Ioan Mitrea and SellerEngine Services show how you can grow your Amazon business by expanding internationally. Take advantage of Amazon's built-in customer base and reach up to 40% more customers than ever before.
International Expansion for Amazon Sellers by SellerEngine Services
International Expansion:The Next Step for Amazon Sellers
Why Amazon and Why Now?• Expanding internationally with Amazon lets you use a system and site you know. You don’t have to learn a new venue for each country like FNAC or Play.com.• Amazon provides a consistent experience for both buyers and sellers in each of their worldwide marketplaces.• By expanding, you’ll be able to reach new customers who prefers to order from their home venue.
What do You Think are the BiggestHurdles to Overcome when ExpandingInternationally?
The Biggest Challenges• Choosing the right marketplace(s) for your business• Opening a bank account• Adding new items to the Amazon catalog in local language• Understanding taxes• Providing customer support in local language• Navigating shipping & customs
Amazon.co.uk:The Next Step for Amazon.com Sellers• No Language Barrier – Native language customer support and product listings are a huge hurdle to overcome when expanding internationally• Low Shipping Costs – With enough volume you can ship to the UK for as little as $1.29/pound• Customs• Taxes
What’s more profitable on Amazon.co.uk? • $166.18 on Amazon.com • £269 on Amazon.co.uk + £6 delivery • That’s a total Price+Shipping of $445.30 (VAT is $90) • After VAT $355
What You Need to Open a New Amazon.co.uk Seller Account– Unique Seller Name– Company information • Email address • Physical address– Bank account • Amazon.co.uk supports both US and UK bank accounts – This means you can get started today!– A Credit Card • Call your credit card provider to make sure that international transactions won’t be flagged– VAT number • If you’re registered for VAT, it won’t be added to your Amazon fees • A VAT number is optional when getting started
UK Tax Requirements• You can register yourself at HM Revenue & Customs, registration forms are available for download, www.hmrc.gov.uk• No need to form a local company.• Registration takes up to 6 weeks.• You will get a VAT number.• You will have to submit monthly or quarterly returns and you can do that online.• For tax registration in other European countries or UK, http://www.tmf-vat.com
Amazon Europe Marketplaces Account Unified Accounts
Advantages• Manage your business from a single account interface, on all European marketplaces• One monthly subscription fee for Pro Merchants (home venue)• Inventory is managed as a single pool• Orders are managed in one place• List your SKUs on all markets or decide which markets to list on• You can have different prices for the same SKU in different markets• Quantity is shared across all markets for the same SKU or you can have different quantity on different venues by using marketplace specific SKUs for your items
Disadvantages• If you already have separate accounts in Europe and you want to use your home marketplace account as a European Unified account, you need to close your non-home accounts. By doing this, you will lose your feedback history.• You will also need to relist all your existing offers through your home venue account.• Lower repricing speeds.• Can’t use multiple FBA fulfillment centers.• Higher FBA fees for shipping internationally.
Bank Accounts in Italy & SpainIn order to sell on Amazon.it or Amazon.es, you must enter abank account located in one of the eurozone countries: • Austria • Luxembourg • Belgium • Malta • Cyprus • the Netherlands • Estonia • Portugal • Finland • Slovakia • France • Slovenia • Germany • Spain • Greece • Ireland • ItalyWorld First can provide a French or German account for you touse.
World First Fees for French and German AccountsAction: Balance: Charge:Hold funds in Account Any EUR 10.00 per month account maintenance fee, deducted from standing balance in each account.Transfer funds to Under EUR 500 EUR 25.00 per transferdomestic account EUR 500 and above EUR 25.00 per EUR 10,000 transferred (e.g. EUR 50.00 to transfer EUR 15,000, EUR 75.00 to transfer EUR 28,000 and so on.)
Amazon Jumpstart• Amazon will use your US and UK listings to create listings for DE, FR, IT and ES. This is not a free service, but it can save you time.• They will not translate product descriptions, so only existing items will be converted.• To take advantage of this option, you must convert to a Unified European account.• For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or, Gurvinder Singh Sidhu, email@example.com.
Adding Your Items to Amazon.co.uk• What’s restricted?• Are your items already in the catalog?
Gated Categories on Amazon.co.uk• Clothing• Grocery• Jewelry• Health and Beauty• Watches• Toys and Games (during holiday season)
Approval Process• You will need to fill out a form with information such as: – Your business website – Your business contact info and description – Examples of your product UPCs• Amazon‘s Category team will contact you directly via email and the process will begin.• You are required to provide product images for your items and have a minimum number of different products to offer.• Make sure you follow Amazon’s specific requirements for your product images, otherwise you will not get approved.
Prohibited Content on Amazon.co.uk• Promotional Media – Anything that isn’t intended for sale – Advance reading proofs, DVD screeners, etc.• Region 1 DVDs – Only sellers who reside in and ship from the US and Canada are eligible for approval to sell Region 1 DVDs – Region 1 DVDs can’t be sold through FBA• Unsafe toys and electronics – Must come with a UK standard 3-pin plug – Nothing that has been recalled• Plants, plant material and seeds – Check with the Food and Environment Research Agency, fera.defra.gov.uk
Customer SupportWhat are the biggest challenges?
Best Practices for Communicating with UK Customers• Use British spellings, “colour” vs. “color.”• Don’t use contractions or slang.• Use the £ symbol instead of $ (GBP vs. USD).• Be more formal in your communications.
Shipping and Customs• Has anyone shipped internationally and experienced a customs nightmare?
