US Sales Tax for Online Sellers: The Essential Guide

Sales Tax States Map

This post is by Mark Faggiano, founder and CEO of TaxJar – a service built to make sales tax compliance easier for multi-channel ecommerce sellers. Even if you’re not based in the U.S., there are some international implications of sales tax you should be aware of!

When you started selling online, chances are you got into it for the thrill of selling your handmade product, making a profit on a thrift store find, or the joys of online arbitrage.

When lost in the thrill of the sale, it’s easy to overlook the nagging administrative details you’ll face. And one of the most vexing of those can be sales tax.

This in-depth guide will walk online sellers through the basics of sales tax, help you determine where, when and how much you’re liable for sales tax, and detail some common scenarios and problems.

Read on for more information. Or if you have a specific question, feel free to skip ahead.

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European Ecommerce and VAT: The Essential Guide

European Ecommerce and VAT

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

If you sell online you need to understand which international tax laws will be relevant to your business. Just because your business is online, doesn’t mean it isn’t governed by the normal rules of taxation.

And if you sell to buyers in European countries, even if your business is based in another part of the world, you need to know about VAT.

So what do ecommerce businesses need to think about? What exactly are the different rules and regulations? What do you need to do to ensure you are compliant? And what happens if you don’t comply?

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John W Hayes on Ecommerce Marketing: SEO, Social & Email

John Hayes Presenting

This Q&A has now ended. It’s been a real education, with some great answers from John. You can read it all here, and if you have any further questions please start a new discussion to ask them.

I’m really pleased to be launch our first Ask The Expert Q&A session of 2015 with ecommerce marketing expert John W. Hayes.

With more than 18 years’ experience in online marketing and ecommerce, John is amazingly well positioned to answer all your questions on SEO, social media and email marketing.

The discussion will close on Friday 27 February at 6pm GMT (1pm EST / 10am PST), so make sure you get your questions in quickly. This a unique opportunity to get free personalized business advice from a true expert in the field.

Go to the discussion now Q&A on Ecommerce Marketing: SEO, Email, Social or read on for more about John.

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The Top 10 Online Shopping Days Worldwide

Top 10 international e-commerce events - infographic

Valentine’s day is the first major ecommerce event of the year, but do you know how it varies around the world? Here’s some facts that might surprise you:

  • Nine million Americans buy Valentine’s gifts for their pets, generating £227m of sales.
  • In Britain, flowers are more popular gift than chocolates – in the USA, it’s the other way around.
  • In Finland it’s called Ystävänpäivä meaning “Friend’s Day”. It’s about celebrating friends rather than romantic partners.
  • In Japan, a 1950s ad campaign started a trend for women to give chocolates on Valentine’s day. Giving the right amount of chocolate to each person is crucial.
  • Singaporeans are the biggest spenders on Valentine’s Day, with 60% spending between $100 and $500 on gifts.
  • In South Korean, women give men chocolate on February 14 and men give women a gift on March 14. Those who don’t get anything celebrate their loneliness by eating black noodles on Black Day, April 14th!

On that note, we’ve put together an infographic and free PDF download with Open to Export on the most important online shopping days – gift-giving holidays and sale events – around the world, and how to make the most of them in your business!

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Inventory Optimization: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Inventory Optimization

UPDATE September 2016: We now have a directory category for restocking tools.

Retail is a simple business. You buy products in large quantities, open up the boxes, then sell small quantities to consumers.

But when we talk about ecommerce – online retail – most of the focus is on the “selling” and not so much on the “buying”. There’s no doubting the importance of selling, which includes marketing, shipping and customer support. But there’s just as much to be gained by working on the buying part of the business.

So in this article I’m going to talk about “inventory optimization”. It’s the science of when to order stock, and how many units to buy, to make sure you have enough to keep up with orders while minimizing the amount lingering in the warehouse.

It gets a little complex, but there are innovative tools that can do it for you – including one that’s free for small businesses.

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