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Ohio Wants eBayers to Post $50k Bond

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the well-wait-a-minute dept.

The Almighty Buck 841

MacDork writes "CNNMoney posted a short article this morning about new Ohio regulations set to become effective May 2 this year. If you are in the state and selling on eBay, you will need to pay $200 for a license and post a $50,000 bond or face possible fines and jail time. Getting the license also requires a one-year apprenticeship. When asked to which eBay users this bill applied, the bill's author, Larry Mumper responded with these very specific guidelines.... "It certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay, but might apply to anyone who sells a lot.""

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841 comments

rediculous (-1)

fr1kk (810571) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876110)

thats a bit rediculous... i was worried about the people in michigan who had to pay $2500 for cigarettes, but now this? how can the 'average' seller on ebay post a $50,000 bond?

Re:rediculous (2, Interesting)

Jeff85 (710722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876137)

Did you read the summary? It stated that "It certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay, but might apply to anyone who sells a lot." So the average seller isn't affected, unless the average person sells a lot of stuff. And in my book, a casual seller is the average type of seller on eBay.

Re:rediculous (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876189)

Did you read the summary?

Have you lived in the US long?

Any source of revenue a city/state/federal tax can draw on, it eventually will.

If the law doesn't very specifically exempt anyone that sells under, say, $10k per year on eBay, you can expect to hear about this getting badly abused about six months from now.

Or do you really consider your typical neighborhood pot dealer; eight year olds who throw a temper tantrum in school; or people who write zombie fiction - All terrorists?

People worry about the "slippery slope" of bad laws because they can and will get applied as broadly as The Powers That Be can apply them.

Re:rediculous (3, Insightful)

tha_mink (518151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876283)

You didn't read the article. It's actually more a law for Auctioneers and not buyers and sellers. In fact, I have read the law and don't see how it can apply at ALL to eBay users. I think the reason the quote was spoken was due to the law's author not knowing the impact of the law and fully understanding how eBay and eBayers do business.

Re:rediculous (2, Informative)

BroadwayBlue (811404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876322)

I live in Ohio and this was covered on local NPR or some other newsource a few days ago. As written, it can be interpreted to apply to casual sellers on Ebay. But the authors state that it is not the intent, and that it will be modified to exclude casual sellers before it goes into affect.

Re:rediculous (2, Insightful)

Bigman (12384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876151)

In TFA it says that it is not intended that the law apply to individuals, but to businesses.

That said, I can't see how this is anything other than a money-grubbing attempt by politicians keen to enhance their reputation by being on the "cutting edge".

Some politicians just cant cope with the fact that people can manage to run their lives without state intervention.

Re:rediculous (2, Informative)

Deusy (455433) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876215)

They're not expecting most average sellers to, but rather hoping that people like you who don't even RTFS (Summary), let alone legislation, will pay up and make them some free money.

And in the interest of high standards, it's rIdiculous. That has to be one of the most mispelt words on Slashdot.

Re:rediculous (1)

varmittang (849469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876218)

This is most likely to try and get businesses that sell on ebay to stop trying to get around from paying taxes. Since taxes don't get added onto auctions like they do onto regular sales over the internet. At least I have never payed taxes for auctioned stuff, but buying something from another state always got me some sales tax on top of the shipping.

RIDICULOUS... it's fucking RIDICULOUS (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876219)

Fucking Christ on a snack cracker, people. Maybe you fuckers should learn to spell shit right instead of making yourselves look 'rediculous' [sic]...

Re:rediculous (sic) (1, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876317)

I
t certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay
You didn't even Read The Fucking Summery, let alone TFA. You were just trying to get first post. Boring.

Furthermore, there is a forum spellchecker [sourceforge.net] available for free for Mozilla and Firefox. Use it for your next Slashdot post, or at least for the subject of your next Slashdot post.

Typical government stupidity (5, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876112)

Will this do anything to stop scammers?

No.

Will this be a HUGE burden and inconvienence on the honest?

Yes.

Governments so often believe they can wave a piece of paper and behavior stops. Just like gun control, this will never stop a scammer but will punish the honest.

Re:Typical government stupidity (4, Insightful)

PyWiz (865118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876200)

I completely agree. Think about it. Ebay scammers are _already_ breaking the law, so what qualms could they possibly have about "selling on ebay without a license." That would be like passing a law that makes it illegal for drug dealers to sell without a license. The best possible impact this could have would be forcing scammers to move their operations out of state.

