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Don Burleson Blog 








eBay fights States who enforce auctioneer license requirements

eCommerce Tips by Donald Burleson


When I got my North Carolina auctioneers license I was surprised at the backlash from eBay when the State of North Carolina Auctioneer Licensing Board exercised their rights to regulate people who conduct auctions within North Carolina.  In NC, like many other States, eBay fraud is huge, costing consumers millions of dollars.


This CNN report on eBay and auctioneer licenses notes that eBay fought the State successfully. I was told by the NC State auctioneering licensing board that they did not want to drain their funds with expensive litigation from eBay:

"Online auction users in North Carolina who were required to get an auctioneer's license or face criminal charges were granted a reprieve last week."

This eBay auctioneer licensing policy notes that eBay  does not recognize the rights of States to regulate their citizens with respect to electronic auctions, claiming that it will fail to reduce the rampant fraud on eBay:

"Since eBay and eBay sellers perform functions distinct and non-equivalent to those of traditional auctioneers, they should not be subject to the same regulation and licensing requirements.

There is no evidence that imposing new regulations and licensing requirements upon eBay or eBay sellers would provide any additional consumer protection. Instead, any new regulations would impose unneeded costs and burdens upon buyers and sellers alike."

Many States are fighting eBay's attempts to oppose the rightful laws of States, and this articles on Pennsylvania auctioneer licensing for eBay notes that eBay is fighting to prevent licensing requirements.  While it's true that the law will require additional controls, it's all a good thing for consumers, despite the resistance from online sellers:

"Barry Fallon, who operates an iSold It store in Pennsylvania, says regulators in his state are forcing him to get an auctioneer's license to operate his eBay drop-off store.

"To get a license in PA requires training and a one year apprenticeship before we can open a store," Fallon said. "So if they succeed, we will all have to close our doors for a year or pay someone with a license to oversee the operation."

Having been the victim of eBay fraud myself, I can state that eBay's fraud support is dismal and their "we are only a venue" stance leaves millions of defrauded eBay customers with little recourse.  Should all States enforce their rights to regulate their citizens who conduct auctions, stiff State regulations would protect consumers.


Many victims of eBay fraud as well as real-world auctioneers are anxious to see other States adopt protection for consumers.


This web page show a 2015 status of states who require auctioneer licenses for eBay sellers.

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