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How Has Online Sales Tax Impacted Your Buying/Selling of Gear?

landru64

Member
Messages
2,420
i think about it a lot more at the net price, often have things delivered to my tax free place (OR) and carry it on a plane back home. i took all of my listings down from reverb after the tax thing started.
 

zum

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
332
I've still been selling stuff at my normal clip.... I'm in no rush to sell and I'm pricing my stuff competitively with what else is out there. As long as I'm on the lower end of the price scale, buyers will either pay my price or not get it. From a buying perspective, it hasn't slowed me down much although i may think twice about a higher end guitar. I do shop more locally now to support my local business... with prices being more comparable now, I'm more likely to shop with them all things relatively equal to make sure the retail shops stick around.
 

wox

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,635
Seems like some folks here pick up a new guitar every week or just buy something to check out.

In my younger and poorer days I used to flip stuff from CL to eBay for a quick profit. Buy guitars and pedals for cash from NYC starving artist-types, then move it on eBay.

Always extra cash for sales to Europe and Japan - had a relationship with one guy in Japan who would buy any 60s Jag/Jazzy/Mustang I could find for twice what I'd get for it here, shipped him dozens of guitars over the years.

I think now I mostly make very carefully considered purchases (well, try to) - things I intend to keep for a long while, and I'm lucky enough to not be super price sensitive, so if there's something I'm in to, a couple hundred bucks one way or the other doesn't kill a deal for me.
 

flume

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,456
All the reverb selling fees (no issue with them getting a fair fee for their service but is increased too much and they suck balls now) plus the taxes SHOULD mean our Emporium would be a thriving haven.

it is not.
 

RMisener

Member
Messages
475
Free shipping and no sales tax. That built the internet market place. It is also what put a lot of brick and mortar shops out of business. Now that taxes are being collected on line maybe brick and mortar will have a revival. Getting a 1099 for buying and selling gear at a loss is what is stopping me from selling on Reverb after the stuff I have there goes. I know I could sell it on Craig's or Facebook but, I've never had any luck with them.
 

LqdSndDist

Member
Messages
1,336
Sales tax is like what, 7% or so ? That means on a $200 pedal your paying (or giving up) like $15.....

If $15 is that big of an impact, should you be buying $200 pedals in the first place ?

don’t get me wrong, I know everyone had different finances, but many people in my office will spend $15 just going out to lunch, so it’s not like a real make you or break you amount, and on a $100 pedal it’s like $7, so that hardly seems like it would be noticeable in the long haul.

no one seems like they’d be excited if a store had a 7% coupon, we want like 20-25% or dont bother, so does paying an extra 7% matter that much more than paying 7% less ?

I get people not liking the principal and all, but it’s literally paying extra pennies on the dollar.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
10,232
No, not experiencing any impacts or downturns. I use my tax refunds to cover sales tax. It’s money I don’t feel like I ever had, so when I get it back, it’s basically free money I keep in a separate account apart from the account that pays for the items themselves. The tax portion gets paid by the tax fund account, and the item gets funded by my gear account. When I buy on Amazon, I never pay any shipping because I’m a Prime member, so the savings I see after no shipping charges more than pays the sales tax on all my purchases, plus the prime fee, with money left over. So not only does it feel like nothing changed, I’m actually coming out ahead. In terms of selling what I build and sell, there’s nothing I can do to shield the customer from the taxes, so I just keep selling business as usual.
 

p6x

Member
Messages
350
An open-ended question.

It's been a little while now since online sales tax began on Reverb and eBay even on used gear, and I wonder what impact it has had for you if you do much buying and selling.

I am not a high volume buyer or seller but I usually have a couple of things out there, and I think the used market has gotten slower in the last 6 months. Buyers are mentioning the tax issue and want discounts because of it. They don't expect to have to aborb tax cost on a used purchase.

Sellers still expect to recover about the same amount as before on the sale of a used item, but it just isn't possible. A 7-10% tax charge is more than the seller's margin on some sales, so there's a stalemate.

It seems to me the effect of this has been that sales are slowing and prices are going up for everyone, which is going to result in less sales tax revenue for the state government anyway. I think this change has been bad for everyone.

What is your experience? Is the sales tax issue impacting sales? Are you as a buyer holding off on guitar purchases when you see the sales tax added in?

I personally have a hard time being slapped with Taxes on anything that is not brand new. Fortunately, all my "on line" guitar purchases were done before the taxes came into effect.

My most expensive guitar, a Gibson Les Paul Neal Schon signature which I purchased on Ebay before Reverb even existed, would have carried a hefty tax add-on.

However, sellers cannot bear the responsibility of the taxes. The value of the item is what it is. If would be like if someone purchasing from a different country was asking for a discount because of the import duty in his country...
 

JPH118

Member
Messages
2,801
The irony is that you can still call up an out-of-state brick-and-mortar shop, order something to be shipped to your home, and not pay sales tax. As someone who hits the local vintage shops when on vacation religiously, I’ve never been taxed on anything purchased that way. Many stores offer it as a perk.
 

Austin_Taunt

Don’t tell my wife I’m buying another guitar
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
952
I have not bought anything over $200 bc of it. My last three guitars came from TGP. The sales tax is a huge factor to me. Some times shipping and sales tax is an additional $300 for an item and that makes me stop. I got my 53 custom shop tele for $2850 shipped, taxes would have cost an additional $200 and I would have passed on a borderline good deal.
 

Highnumbers

Member
Messages
760
Just put it in perspective.

Here in California, we pay MORE in taxes than the seller pays in Reverb or Ebay fees. For most listing types, Reverb/Ebay are about 6.5% and the average California tax rate is 7.5% - 10% depending on county.

Since sellers are generally unwilling (or unable) to reduce their listing prices to accomodate for this increased cost to the buyer, I find myself getting ever more inventive in finding alternate ways to get in contact with a buyer outside of Reverb or Ebay (i.e. not through their message system) and cutting a deal directly without taxes or most of the fees.

Sadly, this is where Craigslist is the most useful tool. Just cross-post anything you have on Reverb or Ebay on your local Craigslist - even if you have no expectation to sell it locally. At least prospective buyers have an easy way of finding you.
 

Highnumbers

Member
Messages
760
This is why practically everything for sale on Reverb has the "Gonna sell soon...somebody has this in their cart" notice. I do that to see what the tax is gonna be and it always stops me dead in my tracks. So does everybody I imagine.
You don't actually believe that somebody else really has EVERY piece of gear on Reverb in cart somewhere, right? Next time you see that notification, look around - almost every listing will have that posted.

It's an artificial tactic Reverb uses to drive urgency (which is probably the #1 motivator in any sales environment).
 

wademp

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
489
It’s certainly made me think twice before buying on Reverb.
I’ve still made purchases, but...it kind of takes the benefits of buying online away.

That being said; I live in a decent sized town (50,000 population) and the closest place to buy guitar strings is 40 miles away, so...buying online is a must for me.
 

Kriso77

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
391
I try to sell on the forums first and foremost. Always have, even before the tax thing.

On a side note, I just bought an amp from an online shop who post on their website that they only charge sales tax on purchased made in their home state. How does that work? I assume they’re eating the tax?
 
Messages
3,876
Frankly I think the states are getting taxes they don't deserve. If anything it should be the states where the shop is located that gets the money. Not the state where the buyer is located. They are doing nothing but raking in windfall dough. They are not providing any service. It's just greed. Remember to the state you are not a citizen, you are a "revenue unit"
 




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