Meanwhile, all the honest sellers on ebay would be set back tremendously.

But all is not despair. Do you smell that? I do, it's the smell of legislation that will never be passed. This is just another one of those bills we keep seeing that has absolutely no chance of ever becoming law, serving the sole purpose of allowing the senator to say "LOOK I WAS AGAINST EBAY SCAMMING!!!!111" Honestly, it's sad that this is what our "representatives" spend most of their time doing, but hey, at least they have the sense not to actually pass it, right?

Good God I hope so...

-py

Re:Typical government stupidity (4, Insightful)

nounderscores (246517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876269)

like passing a law that makes it illegal for drug dealers to sell without a license.

Actually when governments pass a law like that, they're usually trying to make money. Take cigarettes, alcohol, and in amsterdam, heroin, for example.

I think ohio has seen a big fat cash cow and has decided to get down to milk it at gunpoint.

Re:Typical government stupidity (0, Offtopic)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876335)

I take it you're an expert on Amsterdam and Heroin then ?

Modded insightful? Gun control stupid? (2, Insightful)

buro9 (633210) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876208)

Insightful right up to the last sentence maybe.

Damn, I'll even burn some karma to say this.

Re:Modded insightful? Gun control stupid? (2, Insightful)

ChaosCube (862389) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876281)

Yeah, it is insightful, because it's the same thought process which is completely devoid of logic.

Re:Modded insightful? Gun control stupid? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876320)

F'ing idiot. At least he had something constructive to say. Your entire contribution to this thread has been "mommy, that guy said something I do not agree with". And even though this argument happens to be totally irrelevant to the topic at hand, you still had to make your "point".

Un-fucking-believable!

Re:Modded insightful? Gun control stupid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876329)

here is the bill of rights. [cornell.edu] I didn't write them, and I don't necessarily agree with all of them. On the whole, I'm glad they trump federal law though, and I wish they trumped local law as well.

Re:Modded insightful? Gun control stupid? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876331)

If you think gun control isn't stupid, you obviously are from the city. Out in the real world there are uses for them other than drive-by shootings, hold-ups, and playing real life GTA. There are enough laws on the books. They just don't enforce the ones they have. So yes...gun control laws have gotten so out of hand that anyone should be able to see they are just as stupid as this law. Nobody needs an oozie or bazooka....but then that was in the first batch of laws.

Re:Typical government stupidity (2, Informative)

anum (799950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876221)

Governments so often believe they can wave a piece of paper and behavior stops. Just like gun control, this will never stop a scammer but will punish the honest.

No, Governments (read: elected officials) believe doing this will get them reelected. It seems to work...

Re:Typical government stupidity (-1, Troll)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876228)

Governments so often believe they can wave a piece of paper and behavior stops

People behave this way, its not just a government thing.

Someone describing something does not make that thing so, yet our ethics and scientific communities seem deeply rooted in the 'this is the only way to describe something' mud.

Words are arbitrary, the meanings for these words are arbitrary, and we fail to accomodate for this arbitrary nature in all walks of life, not just government.

Its a human frailty that most of our language is designed to enhance our understanding of language, but in the course of using such language, we often forget that words have no power, whatsoever.

I'll bet $5 that this bill was passed by people who never even use EBay, but support it on the basis of the language of the bill itself. Shame!

Re:Typical government stupidity (0, Troll)

bcmm (768152) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876243)

Just like gun control, this will never stop a scammer but will punish the honest.
Gun control = off topic.

There are legitimate reasons to sell on ebay, but a gun is for shooting people with (don't talk bullshit about hunting with handguns).

If no one can use ebay, it gets very hard to buy and sell things that not everyone wants to buy and impossible to run ebay scams.
If no one has guns, no one gets to shoot people.

Re:Typical government stupidity (1, Offtopic)

jweage (472545) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876272)

So self-defense is not a legitimate use of a handgun? I guess that is why 30+ states allow their citizens to carry handguns for self-defense.

This line of thinking is wrong at so many levels, but this isn't the time or place.

