Well, no doubt many of you have heard of the European Union's new Value Added Tax (VAT) mess that is wreaking havoc lately on sellers of digital items like quilting patterns. In case you aren't familiar with the new laws, here's the gist. Basically, anybody selling digital items must charge a value added tax at the rate of the country of the buyer.
Although the law (taking effect on January 1st) was really supposed to prevent huge companies like Amazon from getting around tax laws in high rate countries, this really poses a problem for many quilt pattern sellers. Unfortunately, platforms such as Craftsy and Etsy (the two sites that I use to sell my patterns) don't have any built-in measures for complying with the new law, and designers are having to bear the responsibility for collecting and filing these taxes internationally- ridiculous, right?
Currently, both Craftsy and Etsy are (supposedly) working on a solution for their sellers, but in the meantime, beginning January 1st, I will no longer be selling my patterns to the EU. Although Craftsy and Etsy do not allow sellers to block certain countries from purchases, PayPal does. Since PayPal is the only form of payment I accept, buyers from the EU will not be able to complete purchases.
Even though I have only sold a handful of patterns to these countries, please know this is a decision I did not make lightly. I truly hope that Craftsy and Etsy will come up with a more viable solution very soon.
If you live in the EU, I hope you understand the plight of tiny sellers like me. And of course, my patterns will be still be available to you until January 1st. Please also know that I am looking into other platforms that are more seller friendly so that I can continue to sell to customers in the EU. When I find a solution, I'll be sure to let you know!