Shopping Discussion

Question about Ebay purchase and HST

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 19th, 2010 2:25 am
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 11, 2008
7358 posts
826 upvotes
GTA

Question about Ebay purchase and HST

A friend of mine ordered something for us on ebay (she bought 2 - one for each of us - as we'd save a bit on shipping). I haven't bought too many items on ebay, so I just wanted to ask if this is usual.

The seller is in Ontario so taxes could be applied. The auction said shipping (for Canada) would be $8 for 1 item and $2 more for an additional item. When you change the quantity to 2, it does say $10. In the item description it does say "Canadian buyers note: shipping cost includes shipping plus Canadian taxes for this item."

At checkout she was charged $16 for shipping ($8 for each item) but the seller said to pay the amount and the difference would be refunded to her paypal account. However she was refunded $2 and change instead of $6. When she questioned this, the response was that because the shipping cost included HST only a portion of the $6 was refunded.

We're not talking about a lot of money here and I'm really just curious if this is normal. The auction said that HST was included in the shipping cost, so when it showed that it would cost $10 to ship 2 items, I interpreted it to mean that the $10 included the HST - I guess I am wrong? (The actual shipping cost on the envelope was only $2 something, but it was explained in the seller's response that they charge for shipping & handling.)
6 replies
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5821 posts
1485 upvotes
BC
Sounds like the seller has partly updated their S&H for HST,
but not yet done it in a way that makes their S&H for Cdn. buyers fully customized.

For example, let's say for a single item purchase,
stamp cost is $2, handling is $2.50 and HST is $3.50, for a total of $8

For buying 2, let's assume stamp cost is now $2.50, HST is now $7, and handling is bumped up to $4, for a total of $13.50

That would be a reasonable structure for single and multiple purchases S&H.
And would explain the refund of $2+ from the original $16 billed.
(ebay/PayPal may not have the flexibilty to allow the seller to quote the appropriate S&H in cases like this, hence the workaround.)

Some sellers give you a good break on multiples, others hardly any.
I'd say this is about average.

All in all, quite fair I'd say.
As long as the seller really is registered to collect and remit HST.

(Must be a lightweight item - I'm used to much higher Canada Post domestic charges for sending anything heavier than a letter.)
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 11, 2008
7358 posts
826 upvotes
GTA
Thanks. I was just curious so it sounds like it is right. Yes, it was a very, very light item. It was 2 thin lace boleros and they weigh basically nothing so that explains why the actual shipping cost was low.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 19, 2001
7901 posts
1580 upvotes
The explanation doesnt make any sense, nothing changed with the hst on how an in province purchase would be taxed, 13% on the total including S&H before and after. The sellers cost on the postage went up after hst...16 cents on the $2 in stamps.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
5821 posts
1485 upvotes
BC
zoro69 wrote:
Jul 19th, 2010 1:01 am
... nothing changed with the hst on how an in province purchase would be taxed, 13% on the total including S&H before and after.
But a typical ebay seller in Ontario would likely have been categorized as a small supplier before HST kicked in,
and would not have been required to register for, or collect, GST.
And they probably were not collecting PST from Ontario buyers either.

As of July 1 2010, they have both a regulatory duty and a financial incentive for registering to collect HST.
So that is probably what changed with this particular ebay seller in Ontario.

Definition:
For businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency's small supplier definition states that to qualify as a small supplier,
your total taxable revenues (before expenses) from all your businesses are $30,000 or less in the last four consecutive calendar quarters and in any single calendar quarter.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 11, 2008
7358 posts
826 upvotes
GTA
I don't think this necessarily had anything to do specifically with the HST (don't think so, but I could be wrong). Their listing didn't specify anything specific about HST, just Canadian taxes. I would guess they were likely registered for GST as well (but can't be sure). This is a power seller and they do have a physical business location where you can go to make exchanges a couple days a week if you arrange this with them first. I'm guessing they made enough previously to register for GST.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 19, 2001
7901 posts
1580 upvotes
No

The rules for being required to register for gst before july 1, and hst after july 1st, are exactly the same. Under $30k annual sales not required, but optional.

The rules for the now defunct ON Rst required EVERYONE buying to resell to collect and remit RST, no minimum. Certainly if you were registered for GST you would have to be collecting rst.

The change made absolutely no difference to an in province goods sale, other then the 13% went from two lines of 5 and 8 to one of 13%

They paid an extra 16 cents on the 2$ postage but that didnt make any difference to them either as with them being gst/hst registered they get it back

Top