Understand key considerations for selling internationally on Amazon

Where and what to sell

Before you extend your online sales to international customers, you should understand the implications for your business. Where and what to sell gives you basic information about selling globally on Amazon. Where does Amazon have retail websites? What does Amazon require of sellers to ensure a great customer experience worldwide? How do you maximize the likelihood that entering a new marketplace will pay off?

Where you can sell with Amazon

Amazon operates 11 online marketplaces (websites) worldwide, allowing you to grow your business internationally, independent of where your business is physically established. With Amazon, you can quickly grow your business in other countries, introducing your brand and products to millions of customers in Amazon's marketplaces. Amazon operates these marketplaces:

These marketplaces represent many of the world’s largest e-commerce opportunities. When you register to sell in one of these Amazon marketplaces, you gain immediate access to customers who know and trust the Amazon buying experience. Expanding your sales to one or more Amazon marketplaces means you can benefit from the Amazon brand without shouldering the upfront costs of building business name recognition on your own in a new sales environment.

When you select an Amazon marketplace in which to sell, you’ll need to understand whether your product is appropriate for your target country. First and foremost, make sure that you comply with all laws in each country. In addition, product standards differ across countries. For example, MP3 players operating on 110–220 V that use two-prong electrical chargers may not be appropriate for European marketplaces but could be appropriate for Japan. Similarly, feather beds you successfully sell in the U.K. would probably not sell well in the United States because the standard mattress sizes are different in each country.

For more details, review product restrictions and other requirements in taxes and regulations.

When you prepare to enter a new Amazon marketplace, one early consideration you’ll have is whether your business can operate in the local language. Proficiency in the local marketplace language is necessary for providing customer support for a particular marketplace—a requirement for selling in an Amazon marketplace unless you use Fulfillment by Amazon. Local language proficiency is also helpful for conducting country-specific research and understanding how to best position your products. You might need to modify your products or reposition your marketing, copy, or packaging to better meet the needs of your new customers.

However, many sellers do successfully sell in Amazon marketplaces where they don’t have proficiency in the local language. Amazon provides some services and tools to help ease the challenges posed by language barriers:

  • Seller Central Language Switcher
    The good news is that you don’t have to master French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Japanese to sell across Europe and in Japan. With Seller Central Language Switcher, you can manage your operations in all of these Amazon marketplaces in English, enabling you to quickly get up to speed on your international business by providing you a familiar interface you can quickly learn to use.
  • Amazon European Marketplaces account
    In Europe, we have simplified managing your business across all of Amazon’s five marketplaces. The Amazon European Marketplaces account enables you to create and manage product offers in any and all of our marketplaces in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. You control what you sell where, and you manage your business from a single seller account interface.

    When you sign up to sell in one Amazon European marketplace, for example on Amazon.co.uk, your seller account is automatically enabled to sell in all other Amazon European marketplaces—Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es. Reach millions of international customers and let Amazon help you grow your international online business. All your orders will be managed in a single place, making trading in Italy feel just like trading in the United Kingdom.

    To learn more about the Amazon European Marketplaces account, visit the European Account Frequently Asked Questions (English)
  • Build International Listings
    Build International Listings is a simple way to list and manage your offers across all five Amazon European marketplaces. When you create a connection between your home marketplace and all the marketplaces where you want to create offers (target marketplaces), Build International Listings will:
    • Instantly create listings in the target marketplaces based on products you are selling in your source (home) marketplace.
    • Automatically reflect price changes in the target marketplaces whenever you make a price change in the source marketplace.
    • Monitor exchange rate fluctuations and adjust prices in target marketplaces.
  • How do I use Build International Listings?
    If you are an Amazon European Marketplaces account seller, you are able to use Build International Listings with no additional registration or startup costs. You simply enable Build International Listings, and it automatically enables each eligible product you have listed in your source marketplace to be listed in each of the target marketplaces you select. You can remove a connection to a target marketplace at any time.

