Hi guys, my name is Marianna
I’m a Content Marketer here at Printful. And here today with me I have Nora,
who’s also a Content Marketer. And she’s going to tell us about the basics of selling in Europe. Because as you may know,
last year, in the summer of 2017, we opened a brand new facility
in Europe in Riga, Latvia. And that means
a host of new opportunities for us and a brand new door
into the world of European ecommerce. So Nora, take it away. Yes, the first thing you want
to remember about ecommerce in Europe is that it’s not quite as established
as it is in the US. Right now we have
the UK, France and Germany as the top players. But other countries are getting there and their rate of growth
is steadily growing across the board. It’s a good idea to get started now because you can kind of
get in on the ground floor and grow with the trend before it gets
a little too crowded and competitive. That’s kind of what Printful did and why we decided
to open our facility here. We wanted to help European customers open their ecommerce stores and to also give our existing customers
access to a whole new market. First things first,
when it comes to selling, you have to decide on
what products to sell. So let’s talk about products a bit. Does this new European facility mean
that everything that’s fulfilled in the States is also going to be fulfilled in Europe? Not quite, although it is our long-term goal to offer
all of the same product categories in both the US and in Europe. And we’re getting there,
in the past year we’ve added posters, socks, phone cases… The product selection
is definitely growing, but for our current products we won’t be able to offer
all of the exact same models and brands that we have in the US. That’s because
not everything is available or reliably stocked
by our suppliers here. So moving forward, every time we add a new product,
like t-shirts, for example, we want to make sure they’re available
both in the US and in Europe. Because we do want to narrow that gap and we want people on both continents
to have access to all the same products. But for our existing models, it’s just not going to be possible
for every single one. Is there any way to check
product availability for Europe? We have a landing page where you can browse
all of our product categories. It’ll be included in the description
below this video, so check it out. It’s updated regularly whenever we have
a new product category added. We have a team of merchandisers that every month
will look at different products, that we can add,in new colors and sizes. If you also look at our Products & Pricing page
for any specific product, you can filter whether
it’s stocked in the US and in Europe. So you can see which colors and sizes
are fulfilled where. Remember that we do ship worldwide, so even if you do see a model
that you want that’s not stocked in Europe, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. It just means it’ll be shipping
from the US instead of Europe. Okay, so we ship worldwide. We ship to Europe. But is there any way
I can make sure that an order, which is meant
for a customer in Europe is also fulfilled in Europe? Yes you can. We recognized
this was a pretty big need early on when we launched this location for customers to be able
to use it effectively. So if you go to your store settings,
you can check this little box. And what that does, every time you
get an order for a product that we have available in Europe and it’s going to a customer in Europe, we’ll always
fulfill that order in Europe. So if a situation comes up, where we would have previously
automatically routed it to the US, instead of routing it,
we would put the order on hold. And then
you can decide what to do. So for example, if the product is temporarily
out of stock in Europe, we would then hold the order. And then you could decide whether you want
to switch to an alternative that is available in Europe, you could route the order
to the US anyway, you could cancel the order, you could just wait
for the stock to replenish. It kind of gives you
better opportunities to manage your orders to Europe. There are two major benefits
that we need to talk about and those are faster shipping times
and no customs duties. Yes, and those are the two biggest
benefits to us being in Europe: no customs and faster shipping. So previously,
before we opened this location, every time you’d get an order
for a customer in Europe, it would automatically
just fulfill in the US. Because that’s
where we were located before. And then upon arriving in Europe, it would obviously
sometimes incur customs duties, which the end customer would have to pay
and that’s never a fun surprise. So that’s why we
recommend stocking products that we have available in Europe for customers
that you’re targeting in Europe. That way the product is fulfilled
here in Latvia, in Europe, and it will not have
extra customs duties when it gets to the end customer. The second biggest benefit
is faster shipping. So most of our products
they all ship between five and ten business days
after fulfillment in Europe, which is pretty fast
but it’s actually often a lot quicker. So for example, we can ship to Sweden and the Netherlands in just two business days
after fulfillment, which is a huge bonus. Because customers these days
expect fast shipping, they want to order their products
they want to get them now, and this helps you
better manage expectations. And we updated our tracking, didn’t we? Yeah, we added
International Express Mail With Tracking So basically all orders that use this tracking method
within the EU have tracking. We want to expand that
to Europe and Asia so more destinations have tracking
with their orders as well, but for now, it’s just the EU. Do note that the carrier requires
a phone number for delivery, so if you do want
to add this to your store then make sure you have an area where the customer can fill out
their phone number during checkout or this option
won’t show up on your store. Well we’ve talked about the nice stuff
and we’ve talked about the goodies, but let’s talk about something
a tad less exciting. Nora, can you tell us about VAT? I sure can, this is kind of the biggest obstacle
or the elephant in the room. When people are thinking
about targeting Europe they don’t know how to deal with VAT. It’s confusing, it definitely is. I’m not gonna talk about
what you need to be doing for your store and whether
you should be charging your customers It’s best that you talk to
an accountant to kind of sort that out. But I will talk about
how it works on Printful’s end. So VAT stands for a value-added tax and it’s kind of like sales tax,
but in Europe. So just like we charge sales tax for orders going
to California and North Carolina, we are required by law to charge VAT
on orders that we fulfill in Latvia and that are going
to an address in the EU. We don’t add sales tax to orders
that we fulfill in the US, it’s just orders
that we fulfill in Latvia and the rate that we charge
depends on the destination. So we have a 20% VAT rate
for orders going to the UK and 21% everywhere else. That’s because we’re located in Latvia, we’re primarily
registered VAT payers in Latvia, and 21% is Latvia’s VAT rate,
so that’s the default that we charge. If you are a registered VAT payer
and you’re charging your customers VAT, you can submit your VAT ID to us
and then we would charge a 0%VAT rate. Except for orders to the UK and Latvia
because those count as domestic orders and we always have to charge VAT there. So again, VAT is kind of like sales tax. A couple of the biggest differences is that we charge VAT
based on our Printful prices and sales tax is based on
the end retail price that you charge. And VAT is also always added to shipping and with sales tax,
it depends on the state. Okay got it. Let’s talk money a bit more
because money’s fun. Any other money-related suggestions
that you can point out? Yeah, you’ll want
to charge your products to Europe in the currency that you’re selling it. So for Europe that’ll probably be
the Euro or the British Pound, but you definitely want
to charge your store in a currency that’s comfortable for the end customer. So that means you want to do
your market research, look up what prices are competitive,
what your competitors are charging. You also don’t want to convert directly
just from US dollars to euros. You want to make sure the euro that
you’re charging is a nice, round number. Is there anything else you can do
to make your life easier in general? You can, if you’re really serious
about targeting the European market, one thing you can do
to make your life a little bit easier is to open a separate store for Europe. That’s because you can sell,
for example, your specific products
on this one Europe store and other products on your USA store. You can charge the euro currency
in your Europe store. If you’re also liable
to charge VAT sales tax then you can charge VAT on one store
and sales tax on the other, because not all platforms
let you charge both tax rates in one go. It’s a little bit of extra set up
in the beginning but it’ll make
your life easier in the long run if you have a separate store for your
Europe customers and Europe products. Awesome, well thank you, Nora.
Thank you very much. I hope you guys found that useful, feel free to leave a comment below and let us know if you’d like to see any
more of these lovely Q&As in the future. Bye!