#192 – Expert Accounting Advice for International Amazon Sellers
Now that selling on Amazon has become a world-wide affair, a number of complications have started to pop up. One of them is taxes.
Understanding the tax code in the United States is difficult enough. In many of the markets that Amazon is active in, the tax structures are completely different. How about navigating the VAT (value added tax) that’s common in Europe?
In this episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Helium 10’s Director of Training and Chief Brand Evangelist, Bradley Sutton welcomes Melanie Shabangu and Tom Meek. They are both Amazon accounting experts and are here to help us understand the tax implications of selling globally.
In the last 8 years, these accounting pros have helped 10,000 Amazon sellers speaking 20 languages in over 50 countries to expand internationally.
It’s a big e-commerce world out there. These two will help you to navigate it.
In episode 192 of the Serious Sellers Podcast, Bradley, Melanie, and Tom discuss:
- 03:30 – Pick One; Doctor, Lawyer or Accountant
- 06:00 – For Tom, It Was All Sports Early On
- 07:45 – 8 Years, 50 Countries, and 20 Languages
- 10:30 – VAT and Google Translate Were Behind Most of the Mistakes
- 13:30 – VAT for Dummies
- 16:30 – Does VAT Scale?
- 19:45 – How an Accountant Can Help Sellers Doing Business is Different Countries
- 22:30 – What About Canada and Mexico?
- 25:30 – The Most Common Mistakes that Sellers Make
- 27:30 – Money Saving Easy Wins for an Amazon Seller
- 32:00 – Watching Clients Turn into Millionaires
- 34:00 – How to Contact Melanie and Tom
Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.
Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started:
- Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
- Ultimate Resource Guide: Discover the best tools and services to help you dominate on Amazon.
- Helium 10: 20+ software tools to boost your entire sales pipeline from product research to customer communication and Amazon refund automation. Make running a successful Amazon business easier with better data and insights. See what our customers have to say.
- Helium 10 Chrome Extension: Verify your Amazon product idea and validate how lucrative it can be with over a dozen data metrics and profitability estimation.
- SellerTradmarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
Bradley Sutton: In the last eight years, these accounting experts have helped thousands of sellers understand what the heck is VAT in over 20 languages and over 50 countries. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.
Bradley Sutton: Hello everybody. And welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10, I am your host Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that’s a completely BS free, Uunscripted and unrehearsed organic conversation about serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. And we’ve got something that’s a serious subject today, but that’s some people sometimes don’t want to talk about, but before we get in that, I got to check something out here. This is the first time this has ever happened on the Serious Sellers Podcast. All right. So, I heard Melanie speak at an event. She’s one of our guests today at an event online. And I was like, that’s a, that’s a subject. I think we need on the, on the, on the podcast, I’m going to reach out to her. And so I had my assistant reach out or I reached out first. I’m like, all right. I told my assistant, Mel, let’s get this all set up. So everything was good. And then, as it’s coming up this week, I’m like, why are there two names on this calendar invite? And I’m just looking in the history. And somebody named Tom just happened to weasel his way onto the podcast here. Somehow in the history, maybe he slipped some British pounds via PayPal to my assistant, but all of a sudden, now we have two people on the podcast. I guess Tom is a coworker here of Melanie. Is that the case?
Melanie Shabang…: Yes. Tom Meek is my colleague. He is a business development manager and I tend to take him everywhere I go.
Tom Meek: Absolutely.
Bradley Sutton: Oh my goodness. I’m glad that it doesn’t happen more often. All of a sudden, this might this better not start doing, Hey, anybody else out there, who’s going to be invited to the Serious Sellers Podcast. Please do not take advantage of my assistant and try and get like seven, eight people to come on the podcast, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. But this is just kind of funny that this has never happened, but no pressure now, Tom, you’ll be in the first and only one to– what is it called? A stowaway here. That’s okay. I’m sure there’s got to be a reason Melanie had you come on as well. So anyways, let’s just find out who you guys are. We’re talking about bookkeeping, we’re talking about accounting taxes, things like that. But before we get into that, I’d like to get your backstory. So, Melanie, first of all, from your accent, I assume you’re from Texas United States.
