June 21, 2018 by Andrew Minalto - 121 Comments

How to START Selling on Amazon US FBA from the UK!

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Welcome Back!

As I covered in my previous Amazon UK FBA business update post for May, I have finally started selling my products on Amazon.com too, which is by far the world’s biggest Amazon marketplace! Many of you asked me afterwards for more details about how exactly to start selling in the United States because, while there are many online guides covering this topic, none of them truly give a complete and thorough overview of every step of the process from a seller’s perspective.

And that’s where I come in, right?! Today I want to give you a step-by-step walkthrough of how to start selling on Amazon.com using FBA! The principles will be applicable to sellers who already sell on Amazon UK (or any other Amazon European marketplace), but the same rules and steps will also apply to sellers who are just starting out. In this post, I will assume that you already have a product to sell and understand the basics of how Amazon FBA works.

Also, as you saw in my previous post, my US launch was actually much smaller than the UK launch I did in Autumn 2017. By that I mean, in my first month on Amazon UK, I broke £12k in sales. In my first month on the US platform, I made just $3k or so in sales.

This is quite important to understand: while Amazon.com is a much bigger marketplace with much greater demand in most product groups, it also has much more competition. You’re competing against much bigger players with a lot more resources!

So, unlike the UK platform where you compete with, say, 20 other sellers in your category, on the US site, you suddenly have to contend with 200 competing sellers! And it’s not easy, even for seasonal sellers like me.

I just wanted to point this out to remind you once again that my recommendation is to start with your local or CLOSEST marketplace if you’re based in the UK, Germany, Italy or other European countries. The competition in European marketplaces is much smaller, and it will be easier for you to get started, make sales and become profitable (VERY IMPORTANT!!!), so you have money to invest in your Amazon.com expansion.

With this business that I’m covering in my monthly blog post updates, I won’t be expanding to European marketplaces simply because the product itself has an English language element to it, which means it just won’t sell in other countries in Europe outside of the UK. I do plan—or at least hope—that the business takes off in the US, and maybe I will even expand to Canada and Australia later on if that is the case. If and when that happens, I will make sure to inform you about it on my blog! 🙂

Ok, I got side-tracked a bit, but you know that all my comments and recommendations are made on purpose because I want you to have all the information, so you can do the right thing. Let’s get started on the actual process of how to start selling on the Amazon.com (US) website using FBA!

Business Registration & Bank Account

First things first, you need to register a business in the United States to sell on Amazon.com, right? WRONG!

There’s no point in doing that! Amazon does not require us to have a US-based business presence, and it would only complicate the whole set-up process, and I’m not even talking about doing taxes in the US, etc.

If you have a Ltd. company registered in the UK (or any other European country), you can use that to sell on Amazon.com. The same applies for sole traders—you can sell as a UK-registered sole trader on the US website with no problems.

Bank account. I don’t know where this misleading information comes from on the Internet, but a lot of people suggest that you need to open a US bank account to sell on Amazon.com, but it’s simply not true! You can use your current bank account—any European IBAN bank account number—to receive payments from Amazon US, just like you would in Europe. So again, there’s no NEED or BENEFIT to opening a US-based bank account.

However, you may want to do it for practical reasons, like to get paid in USD and not GBP or EUR as you would with your current bank account. This is especially important if you import products from China and pay in USD (which is most of us) as it allows you to avoid going through a currency conversion TWO times and losing out through the unfair exchange rates that banks or Amazon offer. Instead, I recommend you open a Transferwise Borderless account.

For those of you who are not familiar with Transferwise—it’s essentially a service that allows us to do currency exchange at marketplace prices for very small and reasonable commissions. With the help of Transferwise, we can save tons of money on exchange rates and make quicker international money transfers too. Plus, they now offer borderless accounts, which basically means we can open virtual bank accounts around the world, not pay anything for them, and leverage currency exchange advantages.

