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Would you still shop online as frequently if you had to pay local sales tax on those transactions?

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Tarah Gaa's profile photoDylan Jones's profile photoJT Shea's profile photoAlan Gerow's profile photo
96 comments
 
It's about convenience and discounts for me, not taxes.
JT Shea
 
It would depend if the savings was still big enough to over ride the "get it now" factor of buying localy.
 
Personally, for a lot of things, the shopping experience is better online, where I can research, compare, get feedback. I still buy stuff online from companies who charge me sales tax because the whole process is nicer.
 
Yes I would, and Yes I do.
 
Technically in most states you ARE SUPPOSED to. It's to be reported on your taxes.
 
Yes. I shop online mostly because I don't have to drive some place, especially some place that's closed in the middle of the night when I have time to shop.
 
Being South African I do pay local sales tax (VAT) on anything bought online, and also pay Import Duties on the item. Still works out cheaper at the end of the day :)
 
I would purchase less.. not paying sales tax is a major reason I'm willing to wait. Also it helps to compensate for the fact that I don't get to touch the product first.
 
It would have to depend on how much more I would be paying and would take that into consideration with the convenience of having to not go out to purchase said item.
 
Absolutely yes, I buy online because it's easier
 
That has been a major factor for myself since the inception of web sales. Granted you can usually find things cheaper on the web, but it basically boils down to what the item I'm purchasing is. For larger purchases like tv's and such I may just purchase them in store now....
 
Probably not as often. It's a combination of savings and convenience. I generally look online for reviews and a"better" deal.
 
I itemize my Amazon.com purchases at the end of the year and pay local USE TAX on them. I don't usually make financial decisions based on tax implications.
 
don't shop online. Prefer to pick up items when I travel.
 
Yes. It beats dragging children around in the car, shops, etc.
Don't forget the child factor!
 
Online shopping is convenient and there are many times Online ONLY deals which is amazing versus local taxes.
 
Why not? I think Amazon thinking we shouldn't have to pay is insane. I don't shop at Amazon to save Sales Tax. I do it for a deal and because I can find whatever I want. There are other way's around Sales Tax is I really wanted to avoid it (this coming from someone who lives 10 minutes from the Sales Tax Free NH border)
 
We pay VAT in South Africa - stick with the programme and you will get use to it but its ridiculous that you have to pay "LOCAL SALEX TAX" I heard about amazon pulling out
 
For some reason why I change the default US to UK country I get tax slapped on by many vendors. Seeing I'm used to it I would not say it changes my buying behaviour.
 
+Valeria Maltoni I'm the same way to a degree - Clothes are a definite "must purchase in stores" I can never order the right size online!
 
I would if the end result was still cheaper than a brick and mortar. Lately I have been trying to spend more directly at brick and mortar to give sales tax and help the mom and pop shop. It is a net win two fer one.

All the time discounts and driving to the lowest price has some ill effects that we are only just learning about.


 
Well.... everything will be taxed eventually.. I usually shop online for convenience.. and with Amazon Prime, that's making it even more convenient..
 
It's a question of whether you value convenience or value. And in some cases, value may not even be a factor if it still ends up being cheaper online.

I'm pretty lazy, so convenience is pretty important.
 
I don't see my spending changing much, just means prices go up a bit.Nothing new, so my answer.Yes I will still buy online.
 
I would. Its more a matter of convenience than a sales tax savings
 
I mostly shop online out of convenience: I don't need to go to one or several local shops to find what I want, and spend a lot of time on it. So it wouldn't change anything for me. Also, I'm from Europe (now in the US), and I'm used to paying sales tax with all the online shopping I do. Just, well, sometimes more or sometimes less depending on where I live. But, another factor to take into account might be the price; if it's something really expensive and the difference with or without tax is huge, I might think about it.
 
It wouldn't change my online purchase habits much, it's really only a factor today on high ticket items where the tax is a significant amount.
 
Part of me wants to say "No" as if rebelling against online sales tax, but the rational part of me understands. Honestly, I'm surprised this hasn't been implemented sooner. So yes, I will still shop online even with local sales tax.
 
