e-mail list we created specifically for resale stores and product safety. 

Under CPSIA, many products have required testing procedures to ensure they are safe before they can be sold. Does CPSC require resellers and others to test products for safety?

No -- resellers are not required to test used products for safety.  However, resale stores, resellers  (including those who sell on auction websites), and persons who give away used products for free cannot knowingly sell or give away products that do not meet the requirements of the law.  If a product is hazardous or does not comply with standards, the product should be destroyed, and not be sold or given away to others.

What happens if a reseller sells or offers for sale a product in violation of the CPSIA or another law?  

If you learn that one of the products you sell violates the law, or presents a hazard, immediately inform the Commission. The CPSC’s goal is to help you avoid future violations and protect your customers—not to put you out of business. You can report a potentially defective or hazardous product at or by phone at (800) 638-2772.

Under the law, it is illegal for retailers to sell or offer for sale a product in violation of the

CPSIA or other CPSC laws. Our purpose is to ensure these products aren’t being sold, so we still need to hear from you if you discover you may have sold one of these products in the past. The information you provide us will assist us in developing future outreach programs targeting resellers so these hazardous products won’t be sold. When informed of the sale of such products, we will work with you to ensure the agency’s response is appropriate under the circumstances.

How can CPSC help?

If you are in the business of reselling products, you are expected to know the laws, rules, and regulations that apply to your business, including whether a product you are selling has been recalled for a safety issue.  CPSC has many resources you can use to stay informed, including

  • Keep Current: Subscribe to the CPSC’s e-mail list for resale stores and product resellers, and keep current on information developed specifically for resale stores at
  • Contacts:  

For questions about regulatory requirements, contact CPSC’s Office of Education, Global Outreach, and Small Business Ombudsman:  E-mail:; telephone (301) 504-7999; or contact the CPSC’s Small Business Ombudsman at: for additional information and guidance for small businesses.

For questions about enforcement, contact CPSC’s Office of Compliance for inquiries regarding enforcement:  E-mail:; telephone:  (301) 504-7520.

Report an unsafe product