Sears collects tax on tax-exempt 3rd party purchases

Some background: when I started reselling a few months back, I did an iPad deal that I saw on Oren’s Money Saver. I purchased 3 iPads and my total came up to $1419.19 with tax. Imagine my surprise when I received the iPads and the invoice from the 3rd party seller for $1305: my total with no sales tax added. That makes sense: the seller is based in NY and doesn’t collect sales tax in my state. So why did Sears charge me tax?

July 29: After several emails back and forth, Sears agreed to refund the difference of $114.19 in the form of a mailed gift card, which would take 7-14 business days to arrive.

August 20: No gift card yet, so I emailed Sears again asking for an update. They respond that the gift card is “pending” and they’ll investigate and get back to me within 24-48 hours.

August 24: No followup, so I emailed Sears again asking for an update.

August 31: The supervisor of the email team responds,

First off let me say that you were given misinformation about the taxes on this order. Which I’m sorry that it happened to you.Tax are never refunded unless a person or a company are tax exempt and have the certificate, or they live in a tax free state.

This was never the issue: tax was not supposed to be charged in the first place, as the seller does not collect sales tax in my state. However, she did conclude the email with

I have forwarded the request to our gift card department to issue the gift card of $114.19 that you were promised. It will arrive at your mailbox in 7 to 14 business days.

October 19: The promised gift card has STILL not made its appearance, so it’s pretty clear that Sears is giving me the runaround and hoping that I will just go away. I emailed them one more time, requesting a check instead of a gift card because I am no longer interested in being a Sears customer. We’ll see how that goes.

I am not holding my breath on this one, but in case you were getting into reselling, these are my experiences with Sears. Dealing with their customer service might not be worth your time.


One thought on “Sears collects tax on tax-exempt 3rd party purchases

  1. Because sears actually shipped the item to your customer, they have a business in the state you live… Thus they are required by law to charge sales tax. 3rd party in this case is a weird situation in this case. They resaler(3rd party) could have filed if they had a sales tax ID, but it’s still a gray area as Sears is fulfilling the order for you in a state they have business in.


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