Product Liability: A Real-Life Story from BuckyballsMay 4, 2014 in Blog, Buying Products, Chinese Importing
Inc. Magazine had a great story the other day about the founder of Buckyballs. Buckyballs were essentially like Lego except they are made from magnetic balls. In 2009, the founder, Craig Zucker, started by importing just $2000 worth of Buckyballs from China, eventually growing it into a $18-million-a-year business.
The problem was the magnetic balls could be deadly if swallowed, something children were prone to do. There were dozens of very serious injuries from kids digesting the balls. Even with the appropriate product labelling, the Consumer Product Safety Commission insisted Zucker stop selling the balls. Eventually, things got heated between the two parties resulting in Buckyballs’ closure and the Consumer Product Safety Commission suing Zucker for millions.
The takeaway from this all is, as I always stress to first-time importers, be very sensitive about whether the products you want to import could potentially cause serious injury.
Of course, a dish sponge could potentially cause injury, but some products are more susceptible than others. Two of the ones I often warn about is anything that plugs into an electrical socket or anything that is used or could be used by children.
If you are considering importing any such products, you must make sure to know your product inside out as well as any applicable laws potentially regulating your products.
Dave Bryant has been importing from China for over 10 years and has started numerous product brands. He sold his multi-million dollar ecommerce business in 2016 and create another 7-figure business within 18 months. He’s also a former Amazon warehouse employee of one week.