Many of our customers are from outside the US; other import goods from other countries. There are financial, legal and logistical issues that affect sellers who want to ship goods from other countries and have us process them for Amazon.
(If you’re new to selling on Amazon and want to learn how it works in general, please visit our Resources page.)
We are not attorneys, customs agents or accountants and cannot answer specific questions. But here are some guidelines. Please do your due diligence! We’ll add additional resources about these issues to our site as we find them.
If you are based outside the US you will need a US-based bank account. There are two main options.
- Payoneer allows you to register for a US bank account with a debit MasterCard. Registration is free and Payoneer charges a 1% service fee on all payments made into your account.
- Another option is World First. If you are in a country which is eligible for direct Amazon payouts, World First gives you a better foreign currency exchange rate than what you would get if Amazon pays you from USD/GBP to your local currency such as AUD, or from sales on Amazon.com in USD to a UK bank account. You can save at least 1% or more per payout.
*Shipping your goods to the USA
Shipping Market test samples: Samples are usually shipped by air and, depending on the size and weight of the box, can cost $75.00-$200.00 to ship. UPS, DHL, FedEx and TNT are carriers to consider. In this situation the clearance process and all fees, duties etc. are handled by one of these major air carriers.
Remember to assess possible duty before you order goods; look up duty/tariff that would be applied and you will be responsible to pay. This link can get you that duty percentage, if applicable: http://hts.usitc.gov/. Also be aware that you may be charged any duty or other entry fees up to 30-45 days+ after your goods arrive and you take delivery!
LCL: (Less than container load) shipments can be the same or mixed products that will travel on major shipping carriers by sea. This method is used when there is a shipment of goods that is too large for an air shipment and it’s more cost effective to import on a ship that is transporting pallets and products from multiple companies. Generally the cost is more dependent on dimensions, cm (cubic meters) than weight. Cost may average $150-200 per cubic meter (one 48” x 48” x 48” pallet is about 1.8 cubic meters) plus other charges. You may need to pay shipping from the manufacturer’s location overseas to the port.
Container shipments by sea: This is a much larger shipment that requires more space. Containers are measured by cubic meters and can be 20 ft, 40 ft or 40 ft high top sizes. A 20 ft container, which will hold 27 cm , not including related costs, leaving from Shenzhen, China and headed to a major port like, Long Beach, Vancouver on the west or New York on the east side of the country, can cost from $2,000-$3,000+.
US Inland shipping costs: Depending on your location a container load can add as much as $1,500 coming from Long Beach to our warehouse in Tennessee for a full container and $300-$500 for a pallet in that same scenario. Always try to get a ocean freight quote that is a Door to Door so you know before you book the shipment what the total transportation cost will be, delivered to your final destination.
Duty, broker, inland freight and governmental fees can be additional costs that should be factored in to your final per unit item cost.
Duty estimate: Search for the harmonized tariff code that most closely matches the product you are considering at http://hts.usitc.gov/ . There may be no duty or could be an 8% tariff or more and on that original $10 cost item. That could add an additional .80 per unit putting the item cost at $10.80.
Customs brokerage fees and other entry fees in addition to duty: there are other fees a freight forwarder or a DHL or UPS may charge so check with the carrier before you ship.
Once your goods have arrived in the US, you will need a way to pack, label, store and ship your goods to Amazon. You’re at the right place for that – simply register for our My Fulfillment Team service.
*Our thanks to Anthony Fichera, co-founder of APF.Archway-My Private Label Team, for contributing information to this page. Anthony and partner, IP attorney Fei Hu, dedicate their time to developing and refining the process of sourcing, importing and private labeling products from China. Contact Tony if you need more help.