After people bid on items and then backed out after winning got me to asking why.
eBay enjoys success for two main reasons. One, much like Amazon, the service makes it easy for people to shop. Within moments of a simple search with the ‘buy it now’ filter enabled, people can find what they are looking for, and it is already sorted with the lowest prices first.
After a quick look at their ratings and possibly the shipping time, a few clicks later, the item is purchased, and you are done.
This might be what saves them from demise.
Q. Why do you think they would die?
eBay started with the premise of an auction. This is not an auction for new items, but old.
‘Old,’ as in items that have been around for a very long time and usually passed through the hands of several owners, possibly for generations.
These auctions allow people to part with ‘treasures’ that were once treasures of someone else. ‘Treasures’ are emotional purchases. Allow me to explain or, as Ricky Ricardo used to say to Lucy, ‘You got some Splaining to do.’
My grandparents had this cheesy clock on their mantel that had a faux fireplace in it. That clock intrigued me as a child. I was told that they would ‘will it to me.’
As a five-year-old at the time, I had no idea what that meant, I just remember that at some time in my life it would be mine. Well, it never happened. Sad, I know, but there on eBay you can find that same clock, which is ‘very old’ now in different states of disrepair.
My only reason for thinking about spending money on it would be as a reminder of my grandparents every time I saw it. Those types of purchases take you back to sometime in your life that hopefully was pleasant. I am assuming that one would not purchase or own something that brought them back to a horrible time in their life.
eBay recently succumbed to the taxing authority, where Sales taxes are now assessed on all purchases. If I sell an item for $100 and then out of state shipping is $30, and…now they collect a tax on it, the person buying it is looking at $140. Rounded. This happened, and the person backed out of the deal when they saw the final price tag. Can you blame them?
eBay is about getting a good deal, not spending tons of money on taxes and shipping.
Working this in reverse eBay takes a percentage of the sale price the seller gets less than the $100, has to have an item that is worth more than the $100 and go through the trouble of listing, packaging and managing the transaction.
The taxing authority is the beneficiary of your work or your purchase, and I am sure eBay cut a deal with them to go through the trouble of collecting and remitting the tax, so eBay makes more money from the purchase.
My sales on eBay have all but stopped because of this and I would imagine that others who sell on eBay as a hobby or business have seen the same types of changes.
Here is what I think needs to happen.
Once an item is no longer ‘new,’ they should not be allowed to charge sales tax on it again and again and again. That is absolute bullshit!
I would encourage you ebayers and, for that matter, antique mall shoppers and sellers to write your congressmen a letter objecting to this practice.
The problem with taxes is they only go up; they never go the other way. States and other taxing agencies will tell you how much your tax dollars help, but in truth, they just rob the taxpayers of funds. Municipalities, much like you and I, need to budget their dollars like you and I do.
The more they make, the more bloated and inefficient they become. Taxes choke businesses, and in the end, it is you and I that pay the price.
While eBay resembles Amazon more and more, I suspect that soon you will find other auction sites or people figuring out ways to market their ‘treasures’ not using eBay.
We the people need to push back, and it is past time.
Re-press this post or forward it if you are like me and happen to enjoy shopping for Trinkets and Treasures. Yes, that is going to be a business name for such artifacts.
If you know of such places, please let me and others know. The system only seems to work for the government. The way they waste your money, they do not deserve it. Some things should not be taxed, and I happen to think old tchotchkes should be exempt from further taxation.
My proposal will be this; you collect sales tax if you offer new items where you have in quantity, which is indicative that it might be a business. If, on the other hand, it is an actual auction, there should be no taxes. That is also true of flea markets, antique malls, and yes tailgate sales where like-minded people gather to swap stories, tell jokes, and yes, trade junk. We need to get some common sense back in our government, and it starts with you the people telling them enough is enough.
Folks, they work for you, we are not a serf class. Push back or be plowed under.
Much Love -TW