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how have sites like eBay, amazon, and craigslist affected the economy?

I'm just wondering how much money moves through these sites that doesn't make it into taxes, the GDP, etc. We are big with buying second hand, and I've sold more than a bit to make cash and space. Second hand products are economically and environmentally friendly, but do they really affect the business world?


Asked by lovinangels at 4:36 PM on Aug. 9, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (5)
  • Well people have always sold second hand (think garage sales) so I dont think thats as big of a concern.

    As far as taxes go.. as a SELLER...if you sell enough, and you don't pay or report taxes on it.. they (IRS) will catch you eventually. I have an website and I am required to collect taxes on all sales to my fellow Utah citizens, as I do at craft fairs and farmers markets, and I pay my taxes. and when you buy most things on ebay or amazon you tend to pay taxes with the shipping, whether you realise it or not. Sometimes you dont. Depends on the website/seller.

    The laws are still rather lax and are being reformed, or at least were... but on most items tax is collected.. you might not pay it, but the seller generally does


    Answer by LuminousMom at 5:13 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • I never thought about it, but that's a very thought provoking question! I would imagine it has probably affected retail sales more than we'd ever know. Especially now when money is so tight for people...why pay full price when you can get the same thing, gently used, at a more reasonable price?

    Answer by beadingmom17 at 5:02 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • If you are selling your own used items, you probably aren't making a profit, so no tax is paid. However, the site you use makes a little money, and you get money in your pocket that you spend elsewhere. The shipping company you use also makes money. I don't think that is bad at all.

    Answer by mancosmomma at 5:12 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • I bought many items off ebay this year for my son. Why would I spend $40 on a pair of shorts at the mall when I can get them brand new for $15 on ebay. I don't buy second hand but I will pay a fraction of the cost if I can on ebay. I don't think I have ever paid for sales tax on there now that you mention it. I would guess the seller has to at the end of the year though.

    Answer by ronjwake at 6:19 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • Me & hubs work on ebay, the stuff we are selling is not taxable (clothing in MN is not taxed.) However, we do have to pay income tax on it, through our corporation.

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 7:06 PM on Aug. 9, 2009