The Basics of Expanding Your Amazon Business Internationally

Written by Terry ChambersCamco

May 24, 2021

Decide What You’re Selling and Adjust the Price

The first step to expanding your Amazon business internationally is to decide where you want to sell your products. When deciding which Amazon marketplace to grow your business internationally, take into account the product that you choose to sell and adjust the price according to the market. Amazon operates 16 online stores in 4 regions; Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the Americas. Once you establish your marketplace, we can move on to registering for an account.

  • Fulfillment centers
  • Countries with loyal Amazon customers
  • Product categories
  • First, second, third-largest marketplaces
  • Properly optimized listing: have a native speaker write your listings to match the lingo of the marketplace and buyers
  • Translate infographics: One infographic doesn’t work for all

When thinking about where to expand, the main component is to determine what you’re selling and which marketplace has the best opportunity for the product that you’re selling.

Why do you need a shipping provider when expanding internationally?

Amazon does not get involved in international shipping, they leave it up to the seller. Amazon doesn’t want to get involved in shipping because of customs, vats, regulations. In your seller central account, you’ll be able to make a work order, but Amazon will only provide an address to ship the products- the logistics are up to the seller to figure out. 

Amazon does not get involved in international shipping, they leave it up to the seller. Amazon doesn’t want to get involved in shipping because of customs, vats, regulations. In your seller central account, you’ll be able to make a work order, but Amazon will only provide an address to ship the products- the logistics are up to the seller to figure out. 

Set up an Amazon Seller Central Account

You will need to create a new Amazon seller account for the marketplace you want to sell your products, regardless if you already have an existing account in another marketplace. When setting up your account, you’ll have the ability to create all of your product listings and translate the language if needed, set up your verification process, and grow your account.

Depending on the region the marketplace is located in, you will need to provide certain registration information. For example, when you register to sell in the EU, in addition to providing a credit card, phone number, and tax information, you will also need to provide a VAT number. First Choice Shipping can assist you with filing quarterly taxes for the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia, and Dubai. 

Compliance

Now that you have a seller account in your preferred marketplace and filled out the required registration information, the next step is to list your products. Before doing so, make sure you have the necessary approvals to ship your products into the specified country. Not all countries have the same restrictions. For instance, it is permissible to ship products containing milk into the US, but restricted to do so in Spain. 

Ship Your Products into Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers

Fortunately, this is what First Choice Shipping specializes in. 

Top Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping Internationally

  1. Using the wrong incoterm

Whenever you’re selling internationally, a  commercial invoice is required. This document states what you’re shipping, the description of goods, and the value so they know what to charge for the taxes. On the commercial invoice, the incoterms indicate what the payments will be as far as taxes and shipping costs. Sellers must indicate whether or not the delivery duties are paid or unpaid. There are two options, Delivery Duties Unpaid (DDU), or Delivery Duties Paid (DDP). When shipping into Amazon you must use DDP to ensure that everything is paid for in advance and everything is being billed to the shipper. When shipping into amazon and they see it is not paid for, Amazon will refuse the shipment and ship it back to you with the responsibility fall on you, with the shipment billed back to you.

  1. Not having an Importer of Record 

The Importer of Record assumes responsibility for the security of the shipment and delivery of the products during clearance. Normally, the importer of record will be the receiver, due to Amazon’s unwillingness to be responsible for the legal goods that are imported to the destination location. Use a provider that will have an alternative address that is not Amazon, and will act as the importer of record. 

  1. Using the wrong HS Codes or not providing an HS Code

The commercial invoice also includes an HS Code. An HS code is equivalent to the item that is being shipped, some sellers only include a description of the product that they are shipping without the HS Code. When sellers don’t include an HS Code when describing their goods, customs will look up the most expensive code they can find on file and charge you for the goods. When passing through customs, make sure that you are doing this to get the best rate available and avoid any losses from the cost. In the First Choice Shipping Portal, we offer a free Duty & Tax calculator which will allow you to give the best rates and will give you a good estimate of the HS Code and taxes.

  1. Not planning your returns

Amazon does not provide international shipping options and will not be responsible for shipments from overseas. Instead of being stuck without an FBA Removal Order, it’s important to plan returns ahead of time. If you don’t want to dispose of your product, make sure the forward country you are shipping to has a warehouse that will be available to consolidate. Doing this will save you a ton of time and a ton of money.

Amazon does not provide international shipping options and will not be responsible for shipments from overseas. Instead of being stuck without an FBA Removal Order, it’s important to plan returns ahead of time

If you want to learn more about Brexit and how to prepare your business for the inevitable changes, contact First Choice Shipping to get in touch with our knowledgeable support team that will help you every step of the way. 

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