CPSIA Blog Day #2: Etsy’s Gallery of Unaffordability

We posted a week and a half ago about the cute baby quilt priced at $3,530 — formerly $58, but with a new higher price to cover the required testing under CPSIA. (In general, items with many colors and components are hardest hit by the law’s onerous testing requirements.) At Etsy, the online crafts market, you can check out a whole gallery with dozens of “CPSIA specials” reflecting the new cost structure that Reps. Henry Waxman, Bobby Rush and their colleagues have succeeded in inflicting on the handcrafted market as of Feb. 10. (If the link doesn’t work, search “CPSIA” and sort by highest-price-first).

The $17,240 travel toy shown above, which has more than 40 different components, is at present among the most costly. (Its pre-CPSIA price: $20). Here is a $3,940 pair of toddler socks:

And if you’re on a limited budget, here’s a $900 “Elsa the Elephant” stuffed toy:

(Note to any consumer-advocacy lawyers in the readership whose first impulse is to cross-examine the crafters who posted these items: yes, it’s true, the cost of the testing can be spread over the entire lot of goods produced in the particular style and size. So the mom who makes the polka-dot socks at her kitchen table and sells them on Etsy doesn’t really have to recoup her $3,940 expected testing bill by selling one $3,940 pair of socks. She could instead break even by selling 10 pairs at $394 each, or even 197 pairs at $20 each. You sure tripped her up on that!)


  • Has anyone brought the unintended side effects to snopes (http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/pending/cpsia.asp) attention? I’m sure a lot of the people that are most hurt by the regulations are likely to go there to see if there’s something to worry about, and take them at their word that there isn’t.

  • I gather from online sources that a number of people have written Snopes to protest, with no success whatsoever.

  • […] CPSIA Blog Day #2:  Ety’s Gallery of Unaffordability […]

  • Good luck with that. I tried to get snopes to verify something and got back a very snotty letter, is all.