The Blog for GW Pens

A peek at what we make

CPSIA – Tracking Labels

EndangeredWith the August 14th date for tracking labels being required rapidly approaching, manufacturers, crafters and artists have been waiting anxiously for guidance from the CPSC to find out exactly what they need to do in order to be compliant. Small manufacturers and crafters will not need to create and track lot or batch numbers as long as they can keep adequate records of materials used.

Yay! Right?

Hold on. Although that bit is good news, there’s some info that IS required. Specifically, Company name, location of manufacture which is to include Country, State & City, as well as the date of manufacture. And how do you know if you fall under the “small manufacturer” category? Your guess is as good as mine- I haven’t seen anything defining it by sales or units produced.

Now, I brand all of the toys I make with “Handcrafted by Greco Woodcrafting”. On some of my toys that just barely fits. Now it will have to read:

  • Greco Woodcrafting
  • Sewel, NJ USA
  • Month/Day (if made in one day)/Year

This means two things. First, the branding Iron I spent almost $150 on is now absolutely worthless. Second, it looks like my best bet for getting all of that info on there in a consistent, legible manner is to have it laser engraved. The problem with that is the cost- the best quote I’ve gotten in my area is as high as $5.00 Per Toy!

Unfortunately, that’s not a cost I can just absorb, so I’m faced with either increasing the price of my toys for the added fee, or to eliminate my less expensive toys. Of the 10 lines of unfinished toys I currently offer, I would need to eliminate at least 6, maybe 7 if I choose to keep the prices the same. Those lines account for approximately 80% of my sales.

I think my prices are fair. My customers get a toy that will be handed down from generation to generation at a price that is good for both of us. But it seems over the next couple of weeks I’m going to have to make a tough business decision, one way or another.

They say there’s always a bright side. Maybe I should be happy I don’t live in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. That might cost $20 to get engraved!

UPDATE: Arrangements have been made with a local laser engraver where I will be able to absorb some of the costs and only raise prices slightly. I think this is as close to a win-win as I will be able to get.


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This entry was posted on July 23, 2009 by and tagged , , .
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