Category Archives: Taxes

Happy Belated New Year, Everyone!

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I refrained from posting on New Year’s Day on purpose. Really, I did. Mrs. Amazopia and I both “celebrated” New Year’s Eve in our usual manner. We went to bed early, and slept late. Yes, the same way we “celebrate” Black Friday. We’ve also been preoccupied by other distractions, such as the fact that I’ve been down with a cold (at least I think that is what it is) for the past few days.

One of my (minor) frustrations is that the Kindle app on my Android tablet doesn’t really duplicate the experience of the real Kindle hardware 100%. I seriously doubt that is by accident. After all, Amazon wants you to buy their hardware. DUH.

Well, one piece of the Kindle experience formerly missing from Android is no longer Kindle-exclusive. An enterprising young man named Nate Hoffelder has come up with a way to get around the limitations on streaming video. He has posted the detailed directions here. Unfortunately, my Acer A500 (now available for less than half what I paid for it two years ago, such is life) tablet was not on the list of hardware that he tested, but I may try it out anyway. I don’t expect that to work on mine, since it isn’t one of the “newer” Android tablets. Plus, I rarely watch videos, but it’s nice to see the Android platform get some Amazon Prime love.

Also, my A500 won’t ever have the “MayDay Button,” which offers direct (and almost real-time) access to the Kindle Helpdesk from any of those new-model Kindles folks got for Christmas. So, I can confidently predict that the Kindle experience on a tablet (or PC, or Mac) will never be 100%.

A change in sales tax for 2014: As of January 1st, Amazon now collects sales tax in 9 new states, bringing the total to 19. Amazon has fought this in the courts and in the various legislatures. One tactic was to simply cancel all affiliate accounts in any state that ruled that having an affiliate living in their state constituted having a “nexus” — in hopes that it would stir up enough political blowback to get the state lawmakers to reconsider. So far, that tactic has not not been overwhelmingly successful. The main complaint that Amazon has about sales tax is that having to figure out rate & rules in several hundred jurisdictions (most states have several tax districts with different rate and rules) is just not possible. Especially considering that a lot of the states have trouble coping with their own rules.

It looks to me like Amazon is losing that battle. Cash-strapped states will not be easily deterred.

A friendly reminder: The Amazon long-term storage fee assessment will start rolling out in about 2 weeks. Some of the FBA merchants who are sufficiently aware of how to use their dashboards already have the information they need, but those are the ones who probably won’t panic on January 15th when the first LTS notice email lands in their inboxes. Be sure to make a note on your calendar to start looking for the bargains between January 15th, when the fee is announced, and February 15th, when the fee is assessed.

Photo Credit: Vietnam-inmyheart via Compfight cc

Will AZ Stock go up or Down? Yes. Probably.

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The political/financial blogger with the ugly outdated WP theme is back again, predicting the stock price crash of Amazon. So naturally, shares of AMZN have gone… well, up and down a little. He’s still predicting an AMZN crash, and he might even be right. Or not. Could it be that Amazon is just plowing its earnings back into growth? Or investors expect all those new Amazon initiatives to pay off handsomely someday. If I really understood all that, I’d probably be rich. Like Jeff Bezos.

Meanwhile, over at Digital Reader, they are claiming to know the code names for the new Amazon tablets: Soho, Thor, and Apollo. Those were supposedly deliberately “leaked” by Amazon.

In the non-story of the week, GigaOm hints that it might be illegal to take your rented digital textbooks across state lines. Really? GigaOm author must have stayed up really late coming up with that one.

If you need a good laugh, Amazon has published a list of the funniest fake reviews. My favorite entry in that list is AutoExec 13000 Automobile Steering Wheel Attachable Work Surface. I had to quit reading after about 10 of them because my sides hurt too bad to continue.

Free eBook, Even More Sales Tax Concerns, Amazon Redshift for Everyone, and eBook Sales Soaring

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I have a happy announcement to make today! I have published an ebook (on Amazon, of course!) entitled Making a GREAT Living with Fulfillment by Amazon: Specific Answers to 30 Questions Every Newbie Asks. And today, Sunday, February 17th, for one day only, it’s free! I do hope you will go pick up your copy with my compliments (and if you were favorably impressed, I’d love to get some reviews, if any of my readers are so inclined.)

Due to the ongoing push to have a nationwide sales tax for online purchases, this is a topic that is continually in the news. It’s very difficult for Amazon sellers to figure out what their responsibilities are, and Amazon doesn’t help. In essence, Amazon sellers are told: you must do this, but you must figure it out on your own. Thanks, Amazon – it would be nice if you would help a little bit!

All Amazon customers are now going to be able to use Amazon Redshift for analytics, integration tools and data services. Apparently this is a order of magnitude improvement in the service, and I think that’s great. While the price will be less than $1,000 per terabyte per year, this is probably still a bit out of the range of most casual users. Read about it at Amazon/Redshift.

And for those who predicted the end of reading when YouTube and podcasts came along, I think those predictions were way premature. Amazon has earned over $383 million dollars of the $859 million ebook pie in 2012. Somebody is reading all those books, and according to Good eReader, many of these people are reading their ebooks on Kindles that they bought at Amazon’s cost. Not a bad deal, though I do most of my reading on my Android tablet. I do have a Paperwhite, when I can wrest it from my husband’s deathgrip, but I really prefer the size – and the  ability to view in color –  of the Kindle app on my tablet.

Hope you guys are having a great weekend!  Now, go get my eBook!