National Trading Standards – New Nightwear

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

The Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985 make it an offence to supply some children’s nightwear unless it has been treated so that it conforms, after washing, to the flammability performance requirements of British standard BS 5722: Specification for flammability performance of fabrics and fabric combinations used in nightwear garments.

Note: this standard has been withdrawn by the British Standards Institution (BSI) but is still referred to in the Regulations.

The Regulations lay down labelling requirements so that purchasers can tell whether other nightwear – including adults’ – does or does not meet the flammability requirements.

Second-hand nightwear does not have to comply with these Regulations.

Children’s nightwear

Children’s nightwear means anything designed for wear by, and that would normally be worn by, a person under the age of 13 years, except:

  • night dresses with a chest measurement of more than 91 cm or a length of more than 122 cm
  • dressing gowns, bath robes and other similar garments with a chest measurement of more than 97 cm or a sleeve measurement of more than 69 cm

Children’s nightwear must comply with the flammability performance requirements of BS 5722, except the following items:

  • garments for babies up to three months old, with a chest measurement of 53 cm or less
  • pyjamas
  • cotton terry-towelling bath robes

Other nightwear

Other nightwear (including adult nightwear), babies’ garments, children’s pyjamas and children’s cotton terry-towelling bath robes must be labelled so as to inform the purchaser whether the item does or does not meet the flammability requirements of BS 5722.

If the item does not meet the requirements, it must have a label, printed in red, stating ‘KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE’. If the item meets the requirements, it must have a label with one of the following:

  • a statement in red text stating ‘KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE’
  • a statement in black text stating ‘LOW FLAMMABILITY TO BS 5722’
  • both statements in appropriate colours

Special rules apply to these items where they are advertised for sale on the internet or by mail order. If the item does not meet the flammability requirements the wording ‘KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE’ must be displayed next to the advert in a red-sided equilateral triangle. If the item does meet low flammability requirements the advert must show a green triangle with the words ‘LOW FLAM’ within it.

Treated nightwear

Any nightwear treated with flame-retardant chemicals must also have a label that states ‘DO NOT WASH AT MORE THAN 50oC. CHECK SUITABILITY OF WASHING AGENT’.

Positioning of labels

The wording described above must be given on a durable label on the inside neck of the garment or next to the label giving the size of the garment, or the wording must be given on the size label immediately following such information.

Safety standards

The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 also require goods to be safe. When assessing the safety of a product, manufacturers are encouraged to manufacture goods in accordance with European standards. The European standard BS EN 14878: Textiles. Burning behaviour of children’s nightwear. Specification contains flammability performance requirements for children’s nightwear. This covers all nightwear for children aged under 14*, including pyjamas, all dressing gowns, and babies’ garments, and introduces specific flammability requirements for these garments.

[*This is different from the age of 13 that is specified in the Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985.]

In principle, it is recommended that the requirements of the UK Regulations continue to be applied, where applicable. However, for garments such as children’s pyjamas and cotton terry-towelling bath robes and babies’ garments, the flammability requirements of BS EN 14878 should be applied so that suppliers meet the statutory requirements of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPSR).

The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 also cover second-hand goods, so again EN 14878 could be used to assess the safety of second-hand children’s nightwear. In common with other consumer products, these Regulations require the manufacturer to mark the product, or its packaging, with their name and address and the product reference or batch code (unless it would not be reasonable to do so).

In addition to the specific flammability requirements, nightwear must be safe in all other respects, such as avoiding strangulation, entrapment, and choking hazards caused by cords and fasteners and chemical hazards.

See ‘General product safety: distributors‘ and ‘General product safety: producers‘ for more information on the GPSR.

All nightwear must comply with the requirements of EU Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and therefore must not contain certain azo dyes and harmful flame retardants.

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985

General Product Safety Regulations 2005

EU Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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National Trading Standards – General Product Safety: Distributors

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

Consumer products must be ‘safe’. Safety can be assessed by the application of standards; if the product complies with a harmonised European standard, it is automatically taken to be safe. This is known as a presumption of conformity.

The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 (GPSR) provide the main basis for ensuring the safety of consumer goods by imposing certain controls. These ensure that all products intended for or likely to be used by consumers under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions are safe.

