Stupid tax

Without tipping you off, could a few of you take a look at this eBay listing for wood and tell me if I got tricked or if I was just stupid:


Should have ordered only one piece from this seller, which would have limited the damage. But no, I fell in love with how it looked and ordered $80 worth of wood right off the bat. I'll complain to eBay, but I'm 110% sure others have filed identical complaints with no success. I'm happy it was only $80 in stupid tax and not $800 or $8000.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
I looked at it, and off the cuff, I think you're getting nailed for 8X shipping cost?? If it's actually $80 in taxes, then I'd crawfish outta the deal and tell them to pack sand! I think that legally, if you're charging tax, it must be said so up front....but then again, we don't have sales tax in Montana.....so I might be wrong. Maybe take it as a lesson learned..... buying wood/handle materials off ebay is at best a major gamble all the way around!
 

Gliden07

Well-Known Member
Am I missing something? I don't see anything that says "TAX" the shipping looks kinda nuts, but if you bought the 8 pcs like you said you have the 3 auction minimum to qualify for the combined shipping he provides? He has a very high satisfaction rating of 99.4 and 174 sales. Original auction said after the auction he would contact the buyer with the modified shipping charge (if you had 3 or more won auctions to qualify for the combined shipping). I would contact him and ask if your worried.
 
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KenH

Well-Known Member
I think Ebay charges sales tax on most all sales these days, amount depending on tax in your state and local. SEems like my purchases here in Baldwin co, AL I'm hit for almost 10% with state, and county taxes. Just checked on ebay and they charge 8% for Alabama. They also charge sales tax for Kentucky, but don't say how much.
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
I'm confused as to what your saying/asking. How many pieces did you order, and what was the final cost? Do you have an issue with eBay adding sales tax, or the seller's shipping charges? Are you saying they added $80 to the final price?

Just looking at the eBay listing, I don't see any huge red flags, though it appears they don't combine shipping unless you buy at least 3 pieces/win 3 auctions? That seems a little excessive, especially if 2 orders would fit into a single box, why make the minimum 3?
 
You've all spotted legitimate questions I should have asked, but not the main one. Taxes should be clear up front, but eBay probably does that in its Terms & Conditions, so sellers are covered by that blanket. Shipping is indeed high, especially if you buy only one item. I bought three offerings, the large slab I linked to, a second of the same size, and then an offering that consisted of three chunks basically 2 2/1 x 2 1/2 x 8 inches. Brought the actual shipping to about $15 in a flat rate box.

Where I got burned, IMHO, is that this is NOT stabilized wood. The title says "stabilizing wood." I'd never heard that term used in that way, so I assumed it was a typo and should have said "stabilized wood." From what little I know, burl is almost never used for scales or for turning without being stabilized. So, when the title said "stabilizing wood," I assumed it was stabilized, which made the prices really attractive, right? I received the wood, it didn't look treated to me, so I queried the seller and he acknowledged that it is "stabilizing wood," which he says means wood suitable for stabilizing. I think his sales techniques are clearly and intentionally deceptive, but I wanted the opinions of guys who buy wood all the time, folks from this forum.
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
I don't believe it says anything about stabilizing on the website. Ebay hits come from tags, so you have to watch everything. It's like finding a "COLT RUGER S&W GLOCK BERETTA SIG" [GUN CASE]. That's why I don't use eBay. Too hard to sort through the garbage.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
OK, now I think we all understand your concerns and questions. There seem to be 3 questions you're concerned about , taxes, shipping, and "stabilizing wood".

Shipping at $15 in a flat rate box - check cost of shipping, I'll bet those came in at least a medium box? That's $14.85 at P.O. so it sounds reasonable.

Taxes are not clearly listed, but are in ebay's fine print and I doubt seriously the seller has any control over that.

"Stabilizing wood" - I agree the seller should have been more clear on that by saying something along the lines of "This wood needs stabilizing for use", or at the very least not mentioned stabilizing at all. Remember anytime you have a question, ask the seller on ebay, they're usually good about answering questions.

