The Motorcycle Parts You Buy Online Could Soon Be More Expensive

Cyril-Huze-online-shoppingIt has been a long debated issue, almost since internet is available to the public. The internet sales tax law is advancing through Congress and it would require that all online retailers in 45 states and the District Of Columbia collect the sales tax on all purchases.

Under current law, when you place an online order you are charged a sales tax only if you live in the state where the retailer has a physical presence, either a store, warehouse or factory. Those living in other states are not charged the sales tax by the retailer, so buy tax free at the time of purchase but are supposed to voluntarily pay it in their home state! It is estimated that only 1% do it…

Under the proposed legislation, retailers with more than $1 million a year in sales would be responsible for collecting the tax from buyers in the 45 states plus D.C. that currently charge sales tax. Even if an online retailer provides “tax-free” purchases as a way of attracting customers, the way many now offer free shipping, it would be responsible for paying the sales taxes to the various states. That would likely raise the cost of the item you buy online.

The National Retail Federation is one of the most active voices in support of the proposal, as it is concerned its brick-and-mortar members are losing sales to online competitors. The legislation could be in its final form this week, though a vote might not come until after the coming recess. The new proposed legislation does have bipartisan support

19 Responses to “The Motorcycle Parts You Buy Online Could Soon Be More Expensive”

  1. 1 tattooeddmike Apr 30th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I hope the masses write the reps and tell them their GREED EXCEEDS OUR TOLERANCE and just to fill their pockets…? We cannot allow this if we have any chance to see any economic growth at all in e-sales. When will these creative laws in taxing STOP??? It will not! and we cannot just sit on our hands and let this continue… WRITE YOUR REPS AND TELL THEM ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! When everything cost more and more in just the basics and we are asked to pay more and more just to support these reps and their programs, and don’t tell me their programs help those who cannot help themselves… able bodied people need to get off their dead asses and find work… and e-sales might be someones chance to work out of poverty to try and support their family. Enough of my rant… Thanks Cyril for all the news you put up here for us to comment on, good, bad, and ugly.

  2. 2 P. Hamilton Apr 30th, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Taxes kill taxes. Why work if you are over taxed.

  3. 3 Keller Apr 30th, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Let’s not forget, as Cyril mentioned, that the political bipartisan support is because behind all this are all suffering brick and mortar stores unable to compete with e-stores. Like print magazines, in most cases, they are unable to adjust to a new world of competition. Regulated competition doesn’t help consumers. Base your e-store in Canada and you don’t have to charge the sales tax and you get a price advantage on all US brick and mortar and US online competitors! Is it the way to help the American economy?

  4. 4 deadwood1783 Apr 30th, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Mixed emotions. Some E commerce operators are destroying the ability of brick and mortar operations to compete. Not because of poor management either. You buy your “Tuning” product from an internet source. You buy your cams, your pipes your big bore and self install all of it. Then when it runs poorly you take it to a tuner and say “fix this”. Tuning will not fix a bad build. The fact you bought a kit doesn’t throw out engine building 101. It just neans someone boxed this stuff up for ya. And when the tune doesn’t meet your expectations its the tuners fault. Just one example. The internet guy made the profit, the brick and mortar guy got the headache and sometimes the bad wrap. I am generally against any new tax laws, and this one will not work as intended either, it never works that way. But we are loosing a lot of good small shops who actually provide knowledge and experience to the customer who will often only see that he can buy cheaper on line. Profits are not evil. They are nessasary in order to stay in business. Can we afford to let internet discounters irrepairably damage the Dealer. I guess thats ultimately up to the consumer.

  5. 5 Raymond Apr 30th, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Brick & mortar shops should be paid for the advice, services they render, installation (fee), not by profit on parts. E commerce increases price competition, so benefit the consumers.

