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Heads UP!! *Ebay seller Aquaticmagic*

Discussion in 'Trades, swaps, sales' started by Jowlz, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Jowlz

    Jowlz Junior Poster

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    Just a heads up. I bought a few CO2 related items from this seller. I get an invoice. It says seller (based in Malaysia) collects 8% PA sales tax. First off, I highly doubt this seller is paying this tax to the state. Second off, 8% is not our sales tax. What a great scam. I wonder how many people have missed this and just clicked "pay" thanks to Ebay's nice easy 1 click pay system.....
     
  2. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Tax is normally collected at the point of origin at the exporter country's rates. Similar to you pay your tax to the US revenue for items you are exporting. It is then up to the importer country if they want to hold it for customs duty!!! Sometimes things do get held, other times not.

    I once imported 30 'billiard' cue cases from Hong Kong. they were in units of 10. 20 were delivered to my house with no problem, the other held for customs (import) duty ;) Figure that one out. lol

    I would suggest they are more than likely paying their taxes in their own country. It is a long established business and sponsors a few large planted forums around the world. Maybe their tax is called PA tax or maybe it is an error in their translation.

    It does detail on their listing in the postage and payments tab 'Seller charges sales tax in multiple states'.

    This is most likely a generic statement rather than referring to states in the US. However you state that 8% is not the Pennsylvania tax rate. Not what it says on Wikipedia. 6% general tax, 8% max surtax. Same rate as it shows on my e-commerce software!!

    I have bought a fair few items from them and apart from them getting their customs labels wrong frequently all items were perfect including plants that were in shipping for 5-10 days.

    You do however have a choice. You could pay a higher price and buy from the US ;)

    AC
     
    #2 SuperColey1, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2010
  3. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    My bank charged me an extra $1 fee for an international transaction when I ordered som ebubble counters from them via ebay.:gw
     
  4. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    He sent me a free set of Lily Pipes for my Eheim 2217!

    I've ordered JBJ K-O bubble counters and stainless steel check valves from AquaticMagic. I didn't have any problems.
     
  5. Jowlz

    Jowlz Junior Poster

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    Interesting. I have never paid more than 6% on anything bought within the state of PA. If the seller is paying a tax to his country he should state that is what the tax is for.... I understand translation problems and maybe that is it. I took a big hit this year from an asian seller via ebay. I try to stick with high feedback sellers, but I guess I jump to conclusions of being scammed after the ordeal I went thru earlier this year. I recouped some but not all of my loss. I have purchased plants from high rated asian sellers with no issues or taxes in the past. I guess maybe I should stick to non-asian sellers..as I have fine luck buying from UK, Germany and Australia on a regular basis on don't want to rule out buying from foreign sellers entirely... Thanks for the info.
     
    #5 Jowlz, Nov 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2010
  6. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    No problems with this seller at all, very fast shipper and always fast in his repsonse.
    bought multiple times (~8x) from him, not at the same time off course.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've had good experiences with them as well, and they refunded some $ when there was an issue.
    Took awhile, but they got things done.

    They had some shipping issues initially within the USA for plants.
    But that seems to have been resolved some years ago.

    Regards
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Philadelphia Freedom... Isn't... Well, Free...

    Hi,

    I also have had several happy experiences with AquaticMagic.

    Why not just ask AquaticMagic?

    {Warning: I am an Evil Plant Monster, not a lawyer, below is my opinion and understanding}

    AC, State tax issues are confusing here, due in part, to the much abused Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) an enumerated power of the US Constitution only the US Congress has the power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."

    Generally anything ordered by mail or the internet from outside the State is not taxable in the State.

    The big exception is when the seller is a resident of the same State as the buyer, then the sovereign State may lay any lawful tax, the people or the peoples representatives deem appropriate. (The dust-up over the whole taxation and representation thing 235 or so years ago still resonates.)

    AquaticMagic appears to be a Pennsylvania entity, possibly how they have gotten around the plant importation problem that Tom Barr mentioned.

    Should either AquaticMagic or Jowlz be residents of Philadelphia County then it appears the correct tax rate is indeed 8%, an outrage I agree, but Jowlz beef is with the legislature and people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, not AquaticMagic.

    As the sovereign in this matter the good people of Pennsylvania seem to have decided in their collective wisdom to inflect upon themselves a triple tax rate, 8% for Philadelphia County, 7% for Allegheny County and 6% for the remaining 65 counties of the Commonwealth. :)

    Biollante
     
    #8 Biollante, Nov 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2010
  9. barbarossa4122

    barbarossa4122 Guru Class Expert

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    Lol!!!!!! How right you are. Lots of collecting wisdom in NYC too or.............you know what I mean.
     
  10. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Ahh I see. The problem they had before was incorrect documentation with plant sales so I asume they have now registered in US to get round this?

    As far as tax for imports I know that if I buy something from outside the US then the tax is collected and paid at origin for the origin region. For example If someone sells something from Hong Kong they have to pay a VAT sort of tax to their state but there is nothing applied in the UK.

    That is if it gets through customs. Customs levy duty on imports. Single purchases will normally get through but if it were a multiple (like with the cases I detailed above) where the intention is obviously to resell then they are more often than not held for the suty.

    However like I said it details in the postage and payments tab that tax is due in some states and therefore the warning is there.