Transferwise is a very reputable company that backed by the creators of Skype and other large investors, and it has maintained near-perfect reviews on Trustpilot.

Yes, same Trustpilot where PayPal gets rated 1.3 stars, lol!!!

Anyway, this step is optional, and you can do it any time you want. That said, I do recommend that you start with your own real/local bank account until your account gets verified since you will need to verify your bank account and I’m not sure how that works with Transferwise accounts. However, once your account is verified, you can then switch your bank account details to your Transferwise account, and you won’t have to verify it again.

If you don’t want to overcomplicate things, you can simply use your current bank account to sell on Amazon.com—that’s perfectly fine.

Amazon.com Seller Account

If you are already selling on Amazon UK or Amazon’s other European marketplaces, you will know that we have ONE account for selling in all European marketplaces. That means one account to sell on:

  • Amazon UK
  • Amazon DE
  • Amazon FR
  • Amazon IT
  • Amazon ES

For selling on Amazon.com, you will have to open a new account because North American marketplaces are separate.

It’s not like this will be a totally new/unique account as it will still be linked to your current account, but still, we need to create a new account for N. America, which will cover these three regions:

  • Amazon USA
  • Amazon Canada
  • Amazon Mexico

I hope that at some point in the future, Amazon will UNIFY the whole system (including Australia, for which you need another account), but for now, it is what it is. The main downsides of separate accounts for sellers are:

  • We have to pay another monthly fee for a N. American account
  • We have to go through the verification process again

The current Amazon.com account fee is $39.99 per month. Obviously, for any serious seller, this doesn’t make a difference as you will spend hundreds and thousands of $$$ every month on Sponsored Product ads, for example. But still, it is weird that we have to pay for the privilege to sell on Amazon and pay TWICE if we want to sell on the UK and US platforms.

Verification—we all hate verifications, right?! There’s always something that does not match up or a document that has expired two days ago or a scan that is not in pristine condition and so on! Much of the verification process comes down to LUCK and the individual who is reviewing your documents.

The good news is that if you’re already selling on Amazon UK and have verified profile, there’s an option on your Amazon.com seller profile to provide information on that account. Basically, you link your UK account, the verification process will go through much faster. I did this, and even though I had to provide some proof of ID and my company registration certificate, the whole process took just a few days. Then they did not ask for any further information from me. I guess they just looked at my UK account data and basically verified it based on that (which makes sense).

But even if that doesn’t work for you OR Amazon.com is the first platform you’re selling on, make sure you’re providing them with ACCURATE and UP-TO-DATE information! Do not try to hide anything or use information that is not legitimate. If you play by the book, you will always be able to get any extra documents they are asking for.

You will have to open/apply for a Brand Registry account on Amazon.com separately! As I explained on my blog, you DON’T need to register a trademark in the US to do this! No, Amazon accepts your UK trademark and it’s actually very easy to open a Brand Registry account on the US site. You just provide your logo image, product images, trademark information, and your account will be opened within just a few days.

It gets even easier if you already have a Brand Registry account in the UK! In that case, you simply add the US account as an additional user to your existing account! No need to open a new Brand Registry account in the US! You can find more information on this process in my blog post here.

Creating Listings

Once your Amazon seller account is opened in the US, you can create your product listings just like you would on the UK platform. The interface is very similar and, basically, it’s exactly the same features and options apart from a few extras that only US sellers get (like the Early Reviews Program, for example, which we’ll cover separately in future blog posts).

Amazon also offers a feature that allows us to IMPORT our UK listings automatically. I tried to use that feature, but, for some reason, it didn’t work for me. Some kind of error came up every time I tried the importing wizard.

As I only had five product variations to create and images/texts ready to copy, I just created these listings from scratch. It took me less than an hour, so if you have only one or two products to sell, you can definitely do it manually! Another advantage of doing it manually is that you can review descriptions and features to make sure they’re optimised for the US marketplace (for example, if you have sizes mentioned, then change them from centimetres to inches and so on).

