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Is It Legal To Sell A Used Crib?

The perception that it’s illegal to sell a used crib comes from 2011’s Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations that prohibited the manufacture of drop-side cribs and implemented additional safety features, such as the permissible width between crib slats. 

The fact that properly assembled and maintained drop-side cribs aren’t particularly dangerous seemed to escape the CPSC’s attention. Still, we’ll leave unnecessary panic about unlikely harms and focus instead on unnecessary panic about unlikely arrests.

For crib manufacturers and retailers, the rules were clear: all cribs sold after June 28, 2011, had to meet the new CPSC standards. Manufacturers, retailers, and individuals in possession of pre-standard cribs were advised to “discard” those cribs, which at least occasionally meant “export them to another country,” because crib manufacturers were permitted to offload cribs that didn’t meet the CPSC standards on other countries.

All of the above assertions about used cribs were true when published in 2011. A used crib could not be sold on June 29, 2011, and most likely not in July or August or September of that year, because it was presumably constructed before June 28, 2011, and therefore did not meet all of the CPSC’s new requirements. 

But those assertions were becoming less true once 2011’s infants started graduating into big kid beds and are most likely untrue now because many of today’s used cribs were produced after the CPSC guidelines went into place.

Faqs About Baby Crib

It is now illegal to sell or even donate a crib that fails to meet the toughest crib safety rules in the world. Newly required safety tests are so stringent that few cribs in American homes - even those that have escaped recall after recall - are sturdy enough to pass them.

If possible, avoid buying or accepting a used second-hand crib. While someone offering you a crib is generous and well-meaning, it may not be the best option for the safety of your child. The simple truth is that a used crib can be hazardous. Older cribs might not comply with current safety regulations.

Do not use cribs older than ten years or broken or modified cribs. Infants can strangle to death if their bodies pass through gaps between loose components or broken slats while their heads remain entrapped. Set up play yards properly according to manufacturers' directions.

The CPSC's board voted unanimously to ban the drop-side cribs, which have been under scrutiny for many years. They have always been popular because the drop-side moves up and down and allows parents to lift infants from the cribs easily. Drop-side cribs have been recalled by the millions.

There can also be loads of sentimental appeal to using a crib that's been passed down through your family. But hand-me-downs may not be safe, especially if they're more than ten years old.

It’s Illegal To Sell Some Used Cribs In Some Places.

Terms like “infant”, “death”, and “crib” made the CPSC standards big news, and many papers reported the impact of the CPSC standards on manufacturers or retailers. The lead for the Chicago Tribune’s June 28, 2011 story, for example, indicated that on the next day, “it will be illegal to sell or even donate a crib that fails to meet the toughest crib safety rules in the world.”

As the story moved across the country, the story became a game of telephone. The CPSC’s recommendation to “dispose of” or “discard” a crib, in the Tribune’s reporting, became destroyed. What was true for manufacturers and retailers became true for individuals. 

Muskegon Chronicle ran its story with the headline “Reselling, donating old cribs now illegal under new federal consumer protection rules.” The piece warned readers: “If you're wondering what to do with that crib after your little one moves to a ‘big boy bed,’ you probably have only one option: disposing of it.”

Individual owners were not part of the CPSC regulations. Still, the CPSC did strongly suggest that parents not resell or donate cribs manufactured before 2011: “A consumer should not resell, donate or give away a crib that does not meet the new crib standards, such as trying to resell the product through an online auction site or donating to a local thrift store.”

“Should not” is not the same as “can be prosecuted for,” and certainly not “will be prosecuted for.” The CPSC was not out to arrest parents for selling or sharing cribs; its mission was to make babies safer by regulating crib manufacture and retail. 

One small group of parents—people reselling their cribs on craigslist—fell in a legal grey area between the retailers and individuals. The CPSC considers craigslist listing to be a form of online retailing, which led them to send notices like this one to individuals who attempted to resell their pre-standard cribs online.

Crib resales that took place right around this time led to panic, with purchasers demanding refunds from craigslist sellers whose cribs transformed overnight from beautiful deals to death traps.

Over the years, the game of telephone started by the CPSC crib regulations has generated two truths: 1) used cribs are dangerous, and 2) no one may resell a used crib. Neither truth is true. 

Once 2011’s infants outgrow their CPSC-approved cribs, those cribs could be resold, whether the reseller was a secondhand shop or neighbour. It has never been illegal for an individual to donate a crib, nor has any individual ever been legally required to dismantle or incinerate a crib before disposal.

