We’ve all heard how combined, Amazon’s European marketplaces are equal in size to Amazon US. That’s no small amount of revenue up for grabs.
But you’ve likely also heard horror stories.
- 20% taxes
- Strict customs regulations
- Stuck shipments
- GDPR, and other acronyms that give us headaches.
That’s what has kept thousands of successful American brands from expanding internationally.
But if it’s really so difficult to expand to Amazon Europe, why are so many brands of all sizes finding success there?
From 8 figure supplements brands to 1 product startups, Amazon Sellers are increasing their revenue by selling the same products to more people in more countries. And it’s probably easier than you’ve been led to believe.
We brought on expert in all things international e-commerce Rael Lowenthal to give us the playbook for quick, easy, and low-risk expansion from US to EU marketplaces.
In this episode of the Actualize Freedom Podcast:
- How to test European markets by risking less than $1000
- Why “good debt” is a key pillar for fast-growing Amazon sellers
- How to avoid dumb mistakes with legal compliance in multiple foreign countries
- VAT broken down into easily understood terms (for non-lawyers, ex. regular people)
You can reach out to Rael and his team at zee.co to inquire about help with anything to do with expansion to European marketplaces on Amazon. VAT setup, importer of record (IOR), customs compliance, stuck shipments, or international freight.
What is An Importer of Record?
In simple terms, it’s a government’s way of ensuring that every foreign brand has a domestic company that will take responsibility for ensuring proper compliance with local import regulations.
You can’t import into many countries in Europe without a local company acting as your importer of record or IOR.
It makes sense when you think about all the black-hat Chinese sellers who were blatantly ignoring VAT regulations. The governments have little power over bad-actors in other countries. By making an IOR mandatory, there’s at least a local company who must take responsibility for illegal activity if the company they are representing is breaking laws or failing to pay their fair share.
What is VAT?
VAT is short for Value Added Tax, and is the big scary 20% (ish) tax that Amazon sellers have nightmares about. At first it sounds complicated, but once you understand how it works it’s not as bad as it seems.
It varies by country and we highly recommend working with a company to help you ensure correct compliance.
“The European Union value-added tax (or EU VAT) is a value added tax on goods and services within the European Union (EU). The EU’s institutions do not collect the tax, but EU member states are each required to adopt a value added tax that complies with the EU VAT code. Different rates of VAT apply in different EU member states, ranging from 17% in Luxembourg to 27% in Hungary.”