As a retailer or wholesaler of consumer goods whose actions do not affect the safety of the goods (this is termed a ‘distributor’ under the Regulations), you will have certain obligations. These obligations also apply to businesses that hire out or supply second-hand goods or supply goods as part of a service.

Product safety

Where a product is already subject to other existing regulations (for example, toys) then those regulations will apply to that product; the GPSR do not apply to the safety of a product where there are specific provisions of European Union (EU) law governing all aspects of its safety. As such, they operate as a kind of ‘mop-up’ set of regulations.

However, the GPSR will apply where they go further than the existing regulations in terms of the specific aspects of safety covered and the extent of the obligations on distributors. The GPSR apply to all products intended for or likely to be used by consumers (even if not intended for them) that are supplied or made available; the test would be whether a consumer can purchase the product without challenge. This includes products supplied or made available to consumers for their own use in the course of a service – for example, gym equipment for use in a gym, high chairs provided for use by diners in a restaurant and trolleys for use by shoppers.

Unlike sector-specific laws, the GPSR do not permit CE marking but do require that distributors only supply safe products.

The following types of consumer goods would fall within the GPSR

  • children’s articles such as cots, prams, high chairs, bunk beds
  • bicycles
  • household goods such as crockery, cutlery, cooking utensils
  • DIY tools
  • furniture and soft furnishings
  • clothing
  • candles and other ornaments
  • hobby and art materials

If there are aspects of safety under GPSR that are not covered by the products’ own sector-specific regulations – such as electrical equipment – then the GPSR aspects will also apply.

The Regulations also cover products that were originally designed and intended for professional use but subsequently ‘migrate’ on to the consumer market (such as certain power tools). Where consumers can acquire professional products, they must be treated as ‘consumer goods’.

As a distributor if you supply a ‘professional use only’ product to a consumer you will be responsible for its safety and if the product could never be safe for use by consumers you should take such steps as are reasonable and necessary to ensure the marketing and supply of the product is very strictly controlled.

Distributor obligations

The main obligation on a distributor is to supply a safe product.

In particular you must act with due care to help ensure only safe products are supplied and must not supply products that, as a professional, you know (or should have presumed on the basis of information in your possession) to be dangerous. For example, if a product has been subject to a recall you must not supply any you may still have in stock.

As a distributor you must also provide consumers with relevant information to enable them to:

  • assess any risk posed by the product throughout the period of its use (where such risks are not immediately obvious)
  • take precautions against those risks

This means passing on all the warnings and instructions that accompany the product.

A further obligation on distributors is to be able to show traceability of the products you supply. In practice the documentation that is required to support Inland Revenue and VAT requirements should be sufficient, as long as they show from whom the goods were purchased and, if not for retail, to whom they were sold. Such records have to be kept for a minimum of six years, which should cover your GPSR obligations.

Where you discover (perhaps as a result of a consumer complaint) that a product you have supplied poses risks to the consumer and is unsafe you must immediately notify your supplier of the issue. In some instances – for example, where it is not easy to contact your supplier – you must then inform your local trading standards service.

You must cooperate with the enforcement authorities at their request. This includes the provision of information relating to the product, the nature of the risk, the product’s supply and marketing, and also in taking appropriate action to remove the risk from consumers.

It is an offence under the GPSR not to fulfil these obligations.

Enforcement action by the authorities

Where distributors have not fulfilled their obligations under these Regulations, enforcement authorities have access to a range of measures that can be employed in removing risk to consumer safety. These are known as safety notices. They are only used when voluntary actions have not removed the risk.

All parties concerned must, whenever feasible, be given an opportunity to submit their views before the adoption of a measure.

The measure chosen will be proportionate to the seriousness of the risk:

‘Suspension notices’. Where there may have been a breach of the Regulations, these notices temporarily ban the placing on the market or the supply of a product while tests are undertaken and the results are awaited.

‘Requirement to mark’ / ‘requirement to warn’. These powers allow an enforcement authority to order the marking of a product with suitable warnings where it could pose risks in certain conditions, or require that specific warnings be given to certain persons considered to be at particular risk from a product – for example, young children, the elderly, etc.

