Amazon Black Friday 2010 deals lead to state complaints

Shopping carts

Amazon Black Friday 2010 deals are leaving some state tax collectors feeling left out of the loop. Image: Flickr / dan4th / CC-BY

Technically, the “biggest shopping day of the year” is the Friday after Thanksgiving. Online retailer Amazon has already announced some Black Friday 2010 deals. How Amazon is able to offer lower prices, though, is a sticky issue for many states.

Amazon Black Friday 2010

In an effort to capture even more sales during the holiday shopping season, Amazon has already started announcing its Black Friday 2010 deals. The Amazon Black Friday 2010 strategy is simple – undercut every other retailer’s Black Friday specials. Amazon is adding new Black Friday 2010 and Cyber Monday 2010 deals throughout this week. In general, the prices on Amazon.com tend to be between 5 percent and 20 percent below most other retailers.

Complaints from customers over Amazon Black Friday 2010

Now that Amazon has announced its Black Friday 2010 deals, customers have already started their complaints. Some customers are claiming that the Amazon Black Friday 2010 deals are selling out far too quickly. Others say that the deals aren’t really “deals,” as the advertised price lasts only a few hours or minutes. The fact that deals are selling out so quickly has even spurred discussion of “discrimination” of customers with slower internet connections.

The sales tax issue with Amazon Black Friday 2010

The prices that Amazon is offering for Black Friday 2010 and the holiday shopping season seem a bit unreal. Amazon is often able to offer lower prices for one simple reason – sales tax. In all but a few states, Amazon does not have to charge sales tax. That can make a difference of almost 10 percent in the final price of a product. Technically, state law requires that “use tax” is paid on any product purchased out-of-state where sales tax is not charged. Most customers do not pay this use tax, though. That means anything purchased on Amazon is inherently cheaper because states are losing out on the cut that brick-and-mortar stores have to charge. For customers, this ends up saving them money on Black Friday 2010. States, though, argue that these cost savings are driving their budgets into the ground.

Sources

Slate.com
Techwatch

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