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The Masked Tulip

Being Self-Employed Is Like 'slavery', Traders Tell Vince Cable

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RADERS in Swansea have told Shadow Business Secretary John Denham that business is at an all-time low.

Labour's answer to Vince Cable met with everyone from butchers to coffee shop owners on the day the party unveiled its Welsh manifesto.

Lee Vaughan represented Swansea Indoor market, which provides work for more than 500 people. He said being self employed now resembled slavery.

He added: "I've never known the city to be as bad as it is now.

"We have got 130 empty units in the city and it looks derelict.

"I'm working harder than I've ever worked in my life and the capital I've worked up over the years is now being put back into the business.

"To be a self employed independent trader these days is like slavery."

High Street trader Wayne Evans was also at the meeting at the Dragon Hotel and said one solution to the problems facing traders would be free parking across the city.

He said: "Business has been excessively bad in the last five weeks.

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/self-employed-like-slavery-traders-tell-MP/article-3452089-detail/article.html

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Forgot to add my two cents.

This can't be good for houses prices in the area. It can't be good for house prices across the country if this kind of thing is being experienced by small traders up and down the UK?

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but its not these people who are propping the housing market. Its the cash rich boomers in conjunction with the Government and people with regular incomes borrowing off the banksters ie BTL / some OO.

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but its not these people who are propping the housing market. Its the cash rich boomers in conjunction with the Government and people with regular incomes borrowing off the banksters ie BTL / some OO.

No, but these people are seeing a big turn-down in their customers. That means that people are not spending. Why is this?

It is all part of the austerity that is feeding through the economy.

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Should become a self-employed plumber. Judging by some of the quotes I received recently for a boiler replacement, some of them are virtually on footballer salaries (one guy wanted £500p.d. labour!).

Edited by MiCasaSuCasa

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Should become a self-employed plumber. Judging by some of the quotes I received recently for a boiler replacement, some of them are virtually on footballer salaries (one guy wanted £500p.d. labour!).

Unbelievable! You hear these stories all the time but are they true? Are these rates for a select few? Are these people ripping you off?

One thing's for sure... if you drive round a nice area you will almost certainly spot a van from somebody who's in a trade...

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No, but these people are seeing a big turn-down in their customers. That means that people are not spending. Why is this?

Maybe they are trying to save / pay down debt.

The paradox of thrift.

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I'm sick of all this talk of small business. We need BIG business, damn it.

Small businesses employ more people in this country than the big ones, despite the determination of the government to make them jump through as many hoops as possible.

They most certainly pay more tax than the big boys.

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I am and it is!

It is very difficult to put up prices as customers perceive poor value but business rates up 40% in two years, VAT up(14% this year and 33% since Jan 2010) , insurance up (35% this year), and costs up too.

My prices up 5% and we're poor value.

Edited by man o' the year

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The 80s/90s recession affected large numbers of employees and a lot of them had to/were encouraged/were subsidised etc to become self employed including things like nail bars/coffee shops/perfume shops/speciality nick nack shops/fish tanks to nibble at your feet shops and so on. Tattoo shops have set up with quite large outlets even on some high streets now and that sort of job used to be quite few and far between say just 10 years ago.

So much work for employees went overseas people have had to find income from self employment wherever they could. Then there's all the burger bars/panini places/estate agents/travel agents etc and so on of course.

It's all been held together with more and more extremes of public and private debt linked to high house prices and now that the debt available has apparently sharply declined it's no surprise at all to find the self employed finding it hard - as did employees in the 80s/90s recession.

Can't blame them for complaining but I can't see the fact that they're reported to be complaining is going to make much difference. Maybe they'll have to move to Asia but it's a fair bet there's plenty of nail bars etc there already. After all many of the new ideas for the shops were imported from places like Asia.

Edited by billybong

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I've knocked a third off my prices and now the work is coming in. I'm paying cash for raw materials ;) so not passing on the VAT to customers. The stuff I do is directed at home owners and and towards the top of the market.

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The 80s/90s recession affected large numbers of employees and a lot of them had to/were encouraged/were subsidised etc to become self employed including things like nail bars/coffee shops/perfume shops/speciality nick nack shops/fish tanks to nibble at your feet shops and so on. Tattoo shops have set up with quite large outlets even on some high streets now and that sort of job used to be quite few and far between say just 10 years ago.

So much work for employees went overseas people have had to find income from self employment wherever they could. Then there's all the burger bars/panini places/estate agents/travel agents etc and so on of course.

It's all been held together with more and more extremes of public and private debt linked to high house prices and now that the debt available has apparently sharply declined it's no surprise at all to find the self employed finding it hard - as did employees in the 80s/90s recession.

Can't blame them for complaining but I can't see the fact that they're reported to be complaining is going to make much difference. Maybe they'll have to move to Asia but it's a fair bet there's plenty of nail bars etc there already. After all many of the new ideas for the shops were imported from places like Asia.

