If you’ve purchased anything the past 3 months and was charged an extra for customs upon shipping, now I have the answer… and I don’t like it :(
Since July 2021, all packages coming to EU and the UK from outside these countries are subject to VAT.
From my research, the tax is 9%-20% of the invoice based on the origin country, the nature of goods and the invoice.
It’s just sad and out of my control.
- If I were to try and add this tax upon checkout for the customer to know how much, something like Amazon for example, this requires me to register to VAT in every country of the EU which is something borderline impossible to a one-person small business like me.
- The other option is how it is now, which is that the courier will send you the total of these charges and pay them for you at customs office, then you pay for them upon delivery.
- There is a third option that some artists chose which I hope that won’t be on the table for me, which is to stop shipping to these countries.
I totally understand why they choose to do so, because a customer could order something, then refuse to pay VAT, which means the package will return to the seller who has to pay for the return shipping charges and refund the original order. It’s a lose-lose situation for the seller.
In my case, when I used the sales of the pre-orders to print the book, pay for the proofreading, the packages and its extras, any refunded order will be going from my own pocket, which makes this whole business a failure.
I thought I write this for customers in EU and the UK to keep in mind that there will be extra charge on your packages, which will be taken care of by the courier, but will be charged upon delivery.
I also can advise to keep an order less than £135 coz it seems that the process gets more complicated when an order is over that.
Honestly, this really angers me because this affects small businesses and indie artists. Naturally you wouldn’t complain to a big company about shipping, but it is the case when you find a cute $5 sticker sheet at Etsy to find the shipping charges are triple the price, on top of an unexpected tax upon product arrival.
At the same time, coming from a third world country and observing the local sellers, as much as it’s frustrating for me as a seller and a buyer, I can understand the need for governments to implement these taxes on online shopping in these times when E-commerce is booming, because local merchants outside of the internet are paying much in taxes for importing goods, for shop, for employees, etc. to find their sales plummeting because customers buy these same goods for cheaper and less taxes online.
This doesn’t make it fair, but such a frustrating change is to be expected, and I can’t speak for everyone honestly.
I’m just a small-business owner that is more pro-‘fits of anger’ than getting any profit out of it.
I really hope packages pass through without problems and even without charges in some strange turn of events.
And I’m sorry this is the case.
I just want to make a product and deliver a product to those excited to own the product. I hate that there’s so much negativity around it.