Change in Store Currency
On January 1st, 2018, I will be changing the currency used for listings on the website. In November 2016 I made the decision to switch to USD in response the vast number of queries I had from US residents on how to place an order if the currency listed was GBP or EUR. It simplified the process for them, whilst minimising the number of currency related questions I received.
Except that over the past year the exchange rate has dropped to such an extent (c. 12%) that it's not financially viable for me to continue listing in USD. My costs are fixed and in EUR so it's not feasible for me to absorb this drop in revenue any longer without it seriously impacting the business, and ultimately me.
To begin with I will be switching to my local currency, EUR, but I can not rule out the possibility that I will switch a second time to GBP. As some of you may already know I am a UK national living in Germany, and with the very real possibility that Brexit will come into effect in 2018 I may be forced to change more about my business and life than I'd like.
How does this affect you?
Depending on your local currency you might end up paying relatively more per item. Those who use USD will most likely pay 8-10%* on top of the current listing price. If you're based elsewhere and are unsure if the price you'll pay will remain the same I suggest calculating the current exchange rate between your local currency and USD, and then doing the same with the EUR. It might be that there is no change, or you might even end up paying less.
* Of course exchange rates fluctuate daily, so the calculations I have made today might not reflect the exchange rate one month or six months from now.
There is the option to view listing prices in various different currencies - you'll find this tool in the top right hand corner of the website - so you won't have to drag a calculator out each time you want to calculate what you'll pay. I can also add more currencies to this list at individuals' request - sending an email with the subject title "currency" will speed the process up.
How does this affect me?
I've talked a lot lately on Instagram about my desire to make items accessible, removing the luxury status of "non-essentials", and the challenges I face in balancing this with running a viable business. I expect that my decision to change the currency will seem at odds with this, as some people will now pay a little extra for the very same items; an enamel pin that cost $9 one month ago might cost $10 in January, and I understand this may put items out of the affordable price range for some.
The flip side to this is that for 13 months I earned less for the very same items with every single order placed. My costs remained static but my revenue dropped by 12% simply due to a change in exchange rate. 8,20€ became 7,90€, then 7,60€ and so on... The result is I was unable to accurately predict my return on investment during this time, making it harder to plan releases, restocks and so on. To be able to do that once again will mean I can effectively strategise for 2018, and reinvest more in creating something that I am proud of.