Shipping and Customs• Use proper forms (customs labels) that allow you to pre-pay customs charges so your customers won’t be hit by unexpected charges.• Consider FedEx Global Post for shipping to the UK – Smaller FedEx shipments cost $4.90/lb. Delivered in 10 days. – Shipments go from the US to UK and are then delivered by the UK postal service.• USPS can be an economical choice for shipping to UK. – Priority Mail International Flat Rate envelopes/boxes are $16.95 for 6-10 day services to the UK. – First class service to the UK is about $5-$7 for a CD/DVD sized package. – The drawback is that performance can be variable. Keep a close eye on delivery times and upgrade to FedEx or UPS if necessary. Don’t risk negative feedbacks for a few dollars.• If you have enough orders or ship enough volume, use relay shipping as low as $1.29/lb.
Beyond Amazon.co.ukWhat questions do you have?
Tax Types by CountrySales Tax Type Country Standard Rate ThresholdGST (Goods and Canada 5% $30,000 CADServices Tax)VAT (Value Added UK 20% £70,000 GBP,Tax) roughly $110,000 USDVAT France 19.6% -VAT Germany 19% -VAT Italy 21% -VAT Spain 18% -Consumption Tax Japan 5% ¥10,000,000 JPY,(CT) roughly $130,000 USDVAT China 17% -
Selling in Japan• Bank Account Requirements: – Jumbo International can: • Open a bank account at a Japanese bank on your behalf • Transfer your sales from Amazon.co.jp to your home bank account, 8,000 JPY fee per transfer (about $100) • Translate customer support e-mails • Accept returned items from your customers, stock them and send them back to you. • Act as a receiving agent for your shipments – Contact Hiroko Baba, firstname.lastname@example.org
Selling in JapanCustomer Service Tips:• Be as humble as possible.• Use the highest level of politeness.• Always take full responsibility if something went wrong with their order.• When requesting something from the customer, emphasize that he or she is doing you a favor and that you’re fully aware of it.
Selling in Canada• Bank Account Requirements – World First – Craig Agutter • email@example.com • Direct Line: 020 7801 2360 (based out of London)• World First Fees Action: Balance: Charge: Hold funds in Account Any $15.00 per month account maintenance fee, deducted from standing balance in each account. Transfer funds to Up to $19,999 $30.00 per transfer domestic account $20,000 and above $0.00 (Free transfer)
Selling in Canada• Gated Categories – Watches• Tax Requirements – You can register yourself - first you need to register for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). – No need to form a local company. – You will get a GST number. – You will need to submit a security deposit of minimum $5000CAD or max $1M CAD - the deposit is calculated as 50% of your estimated net tax for the following year. – You will also need to register for a QST number - Quebec sales tax (the GST will be used for all other provinces).
Selling in China• Unique Requirements: – Must have a Mainland China entity – Amazon recommends 3rd party companies who assist sellers in gaining ability to sell in China – MFN is open for some categories but if you work with these 3rd party companies, you can only sell using FBA – A special license for importing is required to sell in the media category
Selling in China• Using a 3rd Party – Foreign sellers own their products but sell under the 3rd party company’s name – These 3rd party companies create a Seller Central account for each foreign seller – Provide all the services you need in order to sell in China: • issue invoices for Chinese customers • importing and customs clearance • foreign currency exchange service • product related certificates • brand registration • customer service and returns • product listing • international logistics (from US or EU to China) • labeling service
Selling in China• Tax Requirements: – Non-residents cannot register for VAT so you either make your own company or you go with the 3rd party company. – You will get a VAT number if you make your own company. – You will need to file periodic tax returns and the frequency vary enormously in China, depending on the goods (usually quarterly).
Selling in Germany• Tax Requirements: – You can register for VAT without forming a local company. – You will get a VAT number. – You need to register at the local office allocated to your country and registration may take up to 3 weeks. The application can be completed online. – VAT returns must be done quarterly for VAT liability of under 7500 EUR, and monthly for over 7500 EUR; and then another one at the end of the year.
Selling in Germany• Gated Categories – Watches and Jewelry (Uhren und Schmuck) – Clothing (Bekleidung) – Food (Lebensmittel) – Chemist (Drogerie) – Perfumery (Parfümerie) – Toys (Spielwaren)
Selling in France• Tax Requirements – You’ll need to appoint a tax representative identified for VAT in France to register for VAT. – You can apply to get a VAT number from the Business Formalities Centre, this can’t be done online and you’ll need a local representative. – You will have to submit quarterly returns.
Selling in France• Gated Categories: – Beauty and Personal care (Beauté et soins du corps) – Jewelry (Bijoux) – Shoes (Chaussures) – Watches (Montres) – Perfumes (Parfums) – Clothing (Vêtements) – Toys and Games (Jeux et Jouets) (during the holiday season)• Customer Service Tips – Write personalized emails – no templates. – Be courteous and diplomatic. – Don’t use abbreviations
Selling in Spain• Tax Requirements – You need to get a tax representative to register for VAT before commencing trade and the name of the representative needs to be communicated to the Tax office. – You will get a VAT number. – You will have to submit monthly or quarterly returns.
Selling in Spain• Gated Categories – Watches (Relojes) – Toys and Games (Jugetes y Juegos) (during the holiday season)
Selling in Italy• Tax Requirements – Foreign companies may register in Italy for VAT without the need to form a local company • This is known as non-resident VAT trading. – Registering for Italian VAT generally takes 2-3 weeks. – The procedure is usually handled by an accountant or a legal representative in Italy.
Selling in Italy• Gated Categories – Watches (Orologi) – Scarfs and Bags (Scarpe e Borse) – Toys and Games (Giochi e Giocattoli ) (during the holiday season)• Customer Service Tips – Customers in Italy don’t want you to roll over the floor apologizing. – You can say that something is not your fault, but always assure customers that you are doing everything you can to solve their problem.