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Marketing Tactics > Taxes and questions....

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message 1: by Steven (new)

Steven Nedeau | 28 comments So, I have been selling my book at fairs. I live in NH and the fairs are in NH so I don''t have to deal with sales tax. I give away a free t-shirt with every book sale.

My question is, when I go to a fair in another state (MA or VT), the book sale is taxed but clothing sales are not taxed. How legal is it to, in those states, sell the tshirt and give the book away for free with each tshirt sale?

It feels risky but may save the hassle of calculating sales tax. I haven't done this but it seems like a loophole.


message 2: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Jaeger (jsjaeger) | 73 comments First, to me, it wouldn't be worth it. Most states provide a form that is fairly straight forward for calculating and submitting the tax. If purchasers pay cash, I cover the sales tax so it remains a whole number (ie $5, $10). If they pay with credit card, you just have to plug the sales tax number in once and your processor does the rest.

Second, have you confirmed clothing isn't taxable? I don't know anything about MA or VT sales tax, but they'd be the only states I've heard of so far that tax book sales but not clothing sales.

message 3: by Amie (last edited Jun 06, 2018 03:14AM) (new)

Amie O'Brien | 280 comments Yeah, I'm not sure either. I would play it by the rules on those processed sales too. I mean, you're trade is being an author, right? So I think the IRS would see that as a deceptive tactic.

My bigger question actually have margins in your markup of your book where you can give away a T-shirt??? Doesn't that absorb everything you would normally profit, especially if you have to pay to be at the venue? I've heard of giving away a signed bookmark or a free novella, etc. Dang, you're making us look bad, LOL.

Best of luck! Keep killing it out there. :)

message 4: by Steven (new)

Steven Nedeau | 28 comments I have to agree with you. I am an author and I'm selling books. I should just learn about how to take the proper tax and stop being so sheepish about selling in states with a sales tax.

I learned how to screen print to promote my book. The shirts don't cost that much if you are printing at home.

Here's a breakdown.

Book sells for 14.99 ($15 at events)
(in bulk of 100) Book +shipping is around $5 each.
So I have a $10 potential profit selling at my events.
Printed at home each shirt costs me around $4
That's a potential $6 profit per book at the event.
Now, there is the table fee to make up.

I generally need to sell about 25 books to break even.

But every sale is a potential second sale. Every t-shirt is a walking, talking advertisement.

That's my thinking anyway. We'll see if it pans out.

message 5: by Amie (new)

Amie O'Brien | 280 comments Great work! You’re in the plus and you have walking billboards :) The fact that you also took into account read through rate sounds like you’re doing a great job to me.

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