‘Withdrawal notices’. Enforcement authorities can issue a withdrawal notice to permanently prevent a person from further supplying a product that is believed to be dangerous where it is already on the market (if the voluntary action is insufficient or unsatisfactory).

Producer obligations

If you affect the safety of the goods by any action – such as removing the goods from their packaging, assembling products, repairing products or not passing on instructions and warnings – then you become the ‘producer’ of the goods. In this case you will have to comply with the producer obligations under the GPSR.

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

General Product Safety Regulations 2005

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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Trading Standards and Consumer Protection Legislation – Herbal Medicine

This guidance is for England & Wales

Many traditional herbal products (such as Chinese herbal products) are popular with consumers who are looking for products with health benefits. Such products are often on the borderline between regulated categories of goods such as medicines, foods and cosmetics. As different legal requirements apply to these different product types it is important that you are clear about the categories your products fall into. The legal requirements governing these products are enforced mainly by trading standards services and by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

There are specific requirements for herbal remedies, which are classed as ‘medicines’ and must be safe. You may also be selling food items, cosmetic products or animal products, all of which have their own legal requirements.

Whether or not your products fall within these categories, it is important to ensure that consumers are not misled about the extent or existence of products’ health benefits, and there are some restrictions on claims. There are further requirements in relation to claims made about the product, quantity markings, pricing and consumer rights.

Medicines

Herbal remedies are medicinal products. They must have a marketing authorisation (or a product licence) unless they meet certain exemptions that allow them to be sold as unlicensed herbal medicines. To meet the terms of the exemptions products must be solely plant-based, have no written medicinal indications for use and must not have a trade name. Herbal remedies, even if exempt from licensing, still have to be safe and be labelled in accordance with the Medicines Act 1968.

The primary decision as to whether or not a product is a medicinal product is for the MHRA to make. If you have any doubts about whether the products that you sell are medicines or are exempt from licensing you should contact MHRA.

Animal products

Strict import controls exist regarding products of animal origin. Products of animal origin include all types of meat and meat products (including poultry), all types of fish and shellfish and products made from them (like oyster sauce), eggs and egg products, wild game, honey, and dairy products. It is recommended that you only purchase food products of animal origin from reputable suppliers that can prove that the food has been legally imported into the UK via proper commercial channels. If you wish to import animal products, your local authority environmental health service should be able to advise you on the current legal situation.

If officers believe an animal product has been imported illegally into the UK, they may take it away for destruction or ask you not to use it until you can prove it has been imported legally. A sample may also be taken of the item. You could be prosecuted for importing animal products illegally.

Some traditional remedies have been found to contain both animal and plant parts from endangered species, in contravention of legislation enforced by a number of bodies, including the police. Should you have any concerns about ingredients, detailed information on endangered species is available on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) website. CITES’s main aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Alternatively, you could seek advice from the wildlife crime unit of your local police force or the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) on 03000 200301.

Food

The definition of food includes any food, drink or food supplement that is part of the diet. Anything that is not a medicinal product, and is eaten or taken as a drink, is a food. Many of the products you sell are likely to be legally classed as food, particularly prepacked items such as herbal teas.

The Food Safety Act 1990, EU Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, the Food Information Regulations 2014 and the Food Information (Wales) Regulations 2014 govern, amongst other things, labelling, ingredients and quality. The Act creates specific offences for contaminants in food, false descriptions and misleading claims.

All foods and food supplements must be labelled with certain information in English. Where the food is sold loose, such as Chinese herbs from jars, or is packed by you in the shop for direct sale to your customers, the following details are required:

  • a food name that customers can understand, indicating the true nature of the food
  • a statement, where applicable, that the product or ingredients have been irradiated or genetically modified
  • a declaration of the presence of any of the 14 specified allergens

Where the food is ‘prepacked’, a number of labelling requirements need to be fulfilled

Specific guidance on food supplements can be found on the GOV.UK website.

The food label may also make claims about the nutritional properties of the food – for example, ‘low fat’ – and/or the potential health benefits consuming the food may have. These claims are controlled by EU Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods, the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007 and the Nutrition and Health Claims (Wales) Regulations 2007.

