Monday, July 25, 2016

If we could think of this.....

why didn't the "powers that be"?

The EU rules and regulations are really starting to grate at me. They're so stupid!
Case in point: PRIVACY. You're being bombarded with any kind of hurdle when you're on the internet because of privacy rules. There's site that don't even function because of the cookie messages, if you click no, you can't even go there, some are put together so bad, that there's no button or anything to click off the cookie message, some have it where it comes up everytime you switch pages. It's enough to make me stop using the internet sometimes. I don't know what they're protecting, because the marketing people are now starting to put way worse intruders up, that are not cookies, but they collect things as to what computer you're using, including the programs you have on them.... How small is the step to checking the data that's IN the programs!? Cookies you can block, these things you cannot!

Besides THAT point, if they don't want businesses to know where you are, why is every phone equipped with a tracker, your bankcard (chip MANDATORY) has identifiers on it, not just your bank account and tracks what you buy, the customer savings cards track what you buy, when and in which store and most people that are whining about privacy show off their whole life on facebook, twitter and what have you.

However: Hanging camera's to protect monuments is agains EU privacy rules! We have had Hunnebedden (which are stone-age burial mounds) destroyed but nothing can be done about it, because "camera's are an intrusion on people's privacy". BULLCOOKIES! If you're just enjoying the monuments, you have nothing to worry about, if you're there to damage the monument, you SHOULD be on camera! And for all I care, it should be broadcasted.

After the shooting in Munich the other day, the policemen's faces were clearly shown, but the moron holding the gun was blurred out, for privacy reasons..... Give me  a break. There's no shadow of a doubt that he's the shooter, he's holding the freaking gun and pointing it at people! Show his face, so we know who we're dealing with.  Ive seen it before, where they ask help to a crime, there is a video where the people they're looking for are clearly visible, but the faces of the criminals are blurred out..... WTF!? What's the sense in that? How can any one identify someone that way?

On the other hand, if there is money to be made, the powers that be don't give a hootennannie about privacy. The work that the shop owners have to do to sell in EU is unreal. And it doesn't even matter where you call home. If you're in EU borders........ they'll take your information, including things that website cookies will never get their hands on, and it has to be saved for 10 years!! It is killing small businesses. Heck, it would kill a medium size business. If they figured that it would bring back brick-and-mortar stores, they went about it the wrong way, all it's doing is killing off the little guy that wants to do his thing. I don't even think that it gives any more revenue, because I've seen too many of the scrapbook shops close over the last 2 years.

I copied the notice that was posted for EU customers, it's the first time I've seen it spelled out like this clearly.

EU VAT Changes
It truly saddens us to have to exclude our EU vistors from purchases in the store. I have been searching daily since this has come to my attention for alternatives and a way to continue to take payments from EU countries, but so far have not found anything that is really a feasible time or financial option.
I have not given up yet, and am still trying to look for alternatives that will work again in the future...
EU vistors can still use the store to "order" free items, and any order that results in a zero balance at checkout either with a discount coupon or gift certificate balance. 

At this time though we are just not able to accept orders that require a payment from EU countries - in addition to managing time wise to collect the tax and remit it and required data several times throughout the year which all cost time and money for 28 countries (and even more individual zones), I would need to securely collect and hold several types of verified collaborating personal information to prove where the person purchasing is at the exact time they made the purchase (not necessarily where they live), for each EU customer on each EU sale and keep all of that data securely (again a cost factor) for *10 years* - or I could be fined an unlimited fine - from each country if for some reason the data was not correct or to their standard. It's not a risk that bears taking at this. There is no minimum threshold on sales for this law either, so for even just one dollar, or less, of sales in a specific EU country I would have to collect and submit tax and information.

I suggest everyone who canneeds to contact your tax representives or officials and let them know the burden this places on micro businesses, work from home businesses, mom businesses, kitchen table businesses, and craft businesses, and how it limits the resources available to you. The more people speak out the more the law may be reconsidered / rewritten and some of the burden lifted for those in micro markets like ours. We aren't anywhere near the likes of Amazon, Apple, Android, etc that this law seems to be geared towards and we simply cannot afford at this time to take on the financial obligation to majorly modify site coding, to catch all EU sales prior to payment to collect and verify several collaborating personally identifying factors, secure storage to hold identifiable data for 10 years on each order, or pay for outsourcing services to manage those international taxes and secure information.
Many designers and even site owners make only supplemental income, not even "minimum wage" at times... Our market is so competitive with huge discounts. Many designers sell quality packs at only a few dollars (or less sometimes)... But many do it because they absolutely love it; the creative outlet it provides and seeing the beautiful uses that come from their passion, and because the choice to supplement their families income is better than an alternative in their life, or no job at all. Most don't even meet income levels that are considered anywhere near average for a "small" business.
If circumstances change or a reasonable financial and store coding solution becomes an option we would LOVE to be able to open the store back up to EU customers. We love our EU friends and wish this was not a burden affecting any of us.
Help us take action and get this law changed into something manageable for micro businesses selling inside and outside the EU... This affects you no matter what country you are in as the EU expects sellers across the world no matter their business size to collect VAT tax, remit it to 28 countries, and hold the verifying information on the sales for 10 years. Contact your local tax authority, where ever you are, and get your voice heard! At a minimum we need reasonable thresholds before tax collection become a requirement. And hopefully we will see even more changes happen that benefit everyone.

Just a thought. Books are calling, so I'll sign off. The 10 minutes of "go see what's new in the scrapbook world" turned into half hour, and a bad mood, so I probably should take our fuzzy roommate for a walk and make a huge cup of tea before I start "work" for the day :-)

Hope to catch you all later, in a better mood, and with exam results.
Don't forget to hug a loved one?


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