back to article HMV lines up a few VAT-free CDs and DVDs

HMV is planning to put kiosks into some of its stores to allow customers to order out-of-stock CDs and DVDs which will be fulfilled VAT-free from the Channel Islands. Many online and mail order music services including Tesco and already have warehouses in Jersey and Guernsey because EU law allows items with a …


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  1. Richard Porter

    Why not burn the CD in the shop?

    Why are record companies still carting large numbers of physical CDs around the country or flying them in from the local tax haven? Surely the technology exists to burn the CD and print the artwork in-store. Then all you'd need to do is deliver a much smaller volume of blank CDs and printer supplies, cutting out most of the wastage. At the same time you could offer a far greater range of titles, and customers could even make up their own CDs. Popular tracks could be held on hard disc in the store and anything else fetched over the internet.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Music industry upset at increased sales?

    What an odd story, are we to understand that the music industry is complaining at the possibility of increased sales of cd's ?

  3. dervheid
    Black Helicopters


    & Robbin'. The Caped Crusaders.

    Coming to an HMV near you soon.

    Complete with all-new, approved, electric/hybrid VATmobile.

    (Please note; The VATarang has been outlawed under Health & Safety legislation. VATman will, however, use all legal weapons at his disposal!)

    Same colour as the VATcopter.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone call the waaaaaahmbulance

    "This has had a huge impact on catalogue music specialists. It needs challenging in court but struggling shop owners can't afford the legal fees."

    Oh boo fucking hoo.

    I'm sure us consumers just love having to track down specialist stores and paying over the odds for out of print material.

    Or we could just nip down to HMV.

    Getting Amazon and Play buttraped by the taxman will hardly endear us to his cause. Whining tosspot.

  5. Richard Cartledge

    Too little too late

    The EU are changing the rules so that import duty will be paid on all items imported from outside the EU, not just those over a certain value. (According to HMCE)

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Politicians only lie when their lips move

    "As with all taxes the Government will continue to keep this issue under review, taking account of the wider public interest, and will take action if appropriate"

    Ah okay ladies and gentlemen - I believe that a round of applause is in order because *that* is a *new world record* of *untruths* per word'. 1 - taking account 2 - taking account of the wider public interest; 3 - take action; 4 - action where appropriate; 5 - review; 6 - keep this issue under review. A grand total of 6 dubious if not completely false phrases within a sentence of 27 (core figures are 6 in 23). Congratulations to everyone involved.

    As an interesting sidenote: the truth is also hidden within that sentence: "The Government will ... keep ... the ... interest.

  7. The Avangelist

    They're already in Brighton

    yeah too late HMV in Brighton has already scaled itself down to a glorified Apple advert with big white shiny screens and keyboards for this. What is the fucking point in walking to shop to them buy something off their fucking website? IT INFURIATES ME ARE WE ALL THAT BLOODY THICK????

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    hahahaha a loophole....

    Garaunteed it wont last till the next Budget.

    C&E will throw in an clause just for channel islands.

    what a huge loophole, they must be busting a gut over this one.

    anyway, i thought most of the current music was complete shiite.

    reminds me though, need to order a colins dictionary, whilst they are still cheap....

    viva le' p2p ;p

  9. Stephen Stagg
    IT Angle

    public interest??

    << "As with all taxes the Government will continue to keep this issue under review, taking account of the wider public interest, and will take action if appropriate." >>

    you mean, they will balance the cost of enforcement against the loss of tax income, and persue the cheaper option.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    @ Richard Porter

    Why cart a physical CD from the shop to your home? Surely the technology exists to burn the CD and print artwork in your house!

    Seriously though, I think that all told (for big-selling CDs anyway) it's still cheaper and more effecient to make the CDs in a big factory and transport them to shops.

  11. Mark W

    @Richard Porter

    It's because it's still cheaper to mass-produce non-CDR media, plus the fact that if you wanted to do that, it's easy (and cheaper) to do at home with iTunes.

    The other issue you have is that CD-R's don't have a great lifespan, and you can imagine the returns issues.

    'I left this CD on the dashboard of my lorry and now it won't play' (most of the populous being ignorant to the fact that CD-R's are prone to being wiped by UV Sunlight).

