Pennsylvania Sues Woman For Selling Goods On eBay Without A License

from the if-we-don't-understand-it,-it's-probably-illegal dept

A few years back we wrote about states that were passing inexplicable laws requiring anyone selling goods on eBay for others to get an auctioneer's license, something that can be quite costly and sometimes requires a long-term apprenticeship. It appears just such a law is being used in Pennsylvania to go after a very successful eBay seller (via the Agitator). The story in that case is even more ridiculous, since the woman in question only began selling goods on eBay in order to be able to stay at home with her young daughter who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Even though the woman stopped (and got a job outside the home) as soon as the state notified her that she was illegally selling goods, the state is still moving forward prosecuting her. While the state told the reporter that the maximum fine the woman faced is only $2,000, her lawyer read the charges in a way that suggested she could be on the hook for up to $10 million. The whole thing seems pretty pointless. Selling on eBay is quite different from running an auction house. If anything, laws like these seem designed to limit competition in an effort to protect an incumbent industry. As another eBay seller facing similar charges notes in the article: "It's like the buggy-whip manufacturer's deciding whether these newfangled automobile manufacturers can do it without a buggy-whip license."

Filed Under: auction license, pennsylvania
Companies: ebay

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  1. identicon
    Greg, 14 Jan 2009 @ 5:06pm


    #1 is so stupid !!! Ebay has feedback ratings that tell you who is a good seller and who is not! I have been buying and selling for over 8 years I have 100% positive feed back. I have never ripped anyone off nor have I ever been ripped off. Plus if you use palpay you are completely protected. I can't stand these people that think we need government in everything. Have you ever been to a government office? The government is the most inefficient business model ever. in every case ever tested the private sector always runs better when government stays out of it. Just like most things with the government you give up one right for the common good and before you know it the its out of control. An auctioneer licence requires one to even learn the fast talk of a traditional auctioneer. How completely stupid is that. What next will we need to offer a handicap parking space in order to have a yard sale? Or offer a 30 day return policy? Regulation is what keeps the little guy from ever becoming a big guy. Where do you think most mom and pop business are going. You may want to blame walmart (another misconception) Truth be known a lot businesses are regulated out of profitability. Or just become to costly for the average person to afford to start up. Case in point when people complained about some massage parlors selling sex big brother came up with the idea to require all massage therapist to need a 12,000 education. Instead of just raiding the whore houses they are threatening the lively hood of thousands of legitimate massage therapist. Even when the studies have not produced 1 record ever of an injury from a therapeutic massage! Thanks big brother for watching out for me!!

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