If the food (or any advertising for the food) makes a claim that consuming it can treat or be a remedy for cancer, or it gives any advice in connection with the treatment of cancer, this is an offence under the Cancer Act 1939.

Cosmetic products

EU Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products defines a cosmetic product as “any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours”. It does not apply to medicinal products, medical devices or biocidal products.

There are particular requirements regarding the importation, manufacture, packaging and labelling of cosmetic products. For further information see ‘Cosmetic products’.

Misleading & illegal claims

In addition to the specific controls in food legislation outlined above there are additional controls that apply more generally.

Any claims made about a product must be true and not misleading. This includes oral, written or pictorial claims. In addition, you are required to disclose any adverse information you know about a product if an average consumer would need to know this information to make an informed choice – for example, if it is known to be ineffective for the purposes for which it is commonly bought.

These requirements, which come under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs), apply to all products, including but not limited to, medicines, foods, food supplements and cosmetics.

Additionally, as worldwide efforts to control the exploitation of endangered species increase, manufacturers have been known to include illegal ingredients (for example, tiger and bear parts) in products but to remove any references to these ingredients from packaging and advertisements. These manufacturers rely on their customers’ knowledge and experience of the products’ contents instead. Under the CPRs it is illegal to hide the fact that a product cannot legally be sold.

Product safety

All consumer products (including food and medicines) must be safe.

Products must be sold to customers with appropriate safety information / warnings in English. Such information might include, for example, dosage instructions and possible side effects. They might also include classes of persons for whom the product is unsuitable – for example, pregnant women, children and persons suffering from a particular disorder, such as high blood pressure.

You are strongly advised to obtain products from reputable suppliers and to retain any documentation that you receive from them, such as invoices.

Weights & measures

Prepacked goods, such as food / food supplements / cosmetics, all legally require an accurate quantity marking. This should typically be the weight, volume or number of items in the package. Metric quantities must be used.

If you are selling any products loose (from bulk) by reference to weight, you must use approved weighing equipment bearing appropriate stamps or stickers. Sales must be by reference to metric quantities.

Prices

There is a general requirement to display prices for retail goods on offer; however, if the goods can only be obtained as a result of a service (such as a consultation) there is no need to price the goods. If your services have a ‘fixed price’ then you must provide your customers with price information (using a price list, for example).

Prices you display must be accurate. It is an unfair commercial practice to give false or deceptive information about the price of goods, to omit material information about the price (such as compulsory additional charges or taxes) or if the value of any ‘saving’ displayed on a special offer was exaggerated.

Trade associations

You may also wish to seek advice from a trade or practitioner organisation, such as those in the list below.

Please note that the inclusion of an organisation in the list does not imply any approval or warranty as to the standing or capability of that organisation by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

British Herbal Medicine Association

Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine

Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture (UK)

Penalties

Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment.

Key legislation

Cancer Act 1939

Medicines Act 1968

Food Safety Act 1990

EU Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods

Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007

Nutrition and Health Claims (Wales) Regulations 2007

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

EU Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers

Food Information Regulations 2014

Food Information (Wales) Regulations 2014

PLEASE NOTE

The information is intended for guidance only; only the courts can give you an authoritative interpretation of the law.

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Adding Fulfilment Location to Shopify Products

A new addition to Shopify API is the use of fulfillment Location Services, these are designed to actively define what physical location your products are stored in and where they are shipped from.

Our Fulfilment software registers Storeship as a location when you link your Shopify Account with our software, in order to automate the process of marking your orders shipped on Shopify as well as informing your customers of their tracking numbers and other delivery information, it is required to set your products to be using Storeship as your fulfilment partner.

To Add Storeship to your fulfilment service location on your Shopify Products,  please follow the following instructions:

 

  • From your store’s Products page, select the product to be fulfilled by Storeship.

 

  • In the Variants section, click Edit in line with the variant to be fulfilled by the Storeship.

 

  • In the Shipping section, select Storeship from the Fulfillment service drop-down menu.

 

  • Click Save to save your changes.

