Chinese eBay sellers with UK based stock

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Beachbum, Jul 12, 2014.

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  1. TMGG

    TMGG UKBF Regular Free Member

    193 22
    Why would you expect one in 2.5 years? Are you turning over millions?

    But HMRC can't pull out their finger for traders evading millions in front of their face right now.
    Posted: Nov 3, 2015 By: TMGG Member since: Jan 6, 2010
  2. hahihahi

    hahihahi UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 1
    I'm still a little confuse after reading through pages of discussion regarding this topic...basically I thought:

    Type 1 - foreign sellers buying from China and importing all the products to their local UK warehouse. Start selling then.

    Type 2 - chinese sellers sell and ship from China.

    Type 3 - chinese sellers sell from China but ship from UK warehouse where they already shipped everything to UK in advance.

    Type 1 and 3 must pay VAT and all the importing duties but cheaper in overall logistics because they are shipping in bulk and then individually in UK only.

    Type 2 does not pay any VAT because UK people are considering buying from China and not UK locally, but chinese sellers pay more in shipping individual product from China to UK.

    To summarize them, it seems to me that foreign and chinese sellers are competing equally in Type 1 & 3. Any comment please?
    Posted: Dec 19, 2015 By: hahihahi Member since: Dec 17, 2015
  3. mtools

    mtools UKBF Regular Free Member

    396 42
    Not necessarily. They could be paying some VAT, but most likely they are not paying the correct VAT, most likely by under declairig the value of the imports. This is pretty rife and almost all supplies seem to offer this as standard, I have to encourage my suppliers to declare the correct value, as j am vat registered! If you are vat registered the value is irrelevant, I.e you claim back the vat charged if it's £1 or if it's £10. If you are not, you obviously can't claim it back so then it is in your interest to under declair the value.
    Posted: Dec 19, 2015 By: mtools Member since: Mar 27, 2013
  4. epicj

    epicj UKBF Contributor Free Member

    36 1
    As mentioned above, the Chinese/foreign sellers under declare the goods value on the way in, 1st VAT fraud.

    And then more importantly they don't pay VAT on sales made directly in the UK, 2nd VAT fraud, this is the biggest part of the fraud.

    No difference between foreign sellers and Chinese sellers, both are non-UK.
    Posted: Dec 19, 2015 By: epicj Member since: Oct 21, 2012
  5. Sheng

    Sheng UKBF Contributor Full Member

    40 2
    Shipping prices from China to the UK are pretty competitive, so I believe the shipping cost is similar to UK internal shipping prices. However, it's the shipping speed (1-3 weeks) that's the main problem. The majority of customers don't want to wait that long.
    Posted: Dec 21, 2015 By: Sheng Member since: Oct 11, 2014
  6. Jayser100

    Jayser100 UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    718 122
    You are missing a very important point. Many Chinese factories are using Amazon FBA. Game changer, right? They can ship the product to an Amazon warehouse in bulk, and using Chinese shipping agents who are generally much cheaper than UK couriers. In addition, don't forget, you can use Amazon FBA to fulfill eBay orders too.

    It would be interesting to know if they are paying all their due taxes to HMRC as a result because I strongly suspect they should be paying some sort of tax on sales that are fulfilled from within the UK (and indeed Eu), as correctly mentioned by another post above.

    Let me show you something. Consider this product:

    This is a Chinese factory, using FBA to sell on Amazon. I purchased a pair of their sunglasses and it confirmed my suspicions that they do not comply with ISO 12312, which is the European standard for eyewear. I complained to Amazon about this company and their products three years ago. As you can see, nothing was done. The only conclusion you can draw from that is that Amazon don't really give a stuff about Chinese factories selling goods on their ecommerce sites that are illegal, so long as they make a few bob out of it. Those of us who do everything by the book have no choice but to simply put up with it.

    If you read some of the reviews below the product you will see the issues with this type of product are not just about conformity.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
    Posted: Dec 21, 2015 By: Jayser100 Member since: May 21, 2009
  7. japancool

    japancool UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,407 650
    Amazon don't give a stuff about very much. They refuse to comply with local legislation and if they see Amazon vendors selling successful products, they source and sell those products directly themselves. You don't expect them to care about a minor little thing like paying taxes, do you?
    Posted: Dec 21, 2015 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
  8. Jayser100

    Jayser100 UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    718 122
    If you write to their legal department, they do listen, but they don't always act. I did score one significant victory, however, when Amazon decided to list all of the sunglasses they buy from UK vendors, on . This was instantly a huge problem on different levels - firstly, you need a special FDA licence to sell sunglasses in the United States; it is highly unlikely that most of the companies supplying Amazon have a licence, hence they instantly dropped a number of UK companies on the wrong side of the US law, without their knowledge. Secondly, if you sell products like sports sunglasses in the US, you need to make sure you have extra insurance because out there, you will get sued at the drop of a hat if a mishap occurs. I actually pay three times the level of insurance I would if I wasn't selling in the US. Again, by simply dumping these products on without even consulting the suppliers first, Amazon were exposing their vendors to potentially horrendous legal issues.

