The SHOP SAFE Act is ill-thought out and will cost all of us, let’s stop it!

Congress is once again trying to fix a very specific problem with a broad solution (and this one is relevant for you!). We support the SHOP SAFE Act’s underlying goal of protecting consumers from unsafe and defective counterfeit products (who would not?).  The problem is that SHOP SAFE tackles the issue in a way that would make it incredibly difficult for small businesses and individuals to sell anything online. It will do little to stop sophisticated counterfeiters and will ultimately do collectors more harm than good, by obstructing competition and hindering consumers’ ability to resell their own items.

A Statue of Themis, but is it a copy of something else,
and do you know where it was made?


Think about trying to sell something used online. Think about having a few pins, Matchbox models or Dorbz that are just part of your current Collection theme. So, as many of us do these days, you list them online on hobbyDB. Or a friend says they know someone who wants them and puts you in touch via email. You exchange the not anymore needed Collectibles for some cash, and everyone’s happy.

Now imagine that before you can make that sale, you have to send hobbyDB (or your email provider) a copy of your government ID. And verify that you took “reasonable steps,” whatever that means, to make sure the Collectibles are not counterfeit. And state in your listing where they were made, or if you don’t know, tell hobbyDB all the steps you took to try and figure that out. And carefully word your listing to avoid anything that might get it caught in an automated trademark filter. At this point, you might reasonably decide to just forgo all of this. But why should you?  We need legislation that makes sense and is well thought out.  The SHOP SAFE Act is not.

In fact, SHOP SAFE is an imprecise, destructive approach to preventing sales of dangerous products, and there’s little reason to think the benefits would outweigh the costs to competition and collector choice.  Let’s not hurt our Members with a law that’s supposed to help them.

That is why we signed this letter together with Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, Mercari, Pinterest and some others.

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2 years ago

Please keep us informed of the outcome..

2 years ago

Fully support your efforts to stop this folly.

2 years ago

Seems total overreach, so I am with you here.

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