HRoth - 2:56 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)
Re getting stuff as cheap as possible, it's true that some people want exactly that and don't care even if it hurts them in the long run (like stuff made in China--re that, btw, it is pretty much impossible to buy a computer that is actually made in the US; it might be put together here, but the parts are all made abroad, so that's not a real option if that's what you're looking for, and I've looked. I personally hate Apple and won't buy anything they make). I've run into this problem in my own niche, where there are people charging 1/3 what I am charging for similar products because they are running their business as a hobby or for the sake of being admired. They have day jobs and they even pour money from that day job into their business. They run sales and give free shipping etc., playing at being businesspeople and all the while losing their shirts. There is no way I can compete with such people in terms of price, and I have lost customers to them. I was disturbed about this at first, but no evil eye, I have not gone out of business despite these guys sprouting up all over. And I concluded, if people want cheap, let them go get it. I don't want cheap customers. The point is that while there are people who are happy to buy the equivalent of cheap Chinese crap at WalMart, there are also people happy to buy something made here by someone who is a professional--and to pay the prices for that.
Re paying corporate taxes, I got rid of my corporation status because it was not helping me do what I wanted to do. The state where I had it registered was charging a high flat rate of $1000/year (they've since changed that) and I could not get the insurance benefits I had hoped to get for it, so it was a waste of money and I went back to being a sole proprietor. So for me as a businessperson, this is a non-issue. For me as a consumer, I more and more try to buy things used, especially vintage made in US.