New Jersey courts are wont to wax liberal in applying the state’s Consumer Fraud Act — one of the nation’s toughest laws against disreputable sale practices. Any sale of consumer goods usually qualifies for the Act’s protection and may trigger its weighty treble-damages penalty.

But one appeals panel has rethought that propensity for broad interpretation, ruling that consumer goods purchased with the intention of resale do not fall within the law’s aegis.