Anyone know why

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
panela
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Anyone know why
6 months ago

Amazon was going to charge me 7.50 for "free" shipping and almost 70 dollars for taxes on my order of the 18 and 60 lenses? I ordered from B&H with no charges whatsoever but really wanted to support this site as I am a frequent reader. However paying almost 80 bucks more did not make any sense.

Any thoughts?

RusYus
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to panela, 6 months ago

Amazon started taxing. Not much you could do about it. Shipping, i'm not sure, but possible that you ordered your lenses from different sellers, one is free shipping, another is not. Also you might have chosen wrong shipping type accidentally, not a free one.

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Robert A
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to panela, 6 months ago

Amazon collects taxes now.  Although B&H doesn't do the same, taxes are still technically due.

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jack Hoggard
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to panela, 6 months ago

Amazon gives free 2-day shipping to Prime Members, which now costs $100/year.  They charge taxes to those states where they have facilities.

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Al Valentino
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to jack Hoggard, 6 months ago

jack Hoggard wrote:

Amazon gives free 2-day shipping to Prime Members, which now costs $100/year. They charge taxes to those states where they have facilities.

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jaxupra

Exactly. If they have a physical presence in your location they collect sales tax. They started this in New Jersey, where I live,  last summer so between that and raising the limit on free shipping from $25 to $35 they lost much of my business.

There is a small catch or work around that is important to understand. That is sometimes the purchased item is not from Amazon but another seller using amazon. That is why sometimes the prices can go up or down since if amazon does not the item in stock another seller might raise the price - happens a lot with new lenses and cameras when stock is limited. Anyway, my point is if you live in an area where amazon does not charge tax but the seller is located in your area/state, then they will add sales tax. So always double check.

BH is my go to camera store now, no tax and free shipping to NJ. but several years back Adorama in New York added a warehouse in NJ so that means I get taxed fro ordering from them.

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hjr13
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to panela, 6 months ago

panela wrote:

Amazon was going to charge me 7.50 for "free" shipping and almost 70 dollars for taxes on my order of the 18 and 60 lenses? I ordered from B&H with no charges whatsoever but really wanted to support this site as I am a frequent reader. However paying almost 80 bucks more did not make any sense.

Any thoughts?

Amazon started collecting taxes for all states, B&H isn't as big as Amazon so they haven't made them do it yet. Amazon defaults to standard shipping, you have to pick the free shipping when you check out.

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Les Lammers
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to hjr13, 6 months ago

I am in Florida and paid no tax on my recent Fuji purchases.

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hjr13
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to Les Lammers, 6 months ago

Les Lammers wrote:

I am in Florida and paid no tax on my recent Fuji purchases.

I was mistaken, I live in NC and they started here. It seems they are doing it state by state. eventually they will in all states, they are the largest on line retailer, so they are the main target.

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Marcos Villaroman
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Look very carefully at the actual seller
In reply to panela, 6 months ago

panela wrote:

Amazon was going to charge me 7.50 for "free" shipping and almost 70 dollars for taxes on my order of the 18 and 60 lenses? I ordered from B&H with no charges whatsoever but really wanted to support this site as I am a frequent reader. However paying almost 80 bucks more did not make any sense.

Any thoughts?

The thing I hate about the Amazon website is that when you do a search and filter on "Amazon Prime", you see the Amazon Prime price with free shipping.  However, when you click through to the item and add it to your shopping cart, you might end up with actually putting in an order with a 3rd party company.  I would double check your shopping cart very carefully to see who is actually fullfilling the order.

If you aren't an Amazon Prime member, you need to double check that all of the items in the cart qualify towards the free shipping.

As for tax, yeah Amazon is collecting it now.

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historianx
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to Les Lammers, 6 months ago

Les Lammers wrote:

I am in Florida and paid no tax on my recent Fuji purchases.

I am in CO and paid no taxes on my recent Fuji and other Amazon purchases.