For me, the convenience of being able to shop at home far outweighs any local sales tax paid.
 
As there is very little in the way of product selection outside of the most "popular" items at any of my local stores, I would continue to shop online regardless of tax.
 
getting stuff delivered is great. Not just that, but I tend to "shop" better online. When I go to a store, I walk in and buy the first thing I see, probably cause I just don't enjoy "shopping", I enjoy buying. but online it is different. I enjoy comparing different items, and take more time to decide what I actually want. Then the extra benefit is that I don't have to go anywhere. I click the button and it comes to me. It's like Christmas when it arrives. Plus... think about buying something like a couch or air conditioner. I would rather big burly guys carry that stuff to my house.

Online shopping RULES!
 
yes definitely, get lots of my daily consumables online now from great deals I've found....saves a lot of time, not thrilled about the tax, but it won't stop me from shopping online.
 
Yes, I would still shop online either way. Shopping online is more convenient and I don't mind paying the tax... even if I don't want too. It was inevitable that the taxing would happen. The Government will do everything in their power to get "their" monies.
 
Like several others here, I shop online for convenience & selection, somewhat for price, but not at all to avoid taxes. When I lived in California, I would also pay use tax on my online purchases. 
 
Taxation is theft. That being said I probably would still shop online if I can't find any place locally to provide the same products, which I most likely will not be able to do thanks to Walmart. But yes, I do shop online to avoid taxes if possible.
 
Definitely would still shop online with sales tax being collected on the order itself. Ultimately, I shop for the best deal and convenience.
 
Gas costs more than taxes for most purchases -- especially when Prime allows me to have free shipping. So, yes, I would pay sales tax. The only time online sales tax would give me pause is for large purchases such as TV's etc.
 
I probably would shop just a bit less frequently if I had to pay local sales tax. People shop online for different reasons - some people are in remote places, and it makes sense to not have to travel a long ways to buy something. I'm in an urban place, and I figure if I'm going to pay local sales tax, and I can just find what I need here, and pay sales tax here to my city.
 
No. The way I look at it, shipping offsets the cost of the tax. If I had to pay both, online better be even cheaper.
 
if the 6% sales tax were included (florida sales tax), usually the price is still cheaper as I buy mostly computer hardware online from newegg...i really don't shop, in general, much - food and gas
 
Shopping online is for convenience, not an effort to avoid taxes. I'm used to paying taxes on everything I buy in the RL, it won't bother my online.
 
absolutely. Shopping online is not a ducking of sales tax, it is a convenience/lifestyle issue. Better not include shipping and handling costs in the calculations for sale tax, however.
 
The tax laws aren't designed for inter-state purchasing so I would be very upset if tax was forced on internet transactions as a whole. I do, however, think it is inevitable.
 
Yes I would. Not only is it far more convenient most of the time, it would still be still far cheaper. (Not even taking the value of convenience into account). To the individuals disagreeing - I don't doubt that there would be some griping about it, but you would probably end up doing it anyway rather than shopping locally if you are already an online shopper.
 
It wouldn't affect my on-line purchasing habits. I generally don't feel sales tax is justifiable for on-line sales due to the original intent of sales tax, and that it is covered in transportation costs by the merchant and should not be double charged to the purchaser.
 
we still get taxed in ontario :(, so yes I love me some online shopping, better sales/prices for sure
 
No I would not. If this about local states screwing over affiliates then let me know because I was starting to make a decent amount of money from Amazon when I got kicked out of the program because the Illinois government thought it'd be a good idea to tax Amazon since they have affiliates in this state.
 
Usually the deals can overpower a petty sales tax. It wouldn't make or break internet transactions for me, but I would rather that it would not be there if shipping prices already fill the discount void.
 
In oklahoma their is something called a fair use tax. When you do your taxes you are required to pay local sales tax on everything you buy online. Just found this out this year. Crazy.
 
I go to a brick and mortar store when I need something today. I buy online when I don't need it now, the product is downloadable, or the cost of the product is noticeably better. I will probably keep to this formula despite sales tax.
 
