EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 Sales Tax for Amazon in California: Will it affect S.F.? | Baghdad By The Bay

Sales Tax for Amazon in California: Will it affect S.F.?

I’ve been reading a lot about Amazon’s outrage on having to pay sales tax in California and I’ve been doing a little bit of thinking about it. I honestly think that they should collect sales tax in California, but the idea that they’re not having to collect it is hurting local businesses is incorrect. Even if they do collect sales tax, it is in my opinion that they will still hurt local businesses and here is why.

Amazon, which started as a book store is now the king of online purchasing. They have their shipping down and their huge inventory controlled in such a way that they can purchase the products they sell as a far greater discounted rate. If you purchase a book on Amazon that costs $25 that same book might cost you closer to $35 + tax at a large brick and mortar book store. If you go to your local mom and pop family owned book store [are then any of these left even?] you’ll probably be paying closer to $45 + tax for the same book.

If you purchase $25 or more the shipping is free, so the only draw back is you have to wait a little bit. I have been able to purchase items on Amazon that were sometimes more than 50% less that other online merchants and even more inexpensive than the brick and mortar stores. To all the local businesses out there I’ve got one thing to say to you and listen up good, the good ole days are coming to an end. If it’s not food or other non-perishable product that can be shipped quickly and efficiently, you’re pretty much going to have to look your business as whether it will be long term or not.

Most of the purchases I or my friends make, unless we’re talking groceries are done online because it’s a good way to save money. I have not been to a record store in years because I can download an album for $9.99 and not pay $16.99 for a CD [which are being marked down constantly as we speak.]  Clothes I still tend to go to a real store to purchase just to make sure it fits unless it sizes S-M-L-XL, then I just go for the large and I know it fits. I find myself looking on line to try and find necessities that my family needs to see if I can get it for less and no, I don’t care about having to pay sales tax, it’s more about whether or not I have to pay shipping.

Bottom line: Amazon, pay the damn sales taxes, it’s not going to hurt you one bit and you’ll help out the state of California while you’re still pulling away sales from the local businesses.

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Comments: 2 Comments
  • mike

    I don’t think Amazon should have to collect taxes in states they don’t have a presence in. Are we missing out on revenues? Yes. However, that it would be nice to have that money is not the point. It is the princilple of the concept.

    EVERYONE else in the process, from the the income tax of the person driving the delivery truck to the company that provided a interent connection paid some kind of tax on my transaction, becuase they are actually IN the state.

    When I go to Amazon, I look at the price and to be quite honest, the fact that I am saving a bit on sales tax is not on my mind. What usually happens goes something like this, “Hmmm . . . . XYZ is for $25.00 on Amazon including two day shipping and everywhere else it is $28.00 plus 3-5 day shipping. Cool! Amazon it is. Hey, no sales tax! Even cooler!”. In other words, the sales tax issue is not the deciding factor.

    You are correct in that the times are a-changing and you better realize that or die. To paraphrase Darwin, it is not the “Strongest” but the the most “Adaptable” that survive.

  • Anonymous

    I think the point others are trying to make is that it would infuse up to [the number varies] $18-$22 billion into the state’s economy.

    You also have to figure out that many of the other online companies do charge shipping and Amazon doesn’t which puts them in an even better position. I just went to order some business cards onine today and the shipping they wanted to charge was more than the actual cost of the cards, but they were still far cheaper than you could get them at your local printer. Like around 10% of the price of a local printer.

    To me, it would be nice if California got the money, but then we would also have to start making all online businesses pay tax in the state if they sell to anyone here which would be a real nightmare in my mind.