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Blazing Lazers

Online selling heads-up: INFORM Act

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I really don't enjoy reading the ecommercbytes site, as they almost never report good news. It still is worthwhile to keep informed about new and potential developments that affect online selling, such as the following:

 

https://www.ecommercebytes.com/2021/05/22/ebay-and-etsy-send-urgent-pleas-to-sellers-on-saturday/

 

...in short, there's a greatly under-reported push to require online sellers to have their sensitive personal information publicly visible in their listings. eBay of course only opposes it because it could lead to side deals, but this definitely something that nothing good can come from if it is ever enacted. 

 

A few other relevant alerts:

 

https://advocacy.etsy.com/inform/

 

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/inform-consumers-act-introduced-to-5159817/

 

https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/policy-news-views/inform-act-punishes-small-businesses-and-favors-one-particular-business-model?_amp=true

 

This post provided strictly for non-partisan heads-up purposes to current and potential online sellers.

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Yeah, that's pretty terrible:

Quote

“The US Senate is considering new legislation called the INFORM Act, which would require Etsy to collect, verify, and display seller contact information on product listing pages. For many home-based business owners, this legislation would mean sharing your personal information widely online, including your full name, home address, telephone number, and email address.
 

“Lawmakers have simply not considered how this bill would impact the privacy, safety, and security of Etsy sellers who run their businesses from their homes. That’s why they need to hear from you!”

I find this amusing from Amazon:

Quote

We know that fraudsters will go to extreme lengths to hurt honest entrepreneurs and consumers. That’s why Amazon has the processes, technology, and teams in place to protect our customers by preventing counterfeits, unsafe products, and otherwise fraudulent activity before it occurs. We’ve developed industry-leading programs to verify a potential seller’s identity and ensure that only authentic and legal products are sold in our store.

HAHAHAHAHAHA

 

Amazon is absolutely the worst place to buy anything if you don't want to get stuck with fake, poorly made products masquerading as the real thing.  There are many things I will no longer buy on Amazon since you never know if you're going to receive an original product or a bootleg. 

 

Oh, and of course the big retail stores like Best Buy are all for this legislation.  Because of course they are:

Quote

Congress and various state legislatures are considering legislation (called “INFORM Act” bills) pushed by some big-box retailers, including Home Depot and RILA, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which purports to curtail the sale of counterfeit and stolen goods online.

 

In reality, this legislation favors large brick-and-mortar retailers, at the expense of small businesses that sell online, while doing nothing to prevent fraud and abuse or hold bad actors accountable.

 Sigh.

 

..Al

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Making private information public to everyone is IMO utterly stupid and terrible. I would totally understand if this would kill AtariAge's store.

 

I hope there is still a way to improve this rubbish. A registration key which only links to the private data in case of fraud etc would work as well.

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17 minutes ago, Albert said:

Yeah, that's pretty terrible:

I find this amusing from Amazon:

HAHAHAHAHAHA

 

Amazon is absolutely the worst place to buy anything if you don't want to get stuck with fake, poorly made products masquerading as the real thing.  There are many things I will no longer buy on Amazon since you never know if you're going to receive an original product or a bootleg. 

 

Oh, and of course the big retail stores like Best Buy are all for this legislation.  Because of course they are:

 Sigh.

 

..Al

I had a good laugh about their hypocrisy as well. Whatever else can be said about eBay, at least you're way likelier to get a picture of the actual item you're looking to buy than you would with an Amazon listing. 

 

Best Buy made me recall how over a decade ago around here they and some other big box chains got some local laws passed to "combat stolen goods" that were being traded in at various secondhand shops. GameStop suddenly wouldn't let me trade in my legally bought used games without me showing ID and letting them keep a copy. They were so nasty about it that it's been over 10 years since I've traded anything in at a game store. 

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17 minutes ago, Thomas Jentzsch said:

Making private information public to everyone is IMO utterly stupid and terrible. I would totally understand if this would kill AtariAge's store.

 

I hope there is still a way to improve this rubbish. A registration key which only links to the private data in case of fraud etc would work as well.