  6. 6 bigitch Apr 30th, 2013 at 11:14 am

    go into your mom and pop store/eatery//bike shop and pay with a credit card and it gets rung up on the register.

    pay with cash and it gets rung up as a ‘no sale’ because the tax man can trace checks and credit card sales but can’t chase cash.

    send in the proposed sales tax and how are the other states going to receive their share unless they create another government office to do this interstate/internet sales tax collection.

    shame shame shame on who ever thought this idea is good

  7. 7 deadwood1783 Apr 30th, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Respectfully Raymond,,,,thats like showing up at McDonalds with your own cheeseburger and asking them to cook it! I’m against any more taxation. But i’d like to see more companies at least enforce minimum advertised pricing. That way your local guy at least gets a shot at it. I know its a double edged sword as well as anybody, after all I have an online store as well as a brick and mortar. The only point I meant to make is companies can not survive when retailers with little or no overhead eat cheeto’s and set on the couch while selling products at cost + 5% or 10% drive business away from local shops. And NO ONE wants to pay for advice,,,,trust me on that. You have no idea how much of my day is spent answering questions about products I didn’t sell. All that in hopes I’ll get the sale next time. And all to many times the internet “prostitute” (gentle euphimism) gets that sale too. This issue is brought up at EVERY trade show and I’m sure Cyril can verify that.

  8. 8 BlkBkr Apr 30th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    As a consumer I go to the shop and ask if they can match the internet price that I show them (usually on my phone). If they say yes deal, if they can get close deal, if they flat out say no which has happened I go to the internet. I work too hard for my money not to be smart with it.
    I support the local guy but if he doesn’t want my business then his loss.

  9. 9 Woody's Apr 30th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    95+ % of my business is via the internet and I only have to collect taxes if picked up here or shipped to my native Wisconsin. This law makes some sense because my customers are SUPPOSED to be listing such purchases on their State tax forms and paying the tax once a year on their State Income Tax form if they live in a State with an income tax. I just use a highlighter pen on my charge card statements to mark the non-exempt purchases I have to declare om my WI income tax. States DO loose a buttload of revenue when folks shop online and evade their State’s sales tax, so it’s no surprise that this is the result. My fear is that anytime the government gets involved with ANYTHING, they make it worse and add revenue grabbers for the hell of it to salt the wound. States like NY have so many different sales taxes depending on where you live that it’s going to be a nighmare if the seller’s going to be responsible for accuracy. Then waht am I supposed to do, mail out 50 checks once a year (or even quarterly) to each State’s dept. of revenue? Perhaps they could take an average of all 50 States’ sales tax rates and use that as the “Online Sales Tax”? Maybe let us send it in once a year for National Debt Relief ONLY? No matter what the problem may be, we usually end up with nothing but increased costs, paperwork, and brain drain with no good results to show for it.

  10. 10 Woody's Apr 30th, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    (” loose a buttload “) was a typo, not pun) 😉

  11. 11 deadwood1783 Apr 30th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    BlkBkr, that’s fair enough! Not too much to ask on your part or mine. But many want to carry in parts they have bought on line for me to install,,,,and I do,,,but now its time to negotiate labor. Because to the end user if I installed it, I’m married to it. I simply can’t stay in business on labor alone. As someone who spent 25 + years in the HD Dealer network, I can tell you this much for sure. The service dept is 10% of the profit and 90% of the headache. If the consumer expects their local Indy or Dealer to be there to support them, well support is a two way street. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t all be smart with our money. We all have too. But we must recognize if we want local support,,,,well you see where I’m going.
    And Woody, I agree that government involvment usually makes things worse. The Government that governs least, governs best!

  12. 12 burnout Apr 30th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    A cluster in the making. The small guys will be pushed out and the big ones will thrive….just like now! peace

  13. 13 Moore Sensible May 1st, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Well said, burnout.

