The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday said it would issue guidance on how retailers should respond to “sales force” orders from “an unknown entity.”
The guidance, to be issued this month, comes after the DOJ issued guidance last year for businesses that are selling goods on eBay, Amazon, and other platforms.
In the guidance, the DOJ outlined the requirements for responding to an “unknown entity” (OTA) sale, in which a seller sells an item without disclosing the source of its goods.
According to the DOJ, an OTA seller must:Notify a customer that the item is not their own, but that the seller is selling it on behalf of a third party.
Provide customers with a clear description of the item, including the vendor, its origin, and a description of its condition.
Provides the customer with a written statement from the vendor confirming the item’s identity.
The OTA sellers also have to ensure that the items they sell are in working order, the government said.
The DOJ said it will use the guidance to “help ensure that sellers are able to properly respond to a buyer’s OTA order,” and that retailers should “proactively” follow these requirements.
As for retailers who are selling on eBay and other platform, the guidance says:”In these instances, the seller should also provide the customer an option to opt-out of the OTA delivery.”
The DOJ noted that the Ota seller can be a business that is selling a product in a state that does not allow OTA, and that the buyer can opt-in to an Ota delivery if the buyer chooses.
An OTA buyer can be charged up to $10 per delivery.
The guidance was released during the DOJ’s third-quarter earnings call, and was not announced by the DOJ before it was released.
This post will be updated with any new information as it becomes available.
Follow Jack on Twitter.