But even if you do create your listings from scratch, Amazon still offers to link them with your UK listings and, specifically, they offer to link the price of the item! In the beginning, I did not realise what was happening as, each day, my price on the .com platform changed based on the currency exchange rates. Obviously, I did not want this because I need a fixed and specific price for my Amazon US listings, so I disabled this function. However, I’m just mentioning it so that you know there’s an option to automatically change prices on Amazon.com based on the currency exchange rate and prices you set in your Amazon UK account.

Once you have created your first listing on Amazon.com, you can arrange to send your stock to Amazon warehouse! And this is the part of the process that confuses most people.

Sending stock to Amazon FBA in the US!

How can you send goods to the Amazon warehouse in the United States? Is it possible to simply send stock directly from China to Amazon? What is the easiest way to handle this whole process?

First things first, you CAN’T simply send the stock to Amazon US warehouses from outside the US! Amazon can’t and WON’T act as an importer.

They won’t do customs clearance for you in the US, just like they won’t do it in the UK or any other EU country. (Note: This could change in future, though, as Amazon could start offering some kind of service for this process. That said, it comes with lots of legal aspects/problems, so this is probably not something Amazon is working on right now.)

So, what you need to do is use a third-party service/company that can handle the whole shipping process, including the customs clearance process in the US and delivering goods to Amazon’s warehouse. It is basically the same thing as importing from China directly to Amazon UK, so most freight forwarders will be able to help you out with this process, including the company I have been recommending for years, Woodland Group.

Many other shipping companies can also do this for you; you just have to ask them! Personally, I use DHL for sending stock to Amazon US as I needed a fast Air Express service (not sea freight) and, after getting some quotes (from DHL, TNT, UPS, etc.), DHL came out cheapest—after some negotiating.

They offered me full-service on DDP terms (Delivered Duty Paid) and what I liked most is that they took care of everything, including my registration for Importer of Record in the US. All I had to do is send them a Power of Attorney, so they can take care of everything on my behalf.

You can, of course, find information online on how to get that Importer of Record number on your own, but I just thought “why complicate things when the shipping company can take care of everything?”

Keep things simple!

You can organise this shipping process from the UK or directly from China. If you do it directly from China, make sure you do a full pre-shipment inspection, so you’re 100% confident in the quality of the goods you’re sending to Amazon. Make sure your supplier also properly labels the pallets for Amazon OR you can ask the shipping company/freight forwarder to do this for you. However, you will probably already know how best to handle this since you are already selling on Amazon UK or other European marketplaces.

All in all, there’s nothing too complicated in this process!

Cost-wise, it often costs about the same to send goods from China to the US as it costs to send them to the UK. It can be even cheaper sometimes, depending on which Amazon warehouse your goods need to be delivered to.

There’s no VAT to be paid on imports in the US, which is a huge advantage!

There’s no such thing as VAT in the US! You only pay Import Duty, which varies based on the goods but is generally around the 3% mark. You can look up for these tariffs online or use this calculator.

Your shipping company will typically inform you about any duties you need to pay and simply invoice you for them.

The second biggest problem/fear that people face when thinking about expanding to Amazon US is TAXES! How do we handle the tax situation in the US? Let’s find out!

Taxes

The good news is that the UK (and other European countries) and the US have an agreement in place for double-taxation, which means that we DON’T have to pay any income tax in the US!

When setting up an Amazon US account, Amazon will ask you to fill out a quick interview/questionnaire for a W-8 form, which basically means that you will state that you have no active presence in the US and you will instead be taxed in your country of residence.

To put it simply, you don’t have to worry about paying income tax in the US on US sales. You will pay the normal UK taxes, just like you would do on the UK sales.

There’s one big BUT, though: Sales Tax.

I already said that there’s no VAT in the US, but what they do have is something similar: sales tax, which is paid on the value of the goods. The rates vary based on the STATE and can be as low as 0% in some states and as high as 9% and more in others:

So, the rate for each state in the US is different.

