Memo to Amazon: Pay the Sales Tax & Put Everyone Else in E-Commerce Six Feet Under

We revere Amazon, and generally try not to give other companies advice. But does anyone know why Amazon doesn’t give up the state sales-tax fight and station its monstrous fulfillment space-ships over every major American city? Benefits:

  1. Deliver everything same-day including groceries the way it does here in Seattle
  2. Go after UPS, using its analytical super-powers to banish left turns
  3. Hire a national salesforce for Amazon Web Services, to help the folks wearing head-sets in south Lake Union beat Microsoft & Google
  4. Restore profitable, risk-free affiliate marketing partnerships with folks in 100 cities
  5. Rent books & take out Chegg, which requires a local presence
  6. And go into a dozen other businesses it has passed on to avoid being local

Cost:  8% – 10%, paid by your customers, to build schools, parks and roads.

Amazon’s operations people are total beasts, and its insistence on remaining Seattle-bound for tax purposes is the chain holding ‘em back. Pay the tax! Unleash the hounds! The day Amazon concedes this issue will hereafter be remembered as its independence day.


  • Chris McCoy

    Nice post Glenn, helps me understand the issue a bit better.

    I posed a question on Quora that's starting to get some traction:

    Your post definitely helps it make sense to me. Thanks.

    • GlennKelman

      Great conversation on Quora too Chris… thanks for linking!

  • Daniel Howard

    I'm an Fan-boy but … really, this childish approach to paying taxes is a big disappointment.

    • GlennKelman

      Totally agree Daniel. It's not just disappointing, it's counterproductive.

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