Friday, April 30, 2010

Do I Have To Pay Taxes On My eBay Sales? How Do I Figure It Up?

So that I could complete my 2009 record-keeping, I figured out the exact "tax record" for my eBay sales.

From the eBay help pages:

Are my eBay earnings taxable?

As a seller, you're required by law to declare and pay taxes on income from what you sell. To determine what you need to charge buyers and pay in income tax, we recommend you consult local and federal laws, or your tax professional.

Many people THINK eBay earnings aren't taxable, but they are - in every state.

Every year that I've been selling on eBay since 1997, I have included my income from eBay on my taxes.

It usually ends up being beneficial anyway because it's a significant part of my business expenses as well.

Here's how I figured up this year's taxes:

First, I called eBay.

I used the CONTACT US link and typed in "taxes".

This brought up the answer above and gave me a link to call.

YOU MUST USE THIS METHOD OF CALLING because this "link to call" will give you a "pin number" to authorize you to talk to a live representative.

I did this twice and both times I went through different cues of topics - so your mileage may vary for the "cue to live rep" step.

I finally got an eBay rep on the phone.

You'll have to explain the nature of your call.

Tell them, "To obtain tax liability information."

Here's the information you need to get and to record ...

The FIRST & LAST name of the eBay rep you are speaking to.

His/Her complete job title.

Today's DATE & TIME

Your total gross sales from January 1 to December 31 of the tax calendar year.

Your total eBay fees charged to you in that same year.

Here are what my notes look like (with amounts X'd out)

Name of Rep: Zezil XXXXXX

Time: April 29, 2010 1:38PM EST

Job Title: Customer Service Support/General Support Team @ eBay

Tax Year 2009 (gross sales): $XXXX.45

Total eBay fees: $XXX.20

(You'll have to lather, rinse, repeat with PayPal to see how many fees you paid for accepting PayPal payments or you could just figure a generic 3.25% - which is acceptable)

Total Paypal fees: $XXX.43

Next you need to subtract other costs to come up with your profit or loss:

Total USPS shipping costs: $XXXX.70

Total shipping packing supply cost: $XXX.40

Total cost of goods sold $XXXX.00

Additionally, you may have had expenses for:



Internet access

Customer Service correspondence

Trash disposal


(Some of the expenses above may be covered in other areas of your Schedule C (itemized business deductions) on your taxes)


+/- $XXXXX.72

You are most likely going to come up with a general figure because of the itemized deductions and "other expenses" part.

Just remember that you don't pay taxes on gross sales ... it makes me wonder how many people do and how many people are NOT including their eBay income because they somehow think it's under the table or like a yard sale.

In 2001 and 2002 I taught an eBay class at Greenville Tech ... I was surprised to find out that eBay reports the incomes of anyone who sells more than $1000.00 annually to the IRS.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Steve Jobs' Open Letter About Flash

Steve Jobs has written an open letter on the Apple Website regarding Adobe's Flash web technology:

Steve Jobs: Thought On Flash

The basic topics of the letter cover:

It's not open.

The "full web.

Reliability, security and performance.

Battery life.


One of the web's greatest hidden evils: rollovers. Rollover flash ads don't fit with the Touch interface.

Basically, Flash is built around the idea of mouse input, and would need to be "rewritten" to work well on touch devices.


If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features."


I'd like to add my own two cents about the PC side concerning Adobe Flash:

While I have worked for many PC shops over the years to do their Mac work ... occasionally I'm asked to assist with the influx of PCs that need to be virus cleaned. The main culprits for loading viruses on PCs are Flash and infected Adobe PDFs.

And then the Mac side of things:

Since I sell my own networking device for Macs - one common question I get is how to speed up the internet. My first suggestion is always to try to avoid sites with Flash ... but if you must visit them ... download a program called Click To Flash.

From The Click To Flash description:

The advantages of ClickToFlash are numerous. Since Flash isn't loaded until you specifically ask for it, your CPU usage will stay at normal levels when browsing the web. This has tons of benefits: web browsing stays speedy, your Mac laptop won't get as hot, and your Mac's fan won't come on as often. In fact, we guarantee* that ClickToFlash will quintuple your battery life and that it will protect those precious parts of your body on which you rest your laptop!

Best of all, ClickToFlash even supports viewing all those ADORABLE meowing cat videos, annoying dog videos, and hilarious rickrolls from YouTube without using Flash at all! That's because YouTube also offers H.264 videos, which are used when viewing YouTube on the iPhone. With ClickToFlash, you get access to those same, higher quality videos.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Rare Prototype That Isn't Rare Nor A Prototype Makes Its Way Back Onto eBay

Yesterday this auction popped up on eBay:

VERY RARE PROTOTYPE Apple Interactive Television Box

In June 2008 ...

