Organized gangs continue to profit off of goods stolen from Georgia retailers by selling them on online platforms. In 2021 alone, this illegal activity cost consumers nationwide $69 billion. The Inform Consumers Act, which was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Kemp, went into effect on January 1, 2023. The goal of this legislation is to prevent criminals from selling stolen goods on any online marketplace platform and to protect Georgians who unknowingly purchase these stolen and counterfeit goods. Also be aware that a federal version of the INFORM Consumers Act effective June 27, 2023, provides additional enforcement mechanisms to the Attorney General to bring a civil action in district court against any online marketplace believed to be in violation of the Act.
The Inform Consumers Act establishes financial and contact information requirements and disclosures for third-party, high-volume sellers operating on online marketplaces. High-volume sellers are defined as third-party sellers who make $5,000 or more in 12 continuous months and have entered into 200 or more transactions in an online marketplace. The law also requires that online marketplaces establish a mechanism that allows consumers to report suspicious activity. Sellers whose annual revenue on the marketplace exceeds $20,000 must also provide their contact information to consumers.
Failure to comply with these provisions shall be considered an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act and could result in the imposition of significant civil penalties.