eBay is asking sellers to help in its fight against a proposed law in Louisiana that would place new restrictions on online marketplaces like its own.
Senate Bill NO. 476
would require online marketplaces to verify the identity of each high-volume third-party seller. It defines such sellers as having entered into 200 or more transactions of new or used consumer products in any 12-month period during the previous 24 months, which result in an aggregate total of $5,000 or more in total gross revenue for the user.
It would also require marketplaces to indicate whether the high-volume third-party seller engages in the manufacturing, importing, retail, or reselling of consumer products.
eBay asked sellers
in Louisiana to write to their legislators asking them to oppose the bill, which it called burdensome, and provided the following template:
"As your constituent and a proud supporter of small online businesses, I urge you to oppose SB 476, unnecessarily burdensome and discriminatory legislation against Louisiana small businesses. While SB 476 has the well-intended goal of protecting consumers from illegal or counterfeit goods, the effects of the bill would add harmful red-tape and onerous requirements that do little to achieve that goal. Instead, the bill targets legitimate Louisiana businesses which sell their products on online marketplaces. As a result of the burdensome verification requirements, SB 476 favors large retailers who do not need an online marketplace to connect with their customers.
"The Internet has provided a tool to enable Louisianan small businesses to sell their products across the US and around the globe in ways that many never thought possible. Small online businesses are needed now more than ever to provide a lifeline to consumers at home. At a time when the economy is struggling amidst the pandemic, businesses have been able to find success reaching customers online, providing Louisianans access to needed goods while sheltering in place. Now is not the time to be placing harmful burdens on small businesses. Instead, the Legislature should focus on helping our economy recover.
"I respectfully urge you to reject SB 476 and support Louisianan small online businesses. Thank you for your consideration."
If passed, the law would take effect on August 1, 2020.
Do you agree individual states should be able to mandate selling policies of online marketplaces like eBay?