Yes. I agree with Amazon, there needs to be a nationwide sales tax on online purchases instead of thousands of different rates depending on where you are (I guess you could be exempt if you live in a state with no sales tax). Though in general I disagree with sales tax, it's regressive. Just tax income progressively and have that be it.
 
I would definitely still buy online. I don't mind paying state taxes as I live in a tiny state, and that money usually goes to helping the community, (or at least should.) Its federal taxes I don't like.
 
Although the tax free online shopping business is nice, I do it more because of the ease. Having a toddler and not too much time for shopping, nor wanting to take her into physical stores (unless it's purely to run around) it's the perfect solution. If I need something, I generally order online, simply out of convenience.

My time and comfort are way more valuable than sales tax.
 
Yes I don't mind paying the sales tax for on-line purchases, except for one small issue and that is the UK's VAT rate being added by customs after importing the goods, which sort of negates any benefits I may have from shopping on-line and finding a good deal
 
My online shopping may drop by 25% if I had to pay taxes. But it would still be my preferred method of shopping due to efficiencies and discounts.
 
For me it has nothing to do with taxes or no taxes, it's about more about convenience. From my computer I can search for a product, find helpful reviews of a product, then shop for the best price of this product, then have it delivered to my door.
 
Do you pay the tax in the state in which you live, or the state in which the seller is selling? If it's the latter, then the seller can relocate, right?
 
Probably, unless the tax made the item significantly more expensive than at a local store.
 
One of the great benefits of living in NH is that I don't pay local sales tax on anything!
 
Geeze I seem like the lone dissenting voice but than again our sales tax is astromical compared with the rest of the country... also I do pay the tax at the end of the year (for clarification)... but that is upto 12 months I can let my money work for me.
 
It's just a part of smart shopping. After looking at the total cost of a purchase, you can decide where the better deal is. I do like the convenience of shopping online, so I might give it an edge.
 
It's more about convenience then anything when it comes to shopping online. However, the tax may be more inconvenient for frugal spenders. Then again, you ARE saving on gas!
 
Most likely Yes. Most of the things I buy online are not easily available at local stores anyways.
 
Are we talking my states taxes or stores state taxes? If my state then why not, I live in Oregon we have no sales tax. Paying another states taxes, that doesn't make sense. And no I would not be buying online as much, especially since I buy electronics and I have a local store who will match online prices.
 
Often, it is less to pay sales tax than drive 10 miles to the local Fry's and get what I need. The selection of products online is much better. Information about what you want to buy is easy to find. However, Government needs to learn to live within its means instead of just sticking its proboscis into whatever it can get its hands on, and then complaining that it still doesn't have enough money.
 
Here in Australia there is no "local sales tax" it's 10% on everything everywhere.
 
Yes, my main reason for shopping online is convenience. I don't buy big ticket items online since I like to see those things up close and personal. Tax on smaller purchases would be tolerable.
 
Of course I would rather support the local economy. if I could get something from a local vendor at the same (or better price), I would. As no tax and free shipping become more prevalent, this only stands to hurt local businesses IMO
 
Ironic how we, educators, try to avoid paying taxes... the very thing that fuels our income.
 
I just paid sales tax buying from Woot. It doesn't bother me much.
 
I try to support local businesses. Convenience and gas & time savings usually offset S&H. Many offer 5-10% discounts for membership or education which balances the sales tax.
 
No, one of the reasons people buy online is cheaper prices..free shipping and no taxes.....
 
It wouldn't change my habits at all. Online shopping has too many advantages; price is not really chief among them. For me, anyway.
 
A lot of places online already do include local sales tax. I just look for the best price.
 
Since the question as +Chris Pirillo said is "as frequently".. not at all it seems the consensus would be yes. People buy online mostly for cost advantages apparently.
 
Yes of course. There are just some things that you can't find at a regular store. And if you do, they're usually much more expensive than the cost of taxes.
 
Generally, taxes and shipping are the tradeoff. Online vendors who have to charge for both will obviously have a tougher time competing. I'm okay with taxes online as long as it's still a better deal.
 
