Al, at inventory time, a business pays taxes on it's stock. If you have stock carried over from the previous year, you pay tax again. Granted, large well-run operations turn their stock over about 2-4 times a year, but you'll find the "bargain bin" full just before inventory.
On e-bay, they have probably made their profits on an item, and quite possibly just want to move the last of a batch that's soon to hit the sell-by date. Batteries sure fall into that category.
Poverty shouldn't be so comfortable you don't want to work.