30 April, 2013

Amazon And International Shipping

Just some of my recent experiences with Amazon, focusing on their International Shipping.

The first thing you need to know is that there are 3 types of things on Amazon:
1. Things sold by Amazon

2. Things sold by others but fulfilled by Amazon

3. Things sold by others

This is important if you're using a forwarding service like HopShopGo, because the first 2 types of things might arrive together, but things sold by others will always arrive separately. This means they'll be packaged separately (extra packaging) and their weights will probably be rounded up separately (i.e. if you buy 2 0.2kg packages and they're rounded up to 0.5kg each, you'll be charged 2x0.5kg = 1kg, instead of 2x0.2kg = 0.5kg rounded up). It's usually much cheaper to buy from Amazon or fulfilled by Amazon.

International Shipping

I found out it's MUCH cheaper to ask Amazon to ship, than to use a forwarding service. I calculated the shipping for my recent purchase to be less than 1/3 of what a shipping company would have charged. There are 2 reasons:
  1. Amazon's "shipping weight" is usually lower than the volumetric weight of things.
  2. The "shipping weight" is rounded up per order, not per shipment.
Forwarding companies better think of something if they want to stay in business.

Not everything can be shipped internationally. To search for things that can, there are 2 ways:
1. Search, then filter, on the left.

2. Use the Amazonglobal website. Search for "global" on Amazon and there will be a banner to it. Warning: this website isn't very good, if you click around, you'll go back to the normal Amazon.

Sometimes even if you follow these steps, you'll still get a message saying your product can't be shipped globally. What's wrong? The confusing thing about Amazon is an item can have several sellers, and it's not obvious. In the picture for things sold by others above, the red circle on the right is one of the places where you can see all the sellers for an item. One of the sellers might offer international shipping while Amazon doesn't. Warning: sellers have their own international shipping rates, and I haven't seen any reasonable ones yet.

Which delivery companies does Amazon use for international shipping? It seems to be a mix. My Amazonbasics item was delivered by UPS, while my other shipments were delivered by i-parcel. Once in the destination country. i-parcel seems to send things out by normal parcel post.

Things I would like to know:
  • How to search for things Fulfilled by Amazon
  • How to find out what category an item is in
Holder text

No comments:

Post a Comment