Penman’s latest on eBay seller VAT on eBay UK

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You can’t knock Andrew Penman’s persistence. He has written another article today about overseas sellers he accuses of not paying their fair whack of VAT on eBay UK sales. It’s the latest in a line of several pieces that stretch back to before Christmas.

It’s called: “Why isn’t more being done about the foreign eBay sellers who cheat us all by not paying VAT?

In it Mirror journalist Andrew Penman exposes some of the chicanery he’s experienced personally with a seller he bought from in a mystery shopping exercise.

Aside from that it seems that there isn’t much to report. HMRC continue to investigate, eBay haven’t changed their position and the perception is that still too many sellers are competing unfairly with UK sellers because they don’t meet their VAT liabilities.

13 Responses

  1. Slightly racist, but I agree. You have to move with the times.

    A large part of my business was importing the better quality products from china and selling to the UK market, as back in 2010-2012 ebay UK really was just that. The hong kong items didnt get a look in, you had to search the actual ebay hong kong site to find that stuff. I was very successful at this for a time.

    The gradual influx of chinese owned UK warehouses has pretty much ended that side of the business as they sell in volume at such a low retail price and with cheaper postage.

    There are still some higher quality models I can sell which they dont have but its no longer my main focus, I’ve switched back to more unique luxury items.

    ebay should inforce UK laws on ebay UK and make it primarily for genuine UK businesses but ebay act in ebays interests alone, regardless of law and I dont see it changing any time soon. More volume = more fees, plus they want to be in bed with the chinese sellers before alibaba gets here.

  2. The point he is making is valid. ebay chinese sellers are masquerading as being UK based, and shipping in from abroad. I have just purchased and SD card , supposedly being shipped from Portsmouth, which has arrived 7 days later bearing a priority airmail sticker. That kind of practise is the least hoodwinking buyers

  3. Ive become a really big Amazon buyer, because the stuff i want is not promoted on ebay.

    Today for instance I searched for ‘Carbon Monoxide’ Alarm, and the first 3 were China / HK sellers who had sold 1000s and 1000s.

    I didnt look further instead a bought from Amazon, At the end of the day i dont want a generic Carbon Monoxide uncertified product from some random chinese seller, but seems 1000s of people quite like them. They assume the item will keep them safe.

    Thats ebay all over these days. As long as you got one, thats OK dont matter if you dont wake up the next morning does it?

  4. In the article it mentions photodirect who are still selling on ebay, they sell items such as michael kors watches etc. These are classed as luxury items. I dont know what you sell , but this fraud affects 90% or all genuine UK sellers for sure.

  5. That guy is the tablet king. I have been bitching and moaning to Samsung about how he can sell below disti cost consistently (like Amazon was doing last year on electronics. I assumed because all the nobs on ebay shifting tabs had ‘photo’ or similar in their biz name they had the link into a cushty samsung uk supply chain. Turns out photo bloke is just another dodgy vat scammer. The only way the brands are going to take action is if the EMEA numbers are hit. HRMC are useless

  6. I’m seriously considering working with this loop hole, if hmrc are doing nothing about it.

    It would simply means changing my company description to fulfilment and creating a company in China, hk or anywhere favourable.

    Then invoicing between the 2 for fulfilment legally the company registered abroad would a separate legal identity to the fulfilment centre in the UK. Who sales would be massively low under 60k per year In my case.

    In return I’d save several 1000s of £s in vat, corporation tax, accounting costs.

    Thanks HMRC


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