Re:Typical government stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876332)

Yikes! I just checked and it turns out that automatic weapons like the one my son made in my workshop from instructions on this website [headsbunker.com] are illegal in my country. I'd better ask him politely to hand it over and all his homemade ammo.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876120)

fp .. maybe

I'm Glad (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876121)

that Ohio has diligent politicians who are intent on making their laws clear and precise.

sounds like a way for them to get money (1)

torchta (631416) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876123)

come on what a junk bill if they can not answer what a lot is, this bill should have never been passed

Re:sounds like a way for them to get money (1)

iacyclone (180583) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876312)

No kidding. What is "a lot"? Who defines it? How is it enforced? Who wants to bet this law is at least challenged to the state supreme court?

Congress might have something to say about this (3, Insightful)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876125)

Something about the Interstate Commerce Clause might get congress, or at least the judcial branch involved. How long until the first lawsuit to stop, or at least clarify, the law?

Re:Congress might have something to say about this (2, Insightful)

LordBodak (561365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876159)

Do you really believe there's anyone left in Congress who has a clue what the Constitution says anymore? They sure don't act like it.

Re:Congress might have something to say about this (0)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876171)

> Karma: (Excellent) mostly from being a cynical old fart.

You must be lucky - I usually get modded down by fresh-faced pups who believe whoever tells them something first!

Re:Congress might have something to say about this (4, Informative)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876194)

IANAL but isn't one of ICC's or FTC's jobs to see that there is not, in effect, tariffs imposed in one state blocking commerce from another state? That parity of states in matters of commerce was a problem facing the nation when the constitution was drawn up. This proposed legislation seems to come rather close, in its effect if not its intention, to a unilateral barrier to trade imposed by one state on commerce that may go on between states.

How does the interstate commerce clause apply? (2, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876197)

Something about the Interstate Commerce Clause might get congress, or at least the judcial branch involved. How long until the first lawsuit to stop, or at least clarify, the law?

Interesting idea and the law is certainly too vague, but I don't see how this is an interstate commerce issue. Ohio is regulating (or overregulating) its own state's businesses. Its really no different than a local sales tax on restaurants, business license for retailers, etc. This would only become an interstate issue is Ohio required non-Ohio eBayers to register, pay tax, or put up a bond.

Re:How does the interstate commerce clause apply? (2, Informative)

PyWiz (865118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876266)

While the sellers might be in Ohio, anyone in the whole wide world can purchase their items, right? Perhaps even someone in another state?

A little while ago there was a supreme court case by the name of Gibbons v. Ogden. Aaron Ogden had filed suit in New York against Thomas Gibbons for operating a rival steamboat service between New York and New Jersey ports. Ogden had exclusive rights to operate steamboats in New York under a state law, while Gibbons held a federal license. Gibbons lost the case and appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reversed the decision. The Court held that the New York law was unconstitutional, since the power to regulate interstate commerce, which extended to the regulation of navigation, belonged exclusively to Congress.

Now, you can see how Ohio issuing "ebay licenses" is quite similar to New York issuing steamboat licenses. While the commerce does take place in their state, it also crosses state lines, and is therefore interstate commerce.

-py

Re:Congress might have something to say about this (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876327)

Nope, has nothing to do with interstate commerce. It's a licensing regulation, just as if you opened up a beauty salon, started a general contracting business, or opened a professional services firm.

They WOULD get in trouble if they required that everyone who sells to buyers in OH pay the license fee and post the bond.

Oh, and IANAL, of course, but I do run a business licenced in several states.

I guess I missed something... (4, Interesting)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876126)

...but why does this affect anyone other than eBay? TECHNICALLY, they are doing the auctioning. You're just putting up your item for auction. Is it illegal for you to pay an auctioneer 500$ to have them auction off your house? How could this apply to the user? THEY aren't accepting bids - the software is, and the software was created by and managed by eBay. The user isn't auctioning a damn thing, they're having ebay do it for them.

...aren't they?

Re:I guess I missed something... (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876209)

Well...that's like saying you're not the one who typed that document, because technically MS Word/Open Office is taking the keystrokes and doing it for you. Or you didn't design that website because, gosh darn, Photoshop did all the work! eBay basically provides a software application so that you can auction off your product, and they take a share of the money.

Re:I guess I missed something... (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876319)

Sorry, that analogy doesn't work. An auction and writing a document have nothing in common no matter how hard you try.

Now, compare a traditional auction with an ebay auction and we might just get somewhere.

