Do you sell your products not only through your own online store, but also through marketplaces like eBay, Etsy and Amazon? Then perhaps you have already thought about writing the invoices for the sales directly in the marketplace? That’s basically much easier and faster, isn’t it? At first glance, this may well be true, but if you only write invoices in the marketplace, problems may be waiting for you, which we would like to show you.
A brief overview in advance
Writing invoices in the marketplace: The apparent advantages
It all sounds very tempting at first. Instead of using a paid invoicing program or even accounting software to create invoices for sales on the individual marketplaces, you could just as easily use the functions provided for this purpose on Amazon, eBay and the like. This is sometimes even faster, saves time as well as costs and is also customer-friendly. Because buyers can download the invoice directly from the marketplace and don’t have to wait for you to send them the document by mail or e-mail.
So far, so good – at least in part. So there are definitely some advantages to invoicing directly through the marketplace. But on the other hand, this approach also has a whole lot of disadvantages. And whether the positives outweigh all the disadvantages remains to be seen. Are you wondering exactly which disadvantages we are talking about here? Then take a look here:
1. document number could be assigned several times
Customers buy your products via Amazon and receive the invoices in the marketplace for these purchases. Just a few minutes later, another customer buys the same product again via your own online store. Since the marketplaces offer little leeway for setting document numbers, there is a risk that a document number will be assigned twice. Of course, this is not tragic for the marketplace itself, since the invoice is created once there. But the individual marketplaces have no option to reconcile among themselves these invoices as well. Therefore, if you do not have the option to assign different document number ranges, your accounting will become very confusing within a very short time. This, in turn, means a lot of work when it comes to accounting. In the worst case, you will have to hire an additional accountant to help you bring order back into the chaos. In any case, however, you will have to invest time to correct the error of the duplicate document numbers again.
2. the requirements of the GoBD cannot be met
Entrepreneurs are obliged to comply with the requirements of the Principles for the Proper Keeping and Retention of Books, Records and Documents in Electronic Form and for Data Access (GoBD). However, anyone who writes their invoices directly via the marketplace cannot guarantee this. One of the requirements is that invoices cannot be changed after they have been created. However, the programs that some marketplaces offer do not meet this criterion. Here, it is very possible that something can be changed in the invoice even after the fact. And this is precisely what contradicts the GoBD. The result: The entrepreneur is threatened with penalties because he is acting against the legal requirements.
3. tax information not always correct
Traders who write their invoices in the marketplace cannot always rely on the respective supplier checking and guaranteeing the tax correctness of the information on the invoice. This applies not only, but also with regard to delivery thresholds that must be observed when a company delivers goods to customers abroad. Anyone who wants to avoid problems with the tax office or inquiries from the tax office should therefore better not write their invoices directly in the marketplace.
4. entrepreneur makes himself dependent on the marketplace
eBay and Amazon are the top dogs in e-commerce. Other marketplaces or even a company’s own online stores can hardly keep up with the visitor numbers and sales on these two platforms. Of course, this makes both marketplaces very attractive for online retailers. On the other hand, however, this also has a disadvantage. Because the platforms are so powerful, as a merchant you have no way to negotiate terms. Usually, the only option is to accept the terms and conditions that the big companies dictate, or just not be able to use the marketplace.
It is precisely this dependency that can cause some problems. In terms of invoicing, for example, you could be blocked by the platform and all your activities frozen. Under certain circumstances, this also affects invoices that have already been created, which would mean that you would no longer have access to them. You would then neither be able to resend the invoice to your customers, nor to record it in the accounting system. Nor, most importantly, to present it in the event of an audit. Again, the consequences can be really unpleasant and mean that you have to answer to the tax office.
But not only that. Even if there are no problems with accessing and accessing the invoices that have already been created, this does not mean that the danger has been averted. This is because entrepreneurs who create their invoices directly through the marketplace also have no control over how long the invoices are kept. This can also become a problem, because according to Section 14b (1) Sentence 1 of the German Value Added Tax Act (UStG), the retention period for invoices is 10 years. If you no longer have access to the invoices after 7 years, for example, this can also result in severe penalties.
The conclusion: no invoices in the marketplace, rather use invoicing software
If you want to save yourself this stress, you should definitely think about an invoice software like easybill. After all, if you use our program to create your invoices, you can be confident that everything is correct and that the legal requirements are met.
easybill also offers you
- an automatic import of purchase orders
- extensive interfaces to the most popular platforms
- tax correctness of invoices thanks to delivery threshold monitoring for Europe
- a clear assignment of document numbers and documents, duplicate assignment is not possible
- compliance with the GoBD regulations
- central entry and maintenance of your customer and invoice data+
This way you can easily keep track of everything and don’t have to worry about your invoicing. Quite easybill.
Also, watch our latest video on Amazon Business (in german):
Amazon Business-Käufer: Was ist zu beachten? | VCS, VCS lite, IDU