Webr Blog

Reducing VAT from 17.5% to 15% but Keeping the Overall Price the Same

This post was originally published on my old blog on December 1st, 2008

So today’s the day everyone reduces their VAT to 15%, as this is apparently the magic fix to the current recession problem (that’s a whole other discussion!). As a developer of ecommerce sites I’m finding this morning particularly busy.

I’m finding a lot of clients are wanting to adjust prices on their products after the VAT has been reduced so as to keep the overall price the same – most people bought in their stock at the higher level of VAT so rightly don’t want to make a loss.

Going through every product individually and increasing the price manually can obviously be extremely tedious on a big website. Luckily there’s a simple way of working out exactly how much to increase the price of every product in one go:

Let’s say you have a product that costs £100 excluding VAT. At 17.5% VAT the overall cost was £117.50, but at the new 15% level of VAT that price becomes £115. We could just add £2.50, but as the increase we need to make will be the same proportion for every product, we can find a number to multiply by 115 to get 117.5, and in turn, the right increase for every product. This is where a little algebra comes in… (if I’ve lost you here you can just skip the first 2 lines!)

115 x number = 117.5

number = 117.5 / 115

number = 1.0217391304347826…

So there you have it – multiplying the price of every product by a little over 1.02 should give you the same price you had before the drop in VAT. If you have access to your ecommerce site’s database, you can run a single SQL query which should update all of your prices in one go (make sure you backup the database beforehand – just in case!):

update products set products_price = (products_price * 1.0217391304347826);

Where products is your products table and products_price is the name of your products price field.

Google Toolbar Pagerank Update

This post was originally published on my old blog on July 25th, 2008

It seems Google are currently pushing their latest update of Pagerank data to its various toolbar data centres, and this is straight from Google’s very own Matt Cutts.

If you haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about, take a look at this Wikipedia article about Pagerank.

I’m becoming less and less fussed about what changes the toolbar figures will make to my websites’ Pagerank – it means very little to your search engine rankings and is becoming less and less of a measure of a website’s worth.

However I’m going to be watching this update with a little more interest as I’ve found a bit of an anomaly with this very blog – I created it mere days ago, it’s never existed as a URL before (as far as I’m aware), yet it still has an immediate Pagerank of 3! Can anyone explain this?

I will update this post after the Pagerank update…

UPDATE: Well it looks like the blog gets to keep its Pagerank of 3! Still can’t explain it, though you could argue it’s being passed from the homepage. Also, no update to my new inner page’s Pagerank – maybe my redesign was too near to the toolbar data push.