Online shopping is more popular than its ever been and companies like Amazon are among the most profitable in the world, as are the businesses that use Amazon to get their products into the hands of consumers. There are few things as convenient as shopping online, ordering what you want and having it shipped to you in a matter of days. But, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, the price of being an online shopper just went up in a number of locations.
Even though Amazon was already charging a sales tax on its own products and consumers were used to paying those fees, third-party products like Wayfair and other businesses were not, which means the new ruling will require consumers to start paying sales tax from third-party companies alongside the non-Prime shipping charges Amazon is already dinging users for. This is especially painful for Amazon consumers who are not Prime account holders as these changes make online shopping potentially more expensive than physical retail shopping.
Of course, these new fees won't eliminate online shopping altogether, but the trend of avoiding retail malls and outlets simply to hop online and take care of your shopping needs at home may slow and that concern is already affecting companies who will be hit by this ruling.
Back in 1992, it was established that online retailers didn't need to pay a sales tax as a way to stimulate the economy. With it now booming, the states themselves want their cut and the Supreme Court overturned a 1992 ruling that was favorable to these businesses. The states may now make more off every transaction, but as a result, the stock prices of Amazon, Wayfair, Etsy, and eBay all fell.
It will be interesting to see how these changes affect online shopping in general or how many companies raise their prices as a result, but online shoppers may start to notice things got a bit more pricey than they used to be.