I'm a bit worried about how it might affect smaller online stores and Forums where members make sales, including here. Hopefully there'll be enough pushback against this idea.

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Shouldn't impact most of us:

 

(i) If the high-volume third party seller demonstrates to the online marketplace that the seller does not have a business address and only has a personal street address, the online marketplace may direct the high-volume third-party seller to disclose only the country and, if applicable, the State in which the high-volume third-party seller resides on the product listing, and may inform consumers that there is no business address available for the seller and that consumer inquiries should be submitted to the seller’s email address.

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And high-volume constitutes 200 transactions totaling $5000 or more.

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Well that still would impact a lot of us.  Cracking $5000 in a year really isn't that hard depending on what you're trying to get rid of.  I've been getting rid of good chunks of multiple collections I have this year and broke 5k probably in March.  There's no way in hell I want my street address, etc out there for my home, where I have a little kid living, some net based psycho could show up over assuming I have other valuable stuff to pull a home invasion over, SWATting, or other deranged shit as revenge tactics and what not.

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This rule & regulation may deter some scammers or solve some small specific problems. Like what? Dunno. But as a frequent buyer on ebay and amazon, I've always been able to resolve issues1 related to crappy items and knock-offs. The seller usually issues me a refund rather quickly. If they start dragging and postponing, I just go to ebay and if needed my cc.

 

5 hours ago, Blazing Lazers said:

I had a good laugh about their hypocrisy as well. Whatever else can be said about eBay, at least you're way likelier to get a picture of the actual item you're looking to buy than you would with an Amazon listing.

 

Maybe. Maybe not.

 

1- Just last week I bought a set of spare gears for my near-vintage inkjet. The photos show the oem parts, and a close-up 3D render of the tooth cut. Looked absolutely perfect. What I received was rather low quality, crap 3D-printed, parts made from a material with far lesser strength than oem. The tooth cut was the wrong shape, more like a stick than nicely angled. This made the mesh have slack. And we all know slack in paper positioning rollers can cause print alignment problems.

 

The seller, to his credit, refunded me within one day. I don't believe there was any evil scamming intent here. Just simply not thought out thoroughly enough. There's more to making gears than cutting teeth in a circular disk. There's actual real-life mathematics and materials sciences involved.

 

To his discredit he wasted my time by selling something significantly under-spec. Not that I had super high hopes of it meeting HP standards.. These "parts-makers" think they're engineers. They're making crap and selling it as new exact oem replacements. At least that's what's implied overall when I read through the listing.

 

It's certainly possible to 3D print world-class parts in all sizes and shapes, witness components in the Raptor engine. But these fart-in-a-bottle fly by night sellers? Avoid.

 

Perhaps these new rules and regulations will tone it down. It's nice to dream..

 

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1 hour ago, Tanooki said:

Well that still would impact a lot of us.  Cracking $5000 in a year really isn't that hard depending on what you're trying to get rid of.  I've been getting rid of good chunks of multiple collections I have this year and broke 5k probably in March.  There's no way in hell I want my street address, etc out there for my home, where I have a little kid living, some net based psycho could show up over assuming I have other valuable stuff to pull a home invasion over, SWATting, or other deranged shit as revenge tactics and what not.

$5000 is only the definition for high volume sellers. For those who hit this mark with 200 transactions still are exempt if they don't have a business address, just a residential address where the online marketplace won't give up the personal address, etc.

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@taxman Ah yeah ok that makes sense.

 

I'm reading that ebay is supposedly pushing back against this national drop to $600/yr for the 1099K, not sure they'll get anywhere but they're fairly big and if others fall in step it might if they have to put up with this paperwork.  So in the slim change the value is adjusted to a more fair number between the 20K now and 600 later this is good to know.

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Big-box outlets pushing to dox private sellers.  Sounds something like legacy media outlets pushing to limit the reach of independent content creators.  Nothing nefarious here, just leveling the playing field, of course.  Now, move along.

 

Meanwhile, WHOIS data is censored to prevent revealing personal information of individual registrants without jumping through hoops.

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