  14. 14 jester357 May 1st, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Have to agree this is a double edge sword . I work in parts and every day I get calls about will this fit my bike , what year does this fit ect . Not being a total douche I will help everyone the best I can but the dealership doesn’t pay me to give info and not sell parts .There are on line places that can offer tires at prices lower than my cost and free shipping to boot . I buy stuff on line as well but the tax is never a issue . If I want it I buy it , the price is the price. I started my long career as a biker in a brick and mortar store and still support them to this day . The tax is the greedy ass government just looking for another handout for the entitled .

  15. 15 Magnumbob May 1st, 2013 at 7:18 am

    ‘Mixed feelings on this subject.
    Back when I was involved with Cyborg Cycles, I was very concerned when politicians talked about this for the obvious selfish reasons. It is undeniable that forcing online stores to collect state sales tax will impact their sales. I always felt though, that allowing out of state stores to ship items to customers without forcing them to pay sales tax gives online and mail order businesses an unfair advantage over the local brick and mortar merchants. It’s like giving out of state customers an instant 4-7% discount simply for not shopping locally.
    Nobody likes paying taxes, but we all have to pay them. (For the sake of this discussion, let’s just agree on that, and skip the political BS). Forcing people to pay sales tax on online sales is not a new tax or raising taxes. It is simply plugging a loophole that is hemorrhaging out individual states much needed revenue. As more and more sales move online, the problem is getting worse.
    My apprehension isn’t so much with the concept of collecting the tax, but with how it would be accomplished. How would you (as an online merchant) collect the correct amount for the myriad different state and local tax rates? Where would you send it? Would there be a whole new giant federal government bureaucracy formed that sucks up all the money itself? Would the money ever even make it to the individual states?
    Questions that need to be addressed before I personally would be OK with it.

  16. 16 Jay Horton's Private Shop May 1st, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Here’s an interesting twist to the story; go to: and look up “Why Amazon Supports Online Sales Tax”. And all the while, they are seeking tax abatement from local municipalities/counties etc… etc… to build large warehousing infrastructure to help support the further decimation of the “brick and mortar stores”.
    burnout has is RIGHT!!! It’s a cluster in the making and bye-bye to all the small(er) players. There is another article in the WSJ which more or less to me indicates how big the Mazola party has the potential to become; “Amazon Tells Lawmakers It Supports Sales Tax”.

    Later Jay

  17. 17 Steelchoppin May 1st, 2013 at 10:00 am

    No internet tax means that not only are shops like mine getting our asses handed to us by internet whores (people with huge warehouses, inexperienced staff. etc.) that simply shoot for volume not for gross but I also have to compete with the no sales tax deal (which by the way is supposed to be collected anyway since consumers are legally obligated to report purchases) so this is just enforcement of a law that is already on the books.

    That said, I don’t mind giving a loyal customer a deal or a similar deal to earn a new customers, but it is silly to think that a brick and mortar shop can compete when there is not a level playing field to play on. If a customer is going to spend $3,000 on their bike that saves them $210 in sales tax alone! A computer can do a lot but I have to see it mount a tire!

    I will tell you…I was a manager at Super Shops, we had 165 stores. We owned Mallory and Erson Cams and bought more BF Goodrich tires than any company in the world except General Motors and Summit and Jegs put them out of business by dictating the pricing from the vendors. I thank god that people like Fred Fox and John Parnham see the value in small shops like mine and that they do not whore out products…every industry person owes them and those like them a debt of gratitude.

  18. 18 Woody's May 1st, 2013 at 10:01 am

    FWIW, currently they’re only planning on implementing it on businesses with under $1 million in sales so the mom & pop places won’t be affected but still, that just adds a new law that’s unfair from the start. The exemption is more of an admission it’s going to be a mess and they know it’s going to be a mess.

  19. 19 Flying Piston May 2nd, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Sure would be nice if to even the playing field congress considered letting the states have more control over taxes levied not from sellers but from buyers within their boundaries. In the modern age of credit card transactions this would not be so hard to implement as it would have before. The state could then decide on a sales tax code that would be applied to all transactions online or brick and mortar.

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Cyril Huze