Amazon UK: International Shipping Guide

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Amazon.co.uk is the UK arm of Amazon. It primarily serves the UK, although it is possible for shoppers in other parts of the world, particularly Europe, to order from Amazon UK as well. However, due to Brexit, shoppers in the EU (as well as the rest of the world) need to consider customs and import charges when shopping at Amazon UK.

If you’re based in another EU country, you may find it better to shop at Amazon.de (Amazon Germany) or perhaps another site like Amazon France, Spain, or Italy. Of course, if the item you’re looking for is only available on Amazon UK, you may just need to shop there and worry about the customs charges later.

Help! The product can’t be shipped to my country

Although there are thousands of products on Amazon that can be shipped anywhere in the world, there are many that can’t be. If it’s not available for international shipping, you’ll get a message like the message above. Or, it mightn’t be until you get to the checkout that you see this message.

At this point, you have three options.

  1. Find a supplier that will deliver to your country
  2. Use a mail forwarding service such as Forward2me that will provide you with an address in the UK and will then forward your order onto you (more examples here)
  3. Use another website, possibly one in your own country

Option #1: Find a supplier that will deliver to your country

Just because Amazon says a product can’t be shipped to your country that doesn’t mean it’s a black and white no. What it actually means is that the seller won’t ship to your country. There are some products that can’t be shipped internationally, but often it’s just a case that the seller only ships to the UK or certain countries (and another seller might ship to you).

Finding that seller that does ship isn’t exactly easy. If you click the link that says ‘another seller’, it’s impossible to say which companies will ship to your address.

You could add all of the listings to your basket, go to the checkout, and then see which companies don’t have the “this item can’t be sent to your selected address” message. Adding everything to your basket is time-consuming, though.

A much quicker alternative is to use a plugin like the ‘Does Amazon Ship to …?’ plugin which is available from both Chrome and Firefox browsers. Now, whenever you go on a product page on Amazon, you’ll see a little box that says “check if the item could be shipped to your country.” Simply select your country and click check shipping to see which companies will deliver.

Option #2: Use a parcel forwarding company

Mail or parcel forwarding companies (such as forward2me and Borderlinx) get around shipping restrictions by providing you with a UK address. They receive your order at that address, and then they forward your package onto your address wherever you are in the world. You are charged the postage costs and a handling charge, but it often works out to be pretty reasonable.

This approach can take a little bit longer than shipping directly from Amazon UK, as there is a delay while the package is received by the forwarding company, processed, and then sent onto you. Normally this adds on an extra 24-72 hours, depending on the company.

Note: Some products just can’t be delivered internationally. Many suppliers and forwarding companies won’t ship pharmaceuticals, currency, aerosol cans, tobacco, and batteries, for example. For most other products, though, a parcel forwarding company is an option to consider.

Option #3: Use another website

If you can’t find a supplier that will deliver to you, or a parcel forwarding company that will forward your order onto you, then you will probably have to shop at another website. Most likely, there are international restrictions on sending that product to you and you will have to find an online shop in your own country.

What if I need to return a product?

If you need to return a product, you will have to post the product back to Amazon or the seller.

It’s very difficult to find the seller’s individual returns policy before ordering, however, to be a seller on Amazon you have to have a returns policy that is equal to or better than Amazon’s own returns policy.

Amazon typically has a 30-day returns policy. Free returns are available in the UK, but these don’t apply for international orders. You will most likely be responsible for the cost of returning the item. If you used a mail forwarding company, you will definitely be responsible for the cost of your return.

Amazon UK (international Alternatives)

The best Amazon alternative is probably eBay. Many people think of eBay as being a place to buy collectable baseball cards or anything second-hand, but eBay is actually just a big marketplace. Many of the sellers that are on Amazon UK are also on eBay UK.

The great thing about eBay, is that you can easily see whether an item ships to your country: Amazon doesn’t make it anywhere near as easy as this.

Because Amazon sells so many different types of product, often the best alternative is a specialist in that product. When it comes to books, for example, Book Depository offers free delivery worldwide.

The Small Print
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