Armed with this information, you might feel compelled to buy a used crib on craigslist. But you can’t buy mine; I sold it to an attorney who thought it hilarious that so many people think selling second-hand baby gear is illegal.

The Crib Standards Have Unintended Consequences.

is it legal to sell a used crib

One consequence of the post-2011 crib destruction is less crib donation. The CPSC regulations have created problems for parents to resell or donate their cribs. Some organisations, not wanting to deal with the difficulty of determining when a crib was manufactured and the possible liability of selling a pre-standard crib, do not accept donations. 

Individual buyers, charity organisations, and even state governments who accept used cribs now often require a manufacture date. Ohio’s foster care system, for example, requires that any secondhand crib include the date of manufacture included on the crib, a fact I learned when trying to sell a crib online in the state.

Even if your child was born well after 2011, even if you can point to the sales receipt from when you bought the crib and at the crib’s former occupant who is still in toddler-size clothing, you may not be able to convince a person to take your perfectly-legal-to-sell-or-donate crib. 

Because so many individuals and organisations now require proof of the manufacture date, you’ll need to leave every sticker on your crib. If you take those stickers off because they were poorly applied or incompatible with your nursery decor, you’re consigning that crib to a special trash pickup a few years from now. 

That’s, of course, assuming that you bought the crib yourself. If you received it from a friend or family member who assembled it for you, chances are those stickers—and thus your chances of giving the crib a second home—were Goo Gone before you even saw it.

But the inconvenience and waste of so many now unusable used cribs pale in comparison to a bigger problem: the crib standards have made parenting more expensive but not necessarily safer.

The CPSC seems to acknowledge that the crib standards are bad news for parents who cannot afford a new crib. Within a question-and-answer page about the crib standards, the CPSC offers suggestions for cash-strapped parents who have to make do with an old crib, like checking to make sure a crib has not been recalled, regularly checking the crib hardware to make sure it is tight and unbroken, disabling any drop-rails, and even using a new play yard instead of a crib. Even though it’s clear that parents who use old cribs aren’t acting illegally, the way we’ve been talking about cribs since 2011 sure makes it sound that way.

Reselling Donating Old Cribs Are Now Illegal Under New Federal Consumer Protection Rules.

If you're wondering what to do with that crib after your little one moves to a “big boy bed,” you probably have only one option: disposing of it.

Cribs manufactured before July 23, 2010, don't meet new standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and are illegal to resell or donate. Parents who want to get rid of their old cribs should disassemble them before disposing of them, the CPSC said.

The new rules prohibit drop-side cribs, which have been linked to several deaths when infants got stuck. Crib slats also will have to be stronger, and crib hardware and mattress supports will have to be more durable.

All cribs manufactured after June 28 will comply with the new rules. Cribs manufactured between July 23, 2010, and June 28 this year will need a certificate of compliance to be considered safe and be eligible for resale or donation.

Parents who have old cribs aren't required to replace them but are encouraged to check them frequently to make sure no parts have broken or come loose, the CPSC said.

Keir Paschal, a team leader at Goodwill Industries' East Sherman retail store, said most thrift stores didn't accept cribs or car seats as donations anyway because of frequent recalls for safety problems, so the changes don't affect them.

Daycare providers have until Dec. 28, 2012, to bring all their cribs into compliance, though people who watch only children related to them are not required to comply. A few providers, however, will get the chance to replace theirs at no cost this Saturday.

New cribs can cost $300, and most day-care providers don't have large profits, Bos said.

“It's one more strain on our child-care providers,” she said.

The new cribs were purchased with federal stimulus money designated for reducing inequality in early childhood care.

The exchange will give more than 300 cribs to day-care providers working with infants receiving DHS subsidies in Muskegon, Ottawa, Newaygo, Oceana, Mason, Lake, Kent, Mecosta, Osceola and Montcalm counties.

Where Can I Sell My Baby Crib?

All parents experience the bittersweet moment when they realise the crib you purchased is no longer needed. On the one hand, there’s a sense of victory that you’ve survived bringing a baby, or multiple babies, into the world. On the other hand, there’s some sense of sadness because you won't re-experience all the joys that come with bringing a new life into the world. 

Regardless of your emotions, time moves forward, and new adventures in child-rearing will present themselves. In any event, that still leaves you with an unused crib sitting in your house collecting dust and taking up space. What’s a parent to do?

Let’s look at some of the options you have for parting with your crib. Some of the options are less obvious than others. What’s best for you will entirely depend on your situation. 

Just make sure that you read our post regarding selling cribs which will help you determine your crib is still considered safe. The last thing you want to do is give or sell someone a dangerous crib.

