In this session hear:
"Act now by preparing for the worst and hoping for the best."
That was the conclusion of a panel discussion looking at the impact of Brexit on retailers selling into and out of the UK from January 1, 2021.
The discussion, which formed part of Linn Academy 2020, brought together Alex Wyatt, global projects manager at Simply VAT; Chris Dawson, founder and editor of marketplaces news site Tamebay and Irene Keay who helps to look after eBay’s Global Shipping programme.
Product shortages but opportunities for smaller players
Dawson highlighted the problems that retail had suffered during the pandemic, such as unexpected demand leading to product shortages. However, this also created opportunities for smaller players, he said. “We found consumers going to smaller and unknown brands.” Shoppers were also happy to buy internationally to get hold of stock, where they might have relied on larger household names previously.
While retailers and sellers faced logistical challenges during the pandemic it’s the challenge of how to deal with Brexit that was top of mind for the panellists. Wyatt advised retailers to consider the tax implications early and not to leave compliance to the last minute, as she outlined some of the changes sellers will need to make. “My philosophy is to expect the worst and hope for the best,” she said. This means preparing businesses so that they can continue to trade whatever scenario we end up with.
For those looking to pass the responsibility on, Keay advised making use of eBay’s Global Shipping Programme. “For sellers it’s a really simple option. Switch it on and we take care of everything. When you get a sale all you do is send the product to our warehouse and we take care of the rest.”
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