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Ebay Sales Tax

I live in Texas which does not charge sales tax for coins or bullion. For the first time this morning, I went to buy coin on Ebay and Ebay tried to charge me sales tax. The coin is listed in a coin category, so I don't think that is the issue. The seller is in Florida - I am not sure if that matters. If I go to buy the same type of coin from a different seller, no sales tax appears. Very strange - could this be caused by the settings on the seller's listing?

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    P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,259 ✭✭✭✭✭

    eBay makes a lot of errors in regards to state tax law interpretation. I have had to fight many battles to get refunds on erroneously assessed sales taxes for coins bought in Florida (which, like Texas, does not tax numismatic items).

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

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    DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,254 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    They do refund you if you open a case for it.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When I list coins for sale, there are no settings relating to sales tax on the listing form.

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    Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,338 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    I don’t understand why it’s random. Two listings for essentially the same widget - one has sales tax and the other doesn’t - both listed in the same coin category.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DelawareDoons said:
    They do refund you if you open a case for it.

    It took me 6 months & 12 phone calls at over an hour each. :/

    I could get my 2026 tax refund faster! :D

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @J2035 "I don’t understand why it’s random."

    Because everything has been fine in TX and now it isn't. They have done it with many other states like FL. Once enough people catch it and complain they roll it over to the next state that doesn't charge tax on coins & paper money. Search the forum for "ebay sales tax" and you will see what they are doing and how long they have been doing it.

    For all the folks that are going to jump in and defend ebay.
    This has been going on for 3 years now!!!
    The amount of money they have collected over that time has to be in the Millions by now.
    If it were costing ebay the same amount they are collecting they would have fixed this problem by now!
    Ebay will rip you off any way they can! :/

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    jeffas1974jeffas1974 Posts: 315 ✭✭✭

    I live in Texas as well and have had to call them on probably half of my recent purchases. I agree that there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason since I’ve had tax charged on a coin transaction on one purchase but not the other from the same seller inside the same month. So far they’ve refunded the tax amounts on every purchase but it’s taken up to a month. It’s more of an annoyance at this point at least from my experience with each call taking around 3 minutes.

    What I’m more frustrated with is the LCS that tried to charge me sales tax on the 1820 large cent that I picked up yesterday. They initially told me that they’ve been in business since the 90s and knew what they were doing when I called them out on it.

    My advice to the OP is to give eBay a call and explain to them that they were charged which shouldn’t be the case. Good luck.

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    1madman1madman Posts: 1,298 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had an interesting experience the other week where I went to pay for the 2 items from the same seller, saw that it doubled my shipping costs, but no sales tax. I messaged the seller to ask for an invoice to combine shipping, he did, and the new invoice now added sales tax on.

    Can’t win some days.

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    johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,518 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ebay sure as hack lost some valuable customers cause of the taxes, jmo

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    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,166 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:
    When I list coins for sale, there are no settings relating to sales tax on the listing form.

    And there should not be - it's not the seller's jurisdiction that matters, but the buyers'. Your job is to list in the correct category.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:

    @MasonG said:
    When I list coins for sale, there are no settings relating to sales tax on the listing form.

    And there should not be - it's not the seller's jurisdiction that matters, but the buyers'. Your job is to list in the correct category.

    Yes, I understand that. The OP asked if the problem could be caused by settings in the seller's listings, my comment was intended to show that the seller has no options to choose regarding sales tax.

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    johnny010johnny010 Posts: 1,091 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2022 2:34PM

    1) eBay has fixed every one I’ve seen be an issue
    2) Some states differentiate between bullion and coins when it comes to tax so to BS3’s point, posting category matters.

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    U1chicagoU1chicago Posts: 5,617 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The category matters. If the seller puts an item into two categories, one of them might be causing the sales tax to appear.

    Also it looks like the wording in the title matters. I have experimented with this and noticed if the seller has the word “medal” or “token” in the title, tax is charged. This test was performed within the same category with one item having medal in the title and the other not (for example, “Medal of Honor Commemorative” in the commems category has a tax for me but a different Commem in that category does not).

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    Project NumismaticsProject Numismatics Posts: 1,338 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @U1chicago said:
    The category matters. If the seller puts an item into two categories, one of them might be causing the sales tax to appear.

