As a result of the incredible eCommerce surge that occurred in 2020, 74% of consumers believe that the majority of consumer spending will take place online in the future. This presents a tremendous opportunity for anyone looking to get into ecommerce entrepreneurship in 2021.
Amazon U.S., as the largest eCommerce site in the world, is one of the best ways to get a foot into the industry, and the best part is, you do not need to be a resident of the U.S. to sell on that marketplace.
Why Amazon U.S.?
Here are some stats for you: Amazon has 2.4 million third-party sellers all over the world and 83% of them sell in the U.S. marketplace.
Over one-half of those sellers are not located in the U.S.
Amazon.com, the U.S. Amazon marketplace, sees more than 2 billion unique visitors monthly, which is nearly three times the monthly traffic of its next competitor, eBay. These numbers are only supposed to rise in 2021.
In comparison to its international counterparts, Amazon US has lots of extra incentives for consumers that make it a more attractive platform to sellers. For example, the unparalleled Prime membership has gained more than 112 million buyers.
Additionally, Amazon US boasts more than 165 million products in its catalog. Moreover, 45% of Amazon US sellers have earned more than $25,000 in profit throughout their time as sellers and 75% of Amazon US sellers earn more than $1,000 a month in revenue.
On top of the large customer base and revenue potential, Amazon US also offers Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), a system that makes selling goods from overseas particularly easy.
FBA allows sellers to send their inventory to Amazon's warehouses and store it there as well. When their goods are sold, Amazon employees are responsible to find, pack, and ship the goods on behalf of the sellers.
While this service is available in all Amazon marketplaces, the accessibility it grants to international sellers is a game-changer. This set up allows international sellers to successfully manage their businesses, without paying to ship their own goods overseas to customers or employing a third party fulfillment center.
Overall, Amazon US selling is set up to be fairly accessible for international sellers. There are very few barriers to start selling and most sellers have their businesses operating within three months and many are profitable in less than a year.
Currently, Amazon is accepting sellers from 102 countries. According to Amazon, to sell from one of the approved countries, you only need proof of residence in your home country, a valid phone number, and an internationally chargeable credit card.
So you know it’s simple and potentially profitable, but how do you become an international seller on Amazon US in 2021? We’ll break it down for you.
5 steps to international Amazon selling success.
1. Make sure you have the following materials
a. A valid credit card
b. An internationally chargeable credit car
c. Bank account
(note: if you do not open a US bank account, you may need to use Amazon’s Currency Converter for Sellers)
d. Phone number
e. Proof of residence
f. Tax information
2. Create an Amazon seller account
This is the same for anyone creating a seller account, both in the US and overseas. Head to sellercentral.amazon.com, hit register now, and create a new account.
As an international seller, the only extra step you must complete is an online step-by-step interview to determine whether you will need to fill out a W9 (as a U.S. taxpayer) or a W-8BEN (non-U.S. taxpayer).
Once you have registered, Amazon’s review process may take up to 72 hours, as they will review your application and may need to request additional information. Be proactive in providing them the info that they have requested and you’ll be quickly approved.
3. Set up your Seller Central account.
Once you are approved, the next step is to set up your seller central account and start creating listings. You won’t be able to receive your shipping destination and FBA warehouse until your listings are created.
4. Create a shipment plan in Amazon Seller Central
For detailed instructions on how to complete a shipment plan, check our Amazon Guide. Once your shipment plan is complete you need to work on getting your goods to the FBA center you are assigned.
That’s where we come in.
5. Request a quote from your freight forwarder
Your biggest ally in this process will be your freight forwarder/customs broker. They will assist you with not only the actual shipment of the goods, but also with the customs process, including paperwork, documentation, taxes, and other US customs hoops.
Freight Right, as a registered member of Amazon’s Service Provider Network (SPN), is experienced in dealing with Amazon shipments and offers many Amazon-specific services, such as rework, palletization, and storage.
Amazon has high standards for how products arrive at their warehouses as well as certain storage limits and fees that can stack up, especially for large or slow-selling goods. Partnering with a knowledgeable freight forwarding company is the best way to avoid extra fees or surprises and streamline your supply chain.
When you are ready to request a quote, you will need to have the following information available:
- Supplier’s Address
- Delivery Address (Amazon FBA: 4-digit Facility Code)
- Shipment Ready Date
- Mode (air or ocean, LCL or FCL)
- Delivery Date
- Description of Goods (including weight, volume, HS code)
- Value of Goods
We will also want to know:
- If you have imported to the US before.
- If you have a continuous customs bond.
- How often you import to the US.
- Have often you plan to import in the next year.
Ready for a quote? Fill out this form and we will reach out with your quote.
Have more Amazon selling questions? Check our 2021 ultimate guide to Amazon selling, which will answer any questions you have, or reach out to one of our experts!
Want to see this in action?
Check out our Amazon Brazil case study below.
Following their success in several South American markets, a Brazil based footwear company began to look for other opportunities to sell their products.
After some research, their team decided to expand to the Amazon US platform. Their product was doing well, but after analysing the potential benefits of selling on Amazon’s US marketplace, they decided to scale up and tackle selling in the states.
However, they knew they could not do it alone.
So, they began searching for a freight forwarder.
Like many searches today, they began on google, with the goal of finding a freight forwarder who could move one full container load from Sao Paulo, Brazil to MIami, Florida and then to the final destination: the FBA facility.
They found a few forwarders and requested several quotes, including one from Freight Right.