How to create a shopping cart?
Here’s how to navigate ecommerce in Ireland.
The Irish government is cracking down on the so-called “arc ecommerce” system in a bid to stop people from making up their own online shopping carts.
The new rules come into force next week and require e-commerce sellers to register with the Revenue Commissioners, which in turn requires them to provide their customers with a shopping receipt.
“What’s going on in the country right now is that there are a lot of people who are not even going to register as e-shoppers,” said Mark O’Donnell, chief executive of e-Commerce Ireland.
“They don’t know what they’re doing and the government are not doing anything to help them, and that’s the problem.”
The Revenue Commissioners are investigating e-selling sites and have already issued warnings to a number of retailers including Tesco, Lidl, Boots, Marks & Spencer, P&G, Marks and Spencer and Carphone Warehouse.
“The authorities in the Republic of Ireland are doing everything they can to stop these people from doing what they do,” Mr O’Connell said.
“It’s quite a sad situation.
It’s an absolute disaster for the country.”
The new rules will require online retailers to register under a new section of the Companies Act, known as the ‘ecosystem’ and apply for a licence to operate within it.
The system has been criticised for allowing online retailers like Amazon to evade Irish regulations and circumvent the law.
It allows sellers to create fake accounts on Facebook and Google Plus, which can then be sold to consumers in a similar way as a car saleswoman selling a used car.
“It’s a very, very bad system,” said Ms O’Neill.
“We are going to get a big backlash if we don’t change it.”
Online shoppers can be caught up in a cycle of creating fake accounts to create fraudulent sales or selling items with inflated prices to avoid VAT.
While the rules will apply to online retailers, they will apply equally to traditional retail outlets.
“You can be in a big store like a Tesco and they can’t do it, so you have to use a different provider,” Ms O-Neill said.
“That’s the same as the online retailer who can’t buy in the store and they have to pay tax to the authorities.”
Ms O’Neil said the government should also help consumers understand how to manage their personal shopping online.
“Online shopping is an entirely different process,” she said.