Once the above steps have been completed out Automagical software will then inform Shopify everytime we ship your order for you.

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VAT and Storeship Fulfilment House

VAT and Online Resellers

VAT and Fulfilment

V.A.T. means Value Added Tax. It’s a tax that VAT-registered traders in the EU add to the price of the goods they sell and pass on to the national tax authorities when they file their tax returns. You may need to be registered for VAT to be able to sell goods within the UK. In fact if you sell goods in an EU country, it’s likely you may be required to register for Value Added Tax (VAT) in each country you sell in.

Remember: it’s the responsibility of each Storeship seller to ensure they are VAT-compliant and you should seek professional advice if you are unsure of your obligations.

Take this simple test to see if you need to register for VAT https://litmustest.kpmg-vat-compliance.com/

Where is your business established?

In the UK
You need to register for VAT in the UK if:

  • You store goods in the UK; and
  • You sell them to consumers based in the UK; and
  • Your sales exceed the UK domestic VAT threshold of £85,000.

You may also need to register for VAT separately in other EU countries if:

  • You sell goods to consumers in other EU countries.

In a different EU Country
You need to register for VAT in the UK if:

  • You store your goods in the UK or
  • You sell to UK-based consumers (non-business); and
  • Your sales exceed the UK distance selling VAT threshold of £70,000.

Outside the EU
You need to register for VAT in the UK if:

  • You sell goods that you store in the UK to customers based in the EU.

You may also need to register for VAT separately in other EU countries if:

  • You sell goods to consumers in other EU countries.

How do you register for VAT?

Firstly, you’ll need to establish if you need to register for VAT. If you need to register you’ll have to submit an application form to the H.M.R.C. (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) When you have completed the VAT registration process you will be given your VAT number. You will need your VAT number to;

  • File your VAT Tax Return
  • Issue VAT Invoices, remember to add 20% to your goods.
  • Claim money back on your business expenses.

Please ensure that you are VAT compliant.

Get in touch if we can be of more assistance.

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What is FBA?

Everything you ever need to know about FBA, Fulfilment by Amazon

Storeship - Fulfilment by Amazon

FBA, Fulfillment by Amazon.

So when are you going to need this? Amazon state that they sell it and ship your products. They go on to say that they have one of the most advanced fulfilment networks in the world. Your products are stored at Amazon’s fulfilment centres and they pick, pack and ship and provide customer services and returns.

How much does FBA, Fulfilment by Amazon cost? More than you might think. It’s an expensive option. Let’s face it, if Amazon are going to offer you many extras including customer services and returns you’re going to pay for it. How good is there customer services? Have you ever called an overseas call centre? Bet you have!

When you are a young and growing business you will be looking to make as many savings as possible. Is it not better to give your customers a personal touch? Start off by giving your customers a great customer experience and looking after customer services. You will impress your customers and they will come back for more. You’ll need to do this especially at the beginning of your eCommerce empire. As you grow you can outsource various areas of your  operation to professionals.

Work with Storeship for all your Amazon orders!

You may have been in business for a little while now? You have spent your time making sure that your brand is becoming better known and that sales are starting to come in. You are also starting to wear the many hats required in business. At some point you will realise that your efforts are going to be better placed in areas of the business that make sales happen and not filling packs for customers.

We can help you work with multi-channel fulfilment centres including Amazon.  Indeed, we integrate our systems with Amazon to be able to draw your orders through our simple yet effective platforms so you don’t have to get involved. Sure, at the moment we don’t offer customer services but compare us on price and service and you’ll be very nicely surprised.

Storeship’s Fulfilment Services allow you business to grow quickly. Our warehouse, procedures and systems are all highly tuned with your fulfilment  in mind. You only pay for the services you use. We handle all of the small details allowing you to concentrate on growing your business.

Get in touch today and find out how easy it is for you to work with us!

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What is 3PL Third Party Logistics?

Everything you ever need to know about 3PL, Third Party Logistics
3PL Third Party Logistics
Put simply 3PL means Third Party Logistics.

