Tips on Shopping Internationally on Amazon
There are a lot of times that we see products on Amazon that are only available in the US, Canada, the UK or other countries, and we want to buy them sitting here in India. It may even be that a product on another country’s Amazon website is actually cheaper than the one being offered on the Amazon India website. So, if you wish to shop internationally, then this article will point you in the right direction.
Can You Shop Internationally on Amazon?
The short answer is yes.
However,we also need to warn our readers that not every item can be delivered everywhere in the world. Therefore, when you are looking for a particular product, you will need to check whether that item can be shipped to India or not.
To find out if the product you wish to buy can be shipped to India, the first thing you need to do sign in to your Amazon account and make sure that your India address is input as the delivery address. Once you have done that, then when you click on a product, and you got to the product details page, there will be a note next to the In Stock and Out of Stock captions. This note will tell you whether that product can be shipped to India (your address) or not.
How to Shop Internationally on Amazon
So, now that we know that we can shop internationally on Amazon, how do we do so? There are two ways to do so using Amazon:
- Direct Purchases on Amazon
You can buy products directly from Amazon.com. And once again, there are two ways in which you can do so:
- The Amazon International Shopping Portal (Amazon Global)
The most direct way to shop is by using the Amazon International Shopping Portal – Amazon Global. This massive portal ships to more than 100 countries across the world.
If you are using your laptop to shop, then you can click on the International Shippingoption in the dropdown of the search box at the top of the page. Alternately, you can click on the Menu on the top left of the screen under the Amazon logo and scroll down to the Shop by Departmentsection. Click on the See Alltab and then scroll down further to the Programs and Featuressection. In that section, there will be an International Shoppingtab; click on that and then click on the Visit Amazon Globallink.
And if you are using your phone app for your Amazon shopping, then you can type Amazon Global in the search bar and then start shopping. Over time, the search engine will end up showing you more and more international shipping products. Alternatively, you can simply search for the product you want, and it should pop up on Amazon Global.
- Changing Your Country Settings
Another way to shop directly on Amazon is by changing your country settings. Here’s how you do it on your mobile app:
- Log into your Amazon account
- Click on the Menu icon and go to Settings
- In the Settings tab, you will have the Country and Language option. Click on that.
- Select the country from which you wish to shop.
If you are logging into your Amazon account using your desktop or laptop, then you can simply click on the country flag that is displayed to the right of the search bar on the top of the page. When you click on that flag, you will be given the option to change your country/region.
- Shopping Using a Shipping Forwarder
There are many products that are not shipped to India when you buy directly from Amazon. So, if you are looking at buying products that cannot be delivered to you directly from Amazon, you can use a shipping forwarder instead. Here’s how it works:
- Sign Up with a Shipping Forwarder
The first thing you need to do is sign up with an international shipping forwarder. The most popular shipping option for shipping from the US or the UK to India is MyUS.com. This company is by far one of the best shipping forwarders – they have the lowest shipping rates, and they are tax-free.
- Buying and Shipping
Now that you have registered with your shipping forwarder, you can go ahead and input the shipping address that they will provide you. This address will be located in the country from which you wish to buy your product. So, if you are buying from the US, then the shipping forwarder will give you their US address.
Now, if you have trouble in ordering directly from Amazon, then you can also ask the shipping forwarder to order for you.
- Once you have placed your orders on Amazon and had them delivered to the shipping address, then your items can be delivered in 1 to 12 days. However, it would also be wise to remember that using a shipping forwarder may end up being more expensive that buying directly from Amazon, so please do check the costs and then make your decision.
What You Should Know About Shopping Internationally on Amazon
Before you click away and order all the items on your wish-list, here is what you need to know about shopping internationally on Amazon:
- Items that You Can Ship to India
Not all items can be shipped to India when you shop on Amazon. Here is what you can buy: media (DVDs, e-books, books, CDs and so on), baby products, apparel, electronics, food and groceries, beauty products, personal care and healthcare items, industrial supplies, kitchen items and appliances, jewelry and watches, toys and games, garden items and tools, musical instruments, automotive products, and sporting goods.
- Shipping and Import Fees
When you buy internationally, you also need to keep in mind that you will also pay extra shipping and import fees. So, when you click on the product that you wish to purchase, you can check the total price – including the shipping and import fees – on the right side of the page. There, you will also be able to see the approximate delivery date.
You also need to keep in mind currency conversion rates, customs and import taxes as well as shipping costs. These can add up, making buying internationally quite expensive.
We need to point out here that Amazon usually collects something called an Import Fees Deposit if you shop internationally. This fee is an estimate of how much it will cost to ship your order to India. If the cost of shipping cost more than you paid, you will not be charged extra, and if it cost less, then you will be refunded (but you may have to wait as much as 60 days to see that refund).
One way you can lower your costs is by ensuring that you have one big bulk order. Do not make separate orders (buy one product, and then the next and so on). It would be better to buy all the products in your cart all at once. This way, they will be shipped out together and that will save you some money on shipping costs.
- You Have to Search Carefully
While using Amazon Global, you need to keep in mind that the search engine may not only show you items that can be shipped to India. There are many times that you will be shown products that cannot be shipped to India. Therefore, it is wise to check each product’s shipping options before you go ahead and put it in your cart and pay for it.
- Region Codes on DVDs and Blu-Rays
Before you buy DVDs internationally, it is best to check their region codes. Region codes tell you in which territory that DVD can be played. So, if you see a region code 1, then it means that it can only be played on a US DVD player. So, if you import it to India, chances are, it will not work on your Indian DVD player.
If you are planning to buy DVDs, then you can look for Region 2, Region 4 and Region 5 codes. The Region 0 is for all regions, so these DVDs are also safe. As for Blu-Rays, you need to buy Code C products if you wish to play them in India.
- Taking Care While Buying Electronics
When you buy electronics internationally, you need to ensure that you check the voltage and plug types before you pay for them. You need to ensure that they match the electric frequency and voltage in India and the plug options in this country.
So, if you are buying electronics, do ensure that they have a C, D or M plug type, the voltage is 230V, and the frequency is 50Hz. If you don’t check these settings, then the product will not work in India.
Shopping internationally on Amazon can be quite a lot of fun, and there are times when you could end up getting a product at a cheaper price than on Amazon India. However, it is wise to cover all your bases before you go ahead and click on that buy button.