Green Party leader Natalie Bennett: eBay will defeat Amazon

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eBay has discovered an unusual political ally in the Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett. In a recent interview with London Loves Business.

Bennett said in the interview: Amazon is built on the basis, as we’re now aware, of huge tax avoidance.” And added: “My answer to Amazon is eBay. I know eBay doesn’t pay their taxes either, but eBay can meet all of the needs of Amazon but it’s based on millions of small traders and on second hand sales. Ultimately, the eBay model will defeat the Amazon model and that’s a good thing.”

“If Amazon is made to pay its taxes,” according to Bennett “and if it’s made to pay its workers properly, then I suspect you’ll find its economic model starting to shift around.”

Of course, Bennett is on shaky ground for a number of reasons. Whilst eBay is indeed the home to many SMEs, its focus is increasingly on bigger retailers. And, needless to say, second hand sales on eBay are a diminishing part of the marketplace. Despite political pressure, the government would have to change the law to stop companies such as Amazon and Google to amend their practices, and this government doesn’t seem keen to shift yet (if indeed it can.)

7 Responses

  1. Are second hand sales diminishing, or just making up a smaller percentage of the whole? eBay is still the place of choice for offloading unwanted possessions.

  2. It is stupid comments like hers which gives the greens a bad reputation.
    How can anybody vote for a party who don’t live in the real world. Green issues are important, really important but for goodness sake get real about the world we live in.

  3. eBay themselves state: ‘continued mixshift with fixed price GMV growth of 21% y/y and auction GMV growth of 5% y/y’.
    Which I assume means auction stuff is basically flatlining and fixed price is racing away at over 4 times as fast.
    No data on volumes or split between international marketplaces so there may be significant difference between countries hidden in these global consolidated figures.
    You will be pleased to know as sellers that eBay margins showed a srong uptick last year end so all their hard work is paying off and you are giving them more of your money.
    The real icing on the cake is that search is (has been) broken for so long we are past caring.

  4. Has she forgotten about the thousands of UK SME’s trading on Amazon’s platforms? The platform holder may not do the ‘right’ thing re: taxes, but most of their 3P sellers do, mostly because they don’t have the finances to fund off-shore businesses / tax havens etc.

  5. Thats presuming that amazon and ebay are liable for taxes elsewhere. Neither is based here and while in the EU they can trade across borders same as any other company. Corporation tax is NOT payable in every single country the company sells into.

    So far it seems national governments and the media grumble about big companies without figuring out that legal taxes are all that are payable.

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