    If its a question of an extra cost then people can shop elsewhere if they find somewhere else that sells the item cheaper than the price + 8%.

    If it is a question of money not being paid to the US and the current economic climate then its a no brainer really. Buy from US companies :) As it is the US gets plenty from Aquatic Magic via ebay and paypal fees, plus the 8%, plus thesponsorship of the many Forums they sponsor.

    I always get on with them. Friendly to deal with and were one of the first (if not THE first) to sell cheaper 'ADA style' equipment. Thats not to mention the mosses and Crypts they sell. I would suggest that they were and stilll are a great asset to the hobby in that they made a lot of stuff accessible to the majority. Not just in terms of making the goods available to all but also in having prices that all can afford in comparison to ADA.

    I think they were the first to do the quality glass pipes at cheap prices (I have and still use some of those originals) and also the Rhinox diffuser which is a darned good piece of kit. Much better than the other 'knock offs' that have followed suit since.

    I think all that needs taking into consideration here. They have helped the hobby immensely over thepast 4 years since they started.

    AC
     
  11. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Apologies to W. Shakespeare...

    Hi,

    The fault, dear barbarossa4122, is not in our legislatures, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings... :eek:

    AC, my guess, as I have no inside information on AquaMagic, is that they incorporated in one form or another in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, perhaps with some kind of agency agreement, bonding, insurance and so forth. :)

    Shipping of live plants is tricky, even within the US it is easy to run afoul of various State and local laws. :p


    • I find preposterous the notion that Paypal, Ebay or for that matter AquaMagic would collect, or condone the collection of taxes, then not pass the funds on to the appropriate authority.

    The great thing about free or reasonably free markets is that if you do not like the price, terms, quality or anything else you do not have to do business with them...

    From my perspective AquaMagic is one of the good guys in this business. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  12. Jowlz

    Jowlz Junior Poster

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    I guess I should have originally posted that their Ebay listing wasn't very clear. You have to click the shipping link then you look for the tax notice. Yes, it's probably my fault for not scrutinizing the listing. Maybe they are incorporated in PA. This was just the first time I have had this happen. After my previously mentioned episode maybe I jumped the gun. I paid for all auctions. Taxes and uncombined shipping. Hopefully, the products are decent enough that I won't regret my purchase...

    Drop Checker
    Rhino 2000 diffuser
    JBJ Bubble Counter
    Total $50.
     
  13. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Lets See What Happens...

    Hi,

    I well let us know how it turns out, as I said my experience has been good... Though as they do say, past experience is no guarantee of future success... :)

    Good luck.

    Biollante
     
  14. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Before I got rid of my CO2 I used the Rhinox and then used something else, went back to the Rhinox, used something else etc. Always went back to the Rhinox. Quality diffusers ;)

    Is it just PA then that has to pay this tax? I can't ever remember having to pay taxes when buying form them.

    AC
     
  15. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    It Is A Commerce Clause Thing...

    Hi AC,

    Yeah this is an “oddity” of US law, no one living in any other State, military district or territory has to pay the “sales tax.” :rolleyes:

    Now about “use taxes”... :eek:

    Biollante
     
  16. The Rockster

    The Rockster Guru Class Expert

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    My Experience

    Hi,

    I ordered and payed for two glass diffusers, and they only sent one. Emailing back and forth, it was obvious they did not understand English. They kept telling me to take a picture of the damaged diffuser, I kept responding, that nothing was broken, and how would I take a picture of something that was not there.

    Months later, after working with PayPal, they finally agreed to send me the missing diffuser, and asked for my address.
    I thought that was really strange, and wonder what kind of bookkeeping & accounting system they were using. That was my first and last order from them.

    I learned to restrict my purchases to companies on this continent only.
     
  17. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I tried to order some bubble counters again, and the sales tax is a new addition. Iirc, I didn't have to pay the 8% sales tax they are requiring. Here is what they say:
    Estimated sales tax: 8.000% CA Sales Tax (applies to subtotal + S&H)

    Sales tax in SF according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sales_taxes_in_the_United_States#California is 9.5%.

    "San Francisco has a 1.25% district tax, which is added onto the state sales tax base rate of 8.25% to make a total sales tax rate of 9.5% within San Francisco."
     
  18. Jowlz

    Jowlz Junior Poster

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    I got my stuff from them a couple days ago. Everything looks good and was well packaged. This is the first time I have purchased something from asia that had an actual customs declaration and not a "gift" or "product sample" declaration. Maybe they had to go legit with customs and are passing along the fees.
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    They can be a little slow, but they do seem to try to get the right things done.
    With plants, this is a tougher process.
    Dry goods, not so bad.

    In most cases, as long as you get the product, you are fine, they might take awhile, or shipping might be slow.....but if it gets here for a reasonable amount of $$.

    Since many governments are hurting for $$$, they are all looking to milk the internet sales.
    Since we pay no tax, they are really after the consumer in this case in the state level and the local levels.
    This will hurt internet business however.

    They whine and cry about raising taxes and lost of business and jobs, this most certainly will at every level.
    And it hurts the little businesses, not the large corporations which have the distribution as much.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Well,

    I just confirmed an order for various mosses and java fern var...

    I will post any results....

    I know now to simply check the mail daily....as last time there was no shipping info sent...it just showed up one day.

    Perhaps they have changed that. I will let you know either way..........
     
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