In a traditional auction, people get a real auctioneer or auction house to auction off their goods on their behalf. On ebay people get ebay to auction off goods on their behalf. It's just that simple.

Unfortunately, some politicians obviously don't like things that are just that simple because it's harder to squeeze money out of.

This is a BS cash grab if I've ever seen one. If this goes through, you're getting shafted Ohio.

Re:I guess I missed something... (1)

SWicklund (464892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876217)

Clearly you are right.
How does posting an item on e-bay for auction merit going to a certification class for auctioning?
Although it sure would be nice to send some sellers [about.com] to class on e-bay auctioning...

Ebay is only a venue (3, Informative)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876222)

http://pages.ebay.com/help/basics/f-agreement.html #3 [ebay.com]
Frequently Asked Questions about the User Agreement:

Why is there a User Agreement?
Will the User Agreement change again?
What does "eBay is only a venue" mean?
Why can't I bid on my own item?
If I place a bid, how exactly am I obligated to the seller?
Why was one listing removed, while other similar items remain on the site?
How do I know if an item is potentially illegal or not?
What happens if someone violates the User Agreement?
How do I report a potentially illegal, infringing or fraudulent item?
What does Section 6.3 of the User Agreement regarding Your Information mean?
Does Section 7 prohibit me from using auction management software to track my personal transactions on eBay?
Does Section 7 prohibit me from discussing or linking to eBay on other websites?
What does Section 17 of the User Agreement regarding arbitration mean?

Search the Help System
Search for help on:

(e.g., what is a Reserve Price Auction?)

If you can't find an answer to your question here, Ask eBay.
Q.
Why is there a User Agreement?
A. The User Agreement is a legal document that spells out the relationship between you and eBay. It outlines the services, pricing, Privacy Policy, and the buyer and seller relationship for listing and bidding on items in eBay's auction format.

Q.
Will the User Agreement change again?
A. It may change periodically. When revisions are needed, changes will be posted on the site 30 days before taking effect. You also have the option to receive email notices of any revisions as they occur. To select this option go to the preferences page, by choosing Change my notification preferences under My eBay at Services.

Q.
What does "eBay is only a venue" mean?
A. eBay is an exciting electronic marketplace where you can buy and sell to your heart's content. However, eBay does not ultimately participate in the transaction between buyer and seller, verify that items are genuine, or guarantee that you will receive payment or auction items. eBay is very concerned about your safety and offers the services of third parties that can provide authentication, insurance, and escrow for your transactions.

Re:I guess I missed something... (4, Informative)

crow (16139) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876234)

Not exactly.

With a traditional auction, the auction house does some verification of the merchandise, and the items are in the control of the auctioneer, not the original owner. On eBay, it's much more like the individual sellers are running their own auctions with eBay simply providing technical services.

So it is different.

As to how the law sees it, that may be several different matters.

Re:I guess I missed something... (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876309)

Because eBay adamantly refuses to take any significant action to curb fraud on the site, because they profit from it.

People routinely run scams, and there are literally webs of fake auctions & accounts that exist solely to drum up high feedback ratings to make it easier to dupe buyers.

Wow. Just a matter of time. (1)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876128)

This has got to be one of the most idiotic pieces of get-righ-quick tax legislature I have seen in the last year. How can a state claim not only to regulate interstate commerce, but to enforce said license? I would really like to see them try this one... Would be one of the fastest to supreme court cases RVER.

I am really not too wirried though. Legislatures are not stupid (although some may seem it) and this will likely get voted down asap. Considering the direct implications on ebay, well, I wouldn't be suprised if some "additional support" got waived the direction of Ohio from e-bays generous contributors.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876131)

Another victory for legislated state capitalism!
I'm sure the revenue from this for the state will find its way into some slush fund .. mmm slush funds...

either that or yahoo bribed the right officials..

I think this is a step forward, (4, Funny)

Sialagogue (246874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876132)


...and a good match for other Ohio laws that mandate tickets for people who "go real fast" and jail for people who "do bad stuff."

Seems a bit overdone (5, Interesting)

PepeGSay (847429) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876133)

Why would you have to apprentice as an auctioneer to sell something where the auction portion is run by someone else. This seems akin to making people on the Antiques Roadshow take auction classes and an apprenticeship before they can have Sotheby's auction their items. Is this really a way to back into a tax?

