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Sun June 5 2016 21:13:45

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy changed its sales tax tool for sellers, and it's causing some confusion among EU buyers, sellers are reporting. Etsy explained it has to comply with various international consumer laws that require listing prices of physical items sold by Etsy shops to be inclusive of value-added tax (VAT), goods and services tax (GST) and other local taxes. 

"To enable our sellers to comply with these laws, we'll be removing access to the sales tax tool for sellers outside the United States and Canada by the end of May 2016," it announced last month.

For shops based in the US, it explained:

"Shops in the United States will still be able to access the sales tax tool to set tax rates for US states, zip codes and zip code ranges. However, these shops will no longer be able to set tax rates for anywhere outside of the US. If you are based in the US and have previously set tax rates for locations outside of the US, these rates will no longer be applied after May 2016. Please remember that this is an optional tool and you can choose to list your prices inclusive of any local taxes instead."

Etsy has a guide to VAT on this page, which explains: "Etsy displays copy next to an item's price to buyers located outside the US and Canada that indicates that the price includes VAT (where applicable). 

On June 3rd, Etsy added a clarifying post that includes the following statement:

"...Therefore, an EU buyer purchasing an item from a US seller will see copy after entering the checkout process that makes it clear that additional duties and taxes may still apply to their purchase. Sellers are not responsible for these additional import fees or taxes..."

However, sellers say buyers are confused, such as the seller who posted to the Etsy board today that they received a cancellation request from a UK shopper who had assumed the price included VAT since Etsy displayed her listing with the message "VAT included (where applicable)" directly under the price.

"I really hope Etsy wakes up and sees how confusing this wording is," one seller wrote. "The longer it's there, the harder the fallout will be when packages start arriving to international destinations with a vat/tax/fee bill."

Another said, "Below the green checkout button in the cart, for delivery to UK it states "VAT included (where applicable). Additional duties and taxes may apply." The most confusing change that makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, seriously could they just put nothing at all."

Let us know if you've been impacted by this change and what you're hearing from buyers. Will this cause you to limit your international sales?




Comments (11) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Mon Jun 6 02:35:47 2016

"VAT included (where applicable)"—when it's definitely not included in imports but is collected by the post office in the case of the U.K.!—LOL

You sure Johnny Ho-Ho-Ho hasn't made an other move, from PreyPal to Etsy?

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 6 03:21:50 2016

As a result if this confusion many US sellers are now altering their preferences to avoid selling to the EU as they are afraid of being hit by this confusion. This means less profit for those sellers and less choice for EU buyers. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a US address for the seller to ship to. It is clear from this and some previous incidents that Etsy does not understand the operation of VAT and similar taxes or the impact that this sloppy wording can have on sellers. Wait intil the brown stiff hits the fan!

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 6 04:26:08 2016

Etsy has NEVER had mastery over the English language. This is just the latest "baffle them with bull sh!t", maneuver, cranked out by their "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh, let us PROJECT OUR insecurities, onto a marketplace, incompetent staff.

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon Jun 6 08:28:16 2016

Hipster Employees are too busy trying to look cool, hanging out in the multi sex bathrooms or playing with their dogs at work, eating the free meals all day.

Advice to Etsy employees. we all know you are NOT cool. The cute little sayings all over the site are unprofessional. But then everything Etsy does is unprofessional.

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 6 09:36:49 2016

BigLouis, Etsy has fouled up just about everything that it has ever coded.

Their search is abysmal, they NEVER got what was needed for the Google uploads, there was the 2009 Metatags fiasco, when one of their nimrods added handmade into their metatags regardless of the item type sold. THEY OPTED to use handmade as opposed to artisan or handcrafted. <--- THis alone is telling.

The drop down options for listing items have to be the WORST CHOICES, AND MOST INANE that I have EVER experienced.

Pity that Regretsy and Etsy B!tch are no longer running.

Let's not forget that people who never really signed up for PATTERN are now being charged the monthly fee. When they got caught with their pants down (I KNOW! Yet again) on that one, they pretended it was a bug.

Ya' know the 1 thing in common with SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MANY OF THEIR FAUX PAS? CHAD, the English major imported from Yahoo.

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

by: schwarsl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 6 13:02:31 2016

As a retired English teacher, I give Etsy a D with the comment (which I have written on many comps)"LACKS CLARITY--read over what you write to check it makes sense"

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 6 20:40:53 2016



Not fooled by etsy one bit,,,

etsy is using similar tactics as ebay,  etsy comes out looking good at the sellers expense  the seller is left holding the bag with an angry customer,

I guess the etsy team  didn't get the memo...because they are forgetting one small detail in their quest for maximum greed,,,,,,

NO ONE knows the etsy brand, etsy is close to irrelevant in the world of ecommerce, and it won't take much to sink the company.



Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Mon Jun 6 22:02:47 2016

What White Rabbit Said.

(and as all the immature Etsy employees would say).......

PERRRRRRR FECT!

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

by: Writings on the Wall This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 7 09:15:08 2016

It would be helpful if people who sell internationally on other marketplace sites would chime in here on how this problem is handled there. Actually, I think Etsy oversteps (illegally) in trying to comply.

www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/17786521/page/1

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue Jun 7 16:21:35 2016

There is zero need to do anything other than to pay US postage or Canada Postage. Everything else is an EU issue. If a customer in say Italy complains about Customs or VAT Tax.. tell then to take it up with their Government as it has nothing to do with you or the USA or Canada Governments.

Their countries and the EU are greedy and using unfair trade practices to prevent sales outside their countries and outside the EU. 50% Customs tax is not unheard of in Germany and Italy.

This also becomes an issue if they try to return something after paying VAT or Customs :-)

They are lucky that the USA does not retaliate and do the same thing. I am glad we are not retaliating but it may come to that some day?

Postal charges are another form of Tax that are very sneaky and used as unfair trade. The USA is also doing it. $16 register fee in USA. under $2 in Thailand and we all know about China Epacket where they ship to you cheaper than you can ship to the next town. a lot of funny stuff going on but Etsy should know better than to pretend that VAT or Customs has anything to to with USA or Canada. It is a tax placed on the person buying by their country in the EU. Nothing to do with the USA or Canada except a few idiot Europeans would like you to pay their countries VAT and Customs Tax. when they suggest that tell them where to go.

Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy   Confusion Arises over Pricing on Etsy

by: LeeLoo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 10 02:54:43 2016

Fixing something that aint broke yet again.
It's not just VAT, shops in other locations also have their listing showing 'as applicable' for GST or whatever.
It's none of Etsy business if I collect tax or not.
Is this their way of disproving their liability? FAIL FAIL FAIL.
It's a personal matter between buyers and sellers, Etsy - NOT yours.
Go pick your zits or clean out the communal garbage bins.



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