When news of the EU VAT changes rippled through the digital airwaves at the end of 2014 I saw the immensity of it impact it would have on anyone selling digital products and services.
If my soloprenuer friend Helene Scott hadn't put a blast out on the newly enacted EU regulations that *ahem* affect Americans, well really- ANYONE selling digital products and services, I still might not know about it.
The gist of the new regulations are this: if you sell digital products and services without a substantial amount of human interaction (like an ebook or audio file) then this law applies to you.
You are now required to collect and remit VAT based on where the consumer is. That's right it doesn't matter where you are, it matters where the buyer lives. Visit this link to see Helene's original post + snag a super handy PDF breakdown (and more).
Suddenly selling online became really complicated.
At first I thought I would have to revisit all my offerings and ensure there was enough human interaction to satisfy bypassing this regulation but then I stumbled upon this....
Suddenly selling online became really un-complicated, again.
Here's the 411 on Gumroad:
To use their service you don't pay a monthly service fee instead they take 5% of each sale (instead of the typical 2-3%) + $.25 per transaction.
Considering that they now handle the VAT for you that 5% is looking totally reasonable.
Gumroad works best for selling automatic downloads, like a PDF or audio file but with a little creativity you can get figure out a way to achieve your goals. (I'm hoping they introduce a redirect option.)
Gumroad doesn't directly integrate with Mailchimp however by using ZAPIER you can create automatic communication between the two systems. This means that when you sell a particular product via Gumroad you can have each buyer be "zapped" to a particular Mailchimp list and trigger a sophisticated series of automatic messages.
Wrap Up: So far Gumroad appears to be the simplest solution for soloprenuers and micro business owners who don't want to even think about handling the new EU VAT on their own.
This is why Gumroad made the Best of 2015 Uncomplicated Tools: The Complete Micro Business Resource Kit. You can snag that for free here.