Interstate commerce? (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876135)

So does Ohio intend to only apply this to Ohio residents selling to Ohio residents? Otherwise, a pesky little clause in the Consistution will come into play.

This just in: Politicians are idiots (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876140)

I find it hard to believe that a company as large as eBay didn't bitch slap this yahoo (pun intended) down some time ago.

Makes you wonder, though.....where did this moron get his idea? These guys are usually "donated" into having an opinion or taking action. You got to follow the money....who is behind this?

Re:This just in: Politicians are idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876180)

Whoever is to process this: The "auctioner school". Collecting $200 and a good percent from $50k deposit, that's rather profitable, don't you think?

Re:This just in: Politicians are idiots (0)

ntshma (864614) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876236)

I'm sure eBay's fleet of lawyers know all about it and must have figured it would never pass so why bother making a big deal of it.

a lot (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876142)

"It certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay, but might apply to anyone who sells a lot."

So that means I can sell individual items, but not a lot of them?

Mumper (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876143)

is also the jerk who is responsible for the so called "Academic Bill or Rights" and has called college professors communists. What a jerk.

auction school (5, Interesting)

fr1kk (810571) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876144)

FTA: Besides costing $200 and posting a $50,000 bond, the license requires a one-year apprenticeship to a licensed auctioneer, acting as a bid-caller in 12 auctions, attending an approved auction school, passing a written and oral exam. Failure to get a license could result in the seller being fined up to $1,000 and jailed for a maximum of 90 days.

and a school to become a licensed seller?

what if i go on a spree, and say, sell like 30 items that i've found in my basement over christmas break? does that constitute as someone who sells more than 'casually'?

I'll help 'em out! (1)

kniLnamiJ-neB (754894) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876147)

Email me your application for the license and I'll give you the PayPal account number to send your money to...

they'll come here (1)

m3rr (669531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876149)

i live right on the former side of the indiana/ohio border. i forsee many of my Buckeye friends coming to my house to post sales on eBay in the near future.

Hey.. (0, Offtopic)

Xyl3ne (802919) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876150)

April Fools! .. Oh, wait .. it's still March.

Well then... (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876152)

...I might get a license.

Seriously.... (0)

GoMMiX (748510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876153)

What's up with the people who think this crap up, don't they have real work to do?

Re:Seriously.... (0)

Tony (765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876304)

That's the funny bit. This *is* his real job. He gets paid for this.

... and this why Ohio will always be a sh*thole (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876156)

Nothing like driving your productive citizens and businesses out of state with higher taxes.

Chair of Agriculture Committee (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876169)

Larry Mumper is the chairman of the Agriculture Committee. I guess he's tired of people being scammed when they attempt to purchase cows and corn on EBay.

One shouldn't judge by looks, but it's hard not to in his case [state.oh.us] . Does he look like someone who has ever used EBay, or even knows how to spell EBay?

Re:Chair of Agriculture Committee (0)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876294)

I think you slashdotted the government.

Heres [google.co.uk] something a little quicker at loading.

Is eBay an auction-house? (1)

Denyer (717613) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876173)

I seem to recall it being mentioned somewhere in the eBay terms and conditions that they aren't actually an auction service.

What is the outcome of this? (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876175)

Okay, I see their point... there are people out there doing business and that has to be regulated. While one might argue about that I won't.

What I don't understand is what exactely they try to accomplish with such... tremendous amounts of money... well beside killing off some hundred to thousand attempts at making a living. What exactely are they trying to regulate here? Employment numbers? Or unemployment numbers if you prefer?

I think it's a great idea to give eBay some legal ground so that it doesn't remain rip off mecca for some individuals out there but this is like killing a cockroach by dumping a nuke on it: Blatant overkill that, most probably, won't even work... at least IMHO.

Ohio Wants eBayers to Post $50k Bond (2, Interesting)

server1 (702972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876179)

This is just another snow job to dance around the Internet no-tax law. ...where is the ACLU on this??!...they must have been sleeping...

Re:Ohio Wants eBayers to Post $50k Bond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876315)

no, the ACLU would only care if they were imposing the tax on black people

WTF!?!?! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876181)

I see absolutely no reason why this bill should even exist! Unless it is some sort of sick money making scheme by part of the state. They are targeting ONE auction site, a specific company, and are charging insane/asinine amounts of money just to be an eBay seller, of which there are many. WTF

"might apply to anyone who sells a lot" (3, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876192)

No ambiguity there.