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deednets
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Interesting attitude towards taxes ...
In reply to panela, 6 months ago

panela wrote:

Amazon was going to charge me 7.50 for "free" shipping and almost 70 dollars for taxes on my order of the 18 and 60 lenses? I ordered from B&H with no charges whatsoever but really wanted to support this site as I am a frequent reader. However paying almost 80 bucks more did not make any sense.

Any thoughts?

I read the whole thread so far where people talk about how they avoid paying any taxes. That's just great, who wants to pay taxes aye??

The downside is of course that the local retailers will disappear over time because they don't have a choice, they HAVE to pay taxes when somebody walks in an buys a product.

Interesting attitude demonstrated here where I think that I will possibly get flamed by people who think that no taxes, tax avoidance etc is the way to go, only stupid people pay taxes right??

Yeah, yeah, that's not the point right?? I personally think that this is exactly the point!

Here in New Zealand there are many people now asking as to how online retailers from overseas can be taxed (we have GST like the UK has VAT, quite substantial tax, 15% here and I believe 20% in the UK??). There is actually quite a bit of sympathy for brick & mortar shops here, that don't have a choice. Ony the most (tempted to use the term selfish, but that is of course never the case, right??) cleverestest people think that this is the way to go, get over it, only idiots pay taxes! We had this change of some wedding gown shops charging for trying dresses on, some of them wanted up to 100.00 for trying and customers were disgusted - until there was an article in the paper that it now is common practise to try the dress on in the shop - and then buy online, no taxes, no shop front ... makes me quite angry this, but apparently this is the way to go, right?

Deed

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Les Lammers
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to hjr13, 6 months ago

They are fighting it but....

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dannybgoode
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Re: Interesting attitude towards taxes ...
In reply to deednets, 6 months ago

Here in New Zealand there are many people now asking as to how online retailers from overseas can be taxed (we have GST like the UK has VAT, quite substantial tax, 15% here and I believe 20% in the UK??). There is actually quite a bit of sympathy for brick & mortar shops here, that don't have a choice. Ony the most (tempted to use the term selfish, but that is of course never the case, right??) cleverestest people think that this is the way to go, get over it, only idiots pay taxes! We had this change of some wedding gown shops charging for trying dresses on, some of them wanted up to 100.00 for trying and customers were disgusted - until there was an article in the paper that it now is common practise to try the dress on in the shop - and then buy online, no taxes, no shop front ... makes me quite angry this, but apparently this is the way to go, right?

Deed

VAT is indeed 20% in the UK.  People forget over here when comparing to US prices that most US prices shown do not include the sales tax whereas the UK prices do.

Online retailers such as Amazon have always charged VAT to consumers - the big argument over here is how much they pay in business taxes to the UK exchequer as they base themselves offshore to avoid a lot of the money that a UK based (usually bricks & mortar shop) have to pay to operate.

There was a big enquiry and Google, Starbucks, Amazon and others had to appear before MP's.  All perfectly legal of course - accountancy firms specialising in tax law are big business! - but it caused a bit of a stir for a few weeks.

The loophole until recently were firms based in Guernsey and Jersey when on lower cost items VAT was not chargeable.

Amazon (and others - Play.com for eg) set up there and would sell things like CD's, computer games, books etc and sold them less the VAT but that loophole has recently been closed so in terms of VAT it is now a pretty level playing field but in terms of company taxes the online retailers still have an edge.

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deednets
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Re: Interesting attitude towards taxes ...
In reply to dannybgoode, 6 months ago

dannybgoode wrote:

Here in New Zealand there are many people now asking as to how online retailers from overseas can be taxed (we have GST like the UK has VAT, quite substantial tax, 15% here and I believe 20% in the UK??). There is actually quite a bit of sympathy for brick & mortar shops here, that don't have a choice. Ony the most (tempted to use the term selfish, but that is of course never the case, right??) cleverestest people think that this is the way to go, get over it, only idiots pay taxes! We had this change of some wedding gown shops charging for trying dresses on, some of them wanted up to 100.00 for trying and customers were disgusted - until there was an article in the paper that it now is common practise to try the dress on in the shop - and then buy online, no taxes, no shop front ... makes me quite angry this, but apparently this is the way to go, right?

