I couldn’t have asked for better timing! After publishing my recent updates on my FBA business results for France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Amazon has announced that they’re doing the External Tax Services Promotion again!
This is excellent news for any Amazon sellers who are planning to use the Pan-EU program to grow their business in 2020! With the help of this program, Amazon will COMPLETELY cover your VAT registration fees AND one full year of VAT returns! This has a real-world value of up to £7000, so it’s basically FREE money from Amazon!
I signed up for the exact same program one year ago and have already made thousands of pounds in extra profit this year thanks to the Pan-EU program. In fact, in the last 30 days alone, I have generated sales worth €100,000, which is an absolute record for me! And it’s all thanks to the Pan-EU program.
What’s even better is that with this External Tax Service Promotion program, you can choose which VAT company you want to use for your VAT registrations and returns. Many of you know that Amazon’s own service has terrible reviews online, but with this promotion, you can select the company you would like to work with.
At the end of last year, I had to make the same decision, and after careful research online, reading reviews, analysing pricing, etc., I chose to work with VATGlobal.com. I have been very happy with the service they have provided and can highly recommend them to you, too.
Even more, if you do decide to go with this promotion and choose to work with VATGlobal.com, you can benefit from special pricing in your second year of the service, which I have arranged with them specifically for my blog readers. All you have to do is mention this coupon code when you get in touch with them: ANDYVAT2020
So, if you already sell on Amazon UK (or other Amazon EU sites), this is the perfect time to take that risk and expand your business with the Pan-EU program.
This special promotion from Amazon is not automatically granted for every seller. You first have to check whether you’re eligible for it on this page:
If you are eligible, then simply follow the instructions, give your contact details, select VAT Global from the list of companies, and they will contact you with information on the next steps.
As for the actual compensation from Amazon, the way it works is that you start working with the VAT service provider on your VAT registrations. Once your first VAT number is issued, your VAT service provider will send an invoice to you and Amazon for all the registrations and your first year’s returns fees. Amazon will “send” that money to your seller balance, which you can then use to pay the VAT service provider. I hope that makes sense? Essentially, Amazon will pay you first and then you can pay the company you’re working with.
The best part is that Amazon will cover 100% of the first year’s invoice, so you won’t have to pay ANYTHING for this. It’s as good as free can get!
Even if you don’t want to register in all EU countries for the Pan-EU program, you can use this promotion to register for selected countries or just one. For example, you can expand your business to France alone if you see that there is great potential for your products there. This approach can work for people who don’t want to take the risk of registering in all marketplaces or simply don’t need them (demand for some products can be low in certain countries).
Whatever you do, I can honestly say that expanding to Europe was the best decision I could have made for my business. The competition levels and click prices are so much lower in Europe compared to the UK (never mind the US!) that you are really leaving tons of money on the table by not selling on Amazon in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
The only thing I regret is that I delayed the VAT registration process. Please DON’T DO THIS!!! As soon as you start working with your VAT service provider, send them ALL of the required documents ASAP to get the process started! Don’t waste a single day, seriously! You can prepare all the documents within a week or two max., so just do it! Then, you will receive your VAT numbers in the first quarter of 2020 and will have plenty of time to test these marketplaces before your first year of free VAT returns ends.
Many Amazon sellers are afraid of the Pan-EU program. They worry about how they will manage stock levels, how they will deal with customers, etc. The truth is that it does NOT take any extra work or effort on your part! Stock distribution is not something you even need to think about. Amazon will automatically distribute your stock across Europe based on sales and demand. You don’t have to do anything. You will continue sending stock to your local Amazon warehouses and they take it from there.
Customer support is also not an issue. Amazon will provide support for EU customers, just like they do in the UK. When I get a rare message from EU customers in a foreign language, I just use Google Translate to understand what it says and then reply in English. So far, it has worked perfectly, and in 99% of cases, people are simply asking for an invoice (which Amazon will automatically generate for you when you add your VAT numbers to your Amazon account).
The only work you have to do is in the beginning when you need to translate your listings, titles, bullet points and back-end keywords. But again, as I have explained in my previous blog posts, you can easily outsource this on Fiverr.com. If you have just one product, it will cost you less than £100 to get this job done for all four marketplaces. You already have your images, so there is no need to redo them.
So, taking all of these factors into consideration, along with this special Amazon promotion, you’re really not risking ANYTHING! If at the end of the first year, you see that the program didn’t work for you, you can simply deregister those VAT numbers, quit the Pan-EU program and continue selling locally. That’s it. There’s nothing else to it. If you qualify for this special promotion, go for it!
If you have any questions about the whole VAT or Pan-EU process, feel free to ask me! Just leave your question in the comments section below and I will personally get back to you within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.
If you do decide to go with VAT Global, make sure to mention the coupon code (ANDYVAT2020) when first contacting them, so they know you found them via my blog. Also, if you don’t qualify for this special Amazon promotion, you can still contact VAT Global directly, mention the coupon code, and receive a special price for your VAT registrations and returns.
Also, if you are ready to start selling on Amazon but need guidance and my personal support, make sure to check out my Amazon Sharks course!
With 20+ hours of step-by-step video training, you will learn exactly how to properly do market research, import from China, brand your product, create professional listings and advertise on Amazon to have the highest chance of success! More than 750 people have already gone through this intensive Amazon FBA business training, and you can see many success stories on the Amazon Sharks website.
