With the internet comes untold opportunities for a world-wide audience – but is it as easy as selling on your home turf? We have put together some useful tips and things to think about when selling abroad.
1] This seems a no brainer but do your homework, understand what is involved and how it will impact your business and costs.
2] Ensuring your webpage is mobile/tablet friendly as they are quickly becoming the preferred device to shop with.
3] Look at using a good language plugin for your website to translate your site rather than relying on search engines – they may not be saying what you think they are.
4] Understand the little things. Small cultural differences, for example Germans prefer bank transfer and we prefer paying by card.
5] Using international marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay is a good way to test sales opportunities.
6] Have a read of the Consumer Rights Directive (June 2014) which covers various aspects including wording on returns policies for when customers place an order.
7] Keep up to date with international VAT by watching out for changes in legislation.
8] Have the most suitable accounting systems in place to record all the information and stay compliant with all VAT obligations.
9] Be aware of VAT registration thresholds and different VAT rates in each EU country. Know which ones relate to your business as a result penalties and fines can be incurred from EU tax authorities.
10] Don’t be put off, there are plenty of experts that are able to help with the process and the opportunities and profit that can be gained far outweigh the additional costs of trading internationally.