Melanie Shabang…: That is ever so kind, how I wish. Unfortunately, originally from South Africa, I I’ve been in the UK for the past 20 years. Stumbled across Tom Meek about, I would say four years ago just before he joined Avask accounting. So, yeah. So where we are right now, we are based right in the South.
Bradley Sutton: Hold on. You skip way too fast. I like going back, let’s go back in time a little bit here. So growing up, did you grow up in South Africa or in UK?
Melanie Shabang…: Yeah, so I grew up in South Africa. I came into the UK in my really early twenties. So I’m not going to give you the idea, I’m going to start counting how old I am.
Bradley Sutton: No, I mean, you already kind of gave away too much information and so like, I’ve already did the counting so you’re too late, but it’s fine. It’s fine. Now growing up, so my main point in asking though was not trying to out you as far as your age, but like when you were nine, 10, 11 years old growing up in South Africa, what did you envision your career being like, did you want to be a lawyer, an astronaut or a Kwaito dancer? I used to do some Kwaito dancing, which is from South Africa a little bit, but what did you want to do?
Melanie Shabang…: So, I’ll tell you now, for those guys that are listening here, that’s maybe of course, some friends or they know about South Africa. When you grow up in a household, you have to be either a doctor and lawyer or an accountant and all those things for me. I just didn’t think I’d ever beat one of those. I just wanted to perform, I wanted to be a dancer.
Bradley Sutton: So I wasn’t so far off with the dancing. Hey, you see the reason why I like asking this is because I do this to all, all the guests. I think I find it interesting how we envision how our life ends up, what we end up studying. And then the world that we end up in seems to be all the same, but our origin stories are different. So, you went to university in the UK?
Melanie Shabang…: No, I went to my first year. My first degree was back in South Africa. And I did my masters in the UK. So, things just literally changed from wanting to be a dancer and you becoming an accountant. And of course, I think that’s the choice of that career. The reason why I took it on because I was looking as to which actually career paid more money.
Bradley Sutton: Hey, that’s important.
Melanie Shabang…: Yeah, already I was counting on the money as to which one is actually going to be paying me more and accounting, of course it came on top. So, and I thought that’s the one that I’m going to be going for.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So, that’s what you actually, is that what you actually got your master’s in?
Melanie Shabang…: Yes. Yes. In international finance.
Bradley Sutton: Wow. All right. That’s excellent. Excellent. Quite a difference from dancing, but Hey, being a dancer and making money and unless you become a backup dancer for J-Lo or something might not be that lucrative of a, of a career. Now Tom, what about you? Where did you grow up?
Tom Meek: I grew up in the UK really. So, been here my whole life and came of Avask Melanie mentioned for– can we have four years now?
Bradley Sutton: And you’re skipping ahead to. Why does nobody want to talk about, you have some traumatic things you guys over there, like, so did you want to be a dancer too when you were nine, 10 years old?
Tom Meek: Dancing’s never crossed my mind for me. It’s always been the sporting dream, I suppose, at growing up wanting to be a rugby player and I suppose being successful. So, that’s sort of where, where I got to, and everything changed as the years went on, of course.
Bradley Sutton: So, very similar to Melanie, your original goals, you maybe saw that there might not be a very stable financial future in rugby. So, then what did you end up majoring in university?
Tom Meek: I was studying property and development as well. And sort of went into to that for quite a few years before looking at different options and again, finding myself more to do with accounting and VAT. And here I am today.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, excellent. Now let’s all fast forward. What is the main thing that the company you work for handle?
Melanie Shabang…: So what do we do, we make international expansion for entrepreneurs in particular, Amazon Sellers, very easy. Right now we launch sellers over the past 8 years from countries from over 50 countries. And internally in Avask, we speak about over 20 languages, myself, except for Tom, of course. Tom only speaks one, but I speak a couple.
Bradley Sutton: What languages do you speak?
Melanie Shabang…: Well, they’re not really going to be helpful in what we do. So, Africans speak a bit of Zulu, and a bit of English, so yeah, so a bit of everything.
Bradley Sutton: A side note, my favorite English accent in the whole world is South Africa. Now, I can tell you’ve been in the UK a little bit, quite a number of years. So, it’s not as pure, I guess as the South African accent I normally listen to, but I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always loved the South African accent for English. Anyways, continue.
Melanie Shabang…: Yeah. So, we launched Amazon sellers into global markets. Right now, we work with over 15 countries where we’ve managed to launch more than 10,000 centers within our business. I don’t know Tom if you wanted to add something there.
