Amazon/Maryland: YOU SUCK!

Listen, no one can say I’m not a reasonable person. Well, they can say it, but they’d be wrong and stupid and mean. But I have my limits and woe be to the bookseller who crosses them.

Now look, I spend a FORTUNE on books. I buy almost all my new books from my local bookseller, The Curious Iguana (click HERE to visit) and, too, at local Girl Scout outlet for used books, church book sales, and, sometimes, Wonder Book, which is local and deals in used books as well. And while I NEVER buy a new book from Amazon – I have openly admitted that I do troll the used book sellers on its site and when books I have been interested in or need for research or just want another copy of come up for sale for .01 cent; I buy them.

It has ALWAYS been my practice if there are multiple dealers to look for one from Maryland, to support my “local” economy. BUT NO THE HELL MORE.

My most recent order via Amazon went to Free State Books. I purchased 6 books at .01 cent each. for which I was charged a total of $23.94 in shipping. $3.99 a book. That, in itself, is bad enough, but then, on top of it, I was charged TAX on the shipping. I looked up the Maryland tax laws and determined that shipping is NOT taxable. I wrote an email asking about this.

FIRST OF ALL – it took four tries for ANYONE to even ATTEMPT to answer me. Both Amazon and Free State kept telling me to contact THE OTHER. When at last Free State did respond, here is what they said:

Hello Charles,Thank you for your reply. Amazon misunderstood your question – they thought you were asking about tax-exempt purchasing, which we do not offer through the Amazon Marketplace.

Amazon collects sales tax on behalf of Marketplace Sellers in accordance with each state’s laws, and we have no control over the amount collected. You are incorrect in your assertion that the Amazon shipping fee in not taxable in Maryland. Because the fee that Amazon collects is for both shipping and handling, it loses it’s tax exempt status in Maryland. See the following links for details:

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.



Thrift Books | Green Earth Books | Motor City Books | Atlanta Book Company | Blue Cloud Books | Yankee Clipper Books | Books Squared | Silver Arch Books | Free State Books | Sierra Nevada Books


FIRST OF ALL – do NOT tell me that I am incorrect. I think I have established that I HATE THAT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD EXCEPT KARL ROVE AND OTHER ASSORTED TEA-PARTY-REPUBLICANS AND HOMOPHOBES (do I actually need to type both out, or can we just agree they’re mostly interchangeable?)

So, in addition to Amazon/FreeState books screwing me; Maryland is going to grab MORE money from me as well. You will ALSO note that FreeState is really a conglomerate that operates out of a bunch of states. HAD I ORDERED FROM A SELLER NOT IN MARYLAND – I wouldn’t have been charged the tax.

Look, I know it’s only $1.44, and even with that I got six books for less than the price of one new one – but, fuck Maryland. Fuck Free State where their VERY OWN WEBSITE says they offer FREE SHIPPING – uhm – not quite. Fuck Amazon for calling it “shipping and handling” and most of all FUCK THAT EVERYONE IS MAKING MONEY FROM THIS EXCEPT THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE AND PUBLISHED THE BOOKS!

I have spoken. Someone do something about it.


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