Online Diamond Seller Blue Nile Embargoes South Dakota over Sales Tax

Blue Nile Diamonds screen cap 2016.05.04
Blue Nile Diamonds—value you won’t find anywhere else… and can’t get in South Dakota.

Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach tells Dakota Free Press that 68 retailers have agreed to comply with South Dakota’s new remote seller sales tax law, the hotly contested Senate Bill 106.

Not among those retailers is Blue Nile. The Seattle-born online diamond seller is thumbing its nose at South Dakota law by refusing to ship to South Dakota:

A spokesman for online jeweler Blue Nile Inc., No. 82 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, says the company won’t ship to the state for the foreseeable future.

“Unfortunately, South Dakota’s law is in direct contradiction to federal law and we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend shipping to South Dakota until this unconstitutional law can be addressed,” the spokesman says. “I can’t comment on specific sales figures, but we are disappointed we can no longer ship to our customers in South Dakota” [Matt Lindner, “Blue Nile Stops Shipping to South Dakota,” Internet Retailer, 2016.05.03].

That’s funny: Blue Nile balks at paying South Dakota sales tax, but they will do the tax bidding of foreign powers:

Do you collect sales tax when shipping to my state? What are the duties and taxes?

For U.S. orders, we currently collect sales tax for orders shipped to Washington State and New York. We do collect duties and taxes when shipping to Canada and within the European Union (EU). For all other destinations overseas, customs will contact you if you owe additional taxes and duties [Blue Nile, FAQs, downloaded 2016.05.04].

So if you’re ordering a last-minute diamond necklace for Mothers’ Day (sorry, Mom—I love you, but diamonds aren’t happening), you’ll have to have Blue Nile ship to your cousin in Fargo or Winnipeg.


4 Responses to Online Diamond Seller Blue Nile Embargoes South Dakota over Sales Tax

  1. mike from iowa

    There are no Nile Crocodiles in either Nile River. No Nile Kinnick,either. South Dakota can’t get diamonds, Tennessee can’t get X-Hamster porn because of their transgender potty bill. Mother never said it was easy.

  2. Don Coyote

    @cah: Could you slather a tad more hyperbole on your posts Cory? I sell quite a few items to Canada on EBay and duties and VAT taxes (good and services tax are what the Canucks call a VAT ) are paid by the importer (buyer) at the point of entry. I suspect it’s the same with the EU. It’s no wonder that Blue Nile will sell to those countries since it doesn’t involve them on the collection side as it would in South Dakota.

  3. good riddance

  4. Don, I see no slathering or hyperbole. I reported exactly what Blue Nile says, in apparent contradiction of your assertion: “We do collect duties and taxes when shipping to Canada and within the European Union (EU).” Blue Nile’s words tell me Blue Nile is involved on the collection side. Did I miss something?