Guest post from AMZ Advisors: Amazon is a platform that helps micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises position their businesses at a large scale. The eCommerce giant also allows them to open up their businesses to other markets. Those sellers who have earned a good reputation over time might be interested in learning how to sell internationally on Amazon to reach millions of customers around the world.

For any business owner, the idea of expanding a business can be daunting. However, Amazon provides its users with features to make this process easier and attainable.

Read on to learn more about the tools and services that will help you create, manage, and fulfill your products globally.

Expanding your success worldwide

First thing’s first. Before you embark upon global expansion, it’s important that you know the marketplace scope that Amazon currently boasts.

Amazon operates in 4 different regions and more than 10 marketplaces worldwide:

1. Americas – The United States, Canada, and Mexico
2. Europe – The UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain
3. Asia-Pacific – China, Japan, India, and Australia

And most recently:
4. Middle East – Israel

Make sure you have a strategy for expansion, and carry out a market research to understand end consumer preferences before choosing a new marketplace to showcase your products.

Getting started with selling internationally on Amazon

To start selling internationally on Amazon, first sign up for a Professional Seller Account. This account will give you access to:

• Unified Account. It allows you to switch between different marketplaces in the same region. Let’s say you are using a North American Unified Account, you will then have access to Amazon US, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Mexico seller tools to list products and manage orders in multiple marketplaces by paying a monthly subscription fee (USD$39.99). Note that you do not need a local bank account in each marketplace country, you can use your existing bank account to receive payments in your local currency. You can also customize your account information for each North America marketplace.
Another benefit is that you are able to manage your businesses from a single Seller Central homepage.

• Linked Account. When you sell in two different regions, let’s say Americas and Europe, you can take advantage of Linked Accounts.
Linking accounts enables you to manage your business more easily by getting a single view of sales, orders, and buyer messages from all the countries where you are selling your products. Amazon also offers you the ability to sell in multiple countries at a discounted price (USD$180) by limiting your total monthly subscription fee (USD$39.99) for all your linked accounts.

This is how it works:

The discount will be applied automatically. When you link accounts, you will pay the full fee for each country or region for the first month. After that, starting with the next monthly billing cycle, you will pay just $39.99 per month.

• Build International Listings (BIL). This is a self-service tool that allows you to quickly add offers to international marketplaces and manage your listings based on rules you set. Although this feature automatically synchronizes offer prices across some regions, it doesn’t create product detail pages, nor offers FBA connections between North American marketplaces (i.e. US and Canada).

Registration Requirements by MarketPlace

Most marketplaces will ask you to provide the following information when registering for Global Selling on Amazon:

• valid credit card
• bank account
• phone number
• tax information
• bank account details
• business name (Mexico)

However, some marketplaces have special requirements:

1. United States – You will have to go through an online step-by-step interview that will determine whether you will need to complete a W-9 form (as a U.S. taxpayer) or a W-8BEN (as a non-U.S. taxpayer), and you might be required to provide scanned copies of a passport, national ID, bank account statement, or credit card statement.

2. European Marketplaces – You will need to provide a VAT (Value Added Tax) number, and you need to create listings and offers in each of the Amazon European marketplaces if you want to sell across Europe.
3. Local Business – Amazon India and Amazon Japan are only available to sellers with a locally owned business in each country respectively.

Payments for Global Accounts

Now that you’ve opened your Amazon Seller Account in a new marketplace, you might be wondering how you can set up your account to get paid. Well, you could either:

• use a bank account in the marketplace where you want to list;
• use Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers;
• or use a third-party currency conversion service.

Hyperwallet is a third-party payment service that offers you currency conversion services. If you are not interested in opening a bank account in the country of a new marketplace, this service is the best option for you.
Just bare in mind that, if your bank account doesn’t have any presence in one of the marketplaces or regions supported by Amazon Currency Converter or Hyperwallet, Amazon may not disburse payments to your bank account and you will need to open a new account in the target country,

Setting Up Your Amazon Global Selling Account

You need to create an Amazon Selling account for each target marketplace where you want to sell. Unless you are currently selling in an Amazon North American or Amazon European marketplaces and you want to sell in one of the countries that belong to any of those regions.