    When those products sell, you pay a fee for each order shipped outside your home marketplace through the European Fulfillment Network, in addition to the normal Fulfillment by Amazon fees.
  • Customer support in the local language
    When you sell in an Amazon marketplace, you are required to provide customer support in the local language of the marketplace. For instance, if you are selling on Amazon.jp or Amazon.es, you’re required to provide customer support in Japanese or Spanish, respectively. You can choose to do it on your own or have Amazon do it when you join FBA.

Crafting a marketplace entry strategy

Deciding where and what to sell in another country's marketplace can be similar to making these determinations for your home marketplace. However, there are some added considerations when selling internationally.

One way to evaluate an international marketplace entry strategy is to use the '4Ps' marketing framework: Product, Price, Placement, and Promotions. Let's review each through the lens of selling internationally on Amazon.

When selling internationally through Amazon for the first time, a natural approach is to think about your bestselling products in your home marketplace. From your previous experience and from data in sales reports, what sells well? It's also important to ask yourself why you think these particular products do well. Will these same reasons hold true for the marketplace you are entering, or are there other fundamentals driving customer demand in the new marketplace, such as culture, climate, and demographics, including average age and income? Also think about how differences in marketplaces can benefit you. For instance, do you have seasonal inventory that you don’t know what to do with after the season has passed in one marketplace? You can extend your selling season by selling abroad where the product may find a new audience. Learn how one seller successfully used international selling on Amazon to build a business.


Tip: List broadly across multiple products rather than deeply in one or two products. Why? A broader selection of products means higher customer search exposure to your listings overall. This breadth can help you quickly gauge which products can be successful in a particular marketplace.

You can start slow while still maintaining breadth of selection even if you’re not ready to commit a lot of your inventory to another Amazon marketplace. If your sales spike, you can adjust your price or remove listings to mitigate stock-out risk, just like in your home Amazon marketplace. For an even smaller commitment, you can start by fulfilling orders yourself rather than sending inventory to another country. Remember selling in another marketplace doesn’t mean you lose control over your listings.


In deciding which products to sell in an Amazon marketplace, you of course have another key source of information available to you—observations of the marketplace itself. This sort of marketplace research should be very familiar to you from activities you likely conduct when selling in your primary Amazon marketplace. For this research, local language proficiency is extremely helpful. If you are trying to research a marketplace in a language unfamiliar to you, you may be able get some basic language interpretation from free online translator tools, but beware of relying too heavily on such tools.

In your target marketplace, review the Best Sellers, New Arrivals, and Featured Brand selections for your product categories. Read customer reviews to understand your competition’s strengths and weaknesses.

During this product research phase, you may find it helpful to broaden your search to e-commerce marketplaces beyond Amazon. Use a search engine to find relevant e-commerce sites by country. Trade publications and online seller communities in each country can also provide a rich source of information as you prepare to list products in their locales.


Tip: Keep in mind that potential customers of a particular marketplace may not necessarily reside in the target country. Some customers in each marketplace may reside in a nearby country, prefer to shop in a particular language, seek products only available in a particular marketplace, or otherwise choose to purchase out-of-country. For example, an Amazon.de customer may reside in Austria.

The following are potential new costs to consider when selling outside your primary marketplace. These additional costs may change your profitability calculation:

  • Shipping costs when you are shipping directly to international customers.
  • International return shipping costs, if you are fulfilling orders yourself.
  • Shipping costs to send your inventory to fulfillment centers abroad when you are using Fulfillment by Amazon. Learn more about shipping internationally in Ship and fulfill.
  • Customer support costs if you are providing these services yourself in a local language or hiring a third-party provider to manage customer language support. Learn more about customer support in Customer support and returns.
  • Conversion costs associated with getting paid in your home currency.
  • Translation costs for listing ASINs in another language. Learn more about listing and translation in Register and launch.
  • Taxes and duties. Learn more about taxes and duties in Taxes and regulations.

As you can see, many of the variable costs change based on whether you decide to fulfill products yourself or use Fulfillment by Amazon. Review the Fulfillment options section for more details.

