[UPDATE: Amazon.com.au was launched in November 13, 2013. However, this Amazon Australia is only a local ebook and app store of Amazon. Still, it does not sell physical books, clothing, electronics, watches, and other items listed on Amazon USA. It does not even directly sell Kindle.] If you are not after buying an ebook or an app for your Android device and wish to buy regular items from Amazon, then this article is for you. Below are five (5) ways by which you can buy books, electronics, watches, Kindle device, shoes, apparel and more at Amazon USA from Australia.
Here are the different ways by which you can buy at Amazon:
- Buy through the Amazon Global Program of Amazon.com;
- Use a freight forwarder such as Shipito.com;
- Buy at Amazon.co.uk;
- Look for a friend or relative in US to buy for you and ask him to deliver the item to Australia; and
- If you plan a trip to US soon, shop at Amazon.com during your trip.
Amazon.com has a program called “Amazon Global”. Through this program, Amazon.com is able to accept orders from international customers and ship these orders in most countries outside the United States. Amazon has dedicated a separate page within its online store where all items that are available for international delivery are listed. That page is located here.
Searching Amazon Products Available for Delivery to Australia
Notice that by going to Amazon Global’s page, the search box filter is automatically set at “International Shipping.” (See image below.) The “International Shipping” filter means that the results shown by Amazon are products available for international delivery.
When searching products, you will see several filters on the left side of the webpage. To filter all items available for international delivery, tick on the check box next to “AmazonGlobal Eligible” as shown on the image below.
Finally, to be sure that the product listed at Amazon.com you wish to buy can be shipped to Australia, look for the “Product Details” in the description page of each item. Look for the sentence, “This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.“
Shipping Time and Rate to Australia
Since Amazon.com is based in United States, the most decisive factor whether to shop for an item at Amazon is the shipping time and rate to Australia. True, Amazon may offer you lower prices as compared to Australia-based stores but after taking shipping cost into consideration, you end up paying more with Amazon. Below are the current shipping rates charged by Amazon for deliveries to Australia.
Standard Shipping is the cheapest among three shipping options. However, it is available only to limited categories of products. By selecting this option, you can expect your purchased to be shipped to Australia within 18-32 days.
|Product Category||Per Shipment||Per Item|
|Books, VHS videotapes||$4.99||$5.49|
|CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, Music Cassettes, Vinyl||$4.99||$1.49|
|Any combination of the above items||$4.99||As above|
Expedited Shipping is the most popular shipping option because of its reasonable rate for a reasonable transit time. The estimated shipping time to Australia is 5-12 days
|Product Category||Per Shipment||Per Item|
|Books, Software, Video Games, VHS videotapes||$9.99||$6.49|
|CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, Music Cassettes, Vinyl||$9.99||$2.49|
|Jewelry & Watches||$7.99||$2.99|
|Kindle or Kindle Accessories||$8.99||$2.99|
|Toys, Kitchen, Home||$7.99||$3.99/lb|
|Baby, Sports, Outdoor Living||$7.99||$4.99/lb|
|Computers, Personal Care||$6.99||$3.99|
|Any combination of the above items||Highest applicable per-shipment charge||$As above|
Priority Courier Shipping is the best option for those who are willing to spend more for delivery in order to receive their purchases faster. The transit time for this option is 3-5 days.
|Product Category||Per Shipment||Per Item|
|CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, Music Cassettes, Vinyl||$21.99||$3.49|
|Software, Video Games||$9.99||$3.49|
|Automotive, Baby, Computers, Home, Personal Care, Kitchen, Outdoor Living, Sports, Tools, Toys||$29.99||$5.99/lb|
|Jewelry, Watches, Apparel||$29.99||$5.99|
|Kindle or Kindle Accessories||$14.99||$5.99|
|Any combination of the above items||Highest applicable per-shipment charge||As above|
Customs Duties and Taxes
Another thing you must consider when shopping at Amazon.com from Australia is the importation fees that you might have to pay as soon as your orders land in Australia. This may be a tedious process to some online shoppers. Luckily for Amazon Global shoppers, the store handles the customs clearance process in behalf of their international shoppers. During the Check Out process, Amazon estimates the customs and handling fees that you may have to pay to clear your items from the customs. Aside from the price of the item and delivery fees, Amazon will also give you this estimate before you place your order. This amount will be included in the total amount that you will pay to Amazon. The same is considered as a deposit. That being so, Amazon will use this amount to clear your items from customs. If the actual fees are higher than your deposit, you will be asked to pay the additional. If said fees are lower, then you will get a refund.
