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eBay CEO Says Tariffs and Taxes Hurt Small Businesses

Devin Wenig
eBay CEO Says Tariffs and Taxes Hurt Small Businesses

eBay CEO Devin Wenig tweeted today his views on the burden of online sales tax and tariffs on small businesses:

“26 states have recently imposed significant internet sales taxes (with more to come), and consumers are now paying heavy tariffs on a wide range of imported products. These have a disproportionate impact on small business and lower income consumers. Will eventually impact economy.”

Of course, one could say the same of eBay fee increases, including the “commission” on shipping costs, which go up every year without eBay having to formally announce a fee increase.

What do sellers think about tariffs? A BizBuySell survey of small businesses gives an indication.

The March survey had found sellers split about the impact of stiff tariffs on Chinese imports, with 39% saying they would see no impact if tariffs were to increase, 32% would be negatively impacted, 9% would be positively impacted, and 19% were unsure. The question asked: “President Trump has proposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports if a trade deal is not reached. If tariffs were to increase, how would that affect your business?”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

8 thoughts on “eBay CEO Says Tariffs and Taxes Hurt Small Businesses”

  1. Wenig sits here complaining about how all of these tariffs and taxes are hurting small sellers but I notice he never mentions how Ebay hiding their listings unless they pay the extortion payments through Promoted Listings manages effects small businesses. I am sure that Ebays incompetence and intentional glitches have had much more to do with small business going under than any of these tariffs or added Sales Taxes have had.

    The only reason that Wenig is complaining is because Ebay is in bed with China and he sees how that is going to impact Ebays bottom line. Then to top it off, Ebay is going to be forced to add more personnel to their payroll to handle the proper payment and reporting of the Sales Tax to the various agencies.
    Wenig would rather be laying more employees off and allowing his defective bots to handle all of the payments. Of course we all know that would wind up putting more money into Ebays pockets since their programmers can’t seem to get anything done correctly without breaking something else and the only glitches that ever get fixed are those that cost Ebay money.

    I can’t wait to see the results of the first Sales Tax audit that Ebay has to undergo with the California Board of Equalization and has to finally go up against an agency or company that he cannot manipulate one way or another. The Sales Tax laws in CA are some of the most cumbersome there are and are constantly changing, even more so than Ebays policies seem to change.

    Welcome to the real world Wenig, where you can no longer control everything to work in your favor no matter what spin you try to put on it !!!

  2. Any action that reduces the amount of money anyone gets, be it through taxes or Fees is a negative situation. The result is always the same, you either learn to live on less, work harder or improvise to make up the loss.

  3. “The result is always the same, you either learn to live on less, work harder or improvise to make up the loss.”

    With that frame of mind, we’ll all be living in tent communities before you know it. People just need to stop accepting what isn’t right and actually do something to make it right. If we all just sit back and let it happen, then that result will most certainly always be the same.

    We sure could use some serious activists like we had in the 60s and 70s right about now — and not the violent, one-sided, or self-serving kind, either. We have enough of that going as it is and it isn’t getting anybody anywhere but dead, literally or otherwise, and it’s only getting worse as a result.

    Something is eventually going to give and I don’t think it’s going to be pretty. I would much rather take proper action now to prevent that. Unfortunately, we’re up against big money with its own agenda, but it’s not an impossible undertaking. People seem to forget that we far outnumber them. LOL

  4. Lol, ok wenig, china shill. Wenig is so much a slave to China, he might as well move there

    Lol to hurting small business. Everyday this man destroys small business with idiotic policies, and unfair business practices like hiding listings and showing chinese fakes the first 10 pages of every search.

  5. Maybe Wenig was just attempting to sound intelligent for once.

    If you are a purchaser of their products, it’s going to hurt. I’m not talking about the crap stuff they push, but the high end items like electronics, vehicles, medical equipment, etc. If that’s where you buy it from, it’s going to hurt. Trump is just hurting his own people.

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