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Garage Sale Liability

Is it illegal to unknowingly sell a recalled product at a garage sale?

Yes. Selling products, even used ones, which have been recalled or banned is a violation of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Besides individuals holding garage or yard sales, this law applies to thrift or consignment stores, charities, flea markets, and to people to who sell on auction websites.

“Ignorance of the law is not an excuse,” warns a 27-page Consumer Product Safety Commission resellers’ handbook. This handbook is available at It summarizes the law for everyday people who sell used products.

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