Darien’s Vil­lains of the Fort­night

Computer Active (UK) - - News -

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.

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