“Power in numbers.” We all learned the phrase as little kids when we were taught how to deal with bullies. Now, eBay is looking to utilize that idea to combat a new bill allowing states to tax online transactions.
As we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks, crowdsourcing has become a valuable and increasingly used tool. The Internet played an integral part in the investigation of the Boston Marathon Bombings, spreading news quickly and making pictures of the suspects available almost everywhere online to help identify the suspects. Google even set up a check in to allow those near the blasts to report they were okay. eBay plans to use crowdsourcing a little differently, but hopefully with the same successful end result.
The Marketplace Fairness Act is likely to be approved by the Senate this week, and will move on to the House of Representatives where it will have a harder time. In an effort to have this bill thrown out, eBay CEO John Donahoe sent out an e-mail to all eBay customers requesting them to contact their local representative and seek a postponement on action of the bill.
eBay and Amazon are the online marketplaces that will be most heavily effected by the new online sales tax. eBay hosts a series of small business that make their primary income by selling goods through the website. Amazon is known for it’s low online prices and that is its chief advantage over retail stores.
Donahoe’s urge to take action will hopefully resonate with the eBay faithful. Unlike Amazon, which is an online retail giant, eBay is host to several small businesses that will be adversely affected as well as several users who rely on the low prices on eBay’s forum. As we’ve seen, crowdsourcing can do wondrous things. Personally, I’m hopeful that “power in numbers” will be enough to throw out this bill.