Wait! It gets even more “funny”. You charge the sales tax on your sale of goods for the state your CUSTOMER lives in—but not always. Some states ask you to charge your local state sales tax instead. So, the rules you follow vary depending on where you’re based and where your target customer is based.

Want some more? 🙂

As we’re using Amazon FBA and Amazon warehouses, we don’t know where exactly our goods are stored (in which state), and with Amazon having dozens of warehouses across the US and since they move goods freely at any given time across those warehouses, we have to register for sales tax in every state.

You read that right—we have to register for sales tax in every single state!

What it means in real-world terms is the situation is totally f***ed up! There’s no way a small seller can fully comply with these regulations. You have to understand that each and every state in the US is like a separate country. You would have to register for a sales tax number in each state and then do tax returns to each state separately and pay them too!

Lucky for us, there’s a company that helps with this process, and they do have lots of valuable content/material on their blog about this problem: Taxjar.com

However, they are more geared towards people who are already living in the US and businesses that sell via their own online shops (where they know they have stock located in one place/state at all times). But they do offer support for Amazon FBA sellers too, so if you want to stay 100% fully tax compliant, using Taxjar is probably the only way to can do it right now.

And it actually gets even more complicated than this! There is currently a massive debate going about whether we, as Amazon Marketplace sellers, are responsible for charging sales tax OR if Amazon is responsible for this. There are no clear answers to this as of yet, so many people will just wait out and see how it all progresses.

The main discussion/question is whether stock being held in an Amazon warehouse triggers NEXUS in a state or not! Nexus simply means that there are enough grounds for you to be legally responsible for paying sales tax in that state. There’s no definite answer to this right now. There have been some court cases related to this, but they are all currently still in process.

And don’t think that this problem is only affecting sellers based outside the US! Far from it! In fact, I don’t think that the IRS actively looks at the foreign seller problem at all yet because, right now, they need to focus on fixing the domestic issue with this. By that, I mean that the vast majority of US-based sellers/companies are NOT paying sales tax in every state. Most pay it in just one state—usually their home state—and many don’t pay anything at all. So, it’s a massive issue and something that will keep the pressure on Amazon until a solution is found.

My own prediction is that Amazon will have to sort this mess out and will have to take care of charging sales tax on our behalf.

They actually ALREADY do it for two states:

  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington

For these two states, Amazon charges sales tax on our behalf since January 2018, and I can’t see any reason why they could not do the same thing for the rest of the states. I really hope they will introduce this by the end of 2018 or in sometime in 2019 at the latest because, right now, there is simply no way for small-time sellers to stay on top of this issue and register for sales tax and do tax returns/payments in dozens of states at once.

Conclusion

OK, that’s about it! I have tried to cover the most important information on how you can expand your Amazon business to the US! There’s nothing too complicated about this process until we hit that sales tax issue. Obviously, I can’t recommend anything other than to be fully compliant, but the reality is that 99% of sellers are simply waiting it out to see how it will develop.

Another strategy would be to register for sales tax in at least in one state and simply pay the tax based on that state’s rules. This way, you’re at least doing something and paying this tax per the laws of one state (that one state could be the one you send your stock to, or at least the address of the warehouse that Amazon gives you).

I will continue providing information and updates on this process. As soon as there are some major developments, I will inform you on my Facebook page! I really hope Amazon rolls out other states in 2018 and starts charging the sales tax on our behalf, so this issue is fixed once and for all!

If you have any questions about this process or if you would like to share your story/experience with selling on Amazon US, please leave your comments below the post! I’m always happy to hear from my blog readers and I personally reply to all comments within 24 hours, Mon-Fri.


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121 Comments
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  1. Matthew Mckenzie

    Hi,

    Did you have to take out indemnity insurance to sell on Amazon.com?

    I read somewhere that it was a prerequisite.

