TIM’s EBay Adventure – Part 5 (A Mid Week Musings Special)

… continued from part 4.

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Background

Several months ago I decided I would, after much deliberation, try to sell some models on eBay.  This is is the continuation of my journey and what I anticipate will be the penultimate post!

Taxman

Before embarking on this tale I thought it would be good to have “Taxman” by the Beatles playing in the background so here is the link.

 

In 2017 it seems Europe passed a law which, under certain circumstances, requires Ebay sellers to pay income tax.  It is very unlikely that this law will be revoked under Brexit, no surprise there then.  As with most taxes it has crept in because the taxman is a sneaky bastard.  Also, as with any form of tax avoidance it carries fines and prison sentences as a potential outcome for non compliance.

So, as an eBay seller who doesn’t want to fall foul of the law TIM, how does it work?  Well I’ll tell you what I know.

If you sell goods which are the result of, say a room clear out, you have little if anything to worry about.  For example, you might have bought a wooden kitchen table years ago which you now want to replace and thought you’d try and make a little money from selling it online.  That’s fine, you aren’t deemed to be in it for profit.  However, if the buyer of your wooden kitchen table sands it down, paints it up, calls it shabby chic and lists it for sale at a price in excess of what he/she paid for it then they are deemed to be in it to make a profitable income and are classified as a trader.  Thus the same applies to the figure painter who buys the figure, paints it and sells it for a profit.  Me.

In the UK you only have to inform the taxman if your “turnover” exceeds £1000.00.  The first £1000.00 is classed as an allowance, one they have chosen to call “Entrepreneur Allowance”.  If your turnover exceeds £1000.00 and you don’t tell the taxman you will be taxed (or you could be fined or jailed!) on every penny of the “turnover”.  If you do notify the taxman they will register the “Entrepreneur Allowance” and any tax will only be payable on the amount which exceeds £1000.00.  You will also be required to complete a self assessment tax return at the end of the tax year.  Still with me?

But surely the taxman will never know?  Well I guess that’s the chance you take but we live in the age of big brother.  Everything you do on eBay is online and the Inland Revenue have access to all this information and I’m sure they have trigger points which produce exception reports.  Like me you have to ask yourself, do I take a chance?  Now I’m all for breaking the rules but not when it can cost me a lot of money or put me in jail and as my turnover exceeds the £1000.00 limit I decided to inform the taxman.

Now you would think a quick phone call to the taxman would be a simple and quick affair.  Needless to say in the UK this is not the case.  Does anywhere in the world have an efficient system?  I won’t bore you with the details but I spent an entire day getting to the bottom of this and had to listen to a lot of shitty on hold music while I did so but I got there in the end.

I am now an Entrepreneur!

Now don’t get me wrong I understand the need to pay taxes and appreciate where in theory the money goes and what we get for the money we pay in.  The thing is, and like all of you I expect, I worked hard for the money I earned and don’t take kindly to seeing the Government waste it.  I’ll spare you all a political rant buy just saying I have no intention of paying more to these fuckers than I can possibly avoid.

This tax year I will have to do a self assessment after the 5th April and declare my eBay sales.  Next year it will all go under the the wife’s name to avoid paying any tax whatsoever.  The only problem is that might cost me more than what the Taxman will charge me!

In any event now it’s time to get back to buying, painting and hopefully selling!

Knuckleduster and Hasselfree Miniatures

The service from the UK Knuckleduster distributor and from Hasselfree miniatures were excellent and my orders arrived within a few days and before Christmas.  So impressed was I with the Knuckleduster figures that I placed another order immediately.  I just knew I was going to love these figures even if they all ended up being just for me!

In the lead up to Christmas as well as during the period between Christmas and New Year I got painting away and before the year was up I had my first couple of Knuckleduster figures listed.  I revised my description wording for these figures,  increased the auction starting price to £25.00 from £20.00 and removed the option to make an offer.  I had know idea if this was a good thing or not but decided to give it a try all the same.  I braced myself for a slow start on the basis that the end of December and throughout January buyers would be at a premium.  Anticipating that I would achieve no sales I was delighted to sell four Knuckleduster figures.  I also managed to sell four Hasslefree figures in February at £35.00 each plus £3.95 for postage.  Happy days.

Since then though things have gone quiet.  A lull in the market?  Lack of interest?  Time will tell.

—000—

So dear reader you are up to date with my eBay adventure.  Future interesting developments, if any, will from here on in appear in my weekly mid-week Musings.  There is, however, one more post to follow.  It seems appropriate to draw some conclusions from my experience and in Part 6 I will aim to do just that.

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To be continued …

TIM

 

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