Last Updated: Feb 7, 2021 2 min read

Louisiana Wants Marketplaces to Force Sellers to Publicly Display Personal Contact Information

Louisiana Wants Marketplaces to Force Sellers to Publicly Display Personal Contact Information

From the Avalara Blog:

The Louisiana Legislature is back in session and considering two different marketplace bills. One would require marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales tax on behalf of third-party sellers. The other would require marketplace facilitators to do more to prevent sales of counterfeit goods.

[SB 476] would require an online marketplace to verify the authenticity of “high-volume third-party sellers” annually and, in certain situations, to remove them from the platform. [It] would also require high-volume third-party sellers to identify themselves to consumers by providing, in a conspicuous manner on the consumer product listing (or through a conspicuously placed link on the listing)…

I can’t say I’m surprised by this. The Federal government has made it clear policing of marketplaces should be left up to the states and per the usual, every state is taking up its own way of enforcement and with different thresholds.

SB476 would define a high-volume third-party seller as one on a marketplace that has more than 200 discrete sales in a 12-month period over the last two years, and $5,000 or more in total gross revenue.

Alright, not that bad so far. A lot of states have this kind of requirement. The part of this bill that gets a little tricky and gross is the second part. It would require sellers to share the full name, full business address, email address, and phone number, and whether the seller also engages in the manufacturing, importing, retail, or reselling of consumer products.

Ebay is trying to convince its user base this is a terrible idea, and I tend to agree, to an extent.

What I don’t agree with is having this level of detail on every listing. Having it on the profile page? Ok, maybe. A lot of sellers don’t have office space or another commercial establishment, so the full address part of this requirement feels like a bit much in any fashion. The last thing anyone needs is their home address posted on their eBay listings.

Louisiana wraps this up under the guise of enforcing the prohibition of the sale of counterfeit goods, but come on. This is just silly. Instead of putting the onus on the marketplace to prove it’s doing something about it, let’s go after the small business and individual operators and make life harder for them. Classic politics.

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