    Also it looks like the wording in the title matters. I have experimented with this and noticed if the seller has the word “medal” or “token” in the title, tax is charged. This test was performed within the same category with one item having medal in the title and the other not (for example, “Medal of Honor Commemorative” in the commems category has a tax for me but a different Commem in that category does not).

    This could be the issue and is why I inquired about Seller settings.

    I am fully aware there is no magic tax button on the sell side.

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    U1chicagoU1chicago Posts: 5,617 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @J2035 said:

    @U1chicago said:
    The category matters. If the seller puts an item into two categories, one of them might be causing the sales tax to appear.

    Also it looks like the wording in the title matters. I have experimented with this and noticed if the seller has the word “medal” or “token” in the title, tax is charged. This test was performed within the same category with one item having medal in the title and the other not (for example, “Medal of Honor Commemorative” in the commems category has a tax for me but a different Commem in that category does not).

    This could be the issue and is why I inquired about Seller settings.

    I am fully aware there is no magic tax button on the sell side.

    It really isn't a seller setting but more of a glitch on eBay's part. They really shouldn't be determining tax based on using the word "medal" in a title. How else is one to describe the "Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin" in their title? And it isn't something most will be aware of (unless they figure it out as a buyer after being taxed like I was).

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    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,166 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If eBay didn't try and parse the titles, then people would complain because a non-taxable in some jurisdiction item was taxed based on the category... and they would be here saying "but it's 0.999 fine, so it's not taxed in MY state".

    There are over 10,000 different taxation districts across the USA - with different rules about what is and is not taxable that change every month when some legislature somewhere passes a new law.

    The best you can do with software is guess and depend on people to fix the edge cases.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
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    U1chicagoU1chicago Posts: 5,617 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    If eBay didn't try and parse the titles, then people would complain because a non-taxable in some jurisdiction item was taxed based on the category... and they would be here saying "but it's 0.999 fine, so it's not taxed in MY state".

    There are over 10,000 different taxation districts across the USA - with different rules about what is and is not taxable that change every month when some legislature somewhere passes a new law.

    The best you can do with software is guess and depend on people to fix the edge cases.

    They are taxing categories and titles-and in both cases making errors.
    Just tax the needed categories and don't mess with the titles. That way it's more standard and it's less annoying for the buyer and seller.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    There are over 10,000 different taxation districts across the USA - with different rules about what is and is not taxable that change every month when some legislature somewhere passes a new law.

    This is why is useless to fuss about what category or title a seller chooses to use. There's never going to be an answer that works for everybody.

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    bestdaybestday Posts: 4,220 ✭✭✭✭

    @DelawareDoons said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    They do refund you if you open a case for it.

    Otherwise they pocket the Money ?

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    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,166 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG correct... some people would complain if you hung them with a new rope.

    There are a couple of companies that offer sales-tax-as-a-service. For their wholesale and retail clients, you have to accurately specify the codes for the goods being sold (even then, the legislation doesn't always line up perfectly).

    For a marketplace like eBay with non-professional sellers, the odds of getting the codes right are pretty low. And the accuracy of tax calculations takes a hit.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    @MasonG correct... some people would complain if you hung them with a new rope.

    My mom used to say that. I hated it at the time but I sure wish she was still around to tell me that.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DelawareDoons said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    They do refund you if you open a case for it.

    Read what I went through to get my money back in this thread. ;)

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1048228/ebay-sales-tax-problems/p1

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @J2035 said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    I don’t understand why it’s random. Two listings for essentially the same widget - one has sales tax and the other doesn’t - both listed in the same coin categor> @bestday said:

    @DelawareDoons said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    They do refund you if you open a case for it.

    Otherwise they pocket the Money ?

    No. They send it to the States.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @J2035 said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    I don’t understand why it’s random. Two listings for essentially the same widget - one has sales tax and the other doesn’t - both listed in the same coin category.

    Do the two sellers have the same shipping policy? Is shipping and handling taxable in Texas? It is in NY.

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    AtcarrollAtcarroll Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    @jmlanzaf said:

    @J2035 said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    I don’t understand why it’s random. Two listings for essentially the same widget - one has sales tax and the other doesn’t - both listed in the same coin categor> @bestday said:

    @DelawareDoons said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    They do refund you if you open a case for it.

    Otherwise they pocket the Money ?

    No. They send it to the States.