Seriously, despite the certain risk of being modded down, Ohio has EVERY right to do this. If you open up a business in Ohio, it has a right to license you. That applies even if you set up your business in your house.

However, I certainly hope they clear up that vague definition before it's enacted!

Re:"might apply to anyone who sells a lot" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876240)

There IS a difference here between a buisness and eBay. eBay is no different then a monstrous, world-wide garage sale. It would be like forcing a garage sale junky who bought garage sale items and then sold them to get a buisness licence.

Re:"might apply to anyone who sells a lot" (2, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876273)

I don't think many people are questioning the licensing-- you are right, if it's a real business, Ohio has the right to license the business and tax any income.

That's not at issue. What *is* at issue is the $50k and possible "apprenticeship" that goes along with it. Ohio doesn't do that to other retailers or direct sellers; why is it singling out ebay sellers?

Re:"might apply to anyone who sells a lot" (1)

BitwiseX (300405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876328)

They may very well have the right to do it... However, I may have the right to jump of a bridge, but that doesn't make it smart. Because you can, is rarely a good reason to do anything. but yeah, that's the vaguest explination i've ever heard. Reminds of my mother.. "BECAUSE I SAID SO!"

Mumper's Legal Speak Sucks (1)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876195)

Glad this guy uses legal terms like "a lot" when he briefs the press. No Mr. Mumper define "a lot." Mumper - "Well it is anything that is more than a little." No he didn't actually say that, but by god its plausible! I think this is a total crap move on the State's part and if they truly do define it (like anyone who sells more than 500 items a year...) then can't people just create a new account at sale number 499 and start over. (Yes it sucks because you have to build up your numbers again, but it would be a way to get around the bill possibly.)

apprenticeship (0)

kjhobin (862566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876199)

where do they go fir the apprenticeship anyway? Government offices? Online Course???

New Career For Me (1, Funny)

Elvisisdead (450946) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876207)

I'm going to become an eBay Bond Enforcement Agent.

"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to put down the FRESH!!! LIKE NEW!!!!!! set of Star Wars glasses and come with me. Don't make me spray you! This is what happens when you jump bond."

what a waste of time (1)

karpediem (837477) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876213)

Who knows what a "casual seller" is??? And if there is a person who is just above the limit there, do you think they will always be able to pay 50 big ones so they can keep selling? Everyone who isn't a millionare can't pay THAT much. That guy has wasted his time there, but it wouldn't be so much of a waste if he had actually come up with a plan that might WORK.

Well what with eBay being responsible (2, Funny)

Rooktoven (263454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876214)

for all that unaccounted for money in the economy (you know, the largesse that if actually counted that would make the economy not seem to suck so much) it's only fair that we penalize them...

Where's eBay? (1)

Rollsbot (859293) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876216)

Where's eBay during all this? It seems like they have a vested interest, and this is one of those rare cases where a little bit of lobbying can do some good. Ebay should really look to squash bills like this quickly before they catch on in other states.

A solution? (1)

crc32 (133399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876226)

Perhaps a lawsuit against the state of Ohio, by an out of state person, who was "harmed" by not being able to buy from the Ohio market... use the dormant commerce clause against the law...

What does "a lot" mean ? (1)

AwaxSlashdot (600672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876231)

"It certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay, but might apply to anyone who sells a lot."
I hope a $50k fine won't be based on such a broad and vague definition !

calm down (5, Informative)

the_mighty_$ (726261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876238)

Read the article:


...The primary author of the legislation, State Sen. Larry Mumper, told the paper the legislature never intended it to apply to individuals selling items over eBay....


In other words, the lawmakers are NOT attempting to target eBay/eBay users with this law. The law is there only to make sure auctioneers are obeying other Ohio laws regarding auctions. eBay already attempts to enforce the law by shutting down illegal auctions or whatever, so it is VERY unlikely that Ohio lawmakers will need to empose this law onto eBay sellers.

Another Deceptive headline.... (5, Informative)

RaZ0r (145723) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876241)

The headline is an outright lie. Ebay was not even considered when this law drafted. It is not designed to affect ebay or ebay users. In fact, this law couldn't affect ebay users, as they are not the ones doing the actual auctioning; that is left to ebay.

