Coalition members are committed to encouraging lawmakers to find thoughtful solutions to issues impacting eCommerce while also protecting the important role casual and small-scale sellers play in this economy.
Washington, DC. – Today, a number of leading third-party marketplaces and eCommerce platforms announced the formation of the Coalition to Protect America’s Small Sellers (PASS Coalition). The PASS Coalition brings together like-minded industry leaders who are working to protect the interests of everyday people, small business entrepreneurs, and medium-sized businesses who sell online. Member companies will help to educate policymakers on the benefits of their eCommerce business models while also working collaboratively with policymakers to find thoughtful solutions to consumer protection, competition and economic development issues impacting their industries. The Coalition will support policy initiatives which favor business growth, support entrepreneurship and digital innovation and ensure a safe, secure and convenient shopping experience for consumers
One of the first pieces of pending legislation the PASS Coalition will confront is the INFORM Consumers Act, which seeks to advance so-called “marketplace verification requirements'' that would require online marketplaces to publicly disclose personal information about their sellers, including full address, email and phone number. In practice, these measures would impose impractical, burdensome requirements that would jeopardize the privacy of millions of Americans while big box retailers are gaining more and more advantage over small businesses and casual sellers. To accompany the Coalition’s launch, the initial members have drafted key recommendations and guidance for Congress and state legislatures as they look to pass federal and state laws impacting consumer protection and competition issues which can be found by visiting www.protectsmallsellers.org/the-issues.
“These issues are critically important to the millions of Americans who rely on our marketplaces every day to make extra money selling secondhand and pre-owned items while supporting a more affordable and sustainable way to shop,” said Coalition founding member Amber McCasland, vice president of communications at Poshmark. “Requiring our sellers -- many of whom are women casually selling items from their closets -- to publicly disclose personally identifiable information is of great concern as doing so may compromise their privacy, security, and ability to thrive. We believe it is possible to achieve policy solutions that both consider and protect the interests of America’s small online sellers.”
“Etsy serves as an on-ramp to entrepreneurship, empowering millions of artists, makers and designers to build creative businesses from their homes,” said Jeffrey Zubricki, Head of US Government Relations at Etsy. "We are committed to working with policymakers to find creative solutions that protect both consumers and small businesses, but a one-size-fits-all approach to combating counterfeit or stolen goods threatens the makers and curators of unique and vintage goods that rely on marketplaces to build their businesses.”
“Individuals and small business sellers across the United States use OfferUp as a simple and trustworthy way to buy and sell local items. This vital group of entrepreneurs lack representation in our state and federal capitols, making them uniquely vulnerable to inadvertent harm from otherwise well-intentioned legislation. OfferUp looks forward to working with the members of the Coalition to Protect America’s Small Sellers in voicing to lawmakers the unheard needs of these individuals and small businesses,” said Nathan Garnett, General Counsel of OfferUp Inc.
“Consumer-to-Consumer Marketplaces like Mercari are critical resources for Americans who may need ways to supplement their income - this has been especially true during the pandemic,” said Lisa Lechner, Chief Compliance Officer for Mercari, Inc. “The proposed legislation places new tax burdens on these Americans, many of whom are simply reselling items that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Additionally, requesting individuals to provide their private information online is not only a privacy issue, but creates real trust and safety concerns when exchanging items with strangers. We look forward to working with the Coalition to support and protect these communities.”
“The last year has demonstrated that eCommerce can help power economic recovery – entrepreneurs and small businesses selling on eBay have been able to stay up and running online and, in many cases, grow their business in spite of the pandemic,” said Cathy Foster, Vice President, Government Relations. “eBay is proud to collaborate with other marketplaces that put sellers first. We have a shared goal to protect America’s small online sellers and ensure that legislative and regulatory bodies hear the voices of individuals and small businesses that use our platforms.”
“We look forward to working with Congress, the administration, and other stakeholders on policies that protect America’s micro-entrepreneurs and casual sellers, promote innovation and allow online marketplaces to flourish in a responsible and safe manner,” said Coalition Executive Director Chris Lamond.
About the Coalition to Protect America’s Small Sellers
The Coalition is a policy-oriented coalition of third-party marketplaces and eCommerce platforms that have joined forces to educate policymakers on the benefits of our eCommerce business models while also working collaboratively with policymakers to find thoughtful solutions to consumer protection, competition and economic development issues impacting eCommerce. Current Coalition members include eBay, Etsy, Mercari, OfferUp and Poshmark. For more information, or to learn more about joining us, please visit www.protectsmallsellers.org.