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EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – August 11, 2019

Letters to the Editor column
Letters to the Editor column

In every issue, readers soundoff about issues important to them. From shipping issues to payment processing, from fees to online marketplace policies, EcommerceBytes Soundoff gives you a chance to air your views.

Dear Ina,
eBay charged me 8% New York state sales tax on an item I purchased from Germany. Is that correct or even legal? I’ve searched various forums but have not found an answer.

Hi Ina,
Writing to you regarding the eBay catalogue. You know, the catalogue that is supposed to make things clearer for the buyer, end confusion, standardize the item offered for sale, etc. So when people are shopping, they know EXACTLY what they are buying or bidding on. For a search for a Zebra label printer, model ZP500:

As you scroll down through the offerings, you see eBay’s insertions such as:
“2 new & refurbished from $137.00”
AND “6 new & refurbished from $132.00”
AND “3 new & refurbished from $179.00”

This is for the exact same model printer! Glad they cleared that up.

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Send your letter to the editor by emailing ina@auctionbytes.com with “Letters to the Editor” in the subject line (remember to include your name as you would like it to appear).

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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/.

2 thoughts on “EcommerceBytes Soundoff: Letters to the Editor – August 11, 2019”

  1. In response to the writer who was charged NY sales tax on an item from Germany. The answer is “YES.” I’ve had long phone calls with our NY Sales Tax people. The NY laws are written so that ANYTHING from ANYWHERE brought into the state of NY must have sales tax paid on it.

    Last year I rec’d a bill for $1275 for some product I imported fro Mexico 4 years ago. My friend was charged $270 sales tax on two sweatshirts she purchased from eBay for a total of $18.99 about the same length of time ago. The tax board went to the customs logs & picked out everything purchased by NY residents from outside of the State & then charged penalties & interest.

    This is not heresay–I lived through this & felt the pain. Talked to my tax pro about it & he just said: “They’re brutal–just pay the bill.”

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