Monday, December 29, 2014

My PDF Patterns and this VATmess

Like many independent designers, I was surprised to learn about VAT; which is nothing new of course; but it has been getting a lot of attention lately via social media.

Now, some of you are probably wondering what VAT is.  

It stands for Value Added Tax and is the EU (European Union) version of sales tax.  So, why am I even bringing this up since I live and work in the US. Well it turns out that with the new rules which go into effect 1/1/2015, all sellers...regardless of location in the world, are now required to collect and remit this VAT whenever a sale is made to a customer within the European Union.  

This means that if Suzette from France buys one of my PDF patterns on Etsy or Craftsy, I not only have to collect 2 separate forms of identification from her (to confirm where she lives); but also charge her the proper VAT for her location; then remit that tax to the appropriate city/country.

Now, I don't know about you; but as a small business, I have enough to keep me busy tax-wise within my own country...much less the rest of the world. 

The new rule was created to try and stop big companies from cheating; but it is actually doing a lot of harm to the little guys. Case in point: over the past week, I have witnessed many of my fellow pattern designers stating that they are closing up shop starting in January.

So what am I going to do?  Well, beginning on January 1st, I am closing (temporarily, hopefully) my Etsy and Craftsy shops and exclusively using PayHip to sell my PDF patterns.  It is a VAT-compliant vendor that sells mostly ebooks; but many independent designers have started using them to sell PDF I thought I would give them a try. 

It was fairly simple to setup my listings, and since I only have 6 it went pretty quick too.  There are downsides of course, like no centralized shopping cart, or search capabilities; but as a small business themselves, they are learning and growing.

At the very least if this VAT thing turns out to mean nothing for us in the US, I don't feel like I've wasted my time.  I can easily switch Etsy and Craftsy back on and at the very least I've educated myself as best that I could...which in my eyes is a win-win. 

So, if you are looking to buy my PDF quilt patterns, visit my Buy My Patterns page at the top of my blog.

And just because no post should go live without a photo, here is a little beauty I brought home with me over my holiday vacation.  It's from 1938, and while it needs a little love and attention, I'm glad to own this piece of sewing history.

Singer Featherweight 221

And check back tomorrow, when I'll be posting my 2014 Recap.


1 comment:

  1. I live in Sweden and I have come to not only enjoy, but depend on PDF patterns that have proliferated in the past year or so. I have paid 23 dollars for a nine dollar paper pattern, and I really felt the sticker shock. I even cancelled my participation in an online class when I saw how much it would actually cost with the VAT. In short, I'm really sick about this!! First the overseas postage hike, and now this! The small business owner and the private global consumer are being More than nickel and dimed to death! Two forms of ID my foot! I hope your solution works. I for one intend to snap up all the patterns I can before the change. I wonder about PDF books and mags?


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