ConsumerWatch: Consignment Buying Comes With Risks

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(CBS)

(CBS)

SANTA ROSA (CBS 5) – As the economy continues to struggle, more families are turning to consignment sales for back to school shopping and baby necessities.

But as September is Baby Safety Month, experts warn there may be hidden dangers lurking at second-hand sales.

For first time parents Anita and Jeremy Vennell, shopping for their 10-month old baby, Charlotte, can be a bit overwhelming. Consignment sales like this weekend’s Just Between Friends event allow them to save money, but second hand shopping can also come with added risk.

With over 6-million baby products recalled last month alone, parents may worry they are buying products that have been recalled or that aren’t safe anymore. Jennifer Hudley, with Just Between Friends, explained that their events weed out recalled items before they hit the floor.

“We have a pretty rigorous inspection process,” said Hudley. The event has its own recall specialist who tracks all recalls and educates consignors and shoppers.

Not all second-hand sales do the research for you, so it’s important to come prepared and research recent recalls. Recently 4-million Bumbo Baby Seats were recalled. Recalls like this are easy to find online. Also, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has its own app, but just because an item isn’t recalled doesn’t mean it’s safe.

In-demand items like cribs are no where to be found. According to Hudley, many cribs over two years old are drop-side and they’ve all been recalled. Overall, with the right information, second hand shopping can be safe for families and their savings.

The Santa Rosa Just Between Friends event runs from September 6th to 9th at the Sonoma County fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. There is a $2 entrance fee and hours vary by day. For more information, check out jbfsale.com.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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