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eBay Overcharges Sales Tax on Batteries

eBay Overcharges Sales Tax on Batteries

Some buyers said eBay overcharged them for batteries over the past few days. On Saturday, a buyer cited an example where a watch battery that cost $1.95 plus $1 shipping was showing tax of $10.71 – “I am in Wisconsin and the tax should be 5%,” the buyer wrote.

Buyers also discussed the problem in another thread, also started on Saturday, with one buyer writing “Once you add multiple items to your cart it can look really crazy. 50 batteries at $1.15 each = $530 in taxes.”

A reader alerted us to the problem, saying they believed it was related to fees for state regulations on sale/recycling of lead acid car batteries. “Seems like they applied the fees to all batteries and it really added up on multiples.”

The reader told us they thought the problem might now be fixed, “but I don’t know if eBay is going to refund excess fees that may have been paid by buyers in error.”

But the problem would be costly for sellers too, since eBay charges commission fees on the total transaction – including sales tax – through its Managed Payments program.

We’ve found no acknowledgement of the problem from eBay itself or how it would handle any over-billing.

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/.

7 thoughts on “eBay Overcharges Sales Tax on Batteries”

  1. Sellers still using PayPal would also be on the hook for fees on the tax amount, though a smaller %. While I believe eBay absolutely has an ethical obligation there too, it could be a a more complicated situation.

    Either way, I think they need to get the buyer side of this taken care of ASAP. Not only is it the right thing to do, but eBay proactively taking responsibility could also head off some nasty negative feedback for the sellers on top of everything else.

  2. Just another example of Ebay stealing from their customers as there is no way they will remit the over collected funds to the states that should get it. Instead it will just wind up making its way from a Liability on the Balance Sheet to other income on the Profit and Loss Statement. I guess Ebay has gotten so desperate now that they are even stealing from their buyers to try and make it look like they have any growth just to try and stay in the game a little longer.

    Jamie Iannone is no different than Wenig except he is just quieter when Ebay once again gets caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Remember Iannone, that as the CEO when you sign that those Financial Statements are correct to the best of your knowledge that you are also saying that you are now willing to go to jail once Ebay is caught once again doing their shenanigans. Wenig got out of Dodge while the getting was good, you will probably not be so lucky.

  3. Ebay is now charging sale tax on gift cards. I have never been charged sales tax when buying a gift card.

    1. Since it is not a taxable sale, anybody want to bet they dont remit that money to the states but once again manage to pocket the extra money. As Ina stated in another article, Ebay is really getting creative with their new ways of stealing Sellers and now Buyers monies. I never thought I would see the day that Ebay would actually steal from their Buyers also, but Iannone has taken Ebay to even lower depths than Wenig was willing to go.

      Anything to boost that year end bonus, right Jamie??

      I see why it took Ebay so long to fill the permanent CEO position. They had to look very long and hard to find a more crooked CEO than Wenig was. He may not be doing the actual stealing but he is turning his back while Wenigs old minions, who are now his minions, continue to dig their graves deeper and deeper. I really hope that Ebay is still monitoring this site and our responses because they Jamie needs to know that he is not fooling very many people with his blind eye trick, only those that are really blind. I hope when the time comes that he and Wenig either share a cell or at least have adjoining cells so they can commiserate while trying to figure out how they ever got caught.

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