    And the state pockets it, whether it was legitimately or fraudulently collected.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Atcarroll said:

    @jmlanzaf said:

    @J2035 said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    I don’t understand why it’s random. Two listings for essentially the same widget - one has sales tax and the other doesn’t - both listed in the same coin categor> @bestday said:

    @DelawareDoons said:

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    It's their rolling tax glitch that they have known about for 3 years now and have not fixed it, just another way to fleece customers. It's dishonest & illegal and ebay sucks! If you end up paying the tax good luck getting your money back. An honest company would at least refund when caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I have not purchased anything off the site for about 2 years now.

    They do refund you if you open a case for it.

    Otherwise they pocket the Money ?

    No. They send it to the States.

    And the state pockets it, whether it was legitimately or fraudulently collected.

    Almost definitely. Although all states that I know do have a mechanism for requesting a refund.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Atcarroll said:
    And the state pockets it, whether it was legitimately or fraudulently collected.

    IF they are turning over to the state, states that don't charge tax wouldn't be looking for it to come their way.
    Ebay could easily keep all tax collected illegally.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    Ebay could easily keep all tax collected illegally.

    Sure- until they got caught. And then? I'll bet they've thought about what it would mean to them to be found to be cheating the government.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If I was committing tax fraud and mentioned it here everybody would be saying what a slug I am.
    If ebay commits tax fraud for several years and does nothing to correct it it's okay and ebay is great!

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:
    Sure- until they got caught. And then? I'll bet they've thought about what it would mean to them to be found to be cheating the government.

    I reported it to my State Tax Commission, my State Attorney General & my local police along with the California State Tax Commission.... They don't give a flying F... :/

    I also reported it to the SEC because ebay is a publicly traded company.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2022 7:11PM

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    If I was committing tax fraud and mentioned it here everybody would be saying what a slug I am.
    If ebay commits tax fraud for several years and does nothing to correct it it's okay and ebay is great!

    eBay shouldn't be committing tax fraud. Do you have evidence they have been doing so? If they're collecting tax and forwarding it to states who don't require it and those states are keeping it instead of returning it, aren't the states the ones committing fraud?

    edited to add.. Didn't see you last post. Appears your state is okay with collecting tax money not owed to it. I don't know what to say except... sorry.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:
    eBay shouldn't be committing tax fraud. Do you have evidence they have been doing so? If they're collecting tax and forwarding it to states who don't require it and those states are keeping it instead of returning it, aren't the states the ones committing fraud?

    There is no way to prove IF ebay is turning over the funds unless you can get ebay to turn over their books to you.
    I don't think ebay is going to help implicate themselves in tax fraud. ;):D

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I said it before and I will say it again. ;)

    If it was costing ebay the same amount they are collecting they would have fixed this problem by now!

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:

    @MasonG said:
    eBay shouldn't be committing tax fraud. Do you have evidence they have been doing so? If they're collecting tax and forwarding it to states who don't require it and those states are keeping it instead of returning it, aren't the states the ones committing fraud?

    There is no way to prove IF ebay is turning over the funds unless you can get ebay to turn over their books to you.
    I don't think ebay is going to help implicate themselves in tax fraud. ;):D

    As you mentioned...

    "I reported it to my State Tax Commission, my State Attorney General & my local police along with the California State Tax Commission.... They don't give a flying F... :/"

    if they don't care, I guess you're... out of luck.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2022 7:19PM

    If you read the thread I started and linked here you will see where ebay admitted to illegally collecting tax. ;)

    Dec 13, 2020
    "We are already aware of the inconvenient you are having with the illegal additional charge of taxes for sales."

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    vulcanizevulcanize Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    Read what I went through to get my money back in this thread. ;)

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1048228/ebay-sales-tax-problems/p1

    I am currently duking it out with the customer service dept. for charging $250 plus as sales tax because the state where am residing does not charge for coins over $1000.

    eBay has been very clever at making one jump through hoops for getting a hold of the reps in person instead of the bots/pre-recorded machines.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    If you read the thread I started and linked here you will see where ebay admitted to illegally collecting tax. ;)

    Dec 13, 2020
    "We are already aware of the inconvenient you are having with the illegal additional charge of taxes for sales."

    You mention collecting the tax. What happened to the money? Did eBay keep it? Did they send it to the state?

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2022 7:27PM

    @MasonG said:
    You mention collecting the tax. What happened to the money? Did eBay keep it? Did they send it to the state?

    I don't know, read what I wrote above.

