The Pros and Cons of Using Amazon to Sell Internationally

If you’re doing pretty well on Amazon or if you’ve come across the services Amazon offers to encourage sellers to reach beyond their borders, you might be tempted to venture out into other international Amazon platforms. However, while these options can make entering the global marketplace easier, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Amazon’s international platforms are right for you.

Obstacles to International Selling

Fees and Regulations – These can be hard enough to manage in your home market but every country you export to will have its own rules. Using the FBA Export option on your Fulfillment by Amazon account takes this problem off your plate. Amazon takes responsibility for the export paperwork and an international customer purchasing your product through Amazon.com pays any additional fees associated with the transaction. But keep in mind, not all products are eligible for export. you can log into your Seller Central inventory and click “Exportable Inventory” to find out which of your items are allowed. 

Service and Logistics – If you don’t want to use FBA Export or want to move beyond the universe of Amazon.com (e.g. Amazon.uk, Amazon.jp, etc.), Amazon Global Selling allows you to create seller accounts on many of Amazon’s global marketplaces. This gives you more control over the export process but increases your responsibility. Global sellers are subject to additional fees and are required to maintain bank accounts in the marketplaces they sell to. Moreover, you will be responsible for handling the customer service process in the local language. Failing to do this effectively, can lead to negative reviews –especially if inexperienced customers don’t account for delayed shipping times– which may tank your ratings in the market. 

With pitfalls like that, what’s the upside of going global?

More Profitable Markets – If the increased fees and shipping times don’t discourage buyers it’s probably because you’re selling something they can’t get at home and they’re willing to pay a premium which could boost your profits. With a little research, you can determine if there’s a strong market for your product and if you have many competitors. If not, there’s definitely a huge opportunity to meet a need in the market that doesn’t currently exist!

Cultivating a New Customer Base – Like we mentioned above, if you’ve got the right product, going global gives you the opportunity to be the first in the marketplace to win over your new customers. You’ll be starting at square one in every market you enter but once you’re established, everyone that follows you will be competing with the reputation you’ve already built. Having the opportunity to become the gold standard in the markets you choose can take your business to levels you might never have reached staying at home.

So, should you go global? 

At TurnKey, we’ve discovered that our clients experience the most success internationally when we’ve developed a strong presence in their local market and establish proof of concept first. If you’re seeing a lot of success in Amazon’s largest market, it is worth considering if expanding is right for you. Next, you’ll want to do your research about your product’s viability in that specific country, the potential barriers you may face, and what fees come with that new market, you can determine if it’s worth the extra effort to expand internationally. 

Just because you have a hot product in your market does not mean it’ll be a slam dunk in other places, and it’s better to keep pouring your resources into a location that is already serving you well versus going through a lot of additional leg work for a much smaller return. 

At TurnKey, we offer coaching to help you to not only grow your sales on Amazon in your region, but also expand into international markets if that’s part of your vision for your products. We’d love to help you through the process to do it the right way. Head over to TurnKey to apply.

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