Governor Rendell signed a law on October 8, 2008 amending the Auctioneer and Auction Licensing Act to include the Trading Assistant Registration Act. This law went into effect December 8, 2008. Anyone selling personal property on behalf of others as a Trading Assistant or Consignment Broker on ebay or any other online internet bidding platform for a commission or fee is required to comply with this new law.
Trading Assistants must now register with the State Board of Auctioneer Examiners. This process is much simpler than traditional Auctioneers, and involves completing the registration application and obtaining a $5,000 surety bond. Trading Assistants will also be required to place monies in escrow, disclose their registration number on all transactions, provide written receipts, and will be subject to fines and penalties for failure to register or comply with the new law. A registered Trading Assistant appointed by the Governor will represent Trading Assistants on the State Board of Auctioneer Examiners.
We understand failure to be registered as a Trading Assistant carries a potential fine of up to $500, a prison term of up to three months, or both. A second offense or conviction carries a fine of up to $2,000 to $5,000, imprisonment of not less than one to two years, or both. The civil penalty includes a fine of up to $1,000.
Surety Bond Associates believes this relatively new law is a positive step, and will add a level of legitimacy and professionalism to the Trading Assistant industry, while at the same time give their trading partners peace of mind that online transactions are handled in a safe and secure manner.