This is a public service announcement for eBay sellers who are charging taxes on sales and then not paying those taxes.
If you are an eBay dinosaur like myself, you may recall when it was common practice to charge shipping and handling fees to your eBay buyers. Like most things in life, people began to abuse the relaxed eBay policy on shipping and handling fees. eBay had to eventually step in and implement rules against abusing shipping and handling rates. They updated their terms and conditions a while back with a formal Excessive Shipping Charges Policy. You can read all of the restrictions if you would like here. If you are not an eBay dinosaur like myself, here is a quick run down of how a sale’s final cost would look to a buyer:
- I sold something for $20.
- I charged $5 for shipping and handling.
- Actual shipping was $3.
- I had a blurb in my listing about how shipping in handling accounted for my time driving to and from the post office, my packing supplies, my ink for printing your label, etc.
99% of eBay buyers did not object to this. When multiple sellers began to abuse the system or trying to manipulate the “lowest price” on eBay, it became a problem. Using the above sale, sellers were charging $9.99 for S&H. Think about it, how annoyed would you be if you got a package that had a $3 postage stamp on it but the seller charged you an extra $6.99? If you are like anything like me, I would be annoyed. As a seller, this was also irritating because the other sellers would make their price $18. The casual buyer a starting price of $18 appeared to be cheaper than my $20 listing. Needless to say, it did not take eBay long to catch on this practice and change their policies as noted above.
It appears that a similar practice is occurring. This time it is with collecting sales tax. The BIG issue with this isn’t that it just charging your buyer a few extra dollars, it is that the seller doing this could be in for a very rude awakening with the FBI and the US Postal Service Inspector’s office. Check out my recent Youtube video on this topic:
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