So what exactly is Third Party Logistics? In essence Third Party Logistics means the outsourcing function of  your logistics (transport) to a company who specialise in it. However, logistics has come a long way. Now logistics can encompass; transport, eCommerce, warehousing, storage, distribution, fulfilment and freight forwarding.

There is also another service that is becoming popular. That of 4PL or Fourth Party Logistics. A 4PL provider is a provider that would accumulate various services including; capabilities, resources and technology to amnage the entire process whereas 3PL would broadly concentrate on logistics and distribution.

Storeship 3PL Services

At Storeship, we offer our customers the chance to grow. Allow us to take over your third party logistics and you can concentrate on growing and running your business.

Get in touch today and find out how easy it is for you to work with us!

If you would like to research our services further please have a look at Storeship Blog

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Beginner’s Guide to eCommerce Fulfilment with Storeship

Everything you need to know about partnering with Storeship Fulfilment Services.

You’ve probably been selling products online for a while now, maybe you’re just starting out on your eCommerce journey. Whatever the case, you have probably thought about having someone take over your warehousing, picking and packing and distribution, usually preferred to as “Fulfilment” or “Fulfillment” in the States.

Making sales is the fun part of any business and we love entrepreneurs!  When the time comes and you find that you are spending more time packing goods and waiting in the queue at your local Post Office you’ll know that is the time to consider someone else taking over this time consuming task and to free you up to sell, sell sell!

You may find that working with Storeship Fulfilment Services or indeed any 3PL (Third Party Logistics) intimidating at first. Let’s face it, you have created your baby and have nurtured  and watched it grow. It’s very precious to you. We understand that. We also understand that you don’t just want to give away a chunk of your business to any Tom Dick or Harry.

Let’s take a look at the advantages;

  • You don’t have to do it yourself. Outsourcing with Storeship will free up your time to let you do what you have proven you do well. Sell!
  • You avoid costs like long term warehouse leases. We’ve already done that for you!
  • We offer flexible pricing, as you grow or go through quieter times, we can adjust the cost accordingly.
  • No more staff required. You don’t have to hire extra people, contracts, sick days, management etc. We have a team of fully trained Fulfilment experts with years of experience waiting to pick and pack your orders.
  • Be more effective. You have the skills that are best used in other parts of the business like sourcing products, advertising and selling.
  • We will save you money. Doing it for yourself is free but at some point you’ll want to get back into your business and do what you do well.
When is the right time to outsource your Fulfilment to Storeship?

Most of you will have started packing and posting your products yourself. It’s the easiest way to start and as such is cheap.  There are a number of issues to consider when deciding whether you need Storeship’s fulfilment services;

  • Are your sales seasonal or cyclical? If you sales fluctuate during the year, you are not going to want to set up your own warehouse as it’s too expensive. We will be able to adjust our service to you in these times.
  • How busy are you? If you are spending your time of packing and posting you are not concentrating on growing your business. By outsourcing the fulfilment function to us you can concentrate on growth.
  • How fast is your business growing? If you are growing quickly you won’t be able to keep up with servicing your customers. By outsourcing to Storeship you will find that we are better placed to adapt to your changing market.
Who should not work with us?

Sounds like a daft question? It isn’t. We don’t work with everyone! We don’t offer the perfect solution for every type of business out there. There are times when Storeship is just not for you. Storeship fulfilment services would not suit the following businesses;

  • Businesses with limited cashflow? Here at Storeship, we work on a Pay As You Go basis. You will need to credit your account when you start with us. We then use these funds to pick, pack, post and safely store your products. You have full control of the whole system.
  • Highly specialised businesses. Perhaps your business uses specialised machinery to manufacture or make your product? Perhaps you are selling over long or over heavy equipment? Although we can customise our services to suit, we can’t promise to be perfect for every business.
What happens when you join us?

Once we have agreed on a partnership, you will find that we work pretty smoothly. All you have to do is make sure that we have enough of your product and that your account is in the black. We accept deliveries direct from your supplier, be they in the UK or abroad. That is all!

You will find yourself with more time to concentrate on growing your business.

We will have already integrated with your online selling platform. This is not required but makes an automated and error free system work. We integrate with Shopify, Amazon, WooCommerce and lots more selling platforms.

