It’s true, U.S. residents often have access to the widest selections of products and amazing deals on Amazon.com. But if you don’t live in the U.S. and are wondering if Amazon ships internationally, this post is written just for you.
Does Amazon ship internationally? The short answer is yes. Amazon.com now offers a shopping website aptly named Amazon Global, specifically for international shoppers from over 100 countries. To start shopping on Amazon.com internationally, you need to set up an account, put in your local address and shop from the Amazon Global home page. Shipping and import fees (duties) are conveniently calculated and displayed so you can shop confidently. Read on to get the entire scoop.
Which Countries is Amazon Available In?
Currently, Amazon has local websites set up for shoppers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. However, the widest product selection and arguably the best deals are available on Amazon.com, the U.S. website.
Who Can Shop on Amazon Global?
So you are an international traveler or an expat who is sorely missing the convenience and wide product selection of Amazon.com. Or perhaps you don’t live in the U.S. but have always wondered whether Amazon.com is available to you, from afar. Well, Amazon Global is set up to serve shoppers like you from over 100 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. If you are currently in the following countries, you too can shop on Amazon.com (U.S.). Over 30 million products are now available to you!
Barbados, Bermuda Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Micronesia, Panama, Peru, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portuga,l Romania, Russia, Saint Barthélemy, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vatican City
Asia and Pacific
Cambodia, China, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Macao, Malaysia, Marshall Island,s New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand
Kenya, Ghana, Mayotte, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Reunion, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
Follow These Two Steps To Start Shopping on Amazon Global
Visit the Amazon Global homepage. This is where you want to start your shopping experience on Amazon.com every time to ensure you see only items that are available to you as an international shopper.
Create an account and add your local shipping address so that Amazon can provide an estimate of Import and Shipping Fees right on the product page and also provide a detailed breakdown during the checkout process.
Since it is your only address, it should automatically be set as “default.” If you add more than one address, make sure you designate the one where you intend to ship to as the “default” address.
That’s it. Now you can start shopping on the Amazon Global homepage!
Pro Tip: Amazon is known for its amazing, ever-changing promotions such as Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day and other limited time offers. Now it has one set up for international shoppers as well.
So What About Customs Duties, Taxes and Import Fees?
I know, I know. When shopping internationally, the first question that comes to mind (at least for me) is how much would one have to pay for the dreaded customs duties, taxes and import fees? Well, they are not as much as you think they would be.
Often, when shopping online with international retailers, you get a nasty surprise at delivery when you discover the inflated import duty and taxes involved before they release the package. Everybody wants their cut, I know. On one too many occasions, I have paid the outrageous, unexpected fees, regretting my purchase before I even opened the package. That’s not a nice feeling.
Shopping with Amazon Global eliminates that uncertainty. For transparency, Amazon will display the estimated Import Fees and Shipping (right on the product page and broken down in detail during checkout) so the fees are transparent. The collected fees are passed along to the carrier or an import agent in order to clear your products at the local customs office and pay what’s owed, on your behalf. There’s nothing more for you to do or to pay.
Here’s a personal example. When I added this GoPro Fusion to my shopping cart for delivery to Thailand, the Import Fees (including duties and taxes) were $58.52, which is only 8% of the amount before tax, including shipping. In Thailand, a country not normally known for electronic deals, foreign imports often trigger upward of 30% in duties. 8% for Import Fees represents significant savings!
Pro Tip: Even better, if the Import Fees collected are LESS than what is actually owed to the local customs office, Amazon does not attempt to collect the difference from you after the fact. If the actual amount owed is MORE than what you have already paid, then Amazon will refund you the difference within 60 days.
What About Shipping? Does Amazon offer Free International Shipping?
Ah yes, how long is it going to take and how much is it going to cost?
For international shoppers, Amazon offers three shipping options—Standard, Expedited and Priority. With so many countries served, they don’t provide specific delivery time frames on their site until you are in the middle of the checkout process.
In my previous example, Amazon offered a 5-10 day window for Expedited and 7-day window for Priority shipping to Thailand.
While international shipping through Amazon Global is not free, it is actually quite reasonable. Here are some examples of shipping costs to Hong Kong from the U.S., just to give you an idea:
For most product categories, standard shipping would cost $4.99 per shipment plus $2.49/lb.
For most product categories, expedited shipping would be $13.99 per shipment plus $2.49/lb. I’d imagine most people would choose this option to find a happy balance between speed and cost. When I chose this option while living/traveling in Asia, it took just over a week for my camera to arrive, which I was happy with, especially because the total price was still cheaper than what local retailers charged.
If you are impatient and just can’t wait, priority shipping to Hong Kong from the U.S. would run you $29.99 per shipment plus $5.99/lb or $2.99 to $5.99 per item. The per item cost varies based on the product category.
In my previous example, shipping to Asia (Thailand) was quite reasonable at $20.90 for expedited shipping.
Amazon shipping is calculated on a per shipment + per item/weight basis. Keeping this in mind, you get the best value when you purchase lightweight, high-value items that are simply not available where you are OR cost a lot more locally. Think electronics.
Don’t just look at the shipping cost or import fee alone. Consider the total cost of shipping, import fees, the price of the item and product availability when comparing against options at your local retailers.
While living in Thailand recently where import duties are upwards of 30%, I discovered that it was well worth it for locals to shop on Amazon for photography equipment not only for the selection but for the better prices, even with the import fees and shipping fee charged by Amazon.
What If The Item I Want Is Not Available to Ship Internationally?
If you shop only from the Amazon Global home page, this shouldn’t happen. However, if you find something on Amazon.com that is simply not available to ship internationally, all is not lost.
In fact, there is an excellent option available to you.
I would recommend the use of a package forwarder like MyUS.com, which specializes in working with travelers, expats or international shoppers like you. It’s not as complicated as you think it would be.
Use a Package Forwarding Service
Get a local U.S. based address from MyUS.com and start shopping normally with Amazon.com and in fact, any U.S. retailer. MyUS.com will provide you an address that also qualifies for tax-free shopping. If you didn’t know, when shopping online, only certain states/retailers may offer tax-free shopping. In addition, many U.S. retailers offer free shipping (with minimum purchase), so the price you see is really what you pay.
When your purchases arrive, MyUS.com will repack and consolidate your purchases to ship in as few packages as possible to you using their discounted courier rates with the likes of DHL, FedEx, UPS and USPS. They will also apply another 20% discount to their rates, for even more savings to you.
They will also take care of the customs paperwork and ship your package using a 2-4 day tracked delivery for a hassle-free experience.
With a package forwarding service like this, you can now take advantage of mad deals and sales offers normally available to U.S. residents during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the Christmas holiday season.
With Amazon.com at your fingertips, what will be your very first few purchases?