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Crafts are products, and you could be liable when selling them

The rise of online sales has opened the door up for the craft market. While craft shows do still exist, many people have turned to online sellers where they can list products, find customers all over the country -- or all over the world -- and then ship them out. This makes it easier to sell some niche products because the potential customer base is so much larger.

Those who sell crafts, though, have to remember that these are still consumer products, even if they're made at home and don't have all of the branding and identifying marks that major products have. As such, if someone is hurt by a craft item, the person who made it could be liable if it was made in an unsafe manner.

For example, some crafters like to make seat covers. You slide these on over the front seats of your car to give it some decoration and personality -- and to cover up the seats when they're getting old and beaten up. They can be made out of many different materials, from cloth to leather to beads.

When making these, crafters need to make sure that the fabrics they select are not flammable. They also need to make sure that open flames and/or heat won't cause them to produce noxious fumes. Generally speaking, the companies that manufacture the materials and fabrics should provide this information, but it's up to those making the seat covers to ensure that they're safe for use in a motor vehicle.

Have you been injured because of a craft item that you bought online, and do you think the injury was preventable if not for the crafter's negligence? If so, you may have the ability to seek financial compensation.

Source: The Artful Crafter, "Product Liability and Crafts," Eileen Bergen, accessed Oct. 28, 2016

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