What about refunds?

Storeship can handle all of your returns, you can book returns back to our warehouse direct from your customers using our propriety software, Control Panel. We can then either put them back into stock for you or if they are faulty we can let you know.

Can you use custom packaging?

Of course you can. We know that when your customer opens their package you are creating a great experience for them. If your product is packaged well, your customer feels more satisfied with their purchase and will often buy from you again. We have years of experience in packaging and will happily make recommendations for you to save you money.

Remember if custom packaging is important to you, please tell us as soon as you can.

Things to consider when choosing Storeship as your fulfilment partner.
  • Similar industries. Ask us if we have experience of handling a similar product.
  • Similar customers. We specialise in eCommerce fulfilment. If you sell online we are probably the right choice for you.
  • Talk to us about your business. We love business and love talking to entrepreneurs. Let us know all about you and what you do. It will make the quoting process more accurate. Ask lots of questions!

Do not choose us solely based on price. Whilst we want to offer you a competitive quote, we also want to offer you a quality service. Unhappy customers will cost you more in the long run.

Are you ready to partner with Storeship? Ask for a quote and remember to include as much detail as possible.

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Start-up’s Guide to eCommerce Fulfilment with Storeship

What every Start-Up needs to know about using Storeship fulfilment services.
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Start up guide to Fulfilment with Storeship

You’ve probably been selling online for some time now? Maybe you are thinking about starting an eCommerce business? We love entrepreneurs and enjoy partnering with them on their business journey!

If you have got to the stage of enquiring about Storeship fulfilment service, you probably have lots of questions to ask us.

We often receive enquiries asking very general questions like “Can you tell me about your fulfilment services?” Most of the information can be found on our website. We have web pages with information on things like; integrations, storage, online selling, postal charges, shipping management and many more. With a little research you can find out a lot of information. We have also written some information which we hope will be helpful.

The Beginners Guide to eCommerce fulfilment with Storeship.

Detailed below are considerations that you must think about before you make your enquiry with us.

Your boxed product.

So how come this is the first item on our list? Well, the dimensions and weight of your final packaged product has an effect on storage, fulfilment fee, packaging and postal charges. You need to tell us;

  • The dimensions of your fully packaged boxed (or Jiffy type bag) product.
  • The final weight of your packaged product.
  • The value. This could have a bearing on tracked or untracked postage.
  • Will your product require outer packaging, jiffy bag or outer box?
  • Does your product have a SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) number and / or is it barcoded? It is very important that we can identify each and every SKU that you have with us. If you have clearly marked SKU numbers and / or barcodes we can offer you more accuracy when picking your order.
Delivery

Think about how much stock you will be sending us. We can accept orders direct from customs and UK deliveries also. You might want to drop it off yourself . Stock will be dependant on your sales, actual or estimated, and your cash-flow. We will need to find space to securely store your products. How much storage space will you need will be dependant on;

  • How many items in total?
  • How many SKU’s?
  • Dimensions of total delivery (product dimensions X number of products)
  • How many pallets are you sending?

All delivery quantities will be entered onto our Control Panel where you have 24/7 access.

Storage

When we have received your goods, we will need to find secure storage for them. We have two very large warehouses so have plenty of space. Some of your products will be placed on a shelf for easier picking. The balance of your products will go on pallets. Pallets are calculated at 100cm X 120cm X 220cm. Shelf space is calculated at 90cm X 45cm X 35 cm. With these figures you could estimate storage required.

Orders
  • How many orders do/will you receive every month?
  • How many items would be in the one package?
  • Do you need inserts like promotional leaflets, business cards etc?
  • Will your product require outer packaging, jiffy bag or outer box?
  • How many returns do you expect per month?
Post

We have trade accounts with Royal Mail UK Mail and many other specialist couriers. We use a lot of postage and get very good rates. Our aim is to pass on these significant cost savings to you. You need to tell us your preferred method of carrier. You have access to our Postage Calculator that we would encourage you to use.

How to use the Postage Calculator;

  • Click on your preferred shipping service.
  • Country, denotes which country you will be sending the package too.
  • Weight, enter the weight of your packaged product.