Talk To Your Family And Friends.

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Possibly the quickest and easiest option you have is to ask your family and friends that are expecting their first baby or gearing up to start a family. The benefit to going this route is that you already have a trusted relationship with the persons that would be getting your crib. 

That removes some of the uncertainty and hassle that can sometimes come with selling your crib to a stranger. Whether you gift the crib, trade for it or sell it for some cash, it’s entirely up to you and the persons you’re dealing with. 

One benefit to gifting is you can usually get the other party to come to pick it up. That eliminates the trouble of having to load it into a vehicle and deliver it yourself. Family and friends are also more inclined to reuse the mattress, which means one less thing for you to deal with. 

If you’re selling your crib to a stranger, they might be somewhat less inclined to want your mattress, which means you’ll have to discard it on your own.

Sell Your Crib In A Yard/Garage Sale.

You’re either the yard sale type of person, or you're not. We get that because we generally aren’t the type that would run a yard/garage sale. For one, it can be somewhat of a hassle to set up everything outside, only to move most of it back inside at the end of the day. 

On top of that, you have to deal with many people offering you pennies on the dollar for what you’re asking. Everyone is looking for a bargain.

You might have another option for selling stuff in your yard. Some towns have community-wide garage sale days. In some cases, there’s a public venue (i.e. library/high school) where they take place, which generally will attract a much larger crowd, which means concentrated buyers. 

Trying to unload a couple of items, like a crib, at an event like this might be a better option if you’re not into running your sale. Our experience is that most of the stuff being sold at these events is clothes and small toys. If you show up with a crib, there probably won't be a whole lot of competition for that kind of item.

Sell Your Crib Online.

Another option you have is to sell your crib online. There are a couple of downsides to this, but we think the positives far outweigh the negatives. For one, you can reach a much larger audience. On top of that, the audience is composed of people actively seeking out what you have. 

Another nice thing about selling online is you don’t have the hassle of moving the crib around until it’s sold. The only things you have to provide prospective buyers are pictures and the crib details (i.e. make, model, condition etc.).

The first step to selling online is deciding what marketplace you’ll list on. You have some options and varying costs to consider. How much you can get for your crib will probably factor into what online marketplace you use too. 

Some sites charge both listing fees and commissions. In some cases, those commissions can get hefty (e.g. 20%) so make sure you understand the total cost upfront. If you’re selling an expensive crib, large commission fees are going to seem pretty pricey. 

While some free options, they generally don’t focus on a niche like baby items. They’re generally all-inclusive, from tennis rackets to tablets. The Bebe Beehive marketplace stands out from the larger and more corporate marketplaces. We offer commission FREE and listing FREE options. 

That’s right, you can keep 100% of the sale of your crib, and there’s no upfront cost to list an item. We do have some premium listing offerings, but those are entirely optional. If that sounds appealing, then signup for a FREE account and list that crib or any other baby toddler item you no longer need.

Once you’ve decided on what marketplace fits your needs, you should search it to see if anyone else is selling the same crib or one that’s very close to it. Ultimately the marketplace will find a balance between supply and demand, and that will dictate the resale value of an item. 

If you can’t find your crib on the marketplace, your listing looks at a couple of other marketplaces to see if you can find your crib there. If you’re still unable to find it anywhere, list the crib for what you think is a fair used crib price. If after three weeks you don’t get any interest, that could be a sign that your asking price is a little high.

When it comes time to list your item, make sure the information you provide about your crib, including its condition, is as accurate and complete as possible. We also have several other seller tips that you should check out to help you make your sale as quickly as possible. 

You may find yourself selling other baby and toddler items down the road (strollers, walkers, bouncers, swings, rockers, etc.) so work on making your seller profile reputable. That will make selling other items a whole lot easier. If you provide incomplete or inaccurate information about your crib, this will hurt your profile’s reputation.

Sell Your Crib To A Local Reseller.

Some brick and mortar locations deal with buying and selling used items. If you check around in your area, there may even be a location in a neighbouring town that’s willing to purchase your crib. 

Keep in mind that stores have a lot of overhead costs (employees, rent, utilities, etc.) to account for, and their customers are looking for really great deals. That generally means you will get a low dollar amount for your item. If the store is small, they might not even want your crib simply because of the amount of floor space it would occupy. 

We have some experience selling small toys and clothes at local stores like this, and what you end up with doesn’t amount to much, but it’s certainly better than getting nothing. The condition of the items you bring is probably the most important criterion. Any obvious damage or distress to the crib, and they’ll probably turn you away.


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