    I wrote a lengthy message to Amazon's UK legal department about all this and low and behold, the products disappeared from Amazon always stress they won't contact you to tell you of their decision on such matters but in that case I know they were 'listening'.
    Posted: Dec 21, 2015 By: Jayser100 Member since: May 21, 2009
  9. hahihahi

    hahihahi UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2 1
    In this case I would say that in order to compete with any reseller, innovation of products and better quality must be considered to create a better branding. It is easy to say but I still think that this could be done based on my experience and most important is to have built a better relationship with all your suppliers. Let them know your issues and ask for their advice.
    Posted: Dec 21, 2015 By: hahihahi Member since: Dec 17, 2015
  10. Jayser100

    Jayser100 UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    718 122
    Fortunately we already have that edge and I am more than happy with the quality and USP's of the products we have. In reality there is not much you can do to tempt away those customers who will buy anything that looks like a pair of sunglasses so long as it is the cheapest price, on Amazon (and eBay). Although we are discussing it here, and I have had a bit of a whinge, in truth I don't worry myself too much about what these guys are doing anymore. So long as we keep our house house in order we will continue to make good sales regardless of what the Chinese 'cowboys' are doing. There is still a good market for people who will pay a bit more for a quality product, that originates from a proper, well-established and fully identifiable UK business.
    Posted: Dec 21, 2015 By: Jayser100 Member since: May 21, 2009
  11. Michael.han

    Michael.han UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    UK law, If product price is over £15 pound, even they are from china by post, still need pay vat. HMRC can use label details call the customer check the price is right or fake.
    Posted: Dec 28, 2015 By: Michael.han Member since: Jul 27, 2015
  12. Karimbo

    Karimbo UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,018 210
    I just bought an iPad case from an ebay seller besdta_top who has 38722 positive feedback in the last 12 months (no question they have exceeded the VAT threshold)

    They have a VAT number on the account, I asked for a VAT receipt and they had the gall to say to me that they will need to charge me 20% more for it. They are so oblivious to this that they don't even know that it's probably in their interest to just issue the VAT receipt and take a "hit" than to ask for more money and blow their cover.
    Posted: Feb 1, 2016 By: Karimbo Member since: Nov 5, 2011
  13. crelding

    crelding UKBF Regular Free Member

    174 16
    There seems to be a lot of people annoyed about this (myself included). Is there anything we as a group can do to try and fight this? I'm all for a good old rant, but I would also like to see some kind of solution.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2016 By: crelding Member since: Sep 25, 2012
  14. japancool

    japancool UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,407 650
    Most of the time, HMRC don't bother and most customers, if confronted, are unlikely to say the price is fake if it saves them money.

    The law only disadvantages the honest.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2016 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
  15. japancool

    japancool UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,407 650
    So after 22 pages, newspaper articles about it, naff all has changed. Hey, we're talking about a government that did a deal with Google for a fraction of the tax they owed, what do we expect really?
    Posted: Mar 1, 2016 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
  16. Karimbo

    Karimbo UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,018 210
    IMO, HMRC just needs to get heavy handed. Just take off VAT off payapl for all sales where the seller is "VAT registered". Take off the appropriate amount as per FRS, if they are on standard rate then the actual VAT can be calculated on VAT return (minus adjustment for VAT collected at source via paypal).
    Posted: Mar 3, 2016 By: Karimbo Member since: Nov 5, 2011
  17. Chris34

    Chris34 UKBF Regular Free Member

    526 143
    I wouldn't even call that heavy handed, I'd call it fair for all. It would boost tax take massively and it would be immediate, they would be able to see if a VAT increase increases the tax take or decreases it by the day if they wanted to. Dare I say it they could even then start to charge higher tax for online vrs offline if they wanted to, but that's another discussion.

    So if one person has a Paypal account in China or any other country and sells something to somebody in the UK then they are automatically charged VAT.

    If a UK seller sells an item and their turnover (via Paypal) is above the VAT threshold then they are automatically charged VAT and if they are not VAT registered then obviously they will be forced to register.

    Seems pretty straight forward to me.

    Posted: Mar 3, 2016 By: Chris34 Member since: Feb 3, 2009
  18. Pish_Pash

    Pish_Pash UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,487 645
    There's so much low hanging fruit to go for (from HMRC's perspective).

    A quick example of how to flush out the weaker ones....

    "Hello is that the BBC/Sky/ITV/CH4 news...please have your news gathering units assembled outside Amazon's fulfilment centre in Milton Keynes tomorrow morning...we're going in to seize goods from VAT fraudsters"

    End result? The news crews would be all over it - massive nationwide/global publicity that HMRC are now impounding everybody's goods for VAT fraud ....that'd focus some dodgy sellers' collective minds.

    I mean seriously, what on earth are HMRC up to ....this is 'shooting fish in a barrel' type stuff.
    Posted: Mar 3, 2016 By: Pish_Pash Member since: Feb 1, 2013
  19. mtools

    mtools UKBF Regular Free Member

    396 42
    This really wouldn't work. if the goods are coming from outside Europe the seller has zero responsibility to pay VAT to HMRC. It is responsibility of the buyer when it comes into uk, which obviously never happens as goods are famously undervalued. So any non-UK based companies are immediately out the question. Chinese companies that fulfill from UK are an easier option, but the easiest is anything done FBA. As someone said above it would literally be the easiest one to police and probably yield most of return for least effort. Just make any fulfilment centre automatically debit 20% of sales when turnover is above a certain rate for the 6 months (as is the law at moment for registering for VAT), also I believe it's more difficult to open up an FBA account that eBay account, so would be relatively simple to keep on top of companies having several accounts / opening new accounts to keep below the threshold
    Posted: Mar 3, 2016 By: mtools Member since: Mar 27, 2013
  20. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

    5,157 1,118
    The Chancellor has today made specific mention of sellers using Ebay and Amazon who have stock in the UK but are not paying VAT in his speech to the House of Commons.
    Posted: Mar 16, 2016 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
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