Absolutely bang on the nail!!

Add on the LIAR LOAN phenomenon to that list - and - Hey Presto - You had the "miracle economy" over the last 10+ years...... i.e. Ponzi/Pyramid Fraud/Scam run by the Moneylender-Banksters.....

And so - here we are today.... :rolleyes:

Edited by eric pebble

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Empty units in highstreets isn't just a problem in South Wales - there a several in London with the same issue. Take Ealing Broadway for example - loads of empty units , closed pubs. The only shops to have opened recently are pound shops and other low-end retail units (Primark, New Look).

It will be consumers tightening their belts, but isn't it also better consumer awareness - i.e. the realisation that almost everything is cheaper to buy online, and with a wider selection?

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I'm sick of all this talk of small business. We need BIG business, damn it.

The current government seem to disagree. As actions speak louder than words, how about this for evidence of an anti industry stance;

The current VAT registration threshold is around £70k. In the past you could register before your turnover was anywhere near the threshold when it made sense for your business, e.g. when you bought raw materials that attracted VAT and sold on a finished product also attracting VAT. Today the tax man is actively hostile to anyone trying to register for VAT unless their turnover is projected to be over £70kpa. If you try to register and they think you won't hit that threshold they will turn your application down. If you clearly fall below the target you will be de-registered.

Why does this matter? Well if you are manufacturing, you need a retailer to sell the stuff you make. If you cannot reclaim the VAT on your materials, you have to charge the whole price to the retailer who then has to add his profit margin and then add 20% on top. Many retailers are not going to buy from you unless you can register for VAT.

If you run a business that relies on you peddling your labour, it isn't so important but you are never going to grow into a big company because you can only work so many hours a day.

Of course you could go and bend over in front of the Dragon's Den and hope one of them will shaft you for all your profit so you can ramp up production to government imposed levels.

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Online traders screaming about dramatic drop in trade over last 2 months

Amazon.co,.uk sellers forum thread (requires az reg)

I am now very very concerned about lack of sales. The statistics don't lie and wonder if any other Merchants have seen such a dramatic drop as this:-

3,700 quality listed items

300 new listings added in last 3 weeks - 2 sales from that.

I offer the lowest price on Amazon for 60% of that total.

Total weekly sales ( over last 12 months) average 40 .

Total weekly sales (over last month) average 12.

Total sales last 5 days - 2.

Income per month up to March 2011 - £1300 average.

Income for March to April 2011 - £400.

Thats a 70% drop in sales and income within last month.

Ive also had a 60% drop in worldwide sales in the last month.

Is it Cameron and Clegg's doing or Amazon piddling about with the site? I'm seriously considering packing everything in and becoming a Counsellor for those pulling their hair out for the bloody mess our country is in!

ebay powersellers thread (powerseller reg. req. )

Poor sales,

Beloved ebay selling out and becoming like every other site.

we don't have all our eggs in one basket but ebay is still a big percentage of our income, The catalogue ebay are introducing is one reason why i dislike amazon as a seller and it concerns me when I see ebay adding this to more and more categories.

Ebay has been for a number of years my favourite venue and I can honestly say it's the first place we list new products but even adding new products has had limited success this last couple of months.

Google are also introducing a catalogue for google shopping and we've also seen our google shopping hits drop very steeply because our feed isn't currently up to scratch although we have been working on it.

google are selling out and are promoting those large retaillers more in shopping than they ever did.

On top of that the VAT increase we had to swallow without raising our prices much.

Really have to face it and decide whether it's all worth the hassle becuase at the moment the direction that online shopping and the economy is heading in is making wonder if the time to get out could be getting closer. Problem being jobs don't grow on trees.

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Online traders screaming about dramatic drop in trade over last 2 months

Amazon.co,.uk sellers forum thread (requires az reg)

ebay powersellers thread (powerseller reg. req. )

Excellent post and report. Just after xmas I started flogging off loads of our old antique books on Ebay - they were fetching anything up to 25-35 pounds each for the oldest ones and 5-10 each for the 1940s-60s vintages.

Now (march/april) the lastest books I listed either did not sell or fetched just 99p (including one from 1820 which previously fetched 26 quid after numerous bids but the loser wrote and told me he was broke and could not pay it so I had to relist).

Plus my internet caribbean hotel bookings have collapsed 55% first quarter in a YOY comparison - and much more than that if I was to single out march or april (I will calculate and publish these collapse figues in due course - nothing like a decent collapse to keep us folks on here amused - except in my case with my figures of course!!!).

It really does seem that a seachange has happened since the recent fuel price rises and budget changes - as savage as if a lightswitch was turned off. This savage and sudden collapse reminds me of the suddenness of the change in mood which caused the 1929 stock market crash....sentiment is fickle and I think it can change very fast from boom to bust, but takes years to reverse.