Would this law make it illegal to have an auctioneer auction off some of your property for you? NO! This would only affect someone acting as an auctioneer.

It will, however, be interesting to see if they try to apply this law to ebay, as they (their software) does act as an auctioneer. A $50,000 bond would be a drop in the bucket for ebay, but I'm not sure if the $200 is per auction or a one-time fee for the license.... That could be interesting.

That'd be me (1)

teoryn (801633) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876242)

My family is slowly preparing to move to another house in the next few years, and one thing we're doing is getting rid of stuff, since it'll be a smaller house. One thing I planed to do was put all my old collector toys on ebay to get some money out of them (some of those junky old toys sell really nicely). I've never used ebay before but I'd probably be going into the more than casual user group really quick with some of the stuff I have.

RTFA, please. (0)

jcromartie (841990) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876244)

RTFA editors!
"It certainly will not apply to the casual seller on eBay, but might apply to anyone who sells a lot," he said. "If someone buys and sells on eBay on a regular basis as a type of business, then there is a need for regulation."

This is not a bad step to take. It really won't apply to the casual seller. The point is to provide some protection if the consumers get screwed by a business that is using auctions as the main method of business. The law itself is also directly aimed at real auction houses, not just eBay.

And, as a spokesperson from eBay said:

Hani Durzy, eBay spokesman, said the company has reviewed Ohio's law and is not concerned.


"We do not believe the law applies to people who sell items on eBay or to eBay itself," he told the paper.

Re:RTFA, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876278)

Even though it is only ment for the hard-core fulltime eBayer, 50,000 dollar bond seems a little overkill. $50,000 is enough to bankrupt many small eBay buisnesses, unless you're a large operation dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Only E-bay? (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876246)

What about a hundred other similar online auction systems? All the e-bay competition?
Don't you think now E-bay can sue the state for serious anti-competitive practices that will prevent people from using their services and make them move to the competition instead?
I guess the estimate loss would be of several billions or more.

Hey, Ohio'ans, prepare for a tax hike, the state will have to pay the damages...

worthless law designed only to generate income. (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876250)

Unless it is SPECIFICALLY spelled out with a yearly income level generated by ebay auctions then this will apply to ALL ebay sellers in Ohio.

I strongly urge evbery Ohioian to write to their reps and ask that it be struck down until it is reworded to have very specific definitions.

these broadly worded laws, espically STATE laws are designed only to generate extra income for the state and to allow them to extort money out of it's citizens.

Since this world is screwed up... (1)

SunPin (596554) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876251)

I hope Ohio nails BuyEssex, DakMart, sell2all and a few others... it's early in the morning.

Reading the article (gasp) (1)

CXI (46706) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876260)

It says the effect on eBay was accidental, but now that it has come up, they want to regulate people who use eBay as a business (not necessarily with this law). So, nothing really to see here for the normal user, please move along and stop sending the hate mail...

Clueless in Ohio (1)

irishale (865945) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876261)

I'm sure the verbal auction calling will be very useful on Ebay... or, how many words per minute must you type, or will that be a license requirement too?? I'm thinking that while the intentions of the original law were honorable, I think it's been used as an opportunity to do what governments love to do... find something that they haven't taxed yet, and tax it. I mean, come on, we can't have somebody make a little income cleaning out their closets/ hitting yardsales and turning a small profit on Ebay, can we? Just think about how this is leaving the 'legitimate' secondhand stores in ruin!!! I can see it now... : Ohio Passes Walking in Public License Requirements

Reality check (1)

pdawson (89236) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876279)

RTFA folks:

The law was not intended by its author to apply to online auctions. It was intended for people running 'live' auctions. The author of the law is working to get it corrected.

Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.

I love it! (1)

Broiler (804077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876285)

This is great! I may move to Ohio. You have got love the udder ridiculousness of this entire bill, but it would be fun to go to Auctioneer school. I wonder if they teach you the different styles; fine art auctioneer, car auctioneer, farm equipment auctioneer (this one comes with a straw hat and corn cob pipe). You may learn tips on how to auction some old ladies house off, you know the one she has lived in for 75 years and missed one tax payment. This is good stuff. You may learn how to auction off family heirlooms of the bereaved, because the dearly departed owed the bank a little to much. This could be huge!

