Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How to Legally Cheat Amazon/Newegg out of Sales Tax - A Tax Evasion Story

I have used Amazon for years, and with my Amazon Prime account, I get most of my items in 2 days! Sure, there have been some cruddy items that needed to be returned, and even some mistakes on Amazon side (as the other mistakes were from Amazon sellers). But they have always been great on support and I've been able to get what I needed or wanted.

To find out how to cheat the system legally, click here.

Across the Ocean
I have been working overseas for the last couple years. The last time I was in California there was no Amazon sales tax worries. While I have been overseas most of my purchases went to a friend in Florida, so no sales tax. It hasn't been until now that the sales tax is going to start affecting me. I no longer have my connection in Florida, and I found that the other states I might ship to would still be charged.

Why I Even Bothered
When I go to Amazon or Newegg, or any of the other reputable places to purchase products, it is because I am looking for the lowest deal. Furthermore, I tend to buy PC parts or technological devices and these places are the best for competitive pricing.

This time it was for the AMD FX 9-series. I have been wanting one since I heard about it, but I do have restraint, so I've been biding my time until the price has dropped to something more affordable. Well, it finally did and the hour it did I thought I would go ahead and buy the AMD FX 9590 from NewEgg since it was cheapest. I wouldn't even get the CPU until next year when I flew back to the states, but what really bothered me was I was being charged sales tax, which I wasn't used to. I started searching for promo codes to help alleviate the additional cost from sales tax. I tried a few things before giving up and going to bed.

The next day I checked Amazon's prices, and sure enough, they had dropped to match NewEgg. However, the harsh reality of sales tax was still present. I then found a NewEgg discount for MasterPass (a special Mastercard checkout option) that would make the item even cheaper than if there were no sales tax! Overnight, NewEgg being the *******s they are, decided to add a free (unwanted) game when purchasing the AMD FX 9590. Because of this I would get the message that the promo code was invalid as it could not be used on special deals...

NewEgg BS
The title might suggest I have taken a liking to NewEgg. This could not be farther from the truth as I presently refrain from typing obscenities to explain my hate towards them. I have bought from them in the past, but an incident last year made me decide there was no reason to buy from them anymore.

There had been this great deal from NewEgg where they were selling the Samsung 840 500GB SSD (new at the time) for about $175!!! Of course I wanted it, and my father wanted one as well to upgrade his new Alienware laptop. I signed up for their special credit line and went ahead and attempted to make us an order. But my attempts kept getting rejected...

I later called NewEgg and a lady gave me an excuse that I can't recall. When she told me there was no hesitation to think, so I believed her. The deal was still available at this time. A little bit later I called the credit line company to cancel, since I seldom used NewEgg. I mentioned the excuse to the lady and she explained that it was completely untrue. It was just a matter of me being in a different country, which a call to them would've fixed! Of course, by this time, the deal was over, and I still have yet to find a deal even remotely close for the Samsung 840 500GB. Needless to say, I said **** you to NewEgg that day, and stuck with Amazon.

Amazon Goodness
Again, the title would mislead you to believe that I no longer like Amazon. Far from it. I love Amazon and find them to almost always have the best deals available. I still use them, and they still give great deals! Here is one reason why I'll stick with them:

Last year I purchased a Verizon Galaxy S4 while overseas. I didn't want to wait for the international version to drop in price, and found a decent deal from Amazon. I ordered it, waited for it, and immediately began to play with it when it arrived. A week later, it died. I was livid. I talked with Amazon for a refund from the seller because it was under the 30-day return policy. They wanted me to pay for shipping, which is about $100 from a reputable carrier (and the safest way to go), but with a raised voice and obvious logic I got them to agree to reimburse my shipping costs in writing. Let me repeat that, Amazon ignored their policy of only paying for shipping within the USA and reimbursed my shipping costs from a different country!

That is why I love Amazon and will continue to use them.

Tax Evasion
So, the trick here requires a few things:

  • eBay Account
  • Reside (or know someone) in a state that is not CA, NJ or TN

NewEgg is one company, it does not sell for others or people, unlike Amazon. This is probably why they are an eBay seller. That's right, they sell the same products on eBay! I am able to buy the same AMD FX 9590 from their website for the same price. I don't get the free game, but I also don't get the sales tax!

What about free shipping? They offer that too! Of course, right now I can get free 3-day shipping from their website, but considering I won't be picking up this product until next year, it doesn't matter.

CA, NJ or TN Customers
If you can't wait for someone in a different state to bring over your eBay purchases, you can still save money by shipping to someone in a different state and have them ship to CA, NJ, or TJ.

There are really only two situations where it would be better to just bite the sales tax bullet:
  1. You buy an inexpensive item.
  2. You buy a heavy or bulky item that will have high shipping costs.

Techno Matter or Techno Fodder?
If you managed to get through this article you might wonder how this relates to technology? Specifically, not so much, but broadly I would say that we are talking about three companies that are purely digital in interaction. A cheat, indeed, but so is the point of this article!

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