Recent law changes in Illinois requiring that that be done here have forced some businesses to either negotiate to stay or leave the state. Online company FatWallet moved a few miles North across the stateline into Wisconsin to prevent losing relationships with partners such as Amazon, etc... Meanwhile the conversation seems to overlook the fact that the USA is not the world. There could be disastrous consequences to international business to a country when conditions illustrated by just a single state were implemented.
 
Taxes do play a role in a purchase, because budget and income play a role in all purchases. Shipping usually offsets the tax in most people's mind, mine included.

For most online purchases, it's about time, not money. On a small purchase the transactional cost of driving to a store and waiting in line may be offset by the convenience value of buying online. Primarily, people who shop online do it not just because it takes less time (or in many cases saves money) but they can buy things the local vendors don't stock. For example, I simply can't buy grass fed butter or reasonably priced supplements in town.
 
Here's a question. If someone lives in town A, drives to town B and buys something. Should they have to pay town A a tax on that purchase in town B. If not, what's your justification? What's the difference between driving to town B and ordering a product from town B online?
 
+David Griffith I was so upset with our IL legislators for this mess. If they are going to change the law it should be agreed upon by many, most, or all states at the same time. It's like the smoking ban, you can't do it town by town without killing commerce - at least IL figured that one out. You have to make sweeping change.
 
+Chris Pirillo I've noted a few international comments as well. Useful I'd imagine in stepping outside the box in this question.
 
While I'd prefer not to have local sales taxes applied, it would ultimately come down to the final price. If it's lower, I'd still buy it online.
 
I have to admit, I'd still do the Amazon thang, you know.

To be fair, legally, NC state has a law stating you must claim and pay the sales tax for all online purchases. They could kill me, I've never claimed or payed.
 
+Angel Oakley It was so thoughtless of the legislature to pass this. Caterpillar, and 1000's of jobs, almost walked as I'm sure others less vocal publicly either did or were offered tax abatement or excuse to stay. I'd even say it is like having a local municipality, county or state decide to drive on the left hand side of the road.
 
Technically, you're suppose to pay sales tax on your online purchases. There's a section on tax forms that asks about these purchases. But currently, there's no validation, so most people don't claim them.
 
It really depends on the price. I agree that online shopping is mostly about convenience, but it's also about saving money. Why would I pay for tax and shipping when I can take a 5 minute drive and pick it up from the store for around the same price?
 
I do all my research online, so the sales process is mostly complete before I'd ever step foot in a store. I decide to buy locally where and when I can, because I like to support local businesses. When something is much less online or I perceive the "hassle factor" to be greatly reduced by ordering online then online it is. Tax itself is not the issue, it is just part of the mix. And in IL we are suppose to report all those "Tax Free" items on our taxes so that we can pay the tax on the back side. Has anyone aside from my grandmother done this? That was yet another stupid legislative move for IL. +David Griffith
 
Time is the great imposing factor that will lead me to use online versus brick/mortar transactions. It comes back to that premise - we know more, therefore we do more but we still only have so much time to do it. I would pay the tax for this continued convenience of having my goods waiting for me when I get home vice having to find out through research or store visits if what I want is even in stock or at the price I like. What will be interesting is if the state induced Internet tax will be leveraged by states not taxing in order to bring the ecommerce brick/mortar backend business into their tired economies. Hmmm....
 
In my state, KY, you are supposed to report those at "Use Tax" anyway. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to pay Use Tax if the retailer does not collect it at the time of sale. It makes absolutely no difference where the sale was conducted (in or out of state, online or in person). I know that KY is not alone with this requirement.

Check out http://www.ecommerce-blog.org/archives/the-myth-of-tax-free-internet-sales/ for some very interesting discussion about this.
 
Noticed one commenter saying what I hear as a slogan of some that are sympathetic with libertarianism. RE libertarianism, these are helpful thoughts, webulite.com/libertarian Cheers!
 
I'm supposed to tally up how much I spend online and pay it with my income taxes anyway.

I would have to keep shopping online, because the local stores don't carry a lot of the stuff I want. But I wouldn't be thrilled about paying more - who would?
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