Generally, items not exceeding AUD 1,000 may be imported to Australia free of customs fee. The ceiling amount includes the actual cost of the item, freight and insurance costs.
Try Amazon Shopping from Australia
If you want to try shopping at Amazon.com from Australia now, click here to proceed to Amazon Global. Be guided by the tips and information we provided above.
One of the most frustrating things that could happen to you when shopping only is when an online store does not have international shipping policy or the item you wish to buy at Amazon is not available for international delivery. One of best solutions to address this problem is to use the services of a Freight Forwarder.
What are Freight Forwarding Companies?
In the point of view of online shopping, freight forwarders are companies that provide virtual USA shipping address to online shoppers who are not based in USA. This address will be used as the shipping address when ordering at an online store. When the order is shipped to this address, the company will forward the item to your actual address, say, in Sydney.
Which is the Best Freight Forwarder?
I personally have used the services of a couple of freight forwarders in the past but in my experience, Shipito.com is the most reliable among them. Not only does it provide reliable service, it also offer affordable fees. It charges a minimum fee of only $8.50 per shipment and offers discounted postage to Australia.
How does the process work?
Freight forwarding works this way:
Create an account with a freight forwarding company such as Shipito. In the case of Shipito, it offers several plans from a per shipment basis account to a premium monthly plan account.
- Once the account is confirmed and set up, Shipito will provide a unique USA street address. Your address will look like this:Your name
(address will be specified during registration)
Suite # (box number)
Torrance, CA 90503
- Once you received the address, you can start shopping online. Use the USA address as your shipping address.
- The online store will now deliver it to your virtual address that being monitored by Shipito. Once the item arrived, you will be notified by the company and you will be asked to initiate the shipping of the same from the USA address to your real address.
- During this process, the company will show you several shipping options to Australia. The postage will be calculated and the forwarding fees will be added to it. Pay these fees and the item will be delivered to you.
Depending on the shipping option you choose and the clearance process in customs, you item may be delivered next to your doorsteps within as little as 3 days.
Amazon has several international stores and one of which is Amazon.co.uk. Like Amazon.com, Amazon UK has its own international delivery policy. Yes, the UK store also accepts and delivers orders directly to Australia as well as other countries. This is through its own “Amazon Global Programme.”
What Product are Available for International Delivery.
For Australians, Amazon UK delivers directly to Australia a selection of products under the following categories:
- Home Improvement
- Lawn and Garden
- Musical Instruments
- Office Products
Cost of Delivery and Customs to Australia
The cost of delivery varies depending on the classification of the item, its weight, dimensions, and the shipping option you prefer. The shipping fees costs for as little as GBP 4.58. For full list of shipping options and fees, please visit this page.
The international delivery policy of Amazon UK is similar to that of Amazon.com. Amazon UK also charges import fee deposits during check out. Also, the manner of searching products available for international delivery is similar to that of Amazon Global. Import Fee Deposits and Searching Products have been discussed above.
If you have a friend or relative based in USA, you may ask him/her to buy the item you want for you. This friend or relative may either have the item sent to you in Australia through courier service or he/she will bring it personally to you should he decide to have a trip back to Australia. Just don’t forget to pay all the expenses he/she made for the purchase and of course, to say “Thank You”.
If you can wait a little more time and you are about to fly to USA in the coming days, the wise thing to do is to do the shopping during your stay in the US.
There you have it. I hope you find the information above useful. If you have any experience about Amazon shopping, please share it to us through the comment section. Also, if you think these information will be of help to your friends, please share the article.