Can I sell my shoes online to any customer in the world?

Question

Hello,

I am setting up my online espadrilles store and would like to know whether I can sell to any customer in the world that buys my espadrilles through my website.

I know that outside the EU VAT must be removed (although as I am not register for VAT until my business turnover reaches £81,000.00 this doesn’t really apply to me) and I will indicate that any charges at customs must be paid by them.

Thanks,
Ana.

Founder of mynameislolo.com

Answer

In theory you could ship worldwide. To start with you may want to limit this to certain countries/regions.

One consideration is how you are going to ship the espadrilles ie via post or courier ? A tracked method is best practice.
Certain countries in the world do not offer good delivery services for the ‘final mile’. Delivery can be problematic. You may also want to look at market places such as Mercardo Libre , Amazon . LASO Japan etc. as a solution

You mention that import duties etc will be paid by the buyer. You need to make this very clear. Make clients aware of any charges they will have to pay to avoid refused deliveries.

You also need to have a strategy of how clients will find your site. English may not be the first language for clients and they may not be using google. Take a look at the Export Communications Review scheme that is offered by UK Trade & Investment

https://www.gov.uk/export-communications-review

This can help a great deal. In some countries there may be local practices eg credit cards not being a common form of payment. Keep records of all exports you make ie the proof of export Regarding VAT, you may also want to look into the Flat Rate Scheme.As turnover increases you may need to register for VAT for the countries you are selling to in Europe etc. Take a look at the HMRC website or call their helpline.

I believe you are selling shoes……what happens if the shoes do not fit and the client wants to return them? Certain countries have a high return rate. Also you need to account for goods being returned to you, to avoid paying UK import charges again if the returned item comes back to you.

Hope that helps

Answer

Dear Ana
Once you have set up your shoe selling empire if we can be of
any help on the freight side of things please give us a call on
01263 513127 or email us on colin.crown@ntlworld.com
and we will try our best to help.
Best regards
Colin ; Crown Freight Consultants ltd

Answer

Information on the Customs requirements for exporting is given in HMRC Public Notice 275. All notices can be found on our website www.hmrc.gov.uk under Quick Links > Library > Official Statistics – Publications – Notices, Info Sheets & Other Reference Materials > Import, Export & International Trade. The Public Notices are in numerical order.

Further detailed information regarding exporting goods outside the EU can be found on our website by using the following link:

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageImport_ShowContent&propertyType=document&resetCT=true&id=HMCE_PROD1_032667

You may find the Export Best Practice Guide particularly helpful

HM Revenue & Customs
Customs International Trade & Excise
www.hmrc.gov.uk/contactus

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