I did this story on FYT:

Is The Apple Set Top Box A Prototype Or Is It Even Rare?

The majority of the units that are availible in the United States are NOT prototypes. They were actually used "in room" at hotels at Disneyland California - roughly 5000 units were distributed. There was never ANY intention for these to be availible to consumers. Most of the "rare" jargon was written by a guy who acquired a bunch of these and wanted to sell them on eBay a few years back.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Aptera Officially Launches

Aptera Forums Reveal Official Aptera Launch

Well ... the rumors of a redesign weren't true. Yes, the car is lower to the ground than the original and it gets no where near the range of what was originally promoted ... but the Aptera HAS officially launched. Orders will start to be fulfilled according the link above.

Check out the link above for a very detailed set of pictures and part analysis.

Friday, April 09, 2010

iPhone 4.0 OS Keynote Posted On Apple's Website

I highly recommend watching ... if you're interested in all the iPad will do and new enhancements that will come to the iPhone - which should finally address any and all complaints watch the keynote from the above link ... wow!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Toe Mouse!

Very innovative design from a company called Yanko:

From Yanko:

Flip Flop Mouse

The Toe Mouse is especially designed for those who have upper limbs disability and cannot use their hands to move the mouse. This ergonomically designed gadget uses our natural ability to grip between the toes, for manipulating the Mouse. You need to slip it on, between the big toe and second, just as you would wear your flipflops. The sensor below the big toe acts as the left click button and the one below the second toe is the right click. I find very little flaws in this design, and going by the determined grit we have seen in handicapped people; if they can conquer pen and paint brushes without using hands, then this mouse is no big deal!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Movie Reviews: Alice In Wonderland 2010 / Clash Of The Titans 2010

Over Spring Break I saw Clash Of the Titans (2010) on opening day with my son and yesterday I finally got around to seeing Alice In Wonderland (2010). Here is my review of each:

Alice In Wonderland (2010)

Alice In Wonderland (2010) is directed by Tim Burton, starring the only lead that is in a Tim Burton movie; Johnny Depp. I love Depp as an actor but he's become very constrained in the worlds of Burton. He's played so many diverse, can I say, weirdos in various movies that he's basically tapped out his talents. Depp's version of the Mad Hatter is a mish mash of his other roles as captain Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, and Edward Scissorhands - this may be on purpose somewhat - after all the Mad Hatter is mad and I suppose they wanted to portray him as having multiple personalities. The role just doesn't come off well and the make up in my opinion isn't convincing - it's just oddball.

If you've seen the Peter Pan (remake/update) Hook with Robin Williams then you've seen this movie. The plot is VERY weak - essentially making Alice forget her previous journey to Wonderland and rediscovering her past by reliving it in a similar way. Only this time, as a grown up, Alice can do the things she didn't in the "animated" version - such as slay the Jabberwocky.

I wasn't interested in this movie as I watched - I'm admittedly not a fan of the Alice In Wonderland tale. The imagery is frightening as is all of Burton's creations. I would in no way recommend this movie for your children.

Clash Of The Titans (2010)

I was really looking forward to this update of the classic Clash Of The Titans - of which I'm a big fan. The original seemed perfect to me - making the world very true to mythology and seeming very fanciful. The original also had a very unique story that kept you interested.

The new movie is quite bad. It's effects are top notch, but the creature design isn't nearly as innovative or fascinating as the original. The story is also intentionally set up to make movie goers question the role of religion and God(s) in man's life. The only update to the story that I liked was Medusa - I thought she very terrifying - even though you don't really get to see her face.

I would single Ralph Fiennes as particularly lackluster in his role as Hades. I'm a big fan of Liam Neeson, but his role as Zeus is uninspiring. He doesn't look like Zeus or act like you'd think Zeus would.

A lot of the movie seemed to be scripted just to be different from the original, but retain enough of the original elements just to appease fans. This purposeful script deviation confuses the plot and adds unnecessary elements that only serve to make the movie 20 minutes longer than it should have been.

The only positive thing I can say about this movie was actually a negative in the original - there's a quick 5 second scene where "Bubo: The Owl" is brought out and made fun of. I cracked a smile.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Will iPads Be Unsellable?

Since my FIXYOURTHINKING regular readers have helped me out with grammar issues ...

While typing an article for my other website ATLIBERTYTOSAY.COM I stumbled on this grammar issue:

Because donated items are often unkept - they often go bad out in the weather and are unsalable. These items are carried off to the Pickens County Landfill and dumped.

The dictionary (on my Mac and my iPhone) corrected my typing from "unsellable" to "unsalable" - apparently the commonly "heard" term is "unsellable" but it's slang.

What do you say?

[UPDATE] I saw this show title on TV: