eBay will disclose the name and physical address of sellers beginning in June, according to the hosts of the eBay for Business podcast. That's because of a new law that requires marketplaces to make such public disclosures, they said during a recent episode.
Brian Burke and Jim "Griff" Griffith said eBay needed to collect and verify some identification and contact information because of the INFORM Consumers Act that became law in December.
The sponsors of the bill, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), said the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers (INFORM Consumers) Act would combat the online sale of stolen, counterfeit, and dangerous consumer products by ensuring transparency of high-volume third-party sellers in online retail marketplaces.
"It would direct online retail marketplaces that include third-party sellers of consumer products to verify the identity of "high-volume third-party sellers," which will help deter the online sale of counterfeit goods by anonymous sellers and prevent organized retail crime rings from stealing items from stores to resell those items in bulk online," according to the Senators' December 20, 2022 press release
, which also included the following information:
"The INFORM Consumers Act directs online marketplaces to verify high-volume third-party sellers by authenticating the seller's government ID, tax ID, bank account information, and contact information. High-volume third-party sellers are defined as vendors who have made 200 or more discrete sales in a 12-month period amounting to $5,000 or more.
"The legislation instructs online marketplaces to ensure that their high-volume third-party sellers disclose to consumers basic identity and contact information.
"The online marketplace will also need to supply a hotline to allow customers to report to the marketplace suspicious marketplace activity such as the posting of suspected stolen, counterfeit, or dangerous products.
"The bill presents an exception for individual high-volume third-party sellers that permits them not to have their personal street address or personal phone number revealed to the public if they respond to consumers' questions over email within a reasonable timeframe.
"The bill's requirements would be implemented by the FTC and violations would be subject to civil penalties."
eBay's Burke said the new law stipulates that, "for any seller who reaches an annual total revenue of $20,000, eBay is required to include your name or company name and full physical address in purchase confirmation emails and order details."
Griffith said many sellers sell from home, including himself, and would not want such information made public.
Burke said sellers could request an exception prior to the INFORM Consumers Act taking effect on June 27, 2023, in which case eBay would share only a partial address with buyers if the sellers met certain criteria.
However, it appears eBay doesn't have a process in place yet for sellers to certify they are eligible for an exception. eBay states on a help page on its website devoted to the topic of the INFORM Consumers Act, "We're building an exception process for you to certify that you're eligible for an exception to sharing your full physical address under the law. This process will be available prior to the INFORM Consumers Act going into effect."
Who does this impact?
The INFORM Consumers Act impacts high-volume sellers, who are defined as sellers who have sold 200 or more new items totaling more than $5,000 during a 12-consecutive-month period over the last 24 months on our US site.
What information are you asking for and where will my buyers see it?
If you've sold 200 or more new items totaling more than $5,000 in a 12-consecutive-month period over the last 24 months on our US site, we'll need to collect and verify your:
Bank account number
Tax identification number
If you're a business seller, we'll also need to collect and verify a copy of your government-issued ID.
And once you reach $20,000 in annual eBay revenue, we're required to include your name (or company name) and full physical address in purchase confirmation emails and order details, but there are some exceptions.
Are there exceptions to sharing my information?
There are two exceptions to sharing your full physical address for the INFORM Consumers Act:
1) If your address is your residential address, only your state and country will be shown.
2) If you use a different address for product returns, then that return address will be displayed.
Prior to the INFORM Consumers Act becoming effective, you'll be able to certify whether you're eligible for an exception. If we determine you don't qualify for one of these exceptions or if you're not responding to buyers within a reasonable amount of time, we may need to include your full physical address in purchase order confirmation emails and order details.
The collection, processing, and sharing of your personal information will continue to be governed by our User Privacy Notice, including as required by other laws and regulations.