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14 Questions About Amazon International Shipping

Pramod Bhat
  •  
  •  
August 14, 2020

Congratulations! You're now an established seller at your home marketplace. The sales are steadily increasing, and customers are happy with your service. It seems the next logical step is offering your high-quality products in the international market scene. Luckily, the online retail giant provides Amazon international shipping and fulfillment services.

The idea of introducing your best selling products to the world seems a golden opportunity. However, you should be aware that each Amazon marketplace has different sets of restrictions. Don't fret because we will help you navigate Amazon international shipping and fulfillment by answering your most common questions:

What is Amazon Global Selling?

Amazon allows you to list and sell your products across the world on Amazon global marketplaces. To date, Amazon's marketplaces are distributed throughout four regions around the world with 16 online stores, as shown below:

EuropeAsia-PacificMiddle EastAmericas
Amazon.co.ukAmazon.inAmazon.aeAmazon.ca
Amazon.deAmazon.co.jpAmazon.com.trAmazon.com
Amazon.frAmazon.com.au
Amazon.com.mx
Amazon.itAmazon.sg
Amazon.com.br
Amazon.es


Amazon.nl


Since Amazon's brand is trusted and recognized worldwide, you can have immediate access to its large customer base abroad. Tata, one of the largest Indian firms, saw this apparent advantage. Thus, they planned to expand the global presence of their luxury brand, Titan, using Amazon FBA, according to this news article.

What are the advantages of Amazon Global Selling?

Here are the perks of being an Amazon Global Seller:

  • You don't need to introduce your brand to a new marketplace since the Amazon brand is trusted and recognized worldwide.
  • You can have access to more than 150 million customers in 180 countries.
  • You can manage your inventory easily by offering your excess products during seasonal sales in other countries. 

These are the advantages of selling in the largest online marketplace in the world. Amazon has already laid the groundwork for you. All you have to do is offer your high-quality products and exceptional customer service.

What to sell?

As a seasoned Amazon seller, you might think that offering your best-selling products are enough to launch your new business venture and start with Amazon international shipping. Keep in mind that there are several factors you need to consider, such as: 

Know your customer

When you visit another country, either for leisure or business purposes, you should learn about its culture, traditions, and values first. You will do it not because you're interested, but out of courtesy and respect. It goes the same way with Amazon Global Selling. Start customer research to understand the needs, preferences, language, and behavior of your desired new marketplace. 

Know what product works

Make sure your product works in that country. For example, a blender that runs in a 110-volt AC won't sell in India as they only accept 240-volt AC appliances. Visit the country's list of regulated goods first to check which products aren't allowed to sell.

Learn the tax and regulations

You should be compliant with the new marketplace's local taxes, regulations, and laws. Practice due diligence in studying legal matters like intellectual property rights, export controls, marking and labels, etc. It would be better to ask for professional help who is experienced in tax and regulatory law. If you didn't do this, it would be impossible to expand your business in that country. 

Check out the new marketplace

Broaden your choices and try taking a peek at the new marketplace, especially its Best Sellers and Featured Brands. Browse the customer reviews of the products similar to yours. In this way, you can be familiar with its selling landscape.

How do I set my price?

You can't just use your retail price from your home marketplace by default. Consider the following Amazon shipping costs as you adjust your selling price:

  • Taxes and duties in the new marketplace.
  • Cost of shipping if you are delivering your products directly to international customers.
  • International return shipping fees when you ship the orders yourself.
  • If you're using FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), determine its shipping fee to send your inventory to fulfillment centers abroad.
  • Cost of customer service when you're in charge of providing this in the local language or through a third-party provider.
  • Conversion fee if you want to get paid in your local currency.
  • The cost of translation for listing ASINs in another language.

How do I grow my international business outside Amazon?

You can maximize Amazon international shipping by exploring other distribution channels such as Multi-Channel Fulfillment and Amazon Sponsored Display ads.

In Multi-Channel Fulfillment, you can sell your products outside the Amazon marketplace, which is one of the advantages of being an Amazon FBA seller. Other selling platforms where you can offer your products are through your website, in-store sales, and third-party online marketplaces like Alibaba and eBay.

On the other hand, Amazon Sponsored Display ads are a self-service advertising solution that lets you promote your products on and off the Amazon marketplace. It is a CPC (cost-per-click) ad that can appear on third-party websites and apps.

Amazon doesn't only let you use its other international marketplaces. It also gives you the freedom to scale your business outside of their marketplace.

How can I make my listings more engaging?

If there is one thing Amazon has taught you selling on their marketplace for years, you should always optimize your product listings. 

