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FTC INFORM Consumers Act

Have you ever bought something through an online marketplace where third parties sell their products? You’re not alone. Millions of people have. But have you ever wondered who the seller was? Or where they were located? Or how you’d contact them if you had a question about a product?

There’s a new law designed to shed some light on transactions on these marketplaces. The INFORM Consumers Act is designed to deter criminals from selling stolen, counterfeit, or unsafe items through online marketplaces. It also gives shoppers information about sellers and a way to report questionable activity.

The Act says online marketplaces must disclose contact information about many third-party sellers of new or unused consumer products on their product pages or in order confirmation messages. Shoppers could use the information to learn more about a seller they’re not familiar with.

The online marketplace also must give shoppers a way to report suspicious conduct. What might a shopper consider to be suspicious activity?

  • They get an item that looks to be fake or counterfeit.
  • They get an item that’s different from what they ordered — maybe it doesn’t look like the picture on the product page. Or it came in a different quantity.
  • They get an item that has unexpected signs of deterioration or use. Or that's expired.
  • They see a seller advertising branded merchandise at unusually low prices.

Shoppers may not see this information for all third-party sellers — the law covers only “high-volume” third-party sellers that meet specific sales thresholds. To learn more about the law, which takes effect on June 27, 2023, check out Informing Businesses about the INFORM Consumers Act.

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Sandy Minnick
June 14, 2023

Thankful for the new law…. Have heard people complain about orders. I have been too cautious but did have a couple of incidents over past few years - nothing of much value. Thankful our lawmakers are waking up to these problems. Thank you for this website!

June 14, 2023

I had this problem with Amazon. Had no clue the vendor was in China. Returned the item to the local Amazon location & got a return receipt. Amazon charged me again saying I hadn't returned the item. Spent hours on line sending proof. Finally succeeded. Now I will only shop from local brick & mortar stores.

June 21, 2023

In reply to by jr

That was Amazon's screwup, not the 3rd-party vendor's. Laws currently in place protect against those bozos messing up like that. Glad you finally got them to wake up, but I live in an area where you just can't find everything you need in the brick and mortar stores (and that includes Walmart, another big seller of 3rd party merchandise).

Lea Coleman
June 14, 2023

Excellent . Thank You

Teyon Knox
June 21, 2023

Veechill sells on Facebook they are scammers. I have a full email conversation with them I would like for you to read it. How do I email it to you.

Charlene J Cole
June 14, 2023

Thank you so much. This is what I fight for! When the poorest half of our population pays all the bill for this country, they need all the breaks they can get. Good Job!

Peggy Lindsey
June 14, 2023

Most all sellers on facebook are from China.

Connie Ward
August 03, 2023

In reply to by Peggy Lindsey

I believe it Peggy! And when products come from China they are probably painted with lead paint! If they are painted.

June 15, 2023

In reply to by Peggy Lindsey

Same for Amazon and Walmart. Heck, most of the stuff at your Walmart store is from China or some other place way far away.

Sabine Nagasawa
June 15, 2023

In reply to by Peggy Lindsey

Yes, it is disgusting because they use American addresses and you don't find out that it comes from China until after you paid for the items. And then you get something that does not remotely look like what you have ordered.
Often it is not worth the hassle to return it if you even can return it.

June 15, 2023

I am so happy to hear about this new law. I could have used it a year ago when I ordered some thing from what looked to be a legitimate online website. The merchandise sent was not at all like what was pictured (they sent junk) and when I asked for an address to return it I was told I had to return it to Shanghai China and pay shipping. The item cost $100. It was heavy and shipping it to Shanghai in China would have been cost prohibitive. I tried to dispute the item through my credit card but because they could prove they delivered it to me I got no help. I am happy for this law now. I am also much careful ordering things.

Jay Regallis
June 15, 2023

Great news! Thank you for your efforts, and letting us know!

