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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Online Sellers the Bogeyman?


“The biggest challenge today for independents - even more than the Borders and Barnes & Nobles of the world - is competing with Internet sales.” -
East Bay Business Times

Main Street merchants have been looking for someone to blame because their sales volume is down. They have blamed the big chains, they have blamed the Internet and the merchants that do business there, they have blamed grocery and drug stores along with other non-typical sales outlets, they have complained to the manufactures and publishers that prices are too high, and they have even tried to blame the consumers (for not reading enough).

People buy from remote sellers when their local merchants don't have what they want. So, instead of looking for somebody to point fingers at, Main Street merchants really need to look to their own shelves to see what they can do better.

Meanwhile, there is a PR war going on here, folks! Most merchants and customers who repeat that “Level Playing Field” slogan don't even realize how they are being used. Nobody is really trying to level anybody's playing field here. The state tax collection agencies and the National Governors Association are trying to get the Supreme Court's Quill decision overturned because of the money they are losing in sales taxes on remote sales. Only, they are trying to do that without making themselves look bad.

So they're making online merchants out to be the bad guys.