So, in a constant struggle for easier online UK shopping for Irish companies, I’ve given DSL Warehouse a go.
The problem most online UK companies have is that they lack proper support for 0 VAT orders. So the theory is that if you have a VAT number in one EU country, you don’t get charged VAT by vendors in any other EU country (other than your own). So an Irish company ordering from a UK company/site shouldn’t pay UK VAT. Instead they declare their intra-EU trade in their own VAT returns.
I’ve shopped with a lot of different UK sites (mostly fairly high-profile), and Expansys is the only one I’ve seen that comes close, allowing you to enter a VAT number (I don’t know how/if they verify this) to zero the VAT on an order. Last time I tried Dabs.com, they had a help section detailing what you should do, but the fax number they gave didn’t work (at least not from Ireland), and the email address they gave bounced!!!
DSL Warehouse have an Irish site, so presumably they’re prepared for Irish VAT orders, and it would appear they are. I used their “Live” help system, to be directed to a UK 0870 number, which answerd my call within a minute at most. The pleasant girl took my VAT number and said she’d clear it off my order. So if that actually works out, then that was quite a painless process. Time will tell.