AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Wed Mar 31 2021 15:23:47

eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay, Etsy, Mercari, Poshmark, and OfferUp joined forces to fight what they see as dire threats to their base of small sellers. Noticeably absent from the clique: Amazon.

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone posted on LinkedIn today that the companies were "working together to put sellers first and make sellers' voices heard when lawmakers are creating policies that affect small businesses and entrepreneurs." 

The five online marketplaces formed the Coalition to Protect America's Small Sellers (PASS Coalition) to lobby lawmakers on regulations they believe will deter casual sellers and micro businesses from selling on their sites.

One issue the group will fight is the effort to pass Marketplace Verification Requirements that would require online marketplaces to vet and disclose the personal information of third-party sellers.

Poshmark's Amber McCasland said: "Requiring our sellers - many of whom are women casually selling items from their closets - to publicly disclose personally identifiable information is of great concern as doing so may compromise their privacy, security, and ability to thrive."

In addition, according to the PASS Coalition website, requiring sellers to provide "extensive information about themselves" would likely deter people from listing items for sale. "As a result, fewer goods - including those that are refurbished - would be made available to consumers."

A second issue the PASS Coalition is fighting is what it refers to as "Burdensome Collection Requirements" having to do with new requirements around 1099-Ks, which we wrote about on March 7th in,

The PASS Coalition said the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 would result in businesses having to collect social security numbers and addresses for the individuals who earn income through their platforms. 

That particular argument is perplexing, since eBay and Etsy already collect that information from sellers since they took on the task of payment processing on their respective marketplaces.

The PASS Coalition said it was actively working to educate members of Congress about the impact the change in law would have on casual sellers. "As part of that process the Coalition considering a number of potential fixes and are hopeful that a solution can be obtained before the end of the calendar year."

OfferUp's General Counsel Nathan Garnett said the individuals and small businesses that buy and sell local items on its platform lacked representation in state and federal capitols, "making them uniquely vulnerable to inadvertent harm from otherwise well-intentioned legislation."

And Mercari's Chief Compliance Officer Lisa Lechner said consumer-to-consumer marketplaces like Mercari were critical resources for Americans who needed to supplement their income, which she said had been especially true during the pandemic.

Note that the executive director of the new group, Chris Lamond, is founding partner of government relations firm Thorn Run Partners and a paid lobbyist for eBay, according to OpenSecrets.org.

The PASS Coalition doesn't mention Amazon - nor is there any mention of why it's not a member - but it does refer to "blended retail marketplaces," an apparent reference to the model Amazon employs: selling side-by-side with third-party sellers.

In the section of its website on marketplace verification requirements, the PASS Coalition states in part, "When shopping on our sites you know you are interacting with a third party seller with their information conspicuously available. It's not hidden a couple of clicks away like on larger blended retail marketplaces. A one size fits all disclosure requirement would result in millions of everyday Americans forced to share personally identifiable information on every product they list on a marketplace."

Update 3/31/2021: 
At the prompting of a reader in the comment below, here is some additional context. In the fall, an association of large retailers, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, launched the "Buy Safe America Coalition" in support of the INFORM Consumers Act. 

In this September 1, 2020 EcommerceBytes Blog post, "Do Online Sellers Have a Right to Privacy," we wrote about the issue from the perspective of small sellers.

Yesterday, the PASS Coalition said one of the first pieces of pending legislation it would confront was the INFORM Consumers Act.

The Buy Safe America Coalition immediately struck back with a press release questioning the veracity of some of the PASS Coalition's statements.

The battle is between traditional retailers and online marketplaces, with serious consequences for small sellers.



Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 31 18:36:02 2021

Ina, are there granular details on who is pushing this legislation?  I'm guessing that congressmen and congress women, especially in light of what happened on January 6th, don't want their personal details including addresses made public, so I am unclear as to why they would think that it is ok to make small sellers' personal details public.

But then again, ALWAYS follow the money.

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 31 19:35:41 2021

Too little, too late.

I have NO INTEREST in letting these bottom feeders represent us on THEIR behalf.

I would rather pay tax to an entity that actually is doing something about crumbling infrastructure other than the 'all talk, steal money' people that disable all possible means for business growth.

The BIG LIE here is they are saying that sellers are going to leave because of requirements from the government.
ebay and etsy have dug their own graves!


This coalition worries me now, as all of the venues will collaborate on some style of price fixing strategies to wrongfully charge more money.
They may talk shop during normal hours, but lunches, overnight meetings, etc. will result in more underhanded ideas in order to rob sellers of more money.

So suddenly, they are interested in OUR protections?
These snake oil salespeople are all the same, using the same methods and language as lawmakers in D.C.

There is nothing they will do to benefit anyone but themselves.
So when they 'gather sensitive information', will they NOT be allowed to sell it to other agencies under this new law as it is a requirement to issue tax documents?

Funny that AMZ is left out.
I don't hear much about sellers leaving in the masses that leave etsy and ebay.

This coalition really puts the ASS in PASS.

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 31 19:39:55 2021

And...

would this also mean that sellers would be allowed to place their 'business' emails on their listings?
Expand seller buyer communications on the venues?