Tom Meek: Yeah. I think you’ve summarized the majority of it, I think, and that sort of international expansion into new marketplaces, really for e-commerce sellers that are looking to go into new market places and helping them with a number of different things. But the majority is focused on that tax and compliance element.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So we’re at the bat. What I like to ask is I imagine that you’re– I know you would probably have customers in and/or doing business in the USA, but I imagine you started off in your home locale in UK or Europe. So as you know, you said you’ve onboarded thousands of customers. So, I would assume that most of these are not coming to you on day one of their business. You know, like, Hey, I’m starting my Amazon business, or I’m starting my e-commerce business. Let’s join on this together. You’ve got a lot who have already been in business and doing their own thing until they come to you. So can you guys give me maybe the top two or three biggest mistakes that your customers have been making? When they join you, I’m sure you do an audit or you check out what they’ve been doing, what they haven’t been doing. What are the top three biggest mistakes that Amazon sellers in particular, you guys are looking at their books and you’re like, Oh my goodness, what are you guys doing?
Melanie Shabang…: I would say, and I’m not going to say that all businesses that come over to us, they are now perfect being in 2020, but I’m just really, I want to go back to 2013, 2015, whereby the most mistakes that we were seeing then from a non-compliance point of view, it’s not being VAT registered when they launched into the UK or Europe, because they thought that they didn’t need to. The second one was which was very popular around 2013, 15 as well, was the Google translate. So the translations that sellers were making, when launching their products from America, say into the UK, they’ll go either to Google translate. If it’s in German or it’s in Italian and do the translation via that route. For me, I would say that it was just a no-no and also thinking about the fact that you are an American, we speak the same type of English and so everything, the translations should be a hundred percent mirroring what they’ve got in America. It’s not always that because the lingo– it becomes a different at some point, whereby we say things differently than you guys, if I’m around and say it’s a Jersey in America, in the UK, it’s a jumper. So it’s just that literally languages, words that may be different from the way how we view them. I would say those are the main ones. I don’t know Tom if you got anything.
Bradley Sutton: Well, one of my favorite ones is how you all in I mean, you all, I mean, you guys don’t use such words like that. I said you were my friend from Texas. So, I don’t even use words. Like, I don’t even know why he said that I’m from, but anyways, words like nappy. To me, I say, I have nappy hair because I have very thick hair and it gets very messy, but in the UK, that means diaper. It’s still English, but it just means a different thing. The boots of a car, like somebody you say that here in America, but people are like, what in the world are you talking about? A boot is something that goes on your foot, but here we call it a trunk of the car, a bonnet. Bonnet is like something that’s like on your hair here, but over there, that’s the hood. So there’s all these strange things, but we’ve talked, I don’t know if you know Yana from YLT Translations. We’ve had her on the show. Great to talk about that. But what about– maybe you have another one from the accounting side Tom, that you could talk to us about that.
Tom Meek: Yeah. Just to take a step back to what Melanie was saying about looking at the VAT when they need to pay to, they need to register straight away, I think for a lot of you guys, sellers expanding to the UK, it’s understanding that main difference between sales tax and VAT and incorporating that 20% of the UK VAT and incorporates within the wholesale price as opposed to being added at checkout. And I think that certainly in recent times, what a lot of people have tripped up over.
Bradley Sutton: Let’s pause right there, because this is something that, I mean, I could talk about this 10 times and I think people will still have confusion. Let’s do a quick VAT for dummies right here. Melanie mentioned something about, Hey, some people thought that they didn’t have to do this, but they really had to. And then you just mentioned, okay, Hey, sometimes, you’re not supposed to add it to the final price or people think you do, like people might be like thinking right now who have never sold in Europe. They’re like, this might be Zulu language to me. Like this is a foreign language. I don’t know what is, what we’re talking about here. So, can you give a quick VAT for dummies? How is it added as far as on the buyer side, at what point are Amazon sellers responsible for it? I know that there is– or I heard that there was some things where it’s like, okay, only if you make over a certain amount in a year is when you have to start paying it. But can you just like, for the next few minutes, just give us a crash course.
