October 30, 2013

Buy these important items on Amazon before it’s too late


Smell that? It smells like hot tar and sweet sweet … well actually, no, I guess the tar overpowers everything.

Beginning this Friday, Massachusetts will join 13 other states in collecting their fair share of sales tax from Amazon.

Taryn Luna writes for the Boston Globe about the final step in that state’s hard-fought move to collect from Amazon, quoting, among others, Dana Brigham of Brookline Booksmith:

Brigham hopes that applying the sales tax to Amazon will convince more consumers who are in her store to proceed to the check-out during the holidays, her biggest selling season.

“This so, so, so overdue,” Brigham said.

Luna gets feedback from a good range of voices, many of them focusing on the idea that this and similar efforts across the country are a nod to the importance of maintaining brick and mortar stores in communities, as well as a necessity for the states themselves, rather than an attack on Amazon. It’s strange, then, given the consensus about how important this this tax could be, that the article opens with “If you’re considering making a big-ticket purchase on Amazon.com, you might want to do it before Friday.”

And she’s right, of course. If residents of Massachusetts get their expensive Amazon purchases in before Friday, they’ll avoid having to pay tax to their state. Because we here at MobyLives love frugality as much as the next angry indie publishing blog, I thought I’d help you out by highlighting some of the great purchases all wily Massachusetts residents—and all residents of states not yet collecting sales tax from Amazon—will want to get in before that Friday deadline.

Humboldt portable five gallon asphalt/concrete mixer: $2,455

Operating Speed 60 RPM, 1/4 HP, Special Features 8″ Semi-pneumatic Wheels, Includes Mixing Bucket and Instructions

This beauty is going to come in handy when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can no longer afford to repair the state highways. Just haul it, a generator (not included), and maybe a small steamroller—you have one of those, right?—out to your local state highway and get to patching those pesky potholes. I’m sure the thought of all the money you’ve saved on taxes will help swaddle you from the fumes and blisters. All those people who think that governments serve a purpose can all go take a walk. Ah, except not over on the shoulder there, they can’t walk there until the concrete you laid one shovelful at a time has dried.

Peanut Butter—Smooth—500lb Drum: $384.25

No trans fats!

Peanut butter is nutritious and kids love it. Imagine their smiling faces when you roll this thrifty barrel of goodness down to your local public school to help make a school year’s worth of ants-on-a-log. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts (don’t think too much about the word ‘commonwealth’, I’m sure it’s not important) won’t be collecting money for state-subsidized school lunches on all of your other big ticket purchases, so they won’t be feeding kids. Maybe you’d have bought a variety of foods to serve them, but that seems hard and might require, I dunno, some kind of infrastructure. Forget that; all peanut everything! Remember to bend with your knees: you don’t want to blow out your back before you have to unload the crunchy variety from the truck. Silly state services, this is easy AND delicious!

85g Chicken Flavour Fried Instant Ramen Noodles in bag

Min. Order: 6000 Cartons  FOB Price: US $1-10 / Carton

With all the money you’ll be saving on sales tax, your state will have to cut back on their unemployment insurance benefits. Just in case you get laid off, you’ll want to have 6000 cartons of instant ramen around to tide you over. It only makes sense! Think about it: would you rather have a functioning social welfare system, or would you rather have 6000 cartons of ramen to get you through the lean times? I think you know the correct answer.

GH Armor Systems Delta 5 Fr Groin Lite 3a: $229.99

In Black or Tan! 

When your state no longer has the budget to regulate hunting seasons, things might get pretty hairy out there. Fortunately, you’ll already have brought a bulletproof groin guard. Walk through your state’s blood-drenched forests with a smile on your face, knowing that your groin is protected and that your efforts to save a buck helped to bring about the carnage all around you.



Dustin Kurtz is former marketing manager of Melville House.