Occasionally a £0.00 appears. In this situation, please check that the shipping service and weight have been entered correctly.

Fulfilment

Storeship Fulfilment will be charged per order. If there are multiple products within one package you will find that there is one cost for the first product and a discounted cost for other products within the same package. We will correctly pick and pack your product. Ensuring the correct item or items are picked correctly and packaged in suitable packaging. Choosing the appropriate postage and posting your item.

Integration

Storeship can offer you a no hassle method of accepting your orders via our in-house integration.

Gone are the days of having to input your orders manually!

We have a team of in-house specialist developers who design, build and manage our integration processes. We can integrate with the most popular selling platforms including; ShopifyWooCommerce, Amazon, eBay, BigCommerce and many more. An example of the functionality of our integrations might include;

  • Import all your products directly into Storeship.
  • Import orders directly. We will be notified of an order almost immediately. We then pick and package your product, choose the appropriate shipping rate and post. You will be notified of what was ordered, who fulfilled the order and at what time. You will also have a breakdown of the fulfilment fee, packaging fee and postage costs of every single order.
  • All unfulfilled orders will be imported into Storeship.
  • We fulfil unshipped orders.
  • Once fulfilled we update your store orders, to shipped.
  • We add any relevant tracking numbers to your orders.
  • Our system triggers emails to notify your customer that their product has been shipped.

Aren’t we clever?!

You don’t need to have any integration at all. If you are happy to input your orders manually onto our Control Panel, you are welcome to do this. We have found out that human error happens quite often with regards to data entry. Integration is simple and cost effective for you.

Handling fees

There are two levels of hourly rates.

  • Handling fees are for us working on your behalf within the areas of checking deliveries, printing barcodes and attaching to order and stock takes.
  • Specialist I.T. fees. When you need more complex integration or specific I.T. development.

Get in touch today and find out how easy it is for you to work with us!

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Fuflillment House VAT regulations

VAT Ouch, its not what everyone enjoys, taxation, but in the modern world ensuring your business is accounting correctly and paying what they are required into the trading economies has become a fact of life. International trading and ecommerce are at an all time high, and as such the world is adapting itself to suit this mass continental shift of finance, bitcoins and money movements.
In this arcticle i am hoping to shed a little light on how fulfillment companies are obliged to co operate with authorities and ensure their customers are aware of the laws and regulations regarding trading within our own realm of the UK and Europe.
First of all i would like to advise that i am not an accountant but have experience with dealing with imports and UK taxation departments so as such i am offering my views, please do your own research and consult with a registered tax advisor before trading and to firm up what is required of you to ensure legal trading.

First of all let me be blunt and answer a few questions:

I am outside the EU and therefore i do not need to pay VAT?
This statement is incorrect, every company outside the EU utilising the services of a fulfilment house within the EU MUST be registered for VAT in the country or countries they are trading in.
If you are shipping customers goods from outside the EU then you still have to register for VAT subject to thresholds which are as low as £30,000 in some countries.

Do i Pay VAT on your services?
We do not bill our customers ouside the EU, VAT on our services, EU customers with a valid VAT number are billed on a reverse charge VAT system.

Can I use a back street fulfillment company?
From 2018 all UK Fulfillment Houses will have to register for the Fulfillment House Registration Scheme with HMRC, the authority who collects taxes in the UK, any company not registering will be trading illegally and liable to penalties, ultimately their business shut down.
This new directive has been bought in to clamp down on traders from around the world bypassing EU VAT regulations.
All Fulfillment houses will have to do background checks on all of their clients before allowing them to trade from their premises, checks will include identity, address and VAT registration checks. Storeship Limited are currently updating their own systems to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

I am based in the UK but not VAT registered?
As a UK based company we must charge VAT to all of our clients within the EU, except those outside UK with a valid VAT number who are applicable for reverse charge VAT.

Do I need a UK based company to trade?
NO, you do not have to have a UK company to trade just be registered with the authorities for VAT.

Where can I get help registering for VAT?
By utilising our Fulfilment services we are more than happy to help you set up your UK VAT number and register correctly, as well as offering advise on what you can claim back and how you can account for the VAT.

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