Tom Meek: Yeah, of course. So, in terms of VAT or what actually is it still offers is value added tax, which is obviously a tax that’s added to the majority of goods and services. And obviously without touching on, on Brexit and the implications of that with the UK and the EU as part of it, VAT has been charged, as I said to the majority of goods and services and sellers as they come in to the EU and start selling that their items, they need to have that price incorporated within the VAT as well. So, there’s different VAT rates across different countries. The majority of those VAT rates are ranging between around that of 19 to 23%, that sort of core area there. And with regards to when it’s collected or where it goes to it’s as you start selling, the taxes collected on either a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on the country that you’ve triggered that liability in, and that will be filed to the tax office in that country by a certain date. So that’s the real quick snapshot of it. And then Melanie, I don’t know if you had anything to add to that.
Melanie Shabang…: Yeah. I mean, I was going to say this, from anybody that is looking to launch from the US it’s really calculated differently.
Bradley Sutton: Basically, what you’re saying. Let me see if I understand this correctly is on all published retail products online in Europe, the price that the person sees that’s advertise, there’s no tax that’s going to be added once they start the checkout process.
Melanie Shabang…: It is included in the product. So, which means that you must always make sure that it’s incorporated in the retail value of the product that you’re selling.
Bradley Sutton: Here’s my question. I think one of you had said that there’s only a certain point where you are responsible to pay for VAT, but it sounds like all products have that VAT built in, but if you’re not responsible yet, because you don’t make enough money or whatever, what does that mean? That’s just extra money or pocketing as profit until you have to pay or how is that one?
Melanie Shabang…: Right. So, for foreign businesses, which are not incorporated in the UK or in Europe, they don’t have, they don’t enjoy the thresholds. And again, the thresholds, they are not great. I would say they’re okay if you’re just starting off your business, which is going to be at least 85,000. But again, if for a bigger business that is looking to scale, I would say it’s not a great threshold varies there. For foreign companies, they’ve got no threshold if they don’t have any VAT registered in Europe, if, say for instance, whilst we are still in the transition period, of course the UK is going to be leaving completely the European union, but whilst we’re still in the transition period, the UK has always been seen as a gateway to the European marketplace, which means that you would ship your inventory into the UK. And then it’s going to be, you’re going to be under the EFN network, which means it’s going to be distributed in all the other countries in Europe or where your buyers are basically located. By doing so it means that you have, we had, or we still have up until the 31st of December, some thresholds in place, which means we won’t have to register say in Germany up until at least a hundred thousand threshold on the VAT side. As long as I don’t start in Germany, I am storing them in the UK. And as the sellers, this is some selling them on the German platform. They’re just being bought by the German platform, clients, I’m not VAT registered when I’ve reached a hundred thousand, then that’s when I registered.
Bradley Sutton: And let me just give some sample scenarios out here. I think most, I don’t know, most, at least half of the people who might sell in Europe, ideally they’d want to be selling in all five. Now, six marketplaces soon to be seven, I guess, with Sweden coming along. But, maybe they’re in the past, maybe all of the product originally was stored in the UK. Obviously there’s a lot of different things happening now because of Brexit. And so let’s say, for Amazon Germany, let’s just say Amazon Germany. So, if they got a product, like it’s our Project X coffin shelf, and they’re storing it in an Amazon Germany warehouse and it’s bought by somebody who lives in Germany. And so, there’s some VAT added there. I would have definitely needed to have a German VAT registered and I’m paying the German VAT. I don’t know what you would call it, office, that tax at whenever I need to pay it, but now here’s another scenario. Somebody goes to Amazon.de, Amazon Germany, but they’re in Belgium because Belgium doesn’t have their own Amazon. Right. And so what happens there, like is that handled under the Amazon Germany VAT since that’s where the product is housed? Or do I need to, for that one, I need to make sure I have a Belgium VAT or what’s going on there?
Melanie Shabang…: Yeah. So, if you’re going to be storing your products in Belgium and it means that you’re going to have a VAT and you’re going to be required to have a VAT number in Belgium, and you’re going to be distanced selling to Amazon DE.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. All right. So I got to take a VAT break because my head’s about to explode here. Maybe some of our listeners who are driving and listening might have just gotten in an accident because they were like, this is too much to handle right now, but let’s switch gears. I assume you guys have some customers who are American citizens and selling in Amazon USA or no?
