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Crash Course on Amazon International Shipping

Nicasio Co III
  •  
  •  
November 12, 2020

Have you been thinking of growing your business internationally? Do you plan on using Amazon International Shipping? If you have, then that’s awesome! Amazon ships to over 100  countries in the world. In fact, Amazon’s total shipping cost amounted to 37.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, and there are over  2.2 million third-party sellers worldwide.

Due to Amazon’s high-quality and speedy shipping service, the platform has gained popularity among consumers. Many businesses are expanding internationally to reach new customers. Through Amazon Global Selling, Amazon sellers can list and sell their products in different marketplaces such as Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In fact, a quarter of the seller’s sales were from cross-border shipments. 

Amazon’s Global Selling helps businesses expand and reach new customers . Unfortunately, scaling up is not that easy. Hence, we created a guide to ease the pain of navigating through international shipping. 

Understanding the Basics

Amazon Global Selling allows you to sell your products overseas and access millions of customers worldwide. Customers will be able to browse a wide selection of international products without leaving the Amazon platform. The program’s goal is to simplify the customer’s shopping experience. Currently, Amazon has 16 marketplaces where you can sell your products. 

Europe

  • Amazon.co.uk
  • Amazon.de
  • Amazon.fr
  • Amazon.it
  • Amazon.es
  • Amazon.nl

Asia-Pacific

  • Amazon.co.jp
  • Amazon.in
  • Amazon.com.au
  • Amazon.sg

Middle East

  • Amazon.ae
  • Amazon.com.tr

Americas

  • Amazon.com
  • Amazon.ca
  • Amazon.com.mx
  • Amazon.com.br

Advantages of Shipping Internationally

  • Large customer base: You can reach a broader range of customers when you sell internationally. 
  • Amazon FBA: If you opt to use Amazon FBA, you can utilize its easy fulfillment system and good customer service. You can focus on testing new products and building your store while Amazon handles the shipping and returns. 
  • Increased sales: Reaching new customers provides you with the opportunity to grow your business and increase your sales. You can also boost your sales during holidays because there are many different holidays around the globe. The most notable ones are  Christmas and Black Friday. 
  • Secure payments: Amazon makes sure that you receive your payments on time. 
  • Branding: When you sell on Amazon, you are reducing the cost of building your brand. Potential buyers may not know your store, but they are familiar with Amazon. By selling on Amazon, you won’t have to deal with the challenges of building your brand in a new country. 
Disadvantages of Shipping Internationally

Disadvantages of Shipping Internationally

  • Increased competition: When it comes to selling internationally, you’ll compete with hundreds of local and overseas sellers.
  • Fulfillment: If you’re not using Amazon FBA, you’ll have to be the one to pack, ship, handle customer returns, and prepare customs forms. The challenging part is to communicate with your customers using the local language. You may even have to hire someone who speaks the language to help  assist you in answering customer inquiries. 
  • Reviews: Customer reviews don’t appear in all marketplaces. If a customer from the UK gives you a 5-star review, it won’t appear in the US marketplace. This can be beneficial if you receive negative reviews. However, reviews are essential for customers. 
  • The difference in language and culture: The difference in language and culture can affect your products' marketing. You must read and research about the country you want to sell to before you start marketing your products. 

Five Steps to Start with Amazon International Shipping

The process to ship internationally through Amazon is relatively simple. Here's how:

  • Determine the products you will sell and where you want to sell them

There are 16 marketplaces you can choose from when it comes to shipping internationally. Choose a marketplace that will sell your products. When it comes to picking a product, do your research and create a list. Decide on a winning product and finalize your product list. Follow the questions below to help you in making a decision.

  • What products will I be selling? Will I create a new product or sell an existing one? 

It can be tempting to sell everything in your store, but it’s best to start with your best-selling product. In this way, you can check if it suits the marketplace. You may also introduce a new product. 

  • Will my products comply with the regulations of the country? Is it suitable for international shipping? 

Before you start selling on a marketplace, you need to be aware of the shipping regulations and prohibited and restricted items. Since the rules differ in each country, you need to do your research to avoid selling illegal items. For example, you’re not allowed to ship gun toys to India. 

  • Will my products sell well in this country?

Aside from following each country's rules and regulations, you need to know if your product will sell well. There’s no use spending so much on ads and marketing when the product can’t attract consumers' attention. You need to know if it's a good fit for them or not. 

  • What are the major holidays and seasons?

Knowing the holidays would make it easy for you to schedule sales and discounts. 
Once you have answered these questions, you can now start selling on the Amazon global marketplace. 

2. Create an Account on the Global Marketplace

According to Amazon, it only takes six simple steps to start selling internationally. But the reality is, it’s much more complicated than that. Before you start selling your products, you need to create an Amazon account for the region's marketplace. For example, if you’re selling in Amazon UK and you want to sell in the US, you need to create a new account for Amazon in the US. 

There are exemptions to the rule. For example, if you’re part of the North American Unified Account or European Unified Account. These regions allow you to create only one seller account for different marketplaces. If you want to sell in Spain but you are currently trading in the UK, you don’t have to create a new account because these countries are under the European Unified Account.  

