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


Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver
Silver Supporting Member
This does not effect me as I live in NH and we have no sales tax or income tax.:D
I send bigger purchases down to Delaware for when I swing down there now, for the same reason.


It's about 3% here. It hasn't really had any effect other than if I make an offer, it's usually 3% less.
For selling, I don't know. The stuff I sell still sells.


Silver Supporting Member
The tax on reverb is ridiculous. Amazon I get, but used items? What a joke. I have other thoughts on this matter that I can’t discuss without a forced vacation


These 2 are not mutually exclusive. If you're buying online and paying taxes you're passing resources both to the govt and to the musician/builder selling it.
Sellers don't pay tax, buyers do, so the seller is still getting the same amount with or without tax.

Now if the argument is that people will buy less because of tax, well we're not talking food and water here. Gear is a leisure purchase for most people and if 6% will make or break a purchase, maybe this person shouldn't be buying more gear to begin with.
For a professional, it's a write-off for the total of the purchase, tax included, so it shouldn't be an issue either.
This opinion has nothing to do with economics or finance. You can make this emotional argument but it is grounded in feelings not math.

BTW if we were talking food or water, the demand for those would be more inelastic. Luxury items are more elastic so you are arguing for my point.


I called Chicago Music Exchange recently on a used item to see if they could do any better on the price and tax and they wouldn't budge on either. Some stores are advertising on their websites if you buy from them directly via their shopping cart or by phone and you live out of state, you can avoid sales tax. Makes me wonder if Chicago Music Exchange is even paying the sales tax they are charging? How can they keep up with sales tax rates of all 50 states and county jurisdictions?
There are 3rd party products that will give you tax rates based on shipping address.

EDIT - I just saw that someone else already answered that - sorry!


First thing I do if I see something high dollar for sale on Reverb or eBay I want is search online to see if the seller has it listed on any forums or marketplaces so I can try and contact them and arrange something beneficial for us both. This alone has saved me hundreds. I still buy a decent amount from MF, but that's only because the readily available 15% off plus 8%-16% back in points still makes them by far the best option even with sales tax.

Rumors of War

Silver Supporting Member
It has curbed my shopping for sure. I'm unwilling to pay tax, and the stores In my area blow, so private sellers in the emporium for me, which in all honesty, is mostly where I've been buying stuff for 10 years anyways.

John K.

Silver Supporting Member
Now I am always putting items into cart for checkout and testing to see if I will be charged sales tax.
One time it bit really badly was on a guitar that I'd been looking for for a long time. It is typically a >$4k guitar, but one dropped to $2,843.25 on a sale (sold by CME), so I jumped on it, but sales tax came out of nowhere and took it back over $3k. Still a solid deal, so I got it, but it annoys me every time I think about it.

On the selling side, I don't really think about it. Every once in a while an order will come in and the person went ahead and paid sales tax on it, so it makes no difference to me.

gillman royce

Silver Supporting Member
I've seen business drop off of eBay by more than half since the tax bite hit about last June. If you haven't started looking at your 2019 income tax bill, some people are really in for an unpleasant shock.


ok, how about you try about 10% tax and not 7%. Also it flat out ruins the deal especially on a $3000 guitar or amp. I will NOT pay tax on that. Either seller eats it, or I don’t buy, I also won’t buy it local because of the tax, I’ll find some way to get it without tax. And tax on 3 guitar purchases is substantial. Also if you sell and buy a lot it ruins it
but if your able to be in a position where your dropping $3k on guitars and amps your likely in a position where $300 isn’t going to really impact you no ?

If $300 is a good part of your weekly income, then sure, it’s a significant amount of money, but if your making like $300 a week then your probably not the guy buying $3000 amps and guitars as a hobby, no?

And then if your buying several $3k instruments a year......

it’s like going to Hawaii and then conplaining about the resort tax, cost of parking at the hotel etc. sure that adds up to a few hundred bucks no doubt, and no one likes to pay it, but its just a part of going to Hawaii, so suck it up or take a cheaper vacation, and just be glad your in a position in life to go to Hawaii or buy lots of expensive guitars etc.

seriously, if the worse part of your day is now having to pay sales tax on a bunch of high end hobby purchases you’ve got it pretty good no ?


Platinum Supporting Member
No effect at all. I pay taxes on groceries, but still eat. I personally don't buy anything that puts my budget in such danger that the tax alone pushes me over the edge.


Betcha can't wait til WA goes with a state income tax to boot. Inslee wants to save his Orca, Sawant wants to turn Seattle into more Freeattle, etc. and they all want to take your money to pay for it. Before you give any money to a politician, be aware that thanks to retired WA Congressman Norm Dix (D), any unspent campaign donations can now be put in an IRA to benefit him/her self.
I would be open to look at an income tax if we got rid of the sales and use taxes. The issue that makes it a non starter is that you never get to repeal a tax once it is there.


more gadgets than Batman.
Platinum Supporting Member
Yes, I noticed my sales got leaner and took forever to sell. I'm not expecting much on resale on Reverb or Ebay anymore. It's just not worth the hassle of selling at this much of a potential loss...

... and yes, I'd rather buy new with 15% off from a mom/pop that doesn't charge tax- then on Reverb or eBay and only get 12% off after taxes tacked on.
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Treehugger, once it’s a guitar...
I had a $3000 guitar ready to go in my shopping cart on Reverb. Shipping from California to Illinois was going to add $100. Then I saw that $310 was to be added for sales tax. $3k was the top of what I was prepared to pay for that guitar. I talked myself into stretching $100 for the shipping. But another $300 was the deal breaker. The seller, who’s not at fault, didn’t get my money. Just too much at that point. And at $3k it was a good deal. I predict smaller sales won’t be impacted, but to have to pay shipping AND sales tax, when on some sales they used to offset each other, is just too much. People will start PMing each other off Reverb to try and make deals. Reverb ultimately will be the big loser here.


Silver Supporting Member
I've not purchased anything of very high value on Reverb or eBay since the tax implementation. When the tax on a $5k or $10k Gustavsson is $400+ or $800+, I've decided to patiently look hard for private sellers on TGP and elsewhere. I believe Reverb and eBay also collect tax on shipping, which is unfair if not illegal.
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