The seller does have some really good looking wood on his website, but it does seem like it would all need to be stabilized.

Later
 

Drew Riley

Well-Known Member
Ah, so you originally thought you were getting stabilized wood?

If you read the description: The wood is still in organic, natural form and color for the consumer to ultimately determine sheen, tone, stain or color. The first pic has mineral spirits applied to reveal anticipated color. It does evaporate and will arrive to you in "natural" state.

I agree that the title of the auction is a bit tricky, but no where does it mention that the wood is stabilized.

Maybe this is a good excuse to get into home stabilizing? ;) If you've got an extra $250-$300 lying around, you can grab a vacuum pump, a pressure pot, some cactus juice, and one or two other odds and ends and stabilize them yourself.

Or, you can send them to someone like K&G Finishing and have them do it. They charge per pound AFTER stabilization. So if you send in 6 lbs of wood and it comes out to 10 or 12 lbs stabilized weight, I think they charge something like $13 per lb, so you'll be looking at around an extra $130 to $156 ish to have your wood professionally stabilized.
 

BossDog

KnifeDogs.com & USAknifemaker.com Owner
Staff member
First, taxation is theft. :D
Now that's out of the way.

Previously sales tax was only collected if a vendor had a "point of presence" in that state and the buyer was a resident of the the sellers state. Non-residents didn't pay sales tax so you saw few tax collections.

A year or two ago, the Supreme Court ruled sales tax can be collected on state residents that purchase over the internet. The politicians simply could not stand the idea of not collecting sales tax on their own citizens. Larger internet sellers like ebay and Amazon almost immediately started collecting sales tax whether the "resident" state was asking for it or not. Most states are not yet collecting internet sales tax but they will as soon as they figure out how to do it.

Shipping is never free, even if it is.

I think the description could have been worded a bit more clear on the non-stabilized thing but it is still there. Lot's of guys do not want to use stabilized wood, even burl and it works just fine. Some guys want raw wood to stabilize them selves. There is a market for it. Stabilizing is relatively new and countless millions of knives have been made using non-stabilized wood and those knives are likely just fine.
 
Thanks, Boss, and others. I think the seller is a scumbag swindler who knew that "stabilizing wood" in the title would be misunderstood. But I also suspect my fight will be with eBay and not directly with the seller. I suspect eBay is far more beholden to its sellers than to individual buyers, so I'm not counting on winning this one. I have to wait until around Friday (72 hours) to file an official complaint to eBay's Resolutions desk, so I'll update this thread later. If nothing else, it has reminded myself as well as other forum readers to "let the buyer beware."
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
Both the price and the explicit description are at odds with your assertion that the seller is a scum bag swindler. I understand that what you thought you were getting is not what you now realize you're getting. I think you'd be best served by tempering your reaction with the understanding that you missed as much clear and accurate description as you were misinformed by.
 
Both the price and the explicit description are at odds with your assertion that the seller is a scum bag swindler. I understand that what you thought you were getting is not what you now realize you're getting. I think you'd be best served by tempering your reaction with the understanding that you missed as much clear and accurate description as you were misinformed by.
Admonishment understood and accepted. Name calling and venting doesn't harm the target, doesn't solve my problem, and probably lowers my character in the eyes of others. Thanks for that reminder.
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
Admonishment understood and accepted. Name calling and venting doesn't harm the target, doesn't solve my problem, and probably lowers my character in the eyes of others. Thanks for that reminder.
Thanks for accepting that in the spirit in which it was offered. I hope you get it satisfactorily squared away.
 

chrisstaniar

Well-Known Member
Just a note on shipping costs. They are ridiculously high. Doesn't matter if ups or usps. My cost on shipping a box (ups ground) that's 18x4x4 is close to $20 and that's about 2lbs in weight. If you add in a value above $100 it jumps again. Distance is a factor in the pricing.
 
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