Should Congress Shut Down eBay?
I have a huge file on the European Union and the myriad ways bureaucrats in Brussels insinuate themselves and their personal agendas into every facet of business and life. They dictate what can and cannot be done in terms of work rules, consumer marketing, competition, the media, nannies, light bulbs, data and so much more.
In November, the EU issued a directive on noise abatement that included how loud symphony orchestras are allowed to play.
Last week I read the story of how the state of Pennsylvania wants to shut down the thriving eBay auction business of single mom Mary Jo Pletz, which enables her to stay home with her 6-month-old daughter Julia, who has a brain tumor.
The Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s reason: Mary Jo does not have an auctioneer’s license. Having sold 10,000 items on eBay, she is being threatened with $10 million in fines.
As I was reading the story, I got madder and madder—almost to the point of apoplexy. Suddenly a bunch of officious little power-hungry EU-like shock troops were operating in my own back yard.
According to AC Nielsen International Research, June 2006, eBay is used as a primary or secondary source of income by approximately 1.3 million sellers worldwide.
The state of Pennsylvania has gone nuts!
Or has it?
As I pondered the fate of eBay auctioneer Mary Jo Pletz and her daughter with the brain tumor, I ran a search for “eBay” in the computer stories I had noted, downloaded, indexed and archived over the past four years for possible use in this e-zine.
eBay came up 794 times.
eBay is huge. According to one fact sheet:
* It has a presence in 33 markets and has 193 million registered users worldwide.
* $1,608 worth of goods are traded on the site every second.