Big Retail Puts eBay and Amazon Sellers in Their Cross hairs

If you are a small seller on eBay or Amazon, you may not know it but Big Business is coming after YOU !!!

Earlier this week, two bills were introduced in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate that were written by lobbyists of the Big Retail Chains.  All three bills target small eBay, Amazon and Website sellers.  Supporters of the bills claim that shoplifters steal merchandise and then sell it on eBay and other venues. So the legislation would force eBay to force you to prove you purchased your merchandise legitimately.

Here is an example. Late last year Karen and I were at Costco and we saw Nautica track suits selling for $49. They still had the $119 original price tag on them.  So we bought a few and tried them out on eBay. They all sold quickly at an average price of $90. So we went back and bought a few dozen more and continued to sell them.  Now under this new legislation, a retailer (any retailer) could see my listing and direct eBay to investigate me to determine where I got my merchandise. And of course, eBay would have to terminate my listings until the investigation was complete.

So under the guise of preventing “shoplifting” the big retailers make life miserable for small sellers who compete with them. The bill is mostly supported by Democrats but some Republicans have signed on too.

eBay is leading the charge against this.  If you go to eBay Main Street you can register and send a letter to your Senators and Congressperson.  Here is a copy of the email eBay will send under your name if you agree:

eBay and the Internet connect hard-working, small business sellers with savvy consumers across America and around the world. Unfortunately, the biggest retailers in America don’t like competition from small online retailers. The big retail industry is lobbying now to pass discriminatory, anti-Internet, anti-small business legislation. As your constituent, I am asking you to oppose any effort to discriminate against online sellers.

Organized retail theft has been a problem for many decades – long before the advent of the Internet – but now big retailers claim that Internet marketplaces are to blame for shoplifting. Of course, stolen goods are a problem. In fact, no Internet company is more committed to fighting online fraud and crime than eBay. But big retailers are pushing for legislation that targets small online competition, not criminals.

H.R. 1173, H.R. 1166 and S. 470 are all examples of legislation that would create new barriers to selling online. They place onerous new burdens on Internet marketplaces, reduce competition from small Internet sellers, and hurt consumers who benefit from lower prices.

Do not allow the big retail industry to threaten small competitors in the name of fighting retail theft. Instead, please support balanced efforts to fight retail thieves without discriminating against online competition.

Sincerely, (Your name)

You can also print this letter out and mail it, or you can send your own email. If you don’t know your congressperson’s name or contact info you can find it at this link.

The other thing you can do is let the big retailers like Macy’s, Target, The Gap and others know they are trying to hurt you and you will refuse to shop there if this bill passes. Just go to their websites and use the customer service contact forms to express your feelings.

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