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. icon
    zingmoon (profile), 7 Dec 2012 @ 10:22pm

    Re: hrmm... nope

    You're highly delusional, an over exaggerator and likely related to the inbred thieves, posing as law officials, that decided to go after the woman. It's yet another over zealous attempt to make inappropriate usage of laws to extract and black mail individuals for profit. This is similar to the RIAA using threats and a loophole in the law to improperly apply that so they can take peoples homes, and life savings because they copied less than $10 worth of music. And yes, there are articles about it. The RIAA, as some artists have eluded to, are not helpful, and they don't want their help.

    If it were highly illegal, Ebay wouldn't be allowed to allow mass individuals to participate in that activity. Also they'd be liable for an accomplice. Either way, the courts as you've pointed out, have largely ignored ebayers. Therefore, since this is known, it's improper to suddenly go after some lone woman trying to save money to help her dying child. The way it works is you change the system at the upper end. Not pick on the woman selling from her apartment. But the fact that you want "accountability" presupposes that she was doing something wrong to begin with. As if you are some low life law official eager to fry her. Well if you are, you need to stop being a bottom feeder your self and stop trying to be part of a movement that condones twisting laws in order to take advantage of the weak, elderly or sick or anyone for that matter. And you don't like ebay. Well no surprise there. And yes, as others have pointed out. You're an idiot, and not because peoples opinions differ from yours. The reasons supporting that are glaringly obvious.

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