Deed

VAT is indeed 20% in the UK. People forget over here when comparing to US prices that most US prices shown do not include the sales tax whereas the UK prices do.

Online retailers such as Amazon have always charged VAT to consumers - the big argument over here is how much they pay in business taxes to the UK exchequer as they base themselves offshore to avoid a lot of the money that a UK based (usually bricks & mortar shop) have to pay to operate.

There was a big enquiry and Google, Starbucks, Amazon and others had to appear before MP's. All perfectly legal of course - accountancy firms specialising in tax law are big business! - but it caused a bit of a stir for a few weeks.

The loophole until recently were firms based in Guernsey and Jersey when on lower cost items VAT was not chargeable.

Amazon (and others - Play.com for eg) set up there and would sell things like CD's, computer games, books etc and sold them less the VAT but that loophole has recently been closed so in terms of VAT it is now a pretty level playing field but in terms of company taxes the online retailers still have an edge.

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I am all for it, otherwise the way we live and what we have taken for granted will simply disappear ...

Deed

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panela
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Re: Interesting attitude towards taxes ...
In reply to deednets, 6 months ago

as advertised ergo they got my order.

Thanks again for all your replies and answers..... all for your kind replies. I am from Ontario, Canada and spend 6 months in Texas.  What was interesting is that I could have ordered from Henrys in Canada, got free shipping to Texas and no Ontario tax which is 13%.  Now, I will go back to Canada in a couple of weeks but the company would not allow me to buy by phone at the sale price and pick up the lenses in their store whereby I would have to pay the 13 %.  So although I believe in paying my fair share to help local retailers, I will not support them whilst they provide ridiculous service and inflexibility.  Amazon advertized free shipping but at checkout it posted a charge as well as the taxes. B&H prices were exactly as advertized ergo they got my business.

My thanks to all who posted a reply and explanation.

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wyldberi
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to panela, 6 months ago

panela wrote:

Amazon was going to charge me 7.50 for "free" shipping and almost 70 dollars for taxes on my order of the 18 and 60 lenses? I ordered from B&H with no charges whatsoever but really wanted to support this site as I am a frequent reader. However paying almost 80 bucks more did not make any sense.

Any thoughts?

Generally, sales taxes are determined by the State in which they are collected. The jurisdiction to do so derives from business activity conducted within state borders. Mail order is a different animal, as it usually involves the transfer of goods and cash across state lines. Since interstate commerce is regulated by the federal government, states cannot arbitrarily step in and interfere with the free transport of goods across state lines, nor regulate the transfer of funds between persons or businesses engaged in such commerce.

Cash-strapped state legislatures have been fighting for years to gain the right to tax the mail order business. The major in-road so far has been where states assert their right to tax transactions when delivery of goods takes place within their own borders, IF the retailer maintains an office or warehouse within the state as well.

Kansas has badgered Amazon into forwarding to the state treasurer sales tax on good delivered to Kansas residents. Kansas is that plain looking state in the geographic center of the continental United States that is governed by republicans who think tax breaks to large businesses is good for the economy, but allowing residents to purchase grocery items without paying sales tax is a sin crime.

Needless to say, rather than pay sales tax on photographic equipment to governor brownback of Kansas, all my purchases are made through retailers like B&H Photo, or a number of smaller businesses located around the country that I've been happy doing business with over the years.

But I digress. Mail order businesses fight back against the encroachment of greedy state legislators as best they can, pointing out that keeping track of Customer locations and applying the correct sales tax to each order, and then filing sales tax reports for 50 individual states constitutes an undue burden upon their limited resources.