Since you're selling your products in a new marketplace, you must first prep your listings because it is like you're doing a product launch all over again. Here are the tips to attract customers in the global marketplace on Amazon:

Amazon Lightning Deals

Who doesn't love discounted products? This program will let you advertise your products at a discounted price between 4 to 6 hours. It could help you increase sales and lessen inventory quickly. 

However, take note that this Amazon program charges a fee of $150. Moreover, your listings must have a 3+ star rating and your products must not be included in the restricted list. Further, you must be enrolled in a Professional Selling plan and Prime-eligible. You must register in Amazon FBA to achieve the latter. Otherwise, you should be a stellar Seller-Fulfilled Prime member.

Buy One, Get One

It is another irresistible promotion where a customer gets one or more items for free after purchasing a product. Take note that you should use "Single-Use" so excited buyers won't abuse your generous offer. 

Also called "BOGO," you can post its claim code on deals websites located in the new marketplace. you may also reach the customers from that marketplace through social media ads with the use of geo-targeting.

Giveaways

It is Amazon promotion's virtual counterpart for giving away sample products. You can leverage this to introduce your products in the new marketplace and grow your customer base.

There are four ways to set up giveaways on Amazon. It includes sweepstakes, random instant win, lucky number instant wins, and first come first served. Make sure that you choose the right products to giveaway and perform A/B testing to see which product works best.

Should I create a new Amazon selling account?

Since you want to sell at another online marketplace, you will need to sign up for a new Amazon selling account with a few exceptions. Here's how it differs per Amazon marketplace:

North America requirements

You can sell in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada through a unified account. For example, you can carry out Amazon international shipping to Canada and Mexico if you're registered on Amazon.com. Amazon also allows you to create and manage listings under a single seller account interface. However, you need to create new listings on the new marketplace to start selling.

European requirements

Under a European Unified Account, you're allowed to offer your products at the following marketplaces: Amazon.es, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, and Amazon.fr. But you need to provide a VAT number to do so.

Japan requirements

Don't worry about language barriers as Amazon gives you an option to register in Japanese and English, as stated in their requirements. You can start selling whether you have an Individual or a Professional Seller plan. But remember that you must translate your product listings into their language.

Indian requirements

Unfortunately, you need to have a locally registered business in India to sell. It means only Indian residents are allowed to sell at Amazon.in.

In each marketplace mentioned above, you must provide necessary information about yourself, bank account number, credit card, and tax information to be able to sign up.

Should I open a bank account in the new marketplace I want to sell?

Amazon permits this, but you have to create a legal business entity in that country. There is another way to receive a payment called Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers (ACCS). In ACCS, funds are deposited into your local bank account in your local currency. 

Take note that after you add a bank account using ACCS, the first payment might be delayed up to 14 days. Make sure that you read first the ACCS Terms and Conditions and the list of countries/currencies supported by ACCS before registering your bank account.

What is the function of the Build International Listings tool?

It is a tool that can help you manage your products across different marketplaces seamlessly. Build International Listings can do the following: 

  • It can create offers in your chosen new marketplace with minimal effort as long as the ASINs are present in both marketplaces. 
  • It can also automatically reflect the price based on the target marketplace. 
  • You can check the exchange rate fluctuations from time to time to adjust the prices without the hassle.
  • It can translate product listing pages in the language of the target marketplace.

However, it has limitations when it comes to Amazon international shipping. It can't synchronize inventories between the countries of a region (e.g., the United States and Canada) and between different regions (e.g., Japan and Europe). For this reason, you must regularly monitor your inventory to avoid running out of stock.

What are the Amazon international shipping and fulfillment options available?

Amazon provides different shipping and fulfillment services depending on who will accomplish it, as explained below:

Fulfillment by Seller

You will take care of the Amazon international shipping and fulfillment tasks, starting from choosing the carrier, shipping it, and acting as a broker. What is included in the Amazon shipping costs? It depends on several factors such as delivery time, package dimension and weight, customs duties and taxes, shipping source, shipping destination, and TransPerfect translations.

It is also your responsibility to manage your customer expectations by ensuring that their orders are delivered timely. Be transparent on where you are shipping from, and since you're doing Amazon international shipping by yourself, expect that the delivery will take more time than domestic shipping. You must also manage customer returns and support without delays. 

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

You may ship directly to Amazon FBA, but remember that products need to be imported in the country where the fulfillment center is located. To accomplish this, you must handle the importation and exportation of your products. Thus, you will take care of the customs duties, import taxes, and fees collected by the destination country.

