So, today, instead of processing orders, instead of sewing the 4 dozen fitteds that are awaiting some attention, instead of playing with my kids… I’m doing math. Bad math.
Part of CPSIA includes a provision requiring product registration cards to be attached to each and every baby carrier that is sold, because they are now labeled “durable nursery products.” Baby carriers are the only fabric item to be labeled as such, and the sudden change in categorization of baby carriers was, in fact, the first sign the industry had that bad, bad things were coming.
So the product registration rules go into effect in December. I have to label each carrier with the model name and number (so, yes, each carrier will have a No Duh label on it, saying “Ring Sling” or “Wrap”). This brings the total number of labels on each carrier, required by law, to 4. Give it a few months and I’ll be up to 5. Soon, your carriers will be more label than carrier. You’ll look like an Indy driver, barely able to see the carrier under all the labels.
I also have to include Postage Paid registration cards. Did you know that I can pull up the names and contact information of everyone who’s bought a baby carrier from me since I opened? So the product registration cards seem like a waste of money and paper.
The math is figuring out exactly HOW much money. There’s the additional cost of the label. This label isn’t so bad, but the label that’s coming will be a doozy, requiring me to hire an artist and find someone to custom screenprint large labels with pictures, which is MUCH more expensive than the plain-Jane labels I currently use. (And why do I use such boring labels? It’s CHEAP! I don’t want to charge you more for your products just so I can have a pretty label. That’s ridiculous.)
And then there’s the cost of printing the tear-off postcards, and paying for the postage. The problem comes when I figure in that probably only a very few customers will bother to return them. A permit to send business reply mail is $185. Then there’s the postage for each card that comes in.
The bad math, and I hate to say this, but I don’t think I can absorb the cost of this regulation. I’ve already been absorbing higher materials costs as I have switched to suppliers who can guarantee compliance with the lead testing parts of CPSIA. I just don’t think I can absorb these. Bad, bad math.