    Thanks
    Matt.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Matt,

      Sorry, haven’t heard about it…. but I don’t sell on Amazon.com anymore, so don’t know the latest news/requirements there.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Gordon Grant

        Andrew

        Can I ask why you no longer sell on Amazon.com?

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Gordon,

          The competition for my product on Amazon.com was simply too high – I could not advertise it properly due to super high click costs.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

  2. Mousa Othman

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks a lot for the invaluable info, this post saved me months of search regarding selling on amazon USA marketplace from europe.

    One question, do you have any updated data regarding how much will be the total tax (and other similar costs by US government) on imported items from Belgium ?in particular Books, this will be very helpful in the creation of business model for me as a beginner.

    Many Thanks in advance,
    Mousa

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mousa,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I don’t know what the import duty for books is in the US, but you should be able to find that number online, doing a Google search! 🙂

      Andrew

  3. BRUNO VERHAMME

    Hi Andrew 🙂 as a Belgian citizen, awesome information, super handy!
    I have an additional question.
    If I want to ship my goods to a US FBA warehouse, which warehouse should I chose?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Bruno,

      Thanks for your comment.

      By default, you can’t choose which warehouse to send goods to – Amazon will automatically assign a warehouse to each and every shipment you create in your seller account.

      Alternatively, you can pay extra and pick which warehouse you want to send goods to. More information you will find here:

      https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/200735910

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. BRUNO VERHAMME

        Hi Andrew,

        super kind of you to have replied to me that fast.
        But to which US FBA warehouse should I ship my whole stock?
        (I understand that Amazon picks/packs/send it to their appropriate warehouse)
        But if I’m using FBA, I should sent my whole stock to a certain US FBA warehouse….

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Amazon will give you the address of the warehouse when you create the Shipment plan in your account.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

        2. Mousa Othman

          Hi Bruno,

          I have a question to you regarding selling on amazon USA, did you succeed in opening a seller account, I have some difficulties in doing so (I also live in Belgium) and would appreciate if you can share with me some hints

      2. Hi Andrew,

        I understand the FBA Inventory Placement Service will allow you to ship your inventory to one warehouse only. Amazon will then distribute the inventory to other warehouses as they wish.

        Is there any way to ask Amazon to keep all of your inventory in one FBA warehouse only? Ideally a warehouse of your choice?

        Many thanks, G.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Geoff,

          No, unfortunately that is not possible.

          It would be great of course as then the whole Sales Tax situation becomes much easier to manage, but no, there’s no such option.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

  4. Hi Andrew, thanks for the helpful article. My question is – is it possible to use one’s UK FBA stock for Amazon to fulfill orders placed on Amazon.com?

    I notice the odd FBA shipment going to the States (having been ordered on Amazon.co.uk), so surely if I create and upload my entire inventory to Amazon.com and share the same SKUs, the items will become available on Amazon.com (with the appropriate shipping charge and lead time?)

    Thanks!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi William,

      No, it doesn’t work like that…. you can only fulfil EU orders from Amazon.co.uk

      To sell on Amazon.com, you either have to send stock to the US OR fulfil orders on your own (ship them on your own).

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  5. Hi Again Andrew,

    Sorry for another question as i couldn’t see in the blog (maybe i missed it) Whats the best recommended way to pay the suppliers in china/Alibaba or similar ? see different opinions on paypal or escrow. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Adam

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Adam,

      Depends on the order size, but IF supplier accepts PayPal, I usually go with that. PayPal has it’s own protection and scammers in general don’t take PayPal (as PayPal will side with the buyer if things go wrong).

      Next option is payment using credit card via the Alibaba (Trade Assurance order).

      And the last on the list would be normal wire transfer directly to supplier (there’s no protection whatsoever).

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  6. Hi Andrew,
    Has there been any update on this topic since the article was written?
    I’d love to expand to use FBA on Amazon.com, it just appears impossible to do so due to the need to register and manage the sales tax.
    Is there an option that would provide a way to service the Canadian market perhaps?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Geoff,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Not much of an update, no. Amazon now handles State Tax in almost 10 States now (the last number I saw), but many States are still left out of that list.