That's the tax issue in what I believe is a pretty accurate nutshell.

As for the shipping, as mentioned by another poster, the goods sold through Amazon's website are not all being sold by Amazon. Many retail businesses and product re-sellers offer the same goods being offered by Amazon, but do the shipping themselves. In some cases Amazon's free shipping applies; in other cases it does not. It just depends on the deals the two made; you need to check to verify if shipping is charged on your order to know which case is yours.

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Chad Hardy
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to panela, 6 months ago

panela wrote:

Amazon was going to charge me 7.50 for "free" shipping and almost 70 dollars for taxes on my order of the 18 and 60 lenses? I ordered from B&H with no charges whatsoever but really wanted to support this site as I am a frequent reader. However paying almost 80 bucks more did not make any sense.

Any thoughts?

With regards to taxes, it depends on your state.  What you should know is Amazon didn't want to start charging sales tax, but states sued them to force it.  The state felt like it should get money for everything it's residents buy.  Greedy!

For instance if I ship to TX I pay taxes, but if I ship to IL I do not pay taxes with Amazon.

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Robert A
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to Chad Hardy, 6 months ago

Chad Hardy wrote:


For instance if I ship to TX I pay taxes, but if I ship to IL I do not pay taxes with Amazon.

But you do still owe the tax.

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Elusivesouls
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Re: Anyone know why
In reply to Robert A, 6 months ago

Robert A wrote:

Chad Hardy wrote:

For instance if I ship to TX I pay taxes, but if I ship to IL I do not pay taxes with Amazon.

But you do still owe the tax.

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Robert A
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Correct. Just because it's not reported and collected doesn't mean it's not owed.

We've enjoyed online shopping without taxes for quite some time now. We shouldn't have expected it to last forever. Some of us still enjoy it, but it seems likely it's inevitable that soon most online retailers will collect sales tax.

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windplr
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Re: Interesting attitude towards taxes ...
In reply to deednets, 6 months ago
I read the whole thread so far where people talk about how they avoid paying any taxes. That's just great, who wants to pay taxes aye??

The downside is of course that the local retailers will disappear over time because they don't have a choice, they HAVE to pay taxes when somebody walks in an buys a product.

Interesting attitude demonstrated here where I think that I will possibly get flamed by people who think that no taxes, tax avoidance etc is the way to go, only stupid people pay taxes right??

Yeah, yeah, that's not the point right?? I personally think that this is exactly the point!

Here in New Zealand there are many people now asking as to how online retailers from overseas can be taxed (we have GST like the UK has VAT, quite substantial tax, 15% here and I believe 20% in the UK??). There is actually quite a bit of sympathy for brick & mortar shops here, that don't have a choice. Ony the most (tempted to use the term selfish, but that is of course never the case, right??) cleverestest people think that this is the way to go, get over it, only idiots pay taxes! We had this change of some wedding gown shops charging for trying dresses on, some of them wanted up to 100.00 for trying and customers were disgusted - until there was an article in the paper that it now is common practise to try the dress on in the shop - and then buy online, no taxes, no shop front ... makes me quite angry this, but apparently this is the way to go, right?

Deed

There are many reasons why brick and mortar establishments have trouble competing with the big on-line retailers.  I think sales tax (or VAT) issue is only one part of it.  Price, selection, return policies, rewards, free/low cost shipping are all factors.  I buy primarily from B&H because they tend to meet my needs, and BTW, they also have a great brick and mortar store in Manhattan.  Sometimes I buy from Amazon, which does charge me sales tax.  In either case, the local to me brick and mortars are not getting my business.  I'm in California, and it does not bother me one bit that the state is not collecting sales tax on my purchases from B&H.  And it is perfectly legal.

I would also suggest that it is primarily the fault of governments for having created an environment in which people feel compelled to base buying decisions on taxes.  The obvious solution is for governments to lower taxes to the level that tax avoidance becomes a non-issue.

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