A reissued recall on cribs that have been out of retail stores for eight years is a reminder that saving pennies in a tough economy might not pay.
The LaJobi Molly and Betsy cribs were yanked off the market in 2001 for a strangulation hazard, but eight years on parents trying to get by in a strapped economy are picking them up in secondhand stores.
Hence the recall all over again – and a good reminder that sometimes things land in a secondhand store because one family didn’t want them.
I shop in secondhand stores too. Even before the economy went sour, the sheer cost of raising a child in America and my own thrifty ways sent me there for toddler clothes and more. The bargains help me feed my family, plain and simple. But secondhand shopping is way up according to statistics from non-profits around the country.
And with that comes a little more risk. When Target sells toys with too much lead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission comes marching in with a fine. When the little old ladies selling trinkets to help the church do it, not so much.
LaJobi has taken the initiative to warn consumers who may still have the cribs, and thrift stores and secondhand stores that their cribs should not be given away, sold or used. It’s worth the warning – eight years on, who actually remembers that it was recalled?
While we all remember things like spinach or peanut butter, the children’s products only stand out if you are a parent at the time of the recall. And if you’re a parent whose child is at that particular stage. I’m well aware of the sorts of things yanked off shelves in the last four years, but the years before that are a blur.
And not to be a total Debbie downer on thrift stores (remember, I shop there too), but it isn’t just the recalled stuff you have to look out for. Most reputable shops only accept items in good condition, but good condition does not always mean in safe condition. Take the toy with a battery compartment cover that falls off at random – leaving a teeny, tiny screw for your tot to swallow.
There are plenty of problems in the regular retail stores – it may well be six of one/half dozen of the other when it comes to choosing where to shop in that regard. But if you’re just looking to save some money without bothering to put in a little research time on old recalls, you could be spending a lot more in the long run.
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