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[Fibres Exotica News] Sad news – Closing Down Sale

closing down sale

I’m sad to say that I’m shutting up the shop. After giving it a good 5 years, It’s time to call it a day, because whilst I love doing shows, talking to people and selling beautiful yarns, the business is very much not paying for itself, let alone paying me. It also takes a massive amount of time and energy to take the yarns to shows (Ally Pally for instance costs me around £1500 to do, most of that being the cost of the stand), and they usually don’t cover their own costs.

Right now though, it’s “everything must go!” time – not just the yarn but the fixtures and fittings also.

To that end, here’s a 30% off coupon in the shop: CLOSEDOWN

I’ll be putting various Yarn and Fabric craft equipment, as well as the “shop” fittings I take to shows on eBay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/fibresexotica – Subscribe to a list for eBay notifications

I’m not leaving yarn and colour behind though, I’m going to be concentrating my efforts more into coaching and teaching, separating out FluffenStuff.co.uk again and filling it with dyeing information and the ability to have me teach you dyeing either in your home, at my home or in a convenient location –  And because I don’t want to bug you if you don’t want to know about it, subscribe to a list for FluffenStuff Updates

Image used, DSC06222 by Andrew_Writer
Used Under Creative commons licence: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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New EU VAT regulations – What does that mean?

(The TL;DR version of this post: I’m going to be withdrawing “digital download” services to EU customers as of 01/12/2014. Patterns will instead be available by post in paper form (i.e. a physical product) )

From January 1st 2015 the way that VAT is charged on digital products within the EU is going to change. A nicely detailed article in plain English is here: https://econsultancy.com/blog/65810-new-eu-vat-regulations-threaten-small-businesses-vatmoss 

The EU has decided that instead of being charged at the rate of Country of Origin, and VAT going to the Country of Origin, the VAT must now be paid to the country of destination, at their VAT rates. This affects ALL sellers of digital products globally, not just within the EU.

In the UK, you do not have to VAT register with HMRC until you turn over £81,000 per year – this takes a massive administrative overhead off of UK small businesses.

However, unlike selling physical products, from Jan 1st once the change happens, VAT will due on all digital sales from day one at all times, via a quarterly VAT return (And you have to file a “Nil return” if you have made no sales that quarter) – Unlike with physical products there is no threshold and records have to be kept for 10 years.

Also, to comply with this, once a company UK VAT registers, all the products it sells then become VATable, not just the digital ones.

Consequently, small traders such as myself pretty much have 4 choices:

  1. Register for VAT in each of the 27 Countries of the EU, and submit quarterly returns for digital sales to each VAT authority.
  2. Register for VAT in the UK, sign up to the UK VAT MOSS and submit returns for all goods sold.
  3. Find a large corporate 3rd party that will sell our digital products for us, take care of the VAT headache for us, (charge us commission to) process our digital sales and forward on the money left over to us.
  4. Stop selling digital products to EU customers.

Unsurprisingly, I’m taking option 4 – I have a tiny turn over, and simply cannot afford the time or money it will take to submit a VAT return every quarter.
Until there is more clarity about how this rule (which was allegedly designed to get more VAT from Amazon – they currently use Luxembourg as the home of their Digital arm, where they charge only 3% VAT on e-books) will be implemented and if there can be an exemption made which is the same as Physical products for Small Business , I cannot afford to trade digital products with the EU.

I’ve re-added the “full” checkout process for Digital as well as Physical products (It has been previously set to just collect an e-mail address) and will be removing the digital download shipping setting for the EU at the weekend.

EU customers will only be able to buy a paper copy of my patterns, as I’m not liable to pay VAT on physical products (yet – apparently, that might well happen too, in which case I’ll have to withdraw entirely from being able to ship to the EU!).

I must ask customers to not lie to me at checkout to get a download – If I contravene the regulations, I’m liable for an unlimited fine if I do not then VAT register and submit the return, even for just the one pattern.

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It’s still all quiet around here…

I know, I promised everyone (including me!) a new workshop, and it just hasn’t happened.

Life got in the way of the DIY, the stock taking and photography and the website updating.

I also found out recently that one of my past Wordpress upgrades “broke” the version of  WP-Commerce I was using.

So, I’ve taken this little bout of  Insomnia to update *everything* to the latest versions, and you may have noticed a while back I put all the pictures back together with the products.

So, no, I haven’t dyed any new stuff recently (and oh-my-gosh am I missing the creativity of colour 🙁 ), but what I do have on show (including about 19Kg of Sari Silk that I shipped over for S’n’B day!) is still very much for sale, but now with a working shopping cart!

Enjoy!