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Excellent post and report. Just after xmas I started flogging off loads of our old antique books on Ebay - they were fetching anything up to 25-35 pounds each for the oldest ones and 5-10 each for the 1940s-60s vintages.

Now (march/april) the lastest books I listed either did not sell or fetched just 99p (including one from 1820 which previously fetched 26 quid after numerous bids but the loser wrote and told me he was broke and could not pay it so I had to relist).

Plus my internet caribbean hotel bookings have collapsed 55% first quarter in a YOY comparison - and much more than that if I was to single out march or april (I will calculate and publish these collapse figues in due course - nothing like a decent collapse to keep us folks on here amused - except in my case with my figures of course!!!).

It really does seem that a seachange has happened since the recent fuel price rises and budget changes - as savage as if a lightswitch was turned off. This savage and sudden collapse reminds me of the suddenness of the change in mood which caused the 1929 stock market crash....sentiment is fickle and I think it can change very fast from boom to bust, but takes years to reverse.

Imo, it looks like a massive collapse over last 8 weeks from reading az / ebay forums. My online sales as a business have halved on ebay / az(new & used video games / books / dvds / small electronics)

I was considering doing the boot sales or markets to clear the low end stuff, but an anecdote from a veteran maket trader /booter put me off today.

I recounted the stories above of online collapse, he said that market traders in NW were similarly struggling, many selling below cost to get cash in.

I've just downsized because of this, given up lease on my office (rent ws raised 5%), bought big camper van to travel around & trade online with shipping container used as storage, reduced staff, who will be working from home now.

I was selling a lot of stuff that i got at low bankruptcy level prices, so i hate to think what it is like for those paying normal stock prices.

Edit: the 3rd market after Ebay /Az is playtrade.com. Sales on that has almost completely collapsed for me over last 4 months, even after slashing prices.

The sales boost at beginning of the month when folks get paid, appears to have disappeared

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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It really does seem that a seachange has happened since the recent fuel price rises and budget changes - as savage as if a lightswitch was turned off. ..sentiment is fickle and I think it can change very fast from boom to bust, but takes years to reverse.

Yes! Oh crikey! :o:blink::huh:

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Just had a walk through Swansea city centre - don't go in there much these days as I am not buying, car parking is a rip-off as are the buses, the Council has made a nightmare of the road layout, ther are less shops there anyhow and I ain't spending either.

But I was staggered by how many boarded up shops and shops with 'To Let' signs above them. The place is dying.

I was reading an article this morning about a shortage of tech workers in silicon valley and wondered why I am bothering here.

To keep this on HPC, just spoke with one of the sensible EAs who said that houses on for 350K now have to come down to nearer 250K and 300K to below 250K.

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I do some basic website work for some self employed folks and the general consensus is that they are significantly down. I try and probe them to give a percentage and only 2 obliged.

One is a member of the 'oldest profession' and estimates her bookings are down 30% on last year. She is into her overpriced tat and needs to make £80k a year to keep her accustomed to her lifestyle. Hubby is out of work so she is the sole provider.

Another chap is in the domestic cleaning trade and he estimates he is down 15% and his new customer pick up rate has dropped considerably. He is hit both ends as his fuel costs have risen considerably and he dare not pass on the cost.

Neither are essential purchases (well depending on your needs for the former).

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Should become a self-employed plumber. Judging by some of the quotes I received recently for a boiler replacement, some of them are virtually on footballer salaries (one guy wanted £500p.d. labour!).

Some daily rates can seem high but a decent trader involved in something technical like electrical work or plumbing in central heating will have quite high insurance costs for public liability, professional indemnity, employers liability, tool insurance, van insurance plus professional membership fees, keeping up to date with regulations and training, calibrating test equipment etc and that is before paying tax/NI and premises costs. Paying for even a small lockup is expensive. Then add in advertising and accounting fees and wages. I reckon 500 per day would include a plumbers mate. Of course, some out there are doing shoddy work, with no insurance and charge a fortune. You can at least check what bodies wormen belong to and ask to see their insurance etc.

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It really does seem that a seachange has happened since the recent fuel price rises and budget changes - as savage as if a lightswitch was turned off. This savage and sudden collapse reminds me of the suddenness of the change in mood which caused the 1929 stock market crash....sentiment is fickle and I think it can change very fast from boom to bust, but takes years to reverse.

This is completely non-scientific, but I would think that a lot of people back at the start of 2008 were generally spending about 90% of their income each month, with a 10% buffer which they could either save or spend on entertainment/tat/booze depending on their personality. Given that a lot of people haven't seen a pay rise since then, inflation (RPI) will have entirely consumed their 10% income buffer right about two months ago. There's nothing like an empty bank balance to put the brakes on spending.

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  • 309 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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