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 31 20:03:35 2021

"eBay CEO Jamie Iannone posted on LinkedIn today that the companies were "working together to put sellers first and make sellers' voices heard when lawmakers are creating policies that affect small businesses and entrepreneurs."


except that eBay is the biggest threat to sellers .... so ...

Umm as a business with a resale # etc - all my info is already in government hands ...... as for buyers - its online in each platform ... what am I missing?

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 31 20:16:46 2021

Thanks Ina.

This new link helps inform us of the topic at hand.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings now after reading the link.
There are potentials for both sides of growth and hazards for sellers depending on every individuals means of selling.

Overall, it warns us of how carefully we should be in regards of continuing with our business direction.
---
From Buy Safe America .org

''In a recent article, several incorrect comments were made by a PASS Coalition member about the INFORM Consumers Act. The Coalition member suggested that the sale of used or reused items is impacted by this legislation, which is not the case. The legislation applies to sellers that have 200 or more discrete sales that equates to over $5,000 in a 12-month period of new or unused consumer products. Any person or business selling used clothing or furniture, for example, will not be affected by this legislation. In addition, no business operating out of their home would be required to provide their home address or phone number. The PASS Coalition’s attempt to suggest otherwise is a disserve to the businesses, consumers, and sellers who would directly benefit from legislation aimed at weeding out sellers of counterfeit and stolen goods.''

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 31 20:21:44 2021

In reference:

The above post refers to both links in the article update.
The first is for the Ecommercebytes, the second is just the quote from the other link.

Sorry for any confusion...

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Mar 31 21:25:49 2021

Ahhhh, traditional retailers stcking their noses where they don't belong (because they hate the competion).

Would love to see the list of retailers so that I could abstain from shopping with them.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 1 02:50:16 2021

They should lobby all the female senators and congresswomen, who I'm sure would back them about the privacy issue.  There are women who are single, elderly and live alone.  They would have to change their name from "Sally" to "Sam" if that privacy part is enacted.  Women, esp. those who are victims of domestic abuse and have moved away are especially vulnerable.  
I would suggest that everyone printout this article from Ecommerce and send it to your "female" senators.
Another thing -- a lot of Youtubers who do Ebay, POSH, etc. should be online talking about this.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: wrslss1222 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Apr 1 05:48:15 2021

I would like to see these companies get together to fight increases by the Post Office and to have the current Postmaster General replaced.

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: wrslss1222 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Apr 1 05:48:18 2021

I would like to see these companies get together to fight increases by the Post Office and to have the current Postmaster General replaced.

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: wrslss1222 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Apr 1 05:48:21 2021

I would like to see these companies get together to fight increases by the Post Office and to have the current Postmaster General replaced.

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 1 07:05:39 2021

@Rexford

Maybe these.
On the bottom of page.

https://www.buysafeamerica.org/about-coalition

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 1 07:13:02 2021

Other than Lowe's, I don't normally go to these places anymore.
A big portion of them have become more obsolete within the last ten years.

As for Lowe's, they recently have been a part of the price hiking that Home Depot is also known for.

Since the latest stimulus payments came out, prices more than doubled on select materials.  
This is what their PROTECTION gives them from those dirty 'counterfeiters'.
How dare they make FAKE TREES!

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: fusgeyer This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Apr 1 12:36:22 2021

Arkansas just passed SB 470. It is a horrible bill and one that not only invades privacy but really over reaches as to what businesses need to report. For example, the bill states that any entity selling online must disclose to each online venue, all the other online venues that they sell on. It is none of Ety's business if I sell on Poshmark, Google, or even Amazon and vice versa. The purpose of the bill is supposed to protect consumers and prevent organized crime from selling online. Really? Like no criminal ever has supplied fake information that could be verified. Can we talk shell companies, fake documents, etc. If it were that easy to deter organized crime, Identity theft and fake IDs would not be a thing.

The State of Arkansas is way ignorant of how online marketplaces work. This is actually a money grab for sales tax revenue and income tax dollars. It will not only deter the small seller from selling online and going back to all cash through Craig's list, but it will have a huge impact on Etsy, Poshmark, Mercari and other venues. Way to go Arkansas, can't wait to leave this state. But it will impact out of state businesses too, if they sell to Arkansas.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: Vox29 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Apr 1 13:49:49 2021

Aa far as I am concerned, it's nobody's business where I sell from or any other data which scammers can pick up and use for their nefarious activities with impunity. If the government further interferes with those marketplace platforms I will refrain from picking them up as secondary shops. I have my own site and I post only my city and state on my site. Any further requirements will make me angry, and you can be sure my congressman will be hearing from me soon.

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 1 13:54:22 2021

ebay is the biggest threat to sellers.

just another "hey wallstreet, look what we are doing" pr nonsense

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

by: grumpwell This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 2 07:40:21 2021

I suspect that eBay is less concerned about sellers' privacy and more concerned that publishing contact info will lead to more off site sales with no fees.  

Perminate Link for eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers   eBay and Etsy Join Rivals to Fight Threats to Small Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat Apr 3 14:05:37 2021

Bingo, @grumpwell.



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.