It’s time for our weekly Reader’s Question post! Today we’ll be taking a look at a common problem many Amazon sellers face – dealing with excessive courier shipping charges when sending orders to remote UK locations, like Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and British Islands.
Here’s the email Mike sent in:
Here’s a question that may make a good blog post for you.
How do you handle delivery costs to offshore areas (e.g. Isle of Man) for orders on Amazon?
Amazon treats any address with a UK postcode the same, which is fine if you’re posting items using Royal Mail. But if your items have to go by courier, you usually get hit with a hefty surcharge for delivery to these areas.
Is there any way to automatically add a delivery surcharge on Amazon for non-mainland addresses (I couldn’t find one)?
If not, what’s the best thing to do? Cancel orders and take the corresponding hit to your seller metrics? Also, if you’re dealing with hundreds of orders a week, how can you spot which ones are going to undesirable addresses without reading through every individual order?
Or do you just have to dispatch these orders anyway, and take what can be a significant financial hit for every order going to an offshore address?
Thanks for your question Mike!
This is a big issue and an on-going problem for many Amazon Marketplace sellers, especially ones that sell bulkier items that need to be sent via courier.
Unfortunately there’s no easy fix/solution – at least not yet. Amazon requires all sellers to INCLUDE these offshore regions in your standard shipping settings. You can’t exclude them and you can’t charge higher shipping costs for these regions.
If you go to your Amazon account then to Shipping Settings, where you create your shipping rate cards, you’ll see that Amazon does not allow you to exclude these regions. If you do, you get an instant warning message:
Some regions do not have assigned transit times and shipping rates.
So there’s no way to exclude these regions from your shipping rate card.
By Amazon’s rules it is mandatory to include these 4 regions:
- UK Mainland (England, Scotland, Wales)
- Northern Ireland
- Channel Islands, British Islands
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
But you CAN exclude UK BFPO addresses if you want – Amazon allows that. [Read more…]