In addition to growing your international on-Amazon business, you can also consider growing your international off-Amazon business. The following service from Amazon may be relevant for you to develop this international strategy.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment
If you already use Fulfillment by Amazon to fulfill Amazon customer orders, you can manage online sales from other channels using the same inventory pool. Use Multi-Channel Fulfillment—a feature within Fulfillment by Amazon—to fulfill orders that come from sales channels other than Amazon, including your own website, other third-party platforms, and even catalog or in-store sales. Learn more about Multi-Channel Fulfillment.

As in your primary Amazon marketplace, Amazon provides tools that enable you to advertise and run promotions for your products. The promotional tools available vary by Amazon marketplace and may include Free Delivery, Money Off, Buy One Get One (BOGO), and External Benefits.

Visit the Understanding Promotions Help page (sign-in required) for more details about the type of promotions available. To see the steps to creating a promotion, visit Creating a Promotion (sign-in required).

Another way to increase exposure to your offers is through Amazon Sponsored Products, a cost-per-click advertising service that helps you promote the products you sell on Amazon.com through keyword-targeted ads.

Fulfillment options

Fulfilling customer orders can be one of the biggest challenges of selling globally. Amazon offers solutions that can help you, whether you fulfill orders yourself or choose to have Amazon fulfill them for you with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

If you want to fulfill your own orders, and you decide to ship orders to another country, be aware of the relevant customs requirements. The orders you ship to another country may be subject to import taxes, customs duties, and fees charged by the destination country. Amazon will not be responsible for any customs duties and taxes associated with FBA inventory. Any shipments arriving at an Amazon fulfillment center with customs duty charges due will be returned to sender.

You can choose to use a private carrier, or you can mail packages through the postal system. Whichever carrier you select, contact them to find out shipping costs as well as any size, weight, or other restrictions.


Tip: If you decide to ship individual parcels, research business rates to manage your shipping costs. See a list of logistics companies.


Even if you do your own packing and shipping, Amazon provides tools and services to help streamline your business and to provide your buyers with a positive experience.

  • Seller Central. Just as when you sell in your home Amazon marketplace, the Seller Central portal provides access to the tools you need to manage your orders. You can see at a glance such information as how many orders you have to ship, your feedback rating, and your payments summary. The Amazon Selling Coach provides information that can help you manage your inventory and increase your sales.
  • Business analytics. Amazon provides reports for you to view and download. You can use these reports to keep track of sales trends, unshipped orders, inventory status, and more.
  • Buyer order communications and payment management. Amazon takes care of basic communications related to the customer order, such as confirming shipment with the buyer after you confirm to Amazon that you have shipped the order, collecting payment from the buyer, and crediting your account.
  • A-to-z Guarantee. In the rare event that a buyer requests reimbursement because an order never arrived or was different from what they expected, the A-to-z Guarantee program facilitates communication between you and the buyer to help make things right. The program helps increase customer satisfaction.

If you’ve determined you can sell your product in a given marketplace but prefer not to fulfill customer orders yourself, Amazon can do it for you. Sign up for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), and Amazon will pick, pack, and ship inventory on your behalf. FBA can help your online sales increase by providing greater exposure to your products and offering fast shipping to your Amazon customers—a highly attractive benefit. In addition, all of your FBA orders are backed by Amazon’s world-class customer service in the language of the local marketplace to answer customers’ questions about their orders. With FBA, Amazon also takes care of returns handling for the orders we ship for you.

Amazon currently offers FBA services to sellers in Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

If you already use FBA in your primary marketplace, it does not automatically extend to another Amazon marketplace when you begin selling internationally. For example, if you currently sell on Amazon.com and want to sell on Amazon.co.uk, you must create a new seller account for Amazon.co.uk and convert your listings to FBA in that UK marketplace account. However, if you are already selling in one Amazon European marketplace, such as Amazon.de, and want to sell in another Amazon European marketplace, such as Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, or Amazon.es, you can use the same Seller Central account. Review Register and launch for step-by-step instructions.

