Sales Tax, and the better experience of Buying Locally.

The business of photography, and how photographers obtain their equipment has changed a lot over the years, and one of the largest has taken place within the last month – and you might not know about it.   Fact is, this change will not just affect photographers.  This change should have a significant impact on many consumers, and how many products are purchased. 

Camera buyers, and consumers of all types, used to avoid paying sales tax by purchasing from online sellers that do not have a physical presence in their state.  But with the new law passed by the Supreme Court last summer, Maryland & many other states are now requiring online sellers to remit sales tax. (Yes MD photographers – online sellers now charge you the MD sales tax)   This will have a huge effect on the Maryland treasury, and I hope that it change the way that consumers support local businesses of all kinds.

These days, convenience is king – and it’s easy to purchase online from mega sellers that have fantastic websites like Amazon, B&H, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, & many others.  But, your local businesses have decent websites, too – and they’ll ship free, perhaps deliver locally, & they will be there physically when you have a problem, question, or customer service issue.   You can also visit them, & experience the luxury of actually seeing, touching, & learning about items before making a purchase. And now, you won’t have to pay a dollar more for that higher level of service & elevated consumer experience!   

Local businesses don’t want you to patronize them out of guilt, they (including Service Photo) want to you to patronize them because they are providing a valuable set of products & services, along with a value added level of service – at NO EXTRA CHARGE!    And if you want to feel even better about the decision to buy locally, here are just a few important facts:

  • 89% of all businesses in the USA have less than 20 employees
  • More than 48% of the workforce are employed by businesses w/ fewer than 100 employees
  • 67¢ of every dollar spent locally, stays in the community.    

I don’t want to bore you with lots of statistics, but if you’re interested, this link has some very interesting info: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181113005356/en/ 

My point is simple:  More than ever, it PAYS to utilize small business.  Consumers won’t pay more, they may actually pay less, and will receive a better in-store experience.  Online shoppers will be served well locally, too.  So as we approach another Small Business Saturday, I’m looking for answers to some lingering questions about my business:

  • Why wouldn’t a photographer in this region want to support Service Photo?
  • How can we correct those issues, & create better relationships with ALL photographers?
  • How can we increase use of our website from local photographers who prefer to purchase online?
  • How can we increase store traffic & keep our business relevant locally & regionally?

I think that we have a fantastic opportunity in front of us.  And with the holiday season upon us,the time is now to work together!

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