Selling on Amazon in the EU? Your VAT Obligations Explained

Claire Taylor demystifies Amazon’s European fulfillment options and their VAT implications – including the new Pan-European FBA

This post is by Claire Taylor, CEO of SimplyVAT.com – a company which helps ecommerce businesses trade across borders in compliance with complex European VAT legislation.

Amazon is steadily implementing its amazing vision to be the greatest online shopping marketplace for millions of customers across Europe. It now offers access to EU customers through five marketplaces: Germany, UK, Spain, Italy and France. It has 31 distribution centers in seven countries and is constantly looking to increase this number.

Amazon wants its sellers to access the huge mature ecommerce market within the EU, which last year grew 12% to a staggering €500 billion. There are 96 million online shoppers in the EU spending an average of €1,500 per year. It’s a great opportunity for sellers to access new markets, increase profits and ensure sustainable online retail businesses!

Continue reading

Getting into Amazon FBA: Where Do I Start?

Private labeling? Drop shipping? Cathy sees a lot of opportunities in the “FBA business” but doesn’t know where to start. Matthew to the rescue!

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

Hi Matt, hope you’re well. I’m different from your main readers, and hope I don’t waste your time asking, but I’m a stay-at-home mom of three and would love to make some extra dollars for the family. I just have so little time. From what I read, Amazon and FBA are the two best ways to make money online nowadays. I joined a Facebook group to learn about it but the other members are so experienced that it’s really confusing me. What’s it all about and where do I start? I can’t afford to invest a lot of money and I need to be home-based. I’ve seen a lot of training courses and they promise a lot, but are they for real?

— Cathy from Portland, OR

Continue reading

Free eBay Selling Tools for Research, Listing and Reporting on Sales

Alex Knight walks us through the best FREE apps for eBay market research, listing new and used items, and analyzing your sales.

Last year we welcomed a miniature dachshund to the family. Unfortunately, she immediately started terrorizing the family’s garden gnome collection and they were forced to seek refuge in the shed.

When tidying the shed this spring, I rediscovered our collection of twenty gnomes (what can I say, we like gnomes!) We can no longer have them on display in the garden, so I have decided to sell them on eBay.

I would ideally like to use some eBay software to help me with the process. I think the gnomes would fetch a better price if I do my market research up front, and build attractive listings for all the other gnome-lovers out there. However I don’t intend to build a real business selling on eBay just yet, so I’m looking for free software that can optimize my selling.

Continue reading

Diversifying from Online Marketplaces with Online Stores and Social Media

Marketplaces are hyper-competitive and ultra-demanding. Is it time to protect your business by building your own independent brand?

There’s no question that marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are powerful sales machines. Offer the right products at the right price, while keeping your service levels high, and the orders will roll in.

But competition is always fierce. Buyers don’t know who you are, so they will trust the marketplace to guide them to the best seller each time they make a purchase. That usually means whoever happens to be the cheapest. The marketplaces don’t play favorites.

Nor do they look after you. If you falter and stumble, they don’t pick you up and dust you down – they kick you out. It doesn’t take many complaints from their customers – the buyers – for you to become persona non grata.

What’s an online seller to do? How can you rise above the endless mass of competing sellers, all fighting to reach the top? The only way is to strike out on your own. Build a real, recognizable brand. Sell through your own online store. Build your own social media following. Unlike your marketplace selling accounts, those things really belong to you. They can’t be taken away easily, and they are a powerful asset to build your business on.

In this post I’ll walk you through the Online Stores & Social Media category of the Web Retailer directory. It covers store platforms, tools for creating Facebook stores, tools for feeding existing listings through to social networks, and connector apps between marketplaces and store platforms.

Continue reading

Marketplace Management Tools: How Do I Choose the Right One?

Matthew Ferguson takes on his hardest question yet: how to choose a multichannel management tool – the octopus of your ecommerce zoo!

Have a question for us? Send it to questions@webretailer.com. Readers’ Questions are in partnership with Emanaged and Online Seller Consulting.

Question

We sell a number of goods from several different suppliers, and we can’t keep it all organized with spreadsheets anymore. We sell on Amazon and eBay, and want to sell on Walmart and others. We were looking at systems out there and there’s so many. Inventory managers, listings tools, etc. I have no idea where to start. They all seem to do different things. Help?

— Chris from L.A.

Continue reading