      Sorry, don’t know much about the situation in Canada…

      For the latest news on the US Sales Tax issue, you should regularly check this website:

      https://blog.taxjar.com

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  7. adam marson

    Hi Andrew,

    We are from the UK and and have a US LLC/EIN setup and looking to start our journey on the US market. What would the process be if we want to do the same as this article but flipped as we are starting in the US but with the chance to look at UK/EU in the future. Would we need to have a LTD in the UK as well when we create the UK account ?

    Thanks
    Adam

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Adam,

      No, you won’t need a UK company to sell in the UK (your US company will be ok). Just like you didn’t need a US company to sell in the US – you could simply set-up a UK based Ltd. company and use that on all Amazon marketplaces.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  8. Hi Andrew,

    Great article!

    Is the process the same for selling in the US? Keywords, select a product, ppc…

    Thanks!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Alex,

      Yes, the formula is basically same for any Amazon marketplace.

      You will have to adapt best PPC strategies though based on the competition you deal with.

      Andrew

  9. Adam Marson

    Hi Andrew,

    If your a non US person like myself in the UK, how do you purchase the items you wish to send in the prep centres etc.. as i have seen a number of people who cant purchase from US suppliers from international grounds etc with cancelled orders etc.. is there a way this can be done ? i would like to try out FBA in the US using OA mainly being in the UK and maybe wholesale but worried about making purchases in the US.

    Thanks
    Adam

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I’m sorry, but I don’t have any experience with RA in the US so can’t really help with that…

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. adam marson

        Thanks Andrew, Do you not purchase from the US suppliers for FBA there ? thats all i meant as in general i believe its difficult to purchase as an international.

        Thanks again
        Adam

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Adam,

          No, I don’t. I don’t do RA so don’t deal with US suppliers.

          Andrew

  10. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for some great advice on your blog!

    Me and my friend are starting to sell beauty products on Amazon US FBA and we have a question. We are from Slovenia and would start selling as an independent traders or individual persons, not VAT registered at first. If everything goes well and our product starts making profit, we would register for VAT and as a company.

    Do you think this the correct way to start? Or should we register for VAT in Slovenia at once we start selling Amazon FBA in the US?

    Many thanks for your reply!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Mia,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You don’t need to be VAT registered to start selling on Amazon US, no. But you could do that anyways and take advantage of it – you won’t have to charge VAT on sales (as those sales are outside the EU market), BUT you will be able to claim back VAT paid on expenses. Yes, it will require more accounting resources, but the monetary benefits are definitely there.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  11. Hi,

    had to tell this is one of the best threads/articles on net for selling on Amazon.com from Europe!

    Now questions:

    1. We are registered VAT company from Slovenia we will ship directly from Slovenia to US customers BUT we would like not to use any amazon warhouse or anything. Is that ok ? Slovenia is liable to sell on Amazon.com we are in the process of creating account verification. For shipping we are using DHL Express services.

    2. Does we need to apply to any Sales Tax in US. Or we need just to take care of tax threshold for every US country that they set it. We are at the process of W8 form verification, have some problems there, hope we will managed it in some way.

    Hope for some answers.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Danijel,

      Thanks for your comment.

      1) Yes, that is ok and you can do that.

      2) No, you don’t need to register for Sales Tax until you reach distance selling threshold for States.

      Andrew

      1. Thank you for your reply!

        Do I need to set anything special on behalf of Amazon Seller Central?

  12. Andrew, found this post researching FBA amazon selling and I couldn’t have been more impressed! Thank you so much for all this info. It’s allowed me to build a checklist.

    I do have a question(s) that might not be purely within your expertise but it’s worth a shot! If you would be able to have a read and share some thoughts I’d be super grateful.

