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Amazon Adds Microtransactions

Amazon customers can now purchase virtual goods and in-game currency through their Amazon accounts, reports Joystiq. This page has details on how this will work, also outlining the financial split for Kindle Fire and Android apps, saying developers will keep 70% of microtransaction revenue, and that they are currently waiving the $99.00 per year fee for listing. They say Windows, OS X, and web-based game developers should contact them for details.

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14. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 18:30 Panickd
 
Color me confused, they're going to keep 30% for doing what exactly? I get that they keep 30% (or possibly more) of Kindle book money because they provide the Kindle. And they keep 30% of the money for App sales (presumably) because they host the files that users of their app store download. But they're keeping 30% of the money for me paying for in-game currency through them and what does that provide the developer with that they don't already have (besides a way to make 30% less money on their in game transactions)? I get that for the user it's more convenient if you're already buying stuff from Amazon but it seems to really screw developers for no appreciable gain (a loss, in fact).  
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13. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 18:23 Cutter
 
Actually the rich generally buy substantially less because they buy quality which lasts substantially longer where as the rest of us are constantly replacing the crap we buy because it's crap quality.

A flat income tax and no loopholes is the way to go but it'll never happen because it doesn't favour the elites.
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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12. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 16:46 jdreyer
 
@ Jacob & Dev,

1. If a flat sales tax replaced income taxes, that would be extremely regressive and plunge millions of Americans into poverty. People of lower incomes spend almost all of their income, while wealthier people only spend a fraction. This would flip the current system on its head with poor people paying the largest % of their income in taxes while the rich would pay the smallest. The rich would actually prefer this, and there have been many attempts by the rich to get a flat tax replacing the income tax through congress.

2. To say "40-something percent of Americans that do not pay federal taxes right now" is incorrect. Everyone who has a legal job pays the payroll tax. Everyone. The exemption you're talking about is the income tax only.

3. That number (47%) is very misleading. It includes retired people (who worked their whole lives, and paid taxes that whole time), unemployed people (which hovers at about 8% due to the economic collapse, and who would gladly pay taxes if they had a job), and people who derive their income from investments.

4. Don't forget that the rich already get a HUGE tax break in that they don't pay payroll tax on any income over $110K.

The 40-something percent of Americans that do not pay federal taxes right now, and would have to when they buy groceries, gas, and consumer electronics, are a splash in the ocean compared to the potential revenue of charging the most wealthy a flat rate on everything, too.
The problem is that the rich don't really buy that much more than the poor. They invest their extra money which is taxed completely differently and not subject to sales tax. Then, the money that comes in from those investments isn't even taxed at income-level rates. Which is why Romney's secretary was paying a higher % of her income in taxes than Romney himself was, despite her income being about $40K and his being about $40 million.
 
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11. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 16:34 Cutter
 
30 points seems pretty fucking steep.
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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10. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 15:50 jdreyer
 
Verno wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:25:
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 09:49:
OMG AMAZON AS BAD AS EA TRYING TO MAKE MONEY!!11eleventy1!! /sarcasm

Microtransactions aren't inherently bad and most reasonable people don't just hate them because EA is doing them, it's all about the execution and that's what EA consistently fucks up. They design around a revenue stream first instead of focusing on making a great product and monetizing it later.

This is the problem exactly.
 
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9. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 15:02 jacobvandy
 
Dev wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 12:27:
Verno wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 11:26:
I wish the US would just adopt a harmonized sales tax like many other countries, it would make life for vendors and manufacturers so much easier.
You mean a federal flat sales tax?
I'd go for that instead of an income tax. It would mean EVERYONE would pay SOMETHING in federal taxes, which doesn't happen now. I'd expect to see the total federal revenue to go up.

Of course, every sane, rational person would love that... Unfortunately, such a system will NEVER be put into place so long as the filthy rich misers have control over the government. They got where they are by avoiding paying taxes as much as possible, so if they had to pay 8% on every mansion or private plane or oil rig that they bought, well...

The 40-something percent of Americans that do not pay federal taxes right now, and would have to when they buy groceries, gas, and consumer electronics, are a splash in the ocean compared to the potential revenue of charging the most wealthy a flat rate on everything, too.

This comment was edited on Jan 23, 2013, 15:07.
 