When you're enrolled in this fulfillment program, you're eligible for FBA export, an Amazon FBA shipping service, where Amazon will personally pick, pack, and deliver your products to your customer. By the way, the customer will pay for the Amazon international shipping cost and import fee deposit on top of the actual product cost. Meanwhile, returns and 24/7 customer service are Amazon's responsibility. The good thing about this is you will not incur any fees.

What are some other Amazon FBA shipping services?

While we're on the subject of Amazon FBA shipping service like FBA exports, you can further apply its other types to improve your Amazon business:

FBA Small and Light - is available worldwide, specifically in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and Japan. It is a fulfillment option for products measuring 16 x 9 x 4 inches or less, or weighing 4 oz. or less. Customers will be the ones to shoulder the fulfillment costs, not you.

FBA Subscribe & Save - this is FBA's customer retention program by offering discounted products on a subscription basis. You should have an 85% in-stock rate (26 of the past 30 days) to be eligible for FBA Subscribe & Save.

FBA Pan-EU - offers speedy delivery to European Prime members. Amazon will be the one to distribute your products at no additional cost.

What are Amazon FBA shipping rates?

The Amazon FBA shipping rates are based on the marketplace you want to sell. Each country has different fee tables based on the weight and dimensions of the product. We've listed some of it below to give you an idea how much it costs:

Canada - you will pay CAD 3.37 for the first 100 g and CAD 0.20 for each additional 100 g. This is before September 1, 2020. Expect changes starting that date onwards.

Japan - the cost for less than 250 g is JPY 282 and JPY 548 for less than 9 kg.

Australia - you will be charged $1.48 for orders under standard-size small envelope and $9.99 for a standard-size parcel.

You may visit each international marketplace to check how much it charges when it comes to FBA so that you can add it up to the rest of Amazon shipping costs.

How do I start with Amazon Global Selling

Now that you know the basics of Amazon international shipping and fulfillment, you can start selling with Amazon Global Selling:

1. Register on your target marketplace using a Professional Seller plan. Provide basic details such as full name, email address, phone number, address, bank account, business name, tax information, credit card number, and VAT number, if you want to sell at a European marketplace.

2. Under the Inventory menu, select Sell Globally.

3. Choose the region of your target marketplace. If you have an account in that region, select Link accounts. Otherwise, create a separate account by clicking on the Register now.

4. You may now start creating a new listing in the target marketplace.

5. Don't forget to set the local language on your target global marketplace.

6. Set your fulfillment option to FBA if you wish to use Amazon international shipping and fulfillment services.

BONUS: What are the mistakes that I should avoid when I ship directly to Amazon FBA?

Amazon international shipping mistakes are costly and can subject you to legal implications. Below are the newbie mistakes you should avoid:

  • Ensure the incoterm is marked as DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) and not DDU (Delivered Duty Unpaid). Incoterm is one of the fields in your commercial invoice. If it is not marked as DDP, Amazon will refuse the shipment and return it to you because it means you haven't paid the fees regarding the taxes and duties in advance.
  • You should assign someone to stand as your importer of record in the destination country. Amazon doesn't assume accountability with regards to the legalities and security of the shipment.
  • Use the appropriate HS code or harmonized code for your products. Don't just give a general description of the product because customs might assign an expensive HS code at your stead.
  • Shipping by LCL (Less Container Load) is more expensive than air shipping. How can you maximize air shipping? Deliver products in smaller quantities to avoid costly Amazon FBA storage fees. Since air shipping is faster than LCL, you can replenish your inventory in no time.

Key Takeaways

Amazon international shipping and fulfillment seem an ambitious business venture that will allow you to reach more customers and gain more sales. However, keep in mind that you will be facing various challenges like taxes and duties, different customer preferences, laws and regulations, intellectual property rights, and expensive logistics. Thankfully, there is Amazon Global Selling that can make your dream of being an international seller come true. It has a well-built platform and a set of tools that can help you sell faster and easier.

If you want to understand more about Amazon international shipping and fulfillment, Stallion Express has experienced consultants willing to help you ship directly to Amazon FBA. For inquiries, you can call at +1 877-863-7447 or email [email protected]

Get started today! Ship faster, smarter, cheaper with Stallion.

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Pramod Bhat
Written by Pramod Bhat

Pramod is the CEO of Stallion Express - the leading eCommerce shipping provider in Canada. His vision, leadership, and innovative strategies have catapulted Stallion into one of the industry's most trusted brands. He is on a mission to help online sellers in Canada scale and succeed. He is also the reigning office ping pong champion.

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