In a 2012 Dealer Trends Study conducted by the Tennis Industry Association, specialty tennis retailers indicated that competition from online only retailers was their key concern moving forward for their business. Also, in the top 3 of their concerns was the growing issue of "show-rooming," where consumers come into retail stores and interact with retailers to gain their product knowledge, only to leave and complete their purchase through an online dealer. To help level the playing field for brick and mortar retailers to compete with online retailers, Congress introduced the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.
The main statute of the new Act gives states the authorization to require remote sellers (i.e. online retailers) to collect and pay state sales and use taxes on products sold. With the rapid expansion of online shopping and retailing, states are losing out on tax revenue that in the past was generated through brick and mortar sales and retailers have been at a competitive disadvantage to online sellers who were able to offer what was, in essence, lower prices on their products.
On May 6, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 with over 70% of Senators from across the country being in support of the legislation. The bill will now transition over to the House of Representatives for consideration and vote. If the legislation receives the necessary support in the House of Representatives it will be passed on to the President, which has been outspoken about his support of act, to be signed into law.
If you're interested in learning more about the Marketplace Fairness Act and how it impacts your business visit www.marketplacefairness.org.