Like what every lawyer would say: “You shouldn’t illegally cross the border just because many people have done it.” Political tensions aside, this also applies to trade laws set by the government to regulate all forms of items being shipped to consumers – even handmade.
Label laws are responsible for the sticker or badges we see on commercially-available handmade products. Regardless of the form, size and content, every handmade product locally and internationally distributed should have a badge, seal or a name tape that describes what the item is made of, even if it’s only embroidered tags , where it was made and what other pertinent details the buyer should know. Some people sell items without knowing this law, and most of them are engaged in small trade, like beaded accessories, etc. The government may let you through if you sell those items only in your area, but once you start selling them in trade fairs, bazaars, or shopping depots, you should include material details on the packaging.
Whether you customized a product, or made one yourself, you should still put the item details on the packaging or on the item itself (if it’s a t-shirt or any handmade clothing). Online store owners are also part of this law, meaning that the buyer can sue you if you don’t patch an item description or label on your item. But if you intend to only give the handmade product as a gift, you are saved from putting a label on it.
Pertinent details that we suggest (and as the law requires) be included in the name tape, sticker or badge are:
* Legal name of your business or your full name (if you don’t have a business permit yet)
* Address of manufacture (if locally sold) / Country of manufacture (if sold internationally)
* Contact number
* Email address
* Store website (don’t bother if you don’t have your own domain)
* Clothing care content labels (e.g., 100% cotton; 50% polyester/ 50% cotton, etc; hand wash; machine wash, etc.)
Selling Refurbished Goods
Customized handmade products are different from refurbished products, since the law expressly states that refurbished goods to be “repaired goods”, meaning you have to indicate what part of the product has undergone repair and any technical issues that still persist after the refurbishment.
Details should include:
The model of the refurbished product and the date of manufacture
Embedded parts/items/accessories that have been added to the product
Embedded parts/items/accessories that have been removed from the product
Optionally, you can also include where the item was bought and the trail of people who have owned it. For example, the first buyer was John Smith, and then passed on to John Smith, Jr., and finally handed over to John Smith III – the person who sold you the item. Get as much details on ownership as you possibly can to avoid legal conflicts if the buyer sues you for false advertising.
You can include these details on the item description or catalog where you’ve listed the item – both on hard print and digital print.
As always, please consult with an attorney before doing anything mentioned in this article.