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Something from California that makes sense, internet non-taxes

Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at 1:31 PM

It is being reported that a Republican Congressman and Democrat Congresswoman introduced the "Supporting the Preservation of Internet Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses" resolution last week. The resolution opposes states that are introducing new taxes on small online businesses, including requirements to collect and remit sales taxes for out-of-state online purchases.

Obviously I like the idea but I am also impressed that it came from both sides of the aisle. An extension to this great idea would be to do the same for Federal Income taxes, but we take it where we can get it.

An argument heard previously in favor of taxes is that it would level the playing field with 'brick n' mortar' stores, but when you calculate the shipping costs incurred with an internet transaction, it usually balances out, so more taxes would UN-level the playing field. In my opinion, of course.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

OR get rid of Federal income tax and go flat sales tax.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 3:31 PM

EM, I need a like button for your comment.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 3:33 PM

On a side note, we have sales going to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, United Kingdom, Israel and Germany in just the past 7 days. Hope they don't tell us we have to collect for them too!

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 4:39 PM

Sharon, I need a like button for your comment as well! And the flat tax is an awesome idea, but it makes too much sense and is too honest an approach for the government to take...too few smoke and mirrors.

Steve, I have been wracking my little trying-to-become-an-entrepreneur brain wondering how it is they are going to police the sales of the big countries flooding eBay with their overseas sales, while they simultaneously try to get everyone here to collect taxes on everyone we sell to *bangs head on computer*. It is enough to make me give up before I really get started.

-- Posted by cats4me on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 8:19 PM

Don't give up before you give it a try. Our sales this week have actually been as much to overseas people as it has been to Stateside, so we may be contributing to flooding THEIR market.

Have you been selling overseas? eBay recommends that sellers have a statement informing international customers that sellers do not pay taxes or import fees. Hope that never changes. What a mess it would be.

We thought we were going to lose a $60 sale because we would not falsify the value of the purchase, nor declare it as a gift. (we state that in our listing also)

Several months ago we lost a $140 sale to Germany for that reason. This time though, it worked out. They wanted what they bought more than the import fees so they withdrew their request.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 9:25 PM


There are tons of ways to make money, eBay is a great place to subsidize. It is very hard to make a sale there unless it is a rare if you are just starting out. For example, I just sold an ALPS printer that I paid 50 bux for 10 years ago for $400 dollars. I treat my things really well so it was in excellent condition for its age.

I am not sure if you heard it, but Find your Niche. Sell something that people want or create a need. I did that for my latest product, and I sell more to China, Japan, Middle East and Europe. I have only sold 3 units in the United States. They just can't think outside of the box, too closed-minded to trying new ideas and technologies.

No loss here;)

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 9:31 PM

I've been doing this off and on for a couple of years now, but still think of myself as a complete newbie. I think I'm discouraged this month because of a spate of "Where's My Item" international situations. I do feel like my international sales have really picked up here lately. My niche is definitely clothing, shoes, and accessories.

Thank you for your advice. It is encouraging!

-- Posted by cats4me on Thu, Feb 24, 2011, at 2:58 PM

You can not get dinged on DSRs for international shipping time but that does not mean they can't get you elsewhere. With the weather we have been having and the way shipments are sent to California to get to Maine, I am not surprised with slow shipments. That affects international as well.

Out of many international shipments (maybe 1,000+-) we have only had one disappear. There might be a second one but I can not pinpoint it. Less than 10 have been fingernail biting late.

I am sure you know this cats4me, but staying in touch with them and voicing your mutual concern goes a long way to improving their patience. In our case we assure them we are with them all the way. Either they get their item or we refund.

We have refunded twice and were repaid on one when it arrived a month late. The other one disappeared (maybe into someone's collection, but we believe not the original buyer).

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 7:52 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.