It is with a heavy heart that I announce a price hike for UK customers only, from mid-March 2019.
The price increase is 20%. It goes straight to the government in the form of VAT (I don’t see a penny, just so we’re clear!) And this is only for UK customers – everyone else is unaffected.
As you can imagine, this was not a fun thing to have to do. I work hard to make sure prices are right and fair, so it was frustrating to receive the news from our accountant this week that it was time to begin the process of becoming a VAT-registered business – and with that, raise prices by 20%.
It’s a decision most small business must face sooner or later.
Stay under the threshold, or add VAT to UK sales. My instinctive decision was to stay under the threshold. ‘Staying small’ is an important challenge for me, and I am continually looking for ways to keep Little Red Tarot light, agile, and affordable. I have no desire to turn my shop into a big operation with numerous staff and complex logistics (it’s complicated enough managing all these different products as it is!)
But in this case, ‘staying small’ means reducing UK sales. And the only way I can find to do this is to ‘hide’ certain best-selling products from UK customers. Pretty ridiculous, huh? To have goods here on the shelves but refuse to sell them to folks here in the UK. (I can already imagine the confusion/outcry on Instagram as UK customers notice others outside the UK are still able to purchase popular items!) I am still trying to find alternative ways to reduce UK sales, but I’m struggling to see how it can be done.
I decided that charging VAT, however frustrating, is the better option.
It’s more honest and upfront. In adding VAT to the price, at least UK customers still have the option, to purchase or not. If I simply hide the products, I take that choice away.
So, that’s what I’ve decided – for now. In the UK only, 20% has been added to all products, and please understand that this is not profit. I don’t receive this money, I pay it to the UK government, and that is just how this works.
UK customers will see a breakdown of the VAT cost at checkout. (I have not yet added VAT to shipping, and am seeking advice on this.)
Meanwhile I have spot checked some US-sourced products and found that it is still cheaper to purchase from Little Red Tarot than to buy from the US – thanks to the high US postage costs. That is not to mention the potential customs bill, typically around £12-18 for a single item.
The prices of LRT items are set by adding together the actual cost of the items, postage, customs duty and import tax, plus the cost of paying Hele and myself. It’s a lot! (And whilst I’m proud to have built a small business that pays me a sustainable living and supports other artists and creators too, nobody here is making megabucks.) Adding a further 20% to prices that are already inaccessible to many is, quite honestly, heartbreaking.
But taxes are a reality for any business, and must be paid, and so, here we are. As Little Red Tarot’s popularity grew and I joyfully responded to customer requests to bring in this deck or that, this day was inevitable.
Thank you, as always, for your support so far in this business journey.