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8. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 12:27 Dev
 
Verno wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 11:26:
I wish the US would just adopt a harmonized sales tax like many other countries, it would make life for vendors and manufacturers so much easier.
You mean a federal flat sales tax?
I'd go for that instead of an income tax. It would mean EVERYONE would pay SOMETHING in federal taxes, which doesn't happen now. I'd expect to see the total federal revenue to go up.
 
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7. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 12:05 Creston
 
It's being worked on, at least for online transactions.

It still requires a lot of work, though, since obviously all 50 states have to sign off on it (and some of them have already complained that the rate is "too low", because apparently getting 0% is better than getting 8%) and there has to be a system in place that allows for the payment from the online retailer to all 50 states.

But I expect this will be in place in a few years.

Creston
 
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6. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 11:26 Verno
 
I wish the US would just adopt a harmonized sales tax like many other countries, it would make life for vendors and manufacturers so much easier.  
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5. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 11:24 Creston
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:23:
Even better, Amazon actually fights for state taxes!

...

But while Amazon is huge and can absorb the cost of figuring out how to collect state taxes other retailers can't. It would cost them about as much to begin to do so, and since they're a fraction the size of Amazon that cost would be proportionately fatal.

I think you're being overly conspiracy theoristy here. Amazon has long said that it wouldn't mind collecting taxes for out-of-state sales, if doing so was made easier. The current fucking quagmire of sales tax regulations, which vary state by state (and sometimes even per city in said state) are an impossible nightmare for a company to try to deal with, and Amazon says that it's unfair to expect it to figure out all 248,000 different regulations on sales tax, and then try to figure out which customer needs to follow which regulations.

To which Congress has said "you're right."

So they're currently working on an easier way for online business to collect sales tax. One idea which has gained a lot of traction is to simply apply a flat online sales tax, no matter where the customer actually resides, an idea which Amazon has said they would agree to if it was put into law.

So if and when that is put into law, Amazon doesn't have any inherent advantage in collecting said taxes. It'll just be 8% (IIRC) on every transaction. No more difficult for Walmart or best buy to figure out than it is for Amazon.

Creston
 
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4. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 10:25 Verno
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 09:49:
OMG AMAZON AS BAD AS EA TRYING TO MAKE MONEY!!11eleventy1!! /sarcasm

Microtransactions aren't inherently bad and most reasonable people don't just hate them because EA is doing them, it's all about the execution and that's what EA consistently fucks up. They design around a revenue stream first instead of focusing on making a great product and monetizing it later.
 
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Playing: Everquest Next Alpha, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
Watching: Evidence, Longmire, Chained
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3. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 10:23 Beamer
 
Optional Nickname! wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:00:
Even better, many States and Municipalities in the USA are trying to get Amazon to begin paying local taxes, on the flimsiest of foundations.

One of the arguments against and by no means the least compelling, is the difficulty of accounting all of those different States and municipalities rules on what taxes and how much to pay.

Now imagine paying Tax on your +5 Sword of Imagination. Have fun explaining that deduction!

Even better, Amazon actually fights for state taxes!

In the past state taxes would be a burden for Amazon, and take away a big reason why you shop there over, say, Circuit City. But now most of those local alternatives are dead and can't really match Amazon's pre-tax price, anyway, so Amazon's biggest competitors are other online retailers. But while Amazon is huge and can absorb the cost of figuring out how to collect state taxes other retailers can't. It would cost them about as much to begin to do so, and since they're a fraction the size of Amazon that cost would be proportionately fatal.

So, if online retailers have to start collecting taxes, Amazon, who has already dealt a fatal blow to local retailers, would be able to kill any online usurpers before they gain traction.
 
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2. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 10:00 Optional Nickname!
 
Even better, many States and Municipalities in the USA are trying to get Amazon to begin paying local taxes, on the flimsiest of foundations.

One of the arguments against and by no means the least compelling, is the difficulty of accounting all of those different States and municipalities rules on what taxes and how much to pay.

Now imagine paying Tax on your +5 Sword of Imagination. Have fun explaining that deduction!
 
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1. Re: Amazon Adds Microtransactions Jan 23, 2013, 09:49 RollinThundr
 
OMG AMAZON AS BAD AS EA TRYING TO MAKE MONEY!!11eleventy1!! /sarcasm  
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