Melanie Shabang…: That’s correct. So, we’ve got UK clients that are selling in Amazon USA. And again, in the US actually you guys talk about, when you talk about the distance selling thresholds and all that, it is about physical nexus, isn’t it?
Bradley Sutton: Yes. But, do you have actually American clients who are selling in USA or is it only European ones?
Melanie Shabang…: We’ve got clients coming through from over 50 countries.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. So, let’s just talk about it because I think the majority of our listeners, at least half would be here in the United States. And so I know things change a lot over the last year with the whole marketplace facilitator tax. And now like pretty much Amazon is most of the States, Amazon is collecting and remitting. There’s a nice account for it. I didn’t even know. I knew that collecting it. And you see, like, it’s kind of like you guys are rubbing off on me. All of a sudden I’m becoming smarter in the financial terms, so hold on. I better keep going before I lose my train of thought here. But Amazon is collecting and remitting the tax for the States on their own meaning that the seller is not responsible for it. So, what about the few States that Amazon is not doing that for yet? And the seller is in that state. Are there any like that still out there where the seller still is responsible to set that setting and collect a sales tax on his or her own, and then remit that on their own or the States that don’t have the marketplace facility tax don’t even have sales tax?
Tom Meek: Yeah, absolutely. There certainly are. There’s a number of States that sellers I would say, still need to think about when treading on amazon.com. And it’s really depends on which market prices they’re selling, but if we zoom in perhaps more on the FBA side, things that’s most common from what we find. There are really three States in total, which Amazon has an active fulfillment center in, but they do not have marketplace facilitator. So they’re not collecting and remitting that tax in those States.
Bradley Sutton: But what about Canada and Mexico? Canada is under a GST, which is similar to the VAT and Mexico. Do you have any sellers selling those marketplaces and what is like, maybe just the top level thing that people need to know if they’re trying to sell in those marketplaces as far as tax goes?
Melanie Shabang…: Okay. So Canada, because our heads will be exploding. Canada is dealt with by our US CPA, Tim Nelson, who is in white Plains, outside of New York. So, we don’t dilute it from the European point of view.
Bradley Sutton: Well, how about Mexico? Do they handle also the Mexico, or do you have experience with that?
Melanie Shabang…: They handle Mexico as well.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Cool. So, that’s interesting because just the fact that even have a certain specialist on it, just show that, Hey, it’s not just a complete walk in the park that can be done remotely, but that’s good to know. Now, what about any other countries that you could talk about because now Amazon has expanded all over the place. What is some weird things that people need to know either about like Australia or UAE or Saudi Arabia Turkey, anything that just sticks out to you?
Tom Meek: Yeah, definitely. I think certainly from our side, speaking to sellers on a daily basis, it’s Australia seems to be another very key market, obviously in terms of the population and in terms of sort of the revenue. It’s building very, very quickly. And I think it’s a great opportunity to expand to in terms of who goes there. I think where it’s a very quickly growing market. And as in a pumping a lot of money into two new fulfillment centers, they currently, they really want to really maximize that opportunity and visibility for sellers. I’m seeing a lot of sellers currently looking at getting into Australia and to try and get a great presence from day one. And I would say that for a lot of sellers that are looking at very seasonal items, Australia is a very great market to enter people that are selling, let’s say beach where, for example, they’re selling, typically let’s say swimming shorts and flip flops on Amazon in the UK, or in the EU. And then obviously as it comes to the winter time, their sales plumbing. Australia is the seasons are on the reverse. So, a lot of sellers that have that seasonal aspect find Australia as a great market to be in, especially if they’ve got inventory leftover. Now, the great thing about Australia is that you have up to 75,000 Australian dollars until you actually need to register for the goods and services tax, the GST. So, that’s a great opportunity for sellers to do, and then they can get an idea for the demand, that they can have an idea for how their products will sell in each of– in Australia. And also you get to grips with the tax systems as they go as well.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Good to know. Good to know. Let’s just talk in general now, we’ve been kind of focusing on kind of like the state and country taxes, but what about just income tax in general? Some things that Amazon sellers, regardless if they’re selling Europe or USA, some things, some mistakes that you’ve seen people make, or some misconceptions that you think sellers have that maybe you can clear up.
