How we are working to keep our European Customers Happy
by Stephen Jones with Phil South (July 2022)
I thought now would be a good time to talk about something our European friends and fellow Amiga fans might not be aware of. The shipping of goods from the UK to around the EU has changed, as you may know, and this has made life really complicated for many businesses in the UK, especially those like ours trying to serve a worldwide enthusiast market.
So “Brexit” happened, and right off the bat let me assure you that I personally didn’t vote for it. Before “Brexit”, consumers of our cases, for experimentation with, and emulation of classic computers was a fairly consistent three way split, 30% in the USA, and the same in the UK and Europe and about 10% over the rest of the world.
After Brexit within 9 months it shifted sharply, like a car going round a hairpin bend on two wheels, and landed on 45% USA, 40% UK and although the rest of the world stayed rock steady at 10% our customers in Europe dropped like a stone to only 5%. Why?
Many things and it’s a complex issue, but if you want me to break it down from my viewpoint it’s mostly optics. It’s a common misconception for instance that we are charging VAT and then your country is asking people to pay it again. Also they have to pay on top of that a courier handling charge.
This is not true. You only pay VAT when ordering in, and shipping to the UK. When we export to the EU we exclude VAT and the customer then pays VAT and a 10-15 euro handling charge at their end. Once the product is shipped you get an email with a note of the VAT and other charges you have to pay so it’s actually quite straightforward even if the handling charge is unfair.
We are looking into ways to help with the handling charges, but for the moment we are mitigating them with discounts and other price adjustments and keeping shipping cost as low as possible. We try as much as we can to absorb any extra costs at source and will continue to serve our customers this way till things get better.
Hopefully in future as we expand and we can secure an EU distribution partner we can solve this problem and get back to where we were before all this nonsense threw a screwdriver into our pudding. Until then I really need people to understand that these are not circumstances we approve of or support, and we are working as hard as we can to bring our cases and forthcoming new products coming down the pipe to our European friends at the same fair prices we offer to everyone else.
So it’s not you, it’s us. “Brexit” was like being ripped away from friends and customers we’d taken years to cultivate and serve. But until sanity returns we’re doing whatever we can to make it easier for you.