“Do u do cash deals?”. “Can i not pay the VAT?”. “Can i just like maybe send it to ur personal PayPal or bank or summink”?
The first time it happened about a year ago, it was quite funny. I’ve never had it in any other industry before and of all the verticals we supply, its only ever the vape industry that ask these questions. Businesses more than end users mostly. With the frequency of occurrences hitting monthly and occasionally weekly now, i think it’s time to address it.
Firstly, its both completely immoral but also obviously (you would think..) ILLEGAL.
We are a full rate VAT registered business. We pay VAT, we charge VAT. It’s that simple. Operating small to medium businesses in the UK has only got more tricky over the last decade and why should anyone get a leg up in this way? If we’re not all playing the same game by the same rules, no-one can actually win and lets be honest, if you’re going to attempt commit fraud (which is exactly what it is) we dont want to be a part of it, and its probably best not to do it against the Government. They do make the rules after-all…
It makes a mockery of the industry.
Why are we only seeing this from businesses in the vape industry? I’m sure it happens in many other industries, but this is our experience. The vape/e-cigarette industry is experiencing one of the fastest growth rates of any industry in the UK and as a result, competition is fierce. Is that an excuse to break the law to beat the shop down the road, or the online business you think is taking your customers? Surely not?! For an industry that got away with so much before the introduction of the TPD and is still enjoying a lot more freedom than our friends are getting from the FDA in the USA, why bring unnecessary negative attention to an industry which is already being looked at for new taxation classes and regulation?
What can we all do about it?
Not a lot really. We politely decline all requests to not pay VAT or put cash in our own PayPal accounts. Some will just accept it and order anyway, others never come back and some even get quite angry about it. People like this damage industries. By not paying their way like everyone else they are able to undercut law abiding businesses, driving a price war and racing to the bottom where in an already “pence margin” industry businesses will fold, everyone loses the game and while some lose everything else too, these people will just move on to destroy another industry. They’re here for the good time, not a long time. We might drink like that after some weeks, but we dont do business the same way!
If you’re reading this and this is how you operate; please don’t ask us do it. It”ll be awkward for the both of us.
Has this happened to you? How did you deal with it? Let us know below, on our Facebook page or drop us an email to wholesale@18650.UK
Stay tuned for my next blog of “Things that upset Ben – The mythical Birmingham and Manchester boys”