April 30, 2017 § Leave a comment

I have just made available on my Bandcamp limited stock leftover from the 3 colored vinyl album reissues released last week on Record Store Day: the albums are available for individual purchase, but there is also a bundle including last year’s Everyone Alive Wants Answers on white vinyl. Vinyl are shipping from the UK through The Leaf Label who are behind these reissues, and the bundle is sent by registered delivery.

Following a lengthy email exchange with The Leaf Label yesterday afternoon, we jointly decided to decrease the price of all Leaf items on my Bandcamp, in an effort to make purchase of said items less “discriminatory” for EU customers. Indeed, as a self-employed person in Spain, I am under the obligation to charge VAT to EU customers on physical goods, even if they are sent by another company (in this case Leaf). This means that my European customers are at a disadvantage compared to my non-EU customers, as they get charged 21% VAT on top of the announced Bandcamp price… Add to this the ridiculous shipping costs which are now the norm all over Europe, and yes, you may well decide to empty your cart, and I wouldn’t blame you. There is unfortunately no way for Bandcamp to set up different item prices according to the customer’s location, so the only solution we have found is to lower the price of every Leaf item, so that not only the item itself is cheaper, but the VAT amount too since it’s a percentage of the item’s price – so that the final total won’t be as overwhelming.
Incidentally this means that all those of you living outside the EU also benefit: you don’t get charged VAT and you still get a cheaper item!
I will send a personal refund equivalent to the difference in price to all the people who placed their orders yesterday before the price change, and we do apologize for this last minute price change. It’s not easy to be on top of everything and even though the online economy is useful for both customers and sellers, it’s still a tricky place to navigate, since there are definitely real life laws that govern us and I wouldn’t want an encounter with the Spanish taxman!
I find this whole subject of pricing really worthy of “educational” explanations on the part of us musicians and labels, so I may even end up doing a series of posts on the subject at some point, to show you what is hidden behind the high price in your shopping cart. If you are interested in the subject, here is what I replied to a person who left a comment earlier on Facebook explaining that 30 euros for a vinyl to be shipped to him in Spain was “out of reach”:

« I totally understand if 30 euros is out of reach, and I am sorry that for many other people it is – in a way vinyl has become conspicuous, but also a “luxury” item, which is not surprising if you consider the limited quantities (750 here) and the fact that Leaf tried to produce this vinyl at a high standard (they used the only European pressing plant that they trust now after several big problems with other firms) and of course the colored vinyl costs more than black vinyl. So the product itself costs quite a bit to produce (I don’t have the exact numbers, but I could find out at some point and even do a post about this, as I find these issues really interesting, and think a bit of transparency wouldn’t hurt). If you add VAT (which obviously goes to the Spanish state, not to me) and shipping costs, which are what you pay in this case to Royal Mail, then yes, that’s a lot of money. If there was stock in Spain, my Spanish customers would be happy, but not the ones living outside of Spain – and on and on… In this case Leaf is the UK, so we don’t have a choice – neither you, nor I… Then everyone takes a commission on the item: Leaf for sending it, Bandcamp as the sale platform, Paypal as the payment method – which is also why we can’t price the item too low, otherwise the profit would be truly ridiculous, since we have to split it between myself and the label! Anyway, this is not to “justify” the price, but rather to explain how it works behind the scenes! »

Thank you The Leaf Label for these reissues, and of course a huge thank you to those of you who have ordered! :-)))

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