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Query regarding sales in USA.

Rahul Bhattacharjee
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Joined: Nov 29, 2005
Posts: 2308
Hi fellow ranchers,

I came to USA (SF,CA) recently for some official work for a couple of weeks.

I am having a query regarding a camera that I purchased and wanted to know if there is something that I am missing.

I bought a simple digital camera for 250 USD (camera + 152 MB memory + camera case/cover) then I showed it to my friends .They said that I have paid quite high for this camera.I googled and found that the same camera I could have bought from amazon with a much lesser spending.
So why the shops are charging more ? Is there is any reason for this.
And how is amazon giving the same for 30% less?


Rahul Bhattacharjee
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Arjun Shastry
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Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
Not much idea about US prices but there is nothing unusual.The actual stores have to pay more taxes,more bills than web stores.The real stores have to maintain sell staff etc.so their margin is high.


MH
Joe Ess
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Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8877
    
    8

Originally posted by Rahul Bhattacharjee:

So why the shops are charging more ? Is there is any reason for this.


Because apparently some people will pay it. Electronics stores are famous for all manner of questionable practices. As that article details, the prices you found on Amazon may or may not be for the same package. The camera shop you went to may have been marking things up excessively.
The bottom line is caveat emptor and do your research before you buy.


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Mark Spritzler
ranger
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Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17250
    
    6

Yep, what was said before. The things that I can't believe is what some people are thinking when they list items on ebay at prices that are 50-100% more expensive than the exact same item on ebay listed right above and below them, and in many cases 50-100% higher than even retail.

I see this often with Nintendo Wii games, at the stores they sell for $49.99 and most listings you can get these games for 40-46$ including shipping. But there will be a couple listed as buy it nows for $89. I mean do they actually expect someone to click on their listing to buy it for that much more?

Mark


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Rahul Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 29, 2005
Posts: 2308
Originally posted by Joe Ess:
The bottom line is caveat emptor and do your research before you buy.


I have be careful from next time.

And how are the state taxes applied when a item is purchased online ?
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

Originally posted by Rahul Bhattacharjee:
And how are the state taxes applied when a item is purchased online ?
Generally, they aren't. But most states have a "use tax" that's equivalent to the state sales tax. It applies when people buy things outside the state where they live and bring them home, and people are responsible for remitting the correct amount to the state when they do that.

Obviously the state isn't going to come looking for use tax on the Mickey Mouse hat you bought at Disney World, but if you buy something expensive like a car, then they will. So (excuse my Latin) it's "caveat taxpayer" in this case.
fred rosenberger
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11256
    
  16

Generally, they aren't

I'm not so sure about that. We've bought things online before and had to pay sales tax. There's some strange law about if the on-line retailer has a physical store in your state, taxes apply. or something like that.

I think it was Lands End. Their stuff used to be tax free, but when Sears started selling it, the on-line store started charging.

Now, that may be a Missouri specific thing, so your milage may vary.


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Paul Clapham
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Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

Yeah, that's why I said "Generally". There's nothing simple about taxes.
Rahul Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 29, 2005
Posts: 2308
Tax calculation for online purchased items are complicated and to add to it is the difference in state taxes.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

Not only state taxes. In many states, smaller jurisdictions like counties and rapid transit districts and cities and wide spots in the road can have their own sales taxes. The state of Washington has about 300 of these areas and the state of Illinois has over 1,000 of them. You can imagine why the people who sell things over the Internet don't want to get involved in collecting sales tax.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4650
    
    5

Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:

There's some strange law about if the on-line retailer has a physical store in your state, taxes apply. or something like that.


IANAL, but I've seen similar rules as well. Brick and mortar stores tend to need state retail permits, licenses, etc. and so if you have a physical branch, folks tend to collect more tax.

I think all, or nearly all, US States that have sales taxes have "use taxes" for out of state purchases. Most of the law goes back to telephone catalog sales.

I've never heard of a State enforcing it for normal stuff, but you are supposed to report and pay the tax.

I wonder what would be the law if a big web retailer set up shop in a tax haven such as Bermuda, or some of the English Channel islands.
 
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subject: Query regarding sales in USA.