March 29, 2013—Things just went from bad to worse. On Thursday, New York’s highest court ruled the state can now collect sales tax from out-of-state retailers, including affiliate marketers, because it has “a substantial nexus”. Many online retailers like Amazon.com and Overstock.com tried fighting the law in court, claiming the tax law violated the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
In a 4-1 ruling, the Courts of Appeals said that a 2008 amendment meets the U.S. Supreme Court test that the sellers have “a substantial nexus” with the taxing state. The new sales tax would apply when online retailers in the state of New York generate at least $10,000 in yearly sales, whether through e-commerce or affiliate commissions.
“Through this statute, the Legislature has attached significance to the physical presence of a resident website owner. The decision to do so recognizes that, even in the Internet world, many websites are geared toward predominantly local audiences,” Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman wrote. “Viewed in this manner the statute plainly satisfies the substantial nexus requirement.”
March 27, 2013—Etsy is known for tinkering with a wide arrangement of features on its marketplace. From retiring browsing sections to adding seller ratings, Etsy is constantly upgrading its marketplace for both buyers and sellers, and now, Etsy is launching two new features.
Although previously announced in January, Etsy is finally ready to roll out its automatic payments option for seller fees. The new feature, which is optional, allows sellers to have their Etsy fees automatically billed and paid the first of each month. The billing option is currently available to all US sellers, and Etsy said it was working to offer automatic payments to non-US shops soon.
In addition, Etsy has launched a new prototype for custom-orders that sellers can try. The new feature allows sellers to enable an option by the “Add to Cart” button that lets buyers know custom orders are available. The custom-order allows buyers to specify their needs, including a desired need-by date. Once the seller has received all of the information, they will then set up a private listing for the purchase.
March 28, 2013–Starting out a business is tricky. Most people forget something, and very often it’s expenses relating to the business. It’s not really weird that it happens, because how would you know if you never had your own business before? And more than that, sometimes you just don’t want to think about all the expenses, a very human behaviour. But as you probably know, you should.
With none or little sales history it can be extremely difficult to predict your financial standing within your first year. This is also why many people don’t do it, when they start out. But while it may be far from reality, trying to plan your financials is essential and extremely important.
The most important thing to do is your cash flow. Do a month on month cash flow prediction for the first 12 months of your business. If you have the time, update it as often as possible. Basically, you can do your cash flow on a weekly basis, which may be a really good idea for you, especially in the beginning.
March 27, 2013—Out with the old, in with the new. On Monday, Etsy announced it was ditching its Fine Jewelry browsing section from its homepage. The online marketplace revealed the newly added feature didn’t capture shoppers’ attentions like it had anticipated, and decided it was time to retire the browsing section.
Launched in January, Etsy’s Fine Jewelry category included higher-end jewelry and allowed shoppers to purchase gemstone jewelry by color and material.
In a blog post, Etsy explained their decision to retire the category from their homepage. “We’ve observed that Fine Jewelry is less popular as an individual browse section, and shoppers who visit it are less likely to purchase than those who visit other browse sections.” Although Jewelry is Etsy’s largest listing section, the company said it learned a lot from the newly added category and would “apply those learnings to further explorations in Jewelry and beyond.”
March 22, 2013—It’s a New York state of mind. Unlike previous years, Etsy is holding its annual Hello Etsy Conference in the United States at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. The event will include a variety of speakers including Etsy’s CEO Chad Dickerson.
The event, which will run from Friday, March 22 to Sunday, March 24, will touch on a variety of topics and present a handful to important keynote speakers. According to the Hello Etsy website, the conference will “address the future of consumption, new methods of production, alternative approaches to work, and more purposeful ways of doing business.”
Beside Etsy’s CEO, notable speakers include Jeremy Rifkin, President of the Foundation on Economic Trends and Stewart Wallis, Executive Director of the New Economics Foundation. In addition, Alex Blumber of “Planet Money”, Chris Anderson, former Editor of Wired magazine, and Karen Brown, designer and Creative Director of the Center for Ecoliteracy will be speaking .