Melanie Shabang…: Yeah. I would say definitely. I will be touching one of the important factors, especially for people that are launching for the first time or other people that are launching from America into Europe. Without having to think about that you’ve got your FBA fees, you’ve got your seller fees. You need to make sure that you filter those on the price and not forget about them. You’ve got your advertising fees, which play a huge role in scaling your business without advertising. Because even though Amazon’s a big platform, you need to make sure that you push your products to your product optimization. That is one thing that is very, I would say from my side, but I see that it is seriously one of the major things that people do not consider is a product advents. That’s one thing that they don’t actually even think about it because they look at Amazon, it’s a big market just going to be sticking my products there and they’ll sell. There is a lot of work that needs to be done.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, Tom?
Tom Meek: I would say that. that is the key contributor there. So, yeah, on understanding what all of the different requirements are before you expand into new markets and understanding all of the costs that people bear. I think another one is sort of over branding on different marketing and advertising schemes as well is something that we see a lot.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Okay. All right. Excellent. Excellent. What are some tips like how have you been able to save your client’s money at all? Obviously, I’m not asking you to give away all your secret tips and tricks, and then everybody leaves you and just does it on their own, but I’m sure there’s some things you could say where in general that are just probably people should know, and they’re just not doing it. It’s not going to cost you a client or anything, but what are some easy wins as far as on the accounting side, bookkeeping side, whatever the case that you’ve, having 10,000 clients or what are some things you can give some strategies on?
Melanie Shabang…: Yeah, I would say from my side, from an accounting point of view, make sure that you account for your– you consider your input VAT that’s– it’s a temporary outlay of money. You’re going to get it back as long as you have VAT registered, because if you shipping your products over into the UK in particular or Europe, without you being VAT registered, it means that, Oh, you’re using your career’s VAT number. You not going to be able to claim it back. That’s one thing that’s very, very important. And I would say that it is ensuring that you consider the fact that you’re going to have– you’re going to be paying what’s called duty when your products are coming through into Europe, that duty amount, it’s still, it’s not a huge percent percentage. Usually it’s about two to 9%, even based on the value of the product, you need to make sure that you account for that so that you do not lose on your margins, because if you don’t, again, that’s another temporal outlay. It’s another 2% that you would have lost on your margins. And I would say from an accounting point of view, and I don’t know what happens with the UK side as a sort of US side, but from the UK point of view, it’s just making sure that you are pointing adviser from day one who is going to be working with you. And then once you have that adviser, please do use them, consult with them, request calls, speak to them so that you made sure that because again, we need to be in a position whereby we can tailor the requirements of our clients according to their business, even though we helping lots of Amazon sellers, their requirements are actually different from one business to the next.
Tom Meek: Yeah, I think, in terms of sort of takeaways and different things that sellers can think about as well, you’ve got the input of that. And there are actually two schemes that are available in the UK, without going into too much detail that will obviously allow you to be train that input VAT. Or perhaps pay less sales VAT depending on whether you fall under the threshold. So, there are a couple of schemes available in the UK. And the other aspect that I think is potentially a good saving for people to, or at least a good point for people to realize when they’re trading, especially in the EU, is looking at the operating as well. If you’ve got VAT rates, for example, in Poland at 23%, and you’re actually sending products to a buyer in Germany at 19%, then the VAT is chargeable to the country of departure in this case, Poland. But if you’re opting to the country of arrival, then you’re going to be able to save a couple of percent in terms of the VAT, if you’re able to opt to the country of arrival.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Excellent. Excellent. That’s a good one to know. So question, you guys have dealt with thousands of sellers. Are you inspired now, when you look at some of the numbers of some of them where you’re like, Oh my God, like, I don’t know if I can do the accent, right? But like this person is making some ridiculous profit selling some silicone spatulas, and they’re just sitting in their house just raking the money. Like, have you, either of you been inspired, like maybe I need to sell on Amazon.
