Californians hurry up and shop, shop, shop ahead of Amazon.com tax deadline

An Amazon fulfillment center.

There’s a bit of an e-commerce gold rush going down in California, where Amazon.com customers are scrambling to squeeze in some last-minute shopping before they have to start paying sales tax on Sept. 15.

As The Los Angeles Times reports, the company won’t confirm whether sales in California have jumped in recent weeks. But social media sites have lit up with reports of an 11th-hour tax-free buying bonanza.

The Internet retailer has waged hard-fought sales-tax battles in several states, but finally said “Uncle!” last year.

The new law will apply to other out-of-state businesses that ship goods into debt-ridden California, which estimates it will rake in an extra $317 million in annual sales tax (more than $83 million of it from Amazon.com alone).

So is Amazon.com fretting that sales will plummet after California’s sales tax takes effect? Not if you believe spokesman Scott Stanzel, who boasted to The Times: “We offer customers the best prices with or without sales tax.”