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Old 09-13-2009
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Default Didnt realise i had to register as a business- HELP!

Hi all (this is the first time i've used these forums!),

Well i think i might have got myself into a bit of a tricky situation and now i'm very confused.

I joined eBay about a year ago and used it to buy the odd thing here and there. Shortly afterwards, i had a brainwave- my sister is a field cosmetics rep so due to the nature of her job she was always bringing me home freebies (MAC, L'Oreal, MaxFactor etc). Some were testers some were brand new. She knew i loved my cosmetics but after i while i noticed it was building up in my house and i was having to offload it to other friends and family and then it dawned on me that i could maybe make a few quid out of it on eBay. I had no idea that people would have paid such high prices for cosmetics in eBay and in no time i was picking up between 3 and 10 pound and item.

She keep dropping me in bags of cosmetics every few weeks and i kept listing it on eBay (i was making a couple of hundred pound a month sometimes so was able to give her some money out of it too). It became a nice little additional income for me and before i knew it i'd sold about 400 items.

Recently, after browsing the eBay community forums i noticed a few users picking on another user who was selling new items similiar to my own and threatening to report them to trading standards. I followed a link that was posted and found out that i should probably have been registered as a business as i was selling the same kind of items over and over again for a profit. It actually made sense after i read it and i felt stupid for not realising earlier but i just genuinely didn't think as i didn't know if the freebies would be a permanent fixture or not and i just sold what i had lying around.

Anyway, i'm panicking now as it mentioned having to sort your VAT and tax records etc. I have no idea what any of that means. I would have no problem registering as a business but if they asked for the VAT/tax for the previous year back i wouldn't know where to begin. I have no receipts of any kind for obvious reasons and the only financial records i have is my account information on my PayPal account. Am i going to get into a lot of trouble with the taxman for this?

I would like to continue trading and doing what i am doing as i have become accustomed to the extra income and i enjoy doing it but in a nutshell, what would registering as a business involve? And which way would it work for me considering i don't have receipts for any of the stuff i selling? I don't want to look like i'm selling stolen goods or anything.

Sorry for the long-winded question lol.

Thanks in advance,
Angela x
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Old 09-13-2009
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Welcome to the forum,Blondie.

So as it stands at the moment, you have no troubles with ebay/paypal as such? You have had the misfortune to read the community forums with posts by the Sloan Rangers who are bored with life and like to bully/threaten anyone who might make more money than them & you are worried? If the answer is yes, then you are not in such deep trouble.

Those forums are full of not so nice persons. To cover the 'business' you should have made, you could upgrade to a paypal premier or business account for the moment. It's a bit more involved about registering as a business. As for the matter of tax & VAT, that is specialized area : you would need to speak to an accountant.The accountant would also tell you if it is worthwhile making a business for your ebay sales. Just the forum does not provide that info in great depth.
Don't think you are in a heap of trouble: just you were disorganised. That can be fixed
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Old 09-13-2009
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The only thing you have to worry about mainly with branded items is that another user or the brand owner could give you a copyright takedown, if you wanted to sell that item again at that point without losing your account, you would have to verify either to ebay or rights owner, who supplier is.

I used to do the same thing with freebies from work, it was cosmetics, jewellery and accessories mainly.. I lost my accounts due to the rights owner of one particular brand (not a cosmetic one though). I did not want to give my work details to supplier, as although I was legitimately allowed to take or buy the items from work (they had little sales for charity etc), I didnt want them to know I sold them on ebay! Instead I brought the items in question to the merchandizer of the brand in person and she could see they were authentic, however whilst telling me she would try and help get my accounts back, I think she didnt want the items sold on ebay, so helped do the opposite!

Anyway long story short, you are in a similar situation, if asked for supplier, who will you say it is, does it genuinely look like household items you are selling, do you have receipts, or will you give sisters work details....if not, you need to be prepared with another source that it could have come from...
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Last edited by oompaloompa; 09-13-2009 at 07:58 AM.
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