Pat Lawrence
June 15, 2023

How do I get this tool in order to check out third party sellers because I shop online through Amazon quite often and have had some of the problems you speak about thank you so much for helping us consumers to know the ins and outs of these Crooks a very thankful consumer keep up the good work makes me feel that we still have someone working on our side just wish they'd do something about Communications because I'm tired of all these telemarketer calls and if you look on the internet just looking before you know it you got a bunch of telemarketer calls wish we could do something about that as well again I thank you FTC

June 21, 2023

In reply to by Pat Lawrence

Amazon has a spot where it says; See Sellers information. That shows the sellers information. You can also look up shipping and return information there. Every product tells you where it's shipping from, you just need to explore the item information. Also if you are searching items on the internet and then you start getting Spammed you should search in incognito mode. Then you can't be tracked. It's also best to clear your search history daily, your cache and cookies on your device.

June 15, 2023

I purchased an air mattress fold up bed for 35.00 on marketplace. I never received the purchased bed. Instead I received a yellow key chain. They never sent the refund either.
At this point I don’t know what else to do.

June 15, 2023

Thank you for sharing the important awareness for all

June 15, 2023

I ordered a garden bench that had a canvass bag for incidentals. Fed Ex delivered only the cheap canvass bag. When I inquired where the bench was, they said they had documentation that a delivery was made. I was out the $ I paid for the bench.

June 15, 2023

I ordered from a company in China. I did not know it was coming from China. Clarks shoes were supposed to be leather and supportative. Instead I got shoes made of rubber and plastic that were extremely painful. It would cost me 2X the cost of the shoes to send them back to China even though their ad said, “made in America”. Lost that money!

Sharon Scarselli
July 03, 2023

In reply to by Sharon

Omg I ordered same shoes after around 23 emails back and forth I disputed on my credit card took 2 months to resolve but I got the credit . The shoes were a piece of crab plastic not leather and not at all as pictured.

Al Hartman
June 15, 2023

I really like this info!

Sherri Olsen
June 15, 2023

If you're going to the trouble to make this law, please reduce the number/size volume a company has to meet to fall into this guideline! This needs to apply to any third party sellers.

Jane Davis
June 16, 2023

Amazon is a retailer in customer allocation and price-fixing collusion with over two million third-party retailers. The same thing is true about Walmart.

One day, you will see Walmart products sold on Amazon as a third-party seller, and that will be exactly different how?

INFORM applies to genuine marketplaces, it does not apply to online retailers, but the Sherman Antitrust Act does.

Enforce the law, please, or dont enforce it and let everyone fix prices and allocate customers lawfully. Let us all form cartels of millions of unaffiliated businesses, if Amazon and Walmart are forming them.

Pankaj rishika…
June 20, 2023

I already mailed them according to legal and right action after getting that company and Google have joined hand ..but i am little and middle family stUtus in my country how could I can match the money men of trading world scammist

June 20, 2023

I ordered a bread.maker through Walmart and knew that it was coming from a third party seller. As soon as the seller sent the message saying package was sent I started tracking it through FedEx. I noticed that the weight was way off and just thought it was a typo. And soon the message came that my package was delivered, and it was delivered but not to me. It was delivered about 200 miles away. I contacted Walmart and they were great, I was refunded money. However I really wanted the bread maker but the Walmart rep said that the seller had terminated their account. I would really like this to be investigated. It really bothers me not knowing what the package contained.

Wanda Green
June 20, 2023

When you need even a used product from an online source and they were to ignorant to take the post down and you wait 3 or 4 days the person should be fined, when it was already sold!

June 21, 2023

Great law to inform and protect consumers. My wife ordered shoes from supposedly reputable company and the shoes looked cheaply made and smelled chemically.

June 27, 2023

Buy American..or we will inevitably become fragile and bankrupt. America will be China if we dont start supporting our Country

Fiona Cortland
October 04, 2023

Buying a motorised wheelchair from an online marketplace which was made in China, but supposedly assembled in the USA despite the box saying "Made In China" and having no enclosed invoice is suspicious activity. When the aforementioned vehicle arrives defective, unsafe and unusable, the must be some consumer protections. I can't find any.

Rosie Barnes
January 02, 2024

Would you believe that employees that work in receiving and shipping exchange replace authentic fragrances with counterfeit then ship them out to customers
This happened to me twice on YSL
I know that this is a good company I have ordered from them before
Libre is the fragrance I’m referring to sent to me twice with no clear seal wrapping the cap was to big for the fragrance so I know it’s not real
Just maybe all designers should look into where the problem lies
In receiving and shipping
I believe this would end customers getting counterfeit fragrance