Melanie Shabang…: Oh, honestly, can I answer this one over the first. Most of my clients have actually asked me, do you sell on Amazon? And my answer to that is that at least that headache to you. Sometimes it’s easy for me from a business point of view and being an accountant. I’m more like everybody look at the money that everybody ends, the millions, the sellers have worked extremely hard to get to where they are. And I know that you’ve got older people that are girls out there that training at all, you don’t want to work with a computer by the side of the beach and all that. I don’t think business is like that. Yes, you will. We will work once. You’ve got a few millions, but I would say when you first start, it is hard work. It’s hard craft. So, I love my clients. I love my Amazon sellers. They inspire me every day. Some of them we’ve started working with them when they were about maybe 200,000. And especially in the past seven months, they’ve also hit millions. They’re on the millions now, and it’s just inspiring looking at other businesses from my side. I would say I’m not inspired on selling on Amazon. I’m more inspired on looking at my client’s business grow and them turning into millionaires. That makes me happy.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. How about you, Tom? Are we going to see you launch some accounting ledger product on Amazon UK soon.
Tom Meek: I’d love to. I think it’s inspirational to see how people can start a business, especially from having that flexibility and actually make it a huge success of it. I think that we hear a lot of the great sort of the birds as well. And I think people that are able to make the most of different opportunities and COVID being one of those that are a prime example of that. And so there’s that I speak to recently that have turned a product that wasn’t selling quite well, as well as it should have done and just completely diversified their product range in line with COVID and have had a humongous success of that, I think it’s pivoting, diversifying into new opportunities. And that for me is what really motivates me and being a part of that journey to advise on where to go next and what the requirements are, is where the beauty of the job comes in for me.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. Now, before we get into the section of our show, we call the 32nd tip. If somebody is like, Hey, you know what, there’s obviously things that I need to be doing that I’m not. And they’d like to reach out to you guys to get some advice either for the UK or for US, or wherever, how can they find you guys on the inter webs?
Melanie Shabang…: So, I would say if they can find us online, we are listed as a provider on Amazon SPN as well. They can find myself, it’s email@example.com, but also for our clients.
Bradley Sutton: How do you spell that name?
Melanie Shabang…: It’s Melanie. My name, which is melanie, avaskgroup.com for our clients that are listening here, I would turn around and say, we’ve got a fantastic results that’s been born during COVID because we just don’t. How could we actually reach out to our clients? And we put together a resource hub with webinars went by, we’ve been speaking to a lot of different individuals. And of course there is loads of that’s going on with Brexit and Europe at the moment, of course, we’ve got relevant articles there. And they can go in a portal, put your names, send name, email address, and you’re going to be able to go in without any problem.
Bradley Sutton: Okay. All right. Now we’ve come to the part of the show. We called the TST, the T S T, the 30-second tip. You guys have been giving different strategies here. What can you give us– that is in your wheelhouse as far as being accounting or tax related, something that you can say in 30 seconds or less, that’s very actionable, very valuable for our listeners.
Tom Meek: I think that in terms of advice that I give actionable advice, I would say, with where we are currently, obviously in, in Q4 looking at where we are with COVID, I think there’s a huge amount of companies out there, like Avask, certainly too many office that are available that are offering really great advice, business planning, options for you to really set sort of a plan in place over the next three, six, nine, 12 months. And I think to have that plan and, and coming on to the research element is really, really important for people to really understand the market, understand whether that product we sell best to do as much research as you can. But most importantly, use the providers, the external providers that are out there that are giving free advice at the moment, because there’s so many around, and use Avask to plan whether you’re three months off or nine months off looking at a new market, I would say, diversify, look at your product range and work out how to get your products in front of more buyers, but make sure it’s the right market for you.
Bradley Sutton: Okay, cool. That’s good. That’s good to know. So guys, thank you so much for coming on the show and Tom, I guess it worked out all right, that you weaseled yourself here on the show. No problem. But we would like to maybe reach out to you next year, in a year, year and a half and bring you back because hopefully, maybe the dust has settled as far as Brexit goes and others still a lot of things up in the air. People don’t know how it’s going to be, but it’d be great to have you guys back and talk about kind of like what European sellers and people selling in Europe need to now change due to the whole Brexit thing. So, we’ll definitely be reaching out to you guys next year. And meantime, we wish you guys a best of luck over there, and we’ll talk to you later.
Melanie Shabang…: Thank you so much, Bradley. Thanks for having us. Absolutely amazing. Thank you.
- #266 – Here’s How TikTok and LinkedIn Can Power Your E-Commerce Business - July 27, 2021
- #265 – New Seller Recap – They’re Not Beginners Anymore - July 24, 2021
- #264 – Introducing the Serious Sellers Club, and More! - July 20, 2021