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eBay Urges Rethink On EU Plan's "Brick and Mortar" Vendor Requirement 139

Posted by timothy
from the them-as-has-gits dept.
mernil writes with this snippet from Reuters: "According to a draft regulation drawn up by the European Commission and seen by Reuters, suppliers may be allowed to require that distributors have a 'brick-and-mortar' shop before they can sell online. The proposed rules would replace existing guidelines exempting companies from strict EU competition rules under certain circumstances. Those rules expire at the end of May."
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eBay Urges Rethink On EU Plan's "Brick and Mortar" Vendor Requirement

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  • WTF (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@ ... m minus math_god> on Friday February 19, 2010 @02:37PM (#31202736) Homepage Journal

    This is one of the dumbest ideas I've heard out of a politico in a long, long time.

  • by P-Nuts (592605) on Friday February 19, 2010 @02:49PM (#31202904)
    But that's because sales tax is really complicated in the USA. In the EU there's only VAT (the rates vary between the countries, but it's one tax at one rate within each country). You can't get out of paying it just by buying online.
  • Re:But imagine (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArhcAngel (247594) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:49PM (#31203882)

    Actually it would be more like Directron [directron.com] Their multi-acre warehouse in Houston, Texas has a small store in the front full of PC cases of every conceivable design and off-lease equipment. They also have several kiosks where you can sit down to browse their web site and order what you want. Once you order you walk over to the Will call kiosk and type in your order number to tell them you are there to pick up the merchandise. A few minutes later someone will come out from the warehouse with your stuff and process your order. It was hilarious before they moved to the bigger warehouse because the store was only big enough to fit 3 people before you couldn't open the front door. I can see it now. People opening up "storefronts" in a Public Storage space for a couple of minutes a day to get around a law like this.

  • by beset (745752) on Friday February 19, 2010 @03:54PM (#31203974) Homepage
    I work in eCommerce, in particular the high end AV and home electricals' market. "Premium" brands have been penalising eCommerce only ventures for a number of years now. It can be as simple as giving traditional retailers better retro (% of turn over paid back once a year) and has harsh as limited stock. The same goes on in online photography. To be clear, we're not an online only brand, we have a number of high street stores with decent turnover. Now, the manufacturers are getting even tougher. The amount of premium brands we've had to take off our website in the past 6 months to keep our decent terms for the traditional is shocking. These weren't small accounts either, they run into 7 figures of the UKs finest GBP. Why? The brands think by selling online you're selling on price (which is largely true thanks to sites like pricegrabber, pricerunner, kelkoo etc) and this devalues their brand. How they control the market is nothing short of cartel like, but it's not going to change, only get worse if this law comes into effect. FWIW, even as someone who is struggling to do online business thanks to these they do have a point. Pure, price comparison based online shopping will eventually leave us with very few trained product experts or the ability to see products in the "flesh" before buying online. A balance needs to be found.
  • by Grimbleton (1034446) on Friday February 19, 2010 @04:59PM (#31204898)

    From: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/business/business_tax_nys_sales.shtml [nyc.gov]

    City sales tax is imposed on the purchase of clothing and footwear costing $110 or more per item or pair as of August 1, 2009.

    And not precisely what I said about vehicle purchase, but vehicle related: "On Item 10 above, the City imposes a 6 percent tax and an additional 8 percent surtax (on parking, garaging, or storing motor vehicles in Manhattan)."

    I imagine you can find more on your own, using such Google terms as " Vehicle Sales Tax Rate"

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