I hope this helps—and good luck with the business expansion!
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Good info. I entered the Merchant token and it says I am not eligible. What are they looking for to be eligible? I have about 653k in sales in the US in the past 12 months so I was thinking I would be a shoe in.
At that level of sales, you should be eligible, yes.
Maybe try contacting seller support and ask them about this?
I have been following your posts for more than a year. They’re very helpful and insightful to me. Thank you! I’m recently considering joining the pan-eu program. I know the vat register process may take a few months. My question is: can I join the pan-eu program now and start selling from day one while applying for vat registration in all six countries, or must I complete the vat registration process for each country and receive all the vat numbers before joining the program?
Thanks for your comment.
I’m not 100% sure on this one. When I was registering last year, yes, it was possible to start selling and provide VAT numbers later on.
But since then, Amazon rules have slightly changed in Germany – basically, they don’t allow to sell on Amazon.de without German registration. So I don’t know whatever you can join the PAN-EU program and start selling without a German VAT number or not. You could ask Amazon support about this OR contact the VAT company you will use for registrations – they will have the latest information on hand.
Hi, Again Andrew,
Although I am yet to join the Pan Euro Program, some (but not all) of my UK listings have automatically been translated into all of the European languages and are live on those marketplaces, however, it’s only the title and the bullet points that have been transferred. How do you go about getting the A+ content transferred?
You can’t directly translate or transfer A+ content. You need to apply for Brand Registry in each marketplace separately and then create A+ content from scratch.
I have just received a mail from Amazon saying that ‘… sellers who make sales to customers in France …’ must have French VAT numbers and failure to supply such VAT number could result in your seller a/c being suspended by Amazon. This is different to what they had said previously I believe. Then they said if you reside in France or store some stock in France THEN you need a VAT number. I have closed all my FR listings but am worried that I may have troubles with the French authorities. Need I worry & what should I do? Thx a lot
Thanks for your comment.
It depends on whatever any stock was stored in France for you or not? You can run an inventory report and see if any of your stock is being held in France.
But if you didn’t use FBA in France, it shouldn’t be a problem as your stock (apart from few potential returns) won’t be held in France.
As always, a pleasure to read your blog and thank you for this blogpost.
I’ve read on Amazon.co.uk’s website about this offer and I have some questions because I didnt find all the information that I need:
1. What are the requirements to apply for this programme?
2. Can you register from the first month or you need some history about your marketplace?
Basically, it’s an invitation based offer – if you have received the email from Amazon about this offer, then you qualify for it.
I don’t know what are the exact requirements, but yes – you have to be an established seller, this is not for brand new sellers to Amazon with no track record.
Thank you so much for such a detailed post regarding the VAT promotion!
I was wondering if you have heard from anybody not being eligible for promotion and if there is anything we can do?
Thanks for your comment.
No, sorry, I don’t have any information on that… You can always try emailing Amazon support – maybe they re-consider? But I’m sure it’s an automated process where you get eligibility based on your sales in the primary marketplace. So very unlikely that seller support can change this. But you can of course try.
Hi, Andrew do you still sell on Amazon US? If so how are your results today and if not Please tell me “exactly” WHY? Everyone brags about the US platform and say anyone doing amazon should start there!
What’s your take on in?
I hope you had a great Christmas and I wish 10 ties more profit and blessing for 2020. Happy New year.
Many Thanks Geo! 🙂
Thanks for your comment.
No, I don’t sell on Amazon US anymore – I quit a year ago and shared my thoughts/experience here on the blog. The main reason was the competition, which is super high in the US. PPC click prices were also very high and I couldn’t make my product profitable.
As for people recommending to start out on Amazon.com – I don’t agree with that at all. IN fact, that’s the one marketplace, in my opinion, you should not touch at all unless you have something totally unique to sell and you see that competition levels are very low. Amazon UK and EU websites are where the opportunity is right now simply because the competition is much smaller.
Out of curiosity, what is the cost of VAT fillings for each country?
I know in one of your posts you were talking about needing to profit ~120 per month per country in order to make up for the costs?
It depends on which company you will be using, but if you go with the VAT Global, and use my coupon code, it will cost £425 per month for all 6 EU countries to cover Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it and Amazon.es I say 6 countries because you also have to register for VAT in Poland and Czech Republic (Amazon has warehouses there to serve the German marketplace).
So, if you divide that £425 number by 4 marketplaces, it works out at £106 per month, per marketplace.
Thanks Andrew, that helps!
Thanks & You’re welcome Norbert! 🙂
Thanks for your blog. If I choose VATGlobal to do the VAT for me in 2020, and then then in the year after (2021) I will change to another VAT company.
Do you know what happen in this case? I think I need to pay back Amazon for the whole 2020, but not sure. That’s what I wanted to double-check with you.
Thanks for your comment.
I’m sure you can find this information in the program’s TOS, but no – I don’t think that’s the case. Amazon doesn’t really care which company you use – all they want is you to get hose VAT numbers and start selling in Europe.
Of course, next year you won’t be able to join this promotion (if they run it again), as it’s only available to sellers who don’t have VAT numbers in all or individual European countries. But you should be able to switch to another VAT accounting company as far as I’m aware.
I believe there’s a fee to de-register per country if things don’t work after the 1st year.
Yes, there’s a fee to de-register, but it’s relatively small. It will cost you couple hundred quid for all countries. I don’t think that should put anyone off, knowing how much potential there’s in return.