A state-by-state analysis of online shopping by the web site ExtraBux.com ranked Hawaii #50 as the worst state to live in for online shopping.
Although Hawaii residents don’t pay too much for sales tax (only 4.25% on average), they have to pay the equivalent of overnight shipping for the slowest shipping times in the country. On average, an order shipped to Hawaii costs $19.17 and spends 4.57 days in transit.
It’s interesting to see the comment about Hawaii’s low sales tax, is’t it?
This analysis only takes into account the four factors: Sales tax rate, chance of avoiding sales tax, shipping costs, and average delivery time.
I would have added “availability.” There continue to be sites that simply won’t ship to Hawaii.
What I’m not sure about is whether Amazon.com still has Hawaii on a black list for certain items. Back in 2006, I reported Amazon’s refusal to ship certain items in Hawaii. An inquiry to Investor Relations got this reply at that time:
My name is Eric Layne of Amazon.com’s Executive Customer Relations. Your message has been brought to my attention because my groups mandate is to address and resolve the most acute problems our customers encounter.
Unfortunately, items in our Grocery store can’t be shipped to Alaska or Hawaii. Due to the high transportation costs imposed by carriers for deliveries to Alaska and Hawaii, we are unable to offer shipping to these destinations at this time.
Amazon’s formal shipping policy doesn’t appear to have changed.
Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico Addresses
Some items from our Tools & Hardware, Electronics, and Outdoor Living stores can’t be shipped to Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico if they are extremely heavy, oddly-shaped, or considered hazardous. Additionaly, some items from our Health and Personal Care store cannot be shipped to these destinations. Check the item’s product detail page for eligibility and available shipping options. Only specific shipping options may be available for some addresses. Available shipping options will appear at checkout when you enter a shipping address.
But a spot check of certain items previously unavailable to Hawaii shoppers didn’t get the dreaded “not available in Hawaii” message.
So let me know your recent Amazon.com experiences. Are grocery items now generally available or not? What items are still not shipped to Hawaii at any price?
Do we really deserve to be ranked #50 out of 50 states for online shopping?