    "There is no way to prove IF ebay is turning over the funds unless you can get ebay to turn over their books to you.
    I don't think ebay is going to help implicate themselves in tax fraud."
    ;):D

    Edited to add: The money I paid them was returned to me after many months of hounding them to death.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    eBay is not for everybody.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:
    eBay is not for everybody.

    Yes, that is why I quit buying over 2 years ago.
    I would take my money from my sales and turn around and buy coins on ebay with the proceeds.
    I bought from many folks here, all of you have lost my business because of ebay and I'm sure there are others like me.
    If you think it just hurts and discourages buyers you are wrong it is hurting sellers too. ;)

    I got soo sick of ebay's shit that I sold most of my coins and am moving away from coin collecting.
    I closed up shop in July and don't even sell there anymore. I sold on ebay for 20 years.
    I refuse to give thieves my money! Ebay sucks!

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I need to start a thread here about how I have been illegally collecting sales tax from my customers and see how many of you support me for doing it. ;)

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 20, 2022 8:15PM

    Ebay knows who I am and I have made sure they know who I am.
    I have spammed the net with info about the illegal collection of tax and also other social media like their Facebook page.
    They know I have filed official reports against them.

    Why haven't the sued me for slander, defamation, false reports or whatever laws apply?

    I'll tell you why because they know I have been documenting things and it's all facts. ;)

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Everybody need a hobby. :)

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    vulcanizevulcanize Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    Yes, that is why I quit buying over 2 years ago.
    I would take my money from my sales and turn around and buy coins on ebay with the proceeds.
    I bought from many folks here, all of you have lost my business because of ebay and I'm sure there are others like me.
    If you think it just hurts and discourages buyers you are wrong it is hurting sellers too. ;)

    I got soo sick of ebay's shit that I sold most of my coins and am moving away from coin collecting.
    I closed up shop in July and don't even sell there anymore. I sold on ebay for 20 years.
    I refuse to give thieves my money! Ebay sucks!

    The B&M LCS that I frequent does not do any sort of internet transactions and seems to be doing very well for himself.

    Unfortunately, he is also getting ready to retire and was suggesting that I (perhaps along with partners if need be) take over his business. Told him that if it were a few years ago, would have been all over that offer but after my wife passed, am in the process of slowly weaning myself from this hobby as well especially since none of my kids are interested in it at all.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @vulcanize Yeah I'm getting older and there is no one left for me to leave anything to, whatever I don't spend before I die will be lost to some distant relative or the government. I have had a good run with coins but it's about time for me to walk away. I have still gone to a few shows & LCS and I have thought about trying USAcoinbook or my local classifieds. Is in my blood and it's hard to walk away. I enjoy it here and it helps to give me my coin fix, so even if I quit altogether you folks will still need to put up with me.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:

    @Atcarroll said:
    And the state pockets it, whether it was legitimately or fraudulently collected.

    IF they are turning over to the state, states that don't charge tax wouldn't be looking for it to come their way.
    Ebay could easily keep all tax collected illegally.

    How would a state know what category an item was purchased in. The states don't bill eBay. EBay collects and remits.

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    jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,992 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ifthevamzarockin said:
    I need to start a thread here about how I have been illegally collecting sales tax from my customers and see how many of you support me for doing it. ;)

    Maybe I should start a thread about how you killed your neighbor. How would you feel about that?

    We all know that ebay has had issues with state sales tax exemptions. No one is happy about that. Accusing them of intentionally doing it and pocketing the money is a VERY different thing. If nothing else, you are in violation of forum rules.

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    ifthevamzarockinifthevamzarockin Posts: 8,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @vulcanize "for charging $250 plus as sales tax"

    You are just one customer and that's $250! Think about how many times a day that happens. That's a lot of money nationwide. Now you figure they have been doing it for years! That is a lot of dollars stolen from buyers on ebay. Granted some buyers realize the tax has been collected and request it back from ebay. There are also many that don't notice it, I let one customer know sales tax had been collected when it shouldn't have been. He looked through his purchases and said ebay had been doing it to him and they have a bunch of his money. I told him how to request a refund and he thanked me for pointing it out and helping him to get his money back. What happens to all the money they collect that they don't return to the customer they stole it from?

    @jmlanzaf "The states don't bill eBay. EBay collects and remits."

    Correct! So the states will not be looking for it and if ebay keeps it no one knows anything about it.

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