Darien’s Villains of the Fortnight
Amazon & ebay
I love to shop online, and I’m always eager to save money. So it came as a punch in the solar plexus to find some of my favourite shopping sites are complicit in some very dodgy business. A parliamentary report has found that foreign traders are selling goods on marketplace sites like Amazon and ebay without the required VAT being added. That means they can offer low prices up front – but as taxpayers we all end up paying ultimately.
And it’s not just the small-time crooks who profit from this little scam. Amazon and ebay get commission on every sale, raking in billions. MPS estimate that our communities and public services may have been cheated out of as much as £1.5bn. Think how many nurses and teachers that would pay for.
Amazon and ebay claim to have cracked down on fraud, but you can’t leave a fox in charge of the chicken coop. It’s time for big online marketplaces to clean up their act.