Benefits to choosing FBA when selling internationally include:

  • Higher visibility and sales. FBA is a fulfillment solution that can also increase your sales. How does FBA help give you a competitive edge? In countries where the Amazon Prime program is available, many Prime members filter product searches based on eligibility for Prime shipping, so they may not even see your offers if they are not in FBA.
  • Around-the-clock local-language customer support. Amazon’s world-class customer service is included as part of FBA for orders placed on Amazon, which helps you maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. Customer support is provided in the local language of the marketplace where you are selling your products.
  • Scalability. FBA is scalable with your business’ growth and helps you handle peaks during busier times of the year. FBA can accept a single unit or thousands of units of a product. You decide how many units you send through FBA at any given time. This flexibility is particularly helpful when you are entering a new marketplace.
  • Delivery satisfaction. In addition to customer support, your FBA products receive the trusted Amazon delivery experience that customers value—from a wide range of fast, often-free delivery options to package tracking and gift-wrapping options.
  • Increased shipping speed. Since your inventory could be stored in the country in which you are selling, we may be able to deliver your order to local customers faster than you would be able to directly from your current location.

There are many factors in determining whether you want to fulfill international orders yourself or through Fulfillment by Amazon, such as your business’ cost structure, how hands-off you want to be with fulfillment, and whether you can provide local-language customer support independently. Either method you choose comes with a different set of costs you should take into consideration when deciding how to price your products.


Important: When you sell in any Amazon marketplace, your customer are responsible for paying for returns to a local address. If you provide an international return address, you will need to reimburse them for international shipping fees.

Alternatively, if you fulfill with FBA, your customers can send their returns directly to an Amazon fulfillment center located in the same country as the marketplace site. Learn more about your fulfillment options.


One key difference between the two fulfillment methods lies in handling international customer returns. When you sell in any Amazon marketplace, you’ll need to provide a local return address for your customers or offer them free shipping on returns. When you use FBA in a particular marketplace, FBA provides the local return address and takes care of receiving returns on your behalf. In contrast, when you sell in a marketplace outside your home country and fulfill those customer orders yourself, you provide your own local address for returns—or else reimburse the customer for international shipping charges. If you expect to reimburse customers for international shipping charges, you may want to build the expected rate of product returns into your product pricing so you can absorb this cost. Learn more in Customer support and returns.

Before deciding on a fulfillment option, be aware that storing your inventory in another country—such as when you use FBA in a particular marketplace—may have tax implications for your business. Learn more in Taxes and regulations.

Manage your business

Figuring out what to sell and how much of it to keep in inventory can be a challenging task in any new marketplace.

The Amazon Selling Coach offers personalized recommendations to help you maximize your effectiveness as a global seller. As we identify selling opportunities for you, we will notify you in two ways:

  • The Amazon Selling Coach dashboard on the home page of your Seller Central account.
  • E-mail notifications.

Amazon Selling Coach notifies you about the following types of opportunities (the actual notifications list is more detailed):

  • Cross-listing Opportunities (Europe only): Based on your home marketplace inventory, you will receive recommendations on products you can sell in other European marketplaces.
  • Inventory Opportunities: Based on your recent inventory and sales data, consider restocking to avoid running out of stock and risking pre-fulfillment cancellations. (Our inventory projections are based on your sales over the past seven days.)
  • Product Opportunities: Increase your selection on Amazon by adding listings for these products, which customers have recently shown interest in and have limited availability on Amazon. Since you have listed similar products in the past, we want to let you know of this customer interest and help you identify valuable growth opportunities for your business.
  • Fulfillment Opportunities: We want to make you aware of high customer interest in products you offer that currently are not offered through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). If you offer these products through FBA, they may become eligible for free shipping, Amazon Prime, or other FBA benefits that customers love.
  • Low Price Opportunities: Many sellers have told us that they would like to be informed when there are comparable offers with lower prices. The Match Low Price feature considers the lowest price currently available for active listings in Amazon marketplaces.

Start selling globally now