  12. Mage Silver badge


    Well kept pressed CDs /DVDs should last for a VERY long time and are friendlier to environment to the blanks (which & cases are same shipping CO2/resource)

    Local burnt copies less life

    Delay to download over Internet

    Delay to burn Disc & test it

    Some stores can't get Internent or fast enough

    Printing cover fades faster than preprinted.

    Buring costs x10 more than pressing

    One off Printing costs x100 more than bulk.

    Sorry, I'm not interested in standing for 10mins to get a poor quality store burnt copy.

    I'd rather wait 2 days for the post. I can be doing something else.

    If I'm in Zavvi/HMV etc I might impulse buy a bargain, if the music is not too loud to put off browsing and there is no big queue at checkout.

  13. Greg

    So lemme get this straight

    If you're CD-WOW and you do this, you get shut down for being an upstart.

    If you're HMV and you do this, it's OK?

    Phht. Besides, it would take knocking the VAT off to bring HMV anywhere near affordable, never mind cheap.

  14. H2Nick

    Fetching CDs over the internet

    Maybe OK for a few MP3s, but if I'm paying for a CD, I want all 600 Meg, not just lossy compressed files not worthy of my hifi...

  15. Paul Hatch

    From their own premise ?

    I can see the vat wheeze working if you purchased over the net from your own home, but it does seem to be sailing close to the wind doing it from a terminal in their own store.

    Effectively the transaction is taking place in UK HMV premises so I would expect vat to apply irrespective of where the goods are coming from.

    Wasnt the differentiation between where the goods/service is supplied from v where the transaction takes place addressed in the issue of AOL's vat avoidance?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Am I missing something here?

    I go to shop. I choose CD in shop. I pay for CD in shop.

    It sounds to me like I'm buying my CD in the shop.

    Yet on the tax form I'm buying a CD overseas.

    Shurely shome mishtake, as Mr. Connery might shay.

    Closing this loophole doesn't require killing the VAT exemption totally.

    Instead, they just need a law stating that business carried out in UK business premises is UK business, and VAT liable.

    Obviously, there needs to be an exemption to this law that allows internet cafes to continue to operate, and to allow me to buy personal stuff using my companies PC.

    HMV is not an internet caff -- their machines only run their services for their profit. You go to their premises in order to make a purchase from them. That should be UK business, in law. Any walled garden should consitute an infringement.

    IE if HMV let me buy from Amazon, Play, HMV, Zavvi, etc etc etc on their instore machines then it wouldn't be a problem....

  17. Michael

    @ Greg

    I'm betting the argument will go something along the lines of:

    "That was their whole business model, but we're only doing it to provide the maximum possible customer satisfaction and it makes up a completely insignificant portion of our revenue stream"

    And it probably does/will, because most people only buy the CDs that are in the charts. Which is why they're in the charts.

    The only way they could force more revenue out of it would be to deliberately limit the range they keep in stock, crippling their on-site sales. But that would let them use smaller shops and hire fewer staff, and let them switch to more of a warehouse-storage model. Which would put them more in line with the costs of the online retailers threatening their business.

    Hm. Maybe I'm just being overly suspicious.

  18. Derek
    Thumb Up

    Am i the only person who thinks this is a good idea?

    I personally think this is a great idea,

    I don't know why other stores don't copy the idea. I don't mean the Vat free idea is good, because as another posted said, the HMRC will close that loophole pretty sharpish.

    The idea of someone without a PC, and there is still a few people out there that don't (low income, children, OAP's). Being able to take advantage of the huge selection of titles available online compared to the local shop.

    I think it could be as successful as the photo kiosk's which you are seeing everywhere these days

  19. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    @Richard Porter

    What is the point of letting customers choose ten tracks they want on a CD when you can charge them ten times as much by making them buy ten different CD's to get the same tracks?

  20. Steve Dulieu

    title? we don' need no steeinkin' title

    Hmm, what the article doesn't make clear is that if you go to *anything* you buy, be it in stock or out is coming from the channel islands.

    Cheers, Steve.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Good idea?

    Well it's a good idea if the gummint don't respond. If they do, and close the loophole, and you're in the habit of importing occasional items under the 18 quid limit, then you're going to be a bit annoyed when you have to start paying the extra (and quite possibly a fee to someone for collecting the extra too).

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