1/04/2015

Changes for European Union Customers and Reduced Pattern Pricing

Kimchi gets his "mouse on" to help out
I'm lucky to be able to offer my patterns through several different venues, including Etsy, Ravelry, and KnitPicks. With the new European Union (EU) value-added tax (VAT) going into effect, I've had to make some changes to the way I do business on these sites -- but I think that in the end, it's going to make for a more consistent experience for most of you.

So, what's changing?

Well, for starters, I can't afford to use instant downloads for my EU customers anymore and I'm terribly sorry about that fact. According to what I've read, the only way to avoid collecting the VAT for EU member countries is for me to manually email my pattern files. And, unfortunately, the only site that currently supports this is Etsy.

What will happen to EU customers?

My Ravelry pattern shop and the "buy now" links from my web site are now set up to redirect all EU customers to Etsy. This is going to be a good-news, bad-news situation for you guys, but bear with me.

My policy for selling through different venues has always been to add the fees on to the base pattern price. So, if my base pattern price is $2.75 and PayPal takes 25 cents, I charge $3.00. Ravelry and KnitPicks charge me next to nothing in fees, so the prices you see in those venues are base price + PayPal fees. Etsy, unfortunately, charges quite a bit more.

Previously, I considered Etsy a luxury and tried to divert as much traffic through my web site and Ravelry as possible. My Etsy prices were a reflection of that. But now that I'm forcing EU traffic through Etsy, I understand the need to offer a fair pricing scheme. To help with that, I've decided to reduce pattern prices across Etsy to be more reflective of the Ravelry and KnitPicks pricing.

Yes, unfortunately, my Etsy prices are still a bit more than if you were to purchase on Ravelry or KnitPicks, BUT after reviewing the models for adding VAT to digital items, I think that you will see that the pricing is consistent with what you would pay once the VAT is added anyhow.

Why not sell on LoveKnitting?

Many pattern sellers are making the jump to LoveKnitting, a UK-based pattern and supply site that has offered to collect VAT for sellers like me. I did evaluate the site, but determined that the addition of VAT along with the fees LoveKnitting charges (they actually charge MORE than Etsy) would make it impossible to price my patterns fairly. Simply put, even with the extra fees on Etsy, I can give you a far better price there than I would be able to give you with LoveKnitting.

What happened to Craftsy?

While Etsy and Ravelry are both offering some kind of solution to help sellers process the VAT changes, Craftsy has done absolutely nothing. As a result, I have removed all my "paid" patterns from this site and am leaving only the free downloads. Hopefully, they will come up with a solution in the coming months that will allow me to use them again.

Ok... you said there was good news... what is it?

Lower prices on Etsy
As I went through my patterns and looked at sales, I noticed several that weren't selling well. I have either reduced the price on those patterns or made them free downloads. Likewise, I have reduced many of my Etsy pattern prices -- so if Etsy is your preferred place to shop, you'll notice some significant discounts.

I'll be highlighting some of the new free patterns in the next few days.







I hope this clears up the changes you have been seeing with my sales and I will be working hard to see if I can come up with a more seamless solution that doesn't involve forcing customers to purchase at certain sites. Hopefully, I'll have more news to report soon!

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