Sign in to Seller Central and create a Seller account in an Amazon marketplace by clicking on one or more of the links below:
North America Europe Asia
• Selling on Amazon
• Sell Your Products on Amazon
• Selling on Amazon
• Amazon Global Selling
• Internationale Verkäufer
• Vendeurs internationaux
• Venditori internazionali
• Vendedores Internacionales
• Sell in Japan
(Contact Us page in English)

Note: (Italy) has an online registration process in Italian. If you cannot self-register in Italian, you can still open a seller account by contacting Seller Support.

How to Fulfill Orders Internationally on Amazon

You can choose to fulfill orders yourself or use Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) in all marketplaces. Yet, if you decide to fulfill your own orders, be aware of relevant customs requirements, such as:

• Tax and customs
• Intellectual property rights
• Parallel importation
• Export controls
• Markings and labels
• Environmental, Health, and Safety
• Product compliance

Understanding your responsibilities will allow you to kickstart your business expansion in an orderly and safe manner:

• United States Tax and Regulatory Considerations
• Canada tax and regulatory considerations
• Europe Tax and Regulatory Considerations
• Japan Tax and Regulatory Considerations
• Mexico Tax and Regulatory Considerations
• New Zealand Goods and Services Tax (GST)
• Russia Value Added Tax (VAT)
• Taiwan Value Added Tax (VAT)
• Australia Goods and Services Tax (GST)
• International Trade Laws

Even if you do your own packing and shipping, Amazon provides tools and services to help you streamline your processes through the Seller Central Portal, Business Analytics, Buyer Order Communications and Payment Management, and A-to-Z Guarantee (in the event that a buyer requests reimbursement because an order didn’t arrive).

If you’d rather have Amazon pick, pack, and ship your orders on your behalf, you should opt for FBA. Amazon offers FBA services to sellers in Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Amazon India and Amazon China are not currently open to sellers based outside these countries.

When you begin selling internationally, the FBA program you use in your primary marketplace does not automatically extend to another region. You must create a new seller account and convert your listings to FBA in the new marketplace account.

Keep in mind that your customer will be responsible for paying for returns to a local address. If you provide an international return address, you will need to reimburse them for international shipping fees.

Benefits of FBA

• Your customers can send their returns directly to an Amazon fulfillment center located in the same country as the marketplace site

• Customer support in the local language of the target marketplace

• Fast, often-free delivery, package tracking, and gift-wrapping options

• Your inventory is stored in the country in which you are selling, therefore, your order to local customers will arrive faster

• In countries where Amazon Prime is available, Prime members will filter product searches based on eligibility for Prime shipping, so, this translates into higher visibility and sales

• FBA caters to your business’ growth and helps you handle peaks during busier times of the year

Note: An Importer of Record (IOR) is required to sell in Europe and Japan. This means you will need to have a person or an entity responsible for paying all taxes and import duties. Amazon does not offer this service; therefore, if you don’t have anyone who can serve as an IOR in these countries, you must appoint an Attorney for Customs Procedures (ACP) to handle these responsibilities on your behalf.

FBA Export

FBA also offers the FBA Export program at no extra cost. This program, in the US, allows you to expand your business to more than 100 countries and regions. In Europe, FBA Export, helps you expand your customer reach to 26 European countries. Most sellers are enrolled in FBA Export by default. However, you can enable or disable this program at any time.

According to Seller Central, this is how FBA Export works:

• Products and Countries Eligibility. Amazon identifies which of your products are eligible for FBA Export, fulfills your international orders, handles import duty and customs clearance, and ships your product to the international buyer’s address. There is no extra cost to you to fulfill FBA Export orders. You can exclude products and you can exclude countries from FBA Export.

• Shipping Cost. International buyers pay international shipping costs and customs duty. There is no extra cost to you to fulfill FBA Export orders.

• Product Listings. You use product listings in your Seller Central account to sell FBA Export-eligible products to international customers shopping on Except on Multi-Channel Fulfillment orders, sellers do not pay additional fees to use FBA Export. Visit FBA Export fees on Seller Central for more information.

Before opting for this program, make sure that:

– your products are eligible
– they can be lawfully exported
– they comply with all applicable laws of any FBA-export eligible country.

International Business Growth

Amazon will continue adding additional marketplaces in the future so you can expand your business globally. Although taking this huge step might seem challenging, take into account that many businesses around the world are already expanding their success worldwide and you could be next in line.

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