Good (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876297)

At least they're trying to do something. Ebay has become such a massive fraud pit that even politicians are noticing. I like what they're trying to do, but this may not be the right thing to do. Perhaps a simple class-action lawsuit for fraud against Ebay would have been a better alternative. Either way, "normal" people are being scammed by the hundreds every day on eBay, and obviously, with the amount of fraud and the fact that it keeps happening indicates that "normal" people do need some kind of legal protection from using eBay.

Actually they do have a point (1)

adepali (749748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876298)

Apparently this bill is addressed to people who make big money by regularly selling products on ebay, not casual traders... This 'license' is like an indirect income tax, since (as far as I know) the government doesn't check the money you make on ebay and similar services.

Regardless of whether I agree or not with the taxation itself, I can definitely see the state having a point here.

Doing the people's work (1)

stiv (411055) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876302)

The illustrious Senator Mumper is also one of the authors of Senate Bill 24 [state.oh.us] our Orwellianly titled "Academic Bill of Rights" designed solely to restrict academic freedoms. It's a good thing Ohio isn't facing any real issues (say, a budget crisis for example) and he has time to concentrate on these important matters. Oh, wait.....

The Law wasn't created as a means to regulate eBay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876308)

As someone with firsthand knowledge, I know this law was not enacted by the General Assembly to cause undue harm to those individuals selling on eBay. It is not intended to be some scheme to curb scams and other problems on eBay.

The Bill was drafted to address several concerns with the Auctioneering industry in Ohio. With Agriculture being the States #1 industry, this bill was intended to address issues with livestock auctions more so than an eBay auction.

If by chance the rules that are propagated from this legislation by the Department do ensnare some eBay sellers, it is likely that they will only be the ones that make a business out of auctioning items on eBay.

As far as interstate commerce, this bill would not violate interstate commerce clauses. Every state can regulate an industry's practices within its borders. Just because an Ohio eBay seller is auctioning items on the internet doesn't mean that they are now somehow exempt from Ohio Regulations because the purchaser might be out of state.

What's Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11876311)

After this are they going to come to your garage sale and beat you merciless until you give them a % of that couch you been holding in your garage the last 10 years?

Seriously, like another poster said, doesn't this clown have anything better to do? I live in Michigan, I've been to Ohio many times, there's definetly more pressing issues that I'm sure the people of Ohio would rather address than putting and 2nd mortgage on the stay at home mom's home who sells her homemade candles on ebay to make ends meat because her husband's factory job just got shipped overseas so some 11 year old kid can do it for 18 hours a day. Oops.

Good! just tax criminal enterprises! (0, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876314)

If you can't and won't regulate the crminals at eBay and PrayPal just tax the hell out of it.

Another Government Money Grab (1)

DrDebug (10230) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876323)

Here we go again. Someone (the government in this case) sees another way to seperate you from your money. And because it is the government, they can do it legally (they do issue the laws, don't they?).

Ohio isn't alone in their grab for money. In Virginia, you are supposed to report all online transactions, and pay the proper income tax (to the state) for anything you buy online. Needless to say, few Virginia citizens even know of this 'law', and fewer still honor it. That said, a friend of mine was busted by the commonwealth when he bought a large ticket item. He had to pay up bigtime.

So what are the chances of being caught (either in Ohio for not having an E-bay license, or in Virginia for buying online)? Right now, the chances of getting caught are between slim and none. Do these states have the resources to find the perpetrators of these dastardly crimes? I doubt it. They will get a few violators, but only a small minority.

So it all goes back to the pork-barrel legislatures who have huge appetites for income, but no common sense on how to procure it.

This Ohio plan will not work. I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up on CNN and Ohio becomes the laughing stock of the country.

'nuff said.

At last regulators are preventing fraud (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876330)

Ebay fraud is out of hand, and ebay itself is doing nothiong to stop it. They offer no insurance to anyone against fraud and are not willing to cut their profits to force people to use - for example - an escrow system. And why would they? Anything they do will cut into their profits.

But auctions ahve existed a lot longer than the internet. Why doesn't Christies have the same problems with fraud? Because real world auction houses are regulated. There are laws that protect buyers and sellers.

Since an online auction is done entirely by internet and post, the laws don't apply. Ohio has made a bold step in writing new laws for the new age. We should applaud them for thinking ahead.

powerseller (1)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 9 years ago | (#11876333)

maybe the term powerseller will actually mean something now
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