Jim Hawkins, ‘Protecting Consumers as Sellers’

When the majority of modern contract and consumer protection laws were written in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, consumers almost always acted as buyers, and businesses almost always acted as sellers. As a result, these laws reflect a model of strong sellers and weak buyers. But paradigms are shifting. Advances in technology and constraints on consumers’ financial lives have pushed consumers into new roles. Consumers today often act as sellers – hawking gold to make ends meet, peddling durable goods on eBay, or offering services in the sharing economy to make a profit. Consumers and business models have changed, but the laws have not. This Article uncovers the new role that consumers play as sellers and argues that lawmakers should reform outdated laws to protect them.

Hawkins, Jim, Protecting Consumers as Sellers (March 26, 2018). Indiana Law Journal, forthcoming.

First posted 2018-04-02 07:24:42

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