Once you decide to expand your business, you’ll need to provide your payment information to pay your monthly fees for each Amazon account. 

  • US: USD 39.99
  • Canada: CDN 29.99
  • Mexico: MXN$ 600.00
  • Brazil: R$ 19.00
  • UK: GBP 25.00
  • Germany: EUR 39.00
  • France: EUR 39.00
  • Italy: EUR 39.00
  • Spain: EUR 39.00
  • Japan: JPY 4,900.00
  • Australia: AUD 49.95

To start creating an account on the Global marketplace, you need to provide the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone number
  4. Email 
  5. Bank account number and other bank details
  6. Business name
  7. Tax information
  8. Valid credit card number and its associated details (for the payment)

Steps to Create an Account

1. In Seller Central, click “Inventory” and click “Sell Global.”

2. Click on the marketplace you are trying to target. There are two ways you can do this. 

  • If you plan to sell in a new marketplace under the same region, click “Register now” to create a target region selling account, which you can use to access all marketplaces.
  • If you are entering a new marketplace that is not under your region, create a new account to register yourself in the international market.  

3. Click  “Link accounts” to link your current account to your target region account. It will allow you to access different marketplaces using your seller account. 

4. Start Listing your Products

Once you have created your Amazon account, you can start listing products in the marketplace. There are the areas you need to think of when creating your product listing. Make sure to optimize your listing correctly. 

  • Product title
  • Product images
  • Product description
  • Features of the product
  • Product keywords

When you create your product listing, you need to add all the product Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASINs) on every marketplace you are selling and add product details in the local language. 

3. Select your Fulfillment Method

When it comes to your packages' fulfillment method, you can choose to fulfill them on your own or through Amazon FBA. If you decide to fulfill your orders on your own, you’ll be responsible for the packaging, shipment, and fulfillment of your orders. You must also provide excellent customer services, such as handling refunds and returns. 

If you use Amazon FBA, you’ll have Amazon handle the shipping, fulfillment, and package returns. Ship your products to the country you’re selling, and Amazon shall do the rest. Using FBA will help you speed up your shipment, deliver top-notch customer service, and help you rank high on the Amazon search results page. 

Fill out necessary documents and properly package your items

4. Fill out necessary documents and properly package your items.

Customs documents are required whenever you ship a product from one country to another. It includes the name of the sender, recipient, and shipment details. This form helps in determining how much you will be paying for customs and tariffs fees. You can obtain one from your local postal service. Remember that each destination country has its requirements. 

Aside from filling out all the necessary documents, don’t forget to pack your item when shipping to Amazon’s warehouse properly. If you’re fulfilling the package on your own, make sure you are using the right materials and containers to avoid damaging the item.

5. Manage Your Business

After shipping your products, you’ll need to provide customer service. We mentioned earlier that if you choose Amazon FBA, they’ll handle customer service support s. Suppose you decide to fulfill the packages on your own, you can either hire a professional to answer the inquiries, especially if the language is not familiar to you, or answer inquiries yourself. 

It can be a challenge to provide customer support in another country since you’ll deal with a different time zone and language. Hence, hiring a local courier and professional customer support will ease the burden. Also, Amazon requires that you offer free shipping for returns. 

FAQS

We have answered some of your common questions on Amazon's international shipping. 

Can Amazon ship internationally?

Yes. Amazon has over 16 marketplaces where you can sell and order online. However, the delivery time can be longer than domestic shipping. 

Is international shipping free with Amazon Prime?

For customers, you can choose Free AmazonGlobal Standard Shipping if the item you are buying satisfies the following requirements: (1) is eligible for the free shipping, (2) meets the order minimum, and (3) is shipped to an international delivery address. You can quickly identify if it is eligible on the Free Shipping message on the product detail. However, changing your shipping address or order can affect your free shipping eligibility. 

Does Amazon FBA pay for shipping?

As a business owner, the shipping fee is included in your fulfillment fees since Amazon takes care of the shipping and customer service for you. 

Should I add a Shipping Insurance?

When it comes to shipping internationally, you need to protect your packages from theft, loss, or damage. Having your boxes arrive in a haphazard state to your customers can lead to negative reviews on your store. To avoid this scenario, purchase shipping insurance for your packages. The insurance shall help you cover for the financial loss and help gain the trust of your customer.

Key Takeaways

Amazon international shipping is a good and ambitious opportunity for businesses who want to expand their reach and gain more sales. Knowing the rules of international shipping will help you avoid any problems while fulfilling and selling your products. Thankfully, Amazon’s Global Selling allows you to trade in different marketplaces and fulfill your wish of expanding overseas. 

If you wish to look for a reliable shipping partner, Stallion Express offers its fast and affordable shipping solution for you. We have a team of experienced consultants that are willing to help you ship internationally.

Aside from these, our shipping rates are more affordable than other shipping companies, and you can integrate your store with us. There’s no need to manually check your packages and look for tracking numbers when your store is integrated with us. 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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Nicasio Co III
Written by Nicasio Co III

Nicasio is the co-founder of Stallion Express - the leading eCommerce shipping company in Canada. Through his unique experiences in tech and digital marketing, he is on a journey to disrupt the logistics industry.

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