Selling from the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey) to the UKWhat a subject, never so controversial as now (March 2012).
I am a seller in Guernsey. I am local to Guernsey and make a part-time income from Ebay.
Trying to sell from Guernsey into the UK (on Ebay UK, which is our local Ebay) is a minefield.
We are subject to quite different rules from the mum-at-home in the UK. (And I am also a British mum-at-home)
A mum at home in the UK can sell anything and everything legal to UK buyers and can turn over more than £70,000 before they have to register for VAT and charge it to their buyers.
A mum in Guernsey, from 1st April 2012, cannot so much as sell a £1 hairbrush into the UK without having to pre-pay the VAT on it first, at the Post Office counter.
What an advantage the small UK seller has now, over the Channel Islands small seller who will get stung on VAT every time they go to the Post Office.
Imagine the time that will all take me at the Post Office now. Not to mention the extra cost. And no more posting my items in post boxes out of hours.
And who is going to pay our Post Office for all this extra work on their part, work imposed by the UK government?
You know I can't stand reading the website that has sprung up in the UK waging war on Channel Islands sellers. Do they know they are only telling half the story, and diddling the British public of the rest of the story? Does anyone else know?
I think Ebay is great and have used it for buying and selling for years. I wish to continue doing so. It will become far more onerous for me soon, as around 80% of my customers are in the UK.
I hope I will still love it.
Time will tell. Maybe I'll update this article in a month or two with some more comments.
Do I agree with large UK sellers doing round-trip shipping UK-Channel Islands-UK to avoid VAT? No.
Do I think that real Guernsey sellers should be treated with respect and not tainted by this poor example shown by big sellers? Yes.
Do I think that the UK government should have targeted their new ruling more exactly, to penalise ONLY those big sellers who have gravitated onto the islands for convenience? Yes of course. It would make sense, wouldn't it.
I don't wish to hurt anyone's feelings by publishing this article. I do wish to highlight the the unfairness of the recent ruling to all and sundry, the Other Side of the Coin, as it affects the small local seller from the Channel Islands.
Any comments (polite ones please) welcomed.
NOTE : April 2013, I have written a follow-up guide,
Selling from Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey) to UK - Part 2.
I have written other Guides, if you are interested in reading them you can see a list of all my Guides here