EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1522 - April 23, 2007     2 of 5

Pennsylvania Latest Battleground in eBay Consignment-Sales Regulation

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Barry Fallon, who operates an iSold It store in Pennsylvania, says regulators in his state are forcing him to get an auctioneer's license to operate his eBay drop-off store. "To get a license in PA requires training and a one year apprenticeship before we can open a store," Fallon said. "So if they succeed, we will all have to close our doors for a year or pay someone with a license to oversee the operation."

When asked about Pennylvania's apparent attempts to require eBay drop-off stores to have an auctioneer's license, eBay spokesperson Catherine England said in an email:

eBay believes that Pennsylvania law is pretty clear and that trading assistants are generally not subject to the state's auctioneering regulations. We have been in contact with state regulators but they continue their enforcement actions against some sellers. eBay is actively reaching out to key officials to address this issue through legislative channels.

On eBay's website, the company states its position on auction regulation, stating it "opposes attempts to extend state auction licensing requirements to either eBay sellers or eBay itself" (

Fallon said he is encouraging all eBay consignment sellers to attend an "eBay Main Street Meeting" in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on April 25 ( eBay's England said Main Street meetings are invitation-only events "used to inform our community members about regulation that may impact their businesses and to get feedback on the issues that our community members are most concerned about."

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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