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How would internet sales tax affect your buying?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
http://mashable.com/2013/05/14/internet-sales-tax-shopping/

44% of online shoppers say they would cut back if the Marketplace Fairness Act passes through Congress. I wonder if it is only a matter of time.... interesting that it only applies to retailers making over $1 million (eHABERDASHER would be exempt for the time being, so you guys are safe in the near term!)
post #2 of 16
In the area of clothing, I strongly prefer to try stuff on before I buy, so I prefer brick and mortar. Having said that, my city is not a hot bed of fine men's clothing stores, so I shop on-line a fair amount - mostly for selection and convenience. I like not paying my state's 5.5% sales tax, but I can't really justify why on-line stores should get a built-in 5.5% price advantage (in my state) versus brick and mortar stores.
post #3 of 16

Actually how does this work? Say, a physical store like Leffot with only locations in NY, or Leathersoul with locations in HI and CA, do they charge sales tax if shipped to outside of their home states? Assuming if they generate $1M+ sales yearly.

post #4 of 16

edit: didn't get the last bit. Would like to learn more about this too.

post #5 of 16

It wouldn't.

 

I ned to stop buying online though because I really should be handling the item and trying it on. I just can't be assed to get out to the stores and impulse buy when I can't sleep.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Actually how does this work? Say, a physical store like Leffot with only locations in NY, or Leathersoul with locations in HI and CA, do they charge sales tax if shipped to outside of their home states? Assuming if they generate $1M+ sales yearly.

My understanding is that currently a Leffot would only charge tax for NY destinations, but no tax when shipping outside NY, regardless of whether or not that destination state would normally charge sales tax. Under the new law (if the Act passes), Leffot, if shipping to say California, would need to charge/collect the CA sales tax rate.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by eHaberdasher View Post


My understanding is that currently a Leffot would only charge tax for NY destinations, but no tax when shipping outside NY, regardless of whether or not that destination state would normally charge sales tax. Under the new law (if the Act passes), Leffot, if shipping to say California, would need to charge/collect the CA sales tax rate.

 

This is my understanding as well.  For me, the law would simply take away the competitive advantage that certain internet retailers have in being able to sell their products for less due to the absence of sales tax.  I might buy less from Amazon, but retailers like Kent Wang and EHberdasher will still have the advantage of being able to offer lower prices due to the lack of overhead and costs associated with B&M stores and retail employees.

post #8 of 16
I don't think it will have much effect on me. I don't buy many things online - mainly books and some basic items from Lands End. Both charge me sales tax now as they have locations in my home state, so nothing would change with them.

When buying expensive electronics, clothing, shoes, etc., I prefer to purchase locally. I like being able to look at / try on items and I get much better customer service from the local shops. Pricewise, I get close to the same prices at my local establishments - usually within 5% to 10% of online prices. For me, that is worth keeping a local merchant in business so I have a place to look at inventory and place to go when I need service.

Chris
post #9 of 16
Honestly, I'm always expecting to pay tax online. It's a nice surprise when they don't, but It would not affect online shopping for me...
post #10 of 16
NJ should still be tax-free, correct? (For clothing at least, Amazon will be another story.)
post #11 of 16

All this tax is going to do is hurt American companies by enticing people to buy oversees.

post #12 of 16
It would likely not affect my buying patterns at all. I'm not that much of a bargain shopper, but I am a sport shopper, and I regularly pay shipping costs from the UK and EU that would be considerably more than sales tax in any state, simply because a lot of the goods for which I am looking are never imported by any US retailer. For online retail, my criteria are, in roughly this order: where are the goods available, of the choices I have, which offers the fastest and cheapest shipping, the retail price, and lastly, whether or not there are any discounts. So while price is a consideration, it's hardly the deciding factor.

I think that the real issue is in the burden this places on even medium sized companies. $1MM in sales sounds like a lot, but it really is not. I know a lot of B&M shops with maybe a half dozen employees which turn over $1MM/a in sales regularly, and it's not like they are killing it, after all their expenses. I think that if this law is going to be effective, there are going to have to be cheap or free online programs that allow retailers to easily collect and remit sales taxes. Otherwise, it's just not going to be done.
post #13 of 16
Seeking proxies in states with no sales tax or clothing sales tax!!

ps, won't change my normal buying behavior but for major purchases I will almost definitely try to get around of it.
post #14 of 16
My buying will be marginally affected. Prices online tend to be cheaper than b&m stores even with taxes calculated in and often online retailers offer free shipping. Sometimes local stores don't carry the things I want to buy anyway. For example, I wear wide shoes, which stores sometimes don't have in stock. A lot of online stores offer free returns and exchanges, so getting the wrong size isn't really a big deal. Sometimes, I'd rather no travel to a store, so I'll order online. Basically, things I would have bought online, I would have bought online anyway. The taxes on online purchases would only affect my purchases if the prices were the same or cheaper, I need it immediately, or I'm already there.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theyare View Post

NJ should still be tax-free, correct? (For clothing at least, Amazon will be another story.)

Yes NJ is tax free on clothing - one of the few great things about the armpit of America!
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