    Here’s my situation:

    1. I am based in UK, not yet registered as a business or as Amazon seller.

    2. Together with a friend, based in Australia, we have a product and want to partner up selling it on Amazon US and, in time on UK and Australian markets.

    3. The reason for starting with US, although I am aware from your replies to some comments that you recommend tackling local markets first, is that, even though we’re not US-based, we both have a very solid social media following with vast majority of our audience based in US.

    3. My friend’s already set up the LLC in Australia and an Aussie Amazon Seller’s account (I am a little later to the party and initially he intended to go it alone). That’s, however, still a flexible status, depending on what we decide to do.

    I am looking for advice on how I can form the company with him in the most cost-efficient way.

    The main questions for me are around the company set-up:

    1. Should we set up an LLC or even an LLP in the US as one main company/partnership?

    2. (or) Since we’re both planning to sell on our local markets in the future (and it might, as you mention here turn out to be an easier target) – do we need to set up an LLC or LLP each in our own country of residence (COMPANY UK & COMPANY AU), make each other 50% share partners and deal with profit loss accounts separately splitting the profits from UK and AU?

    3. Would we be better off setting up LLP companies each in our own country of residence (as above) but setting a “COMPANY US” as a holding company?

    I would be grateful or any answers and thoughts you might share!

    All the best!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Filip,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yeah, sorry – this is too much for me! 🙂 I’m not a tax advisor or accountant and def. can’t consult on such complex company set-up schemes.

      But in a nutshell it all comes down top cost – BEST/SAFEST way would be to set-up three companies in all 3 countries where you each own 50%, that’s it. But this set-up also means doing books in 3 countries!!! That can get expensive real fast.

      A much cheaper way to do this would be to set-up the company/partnership just in one country (say UK) and use that for all 3 marketplaces. Then all your books stays in same place. Or do it in the US or Australia if you have “better connections” there.

      You would also need to research laws in the US, UK and Australia on non-residents setting up a partnership company, maybe there are rules that prohibit you from doing it.

      Amazon won’t care really whatever you use just one company or three different companies, as long as you have all the paperwork, proof of address etc.

      Hope this helps!
      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Thanks, Andrew!

        Haha – I know, I’ve offloaded all my troubles there! Sorry!
        Thank you for taking the time – much appreciated and definitely steered me in the right direction.

        Best,
        Filip

  13. Paul Carter

    Hi Andrew great feedback,
    I have just begun my FBA journey and using Hellium10 for my product research along with other techniques I have been struggling to find anything making decent money or have no competition, personally it seams harder than US to find a product. I have been told to concentrate on the uk market as its not as saturated, however I am REALLY struggling to find a product. Having looked at the us market I may have found 2 or 3 products with potential but clueless where to start. Any advice for a complete novice, to date I have started a Ltd company and created a brand and logo.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately I can’t tell you what to do in a comment reply like this, as it’s not that simple. You need to LEARN how all of this works.

      Strat watching tutorials on YouTube, read blogs, join seller forums etc etc. and simply get educated. I’m afraid there’s no way around it as you will be competing with very knowledgable people so you need to keep your game up! If you don’t have time to do it all DIY style, check out by step by step training program here:

      https://www.amazonsharks.com

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  14. Catherine Wilson

    Hi Andrew, very useful post. I have a couple of questions please. I’m uk based and have just set up a Ltd company. I note your point about start selling in the uk first as smaller etc plus my Instagram following is in the U.K., however I’m torn between starting in the US as it’s a larger marketplace and from what I’ve read, the amazon account opening process seems to be more smooth when opening in the US first then the U.K.
    However, I’ll keep thinking that through for now. My questions:
    – my Chinese supplier has always quoted DDP and DHL shipping. This sounds most straightforward to me, however then I read about people appointing a freight forwarder like LuckyLucky and I can’t see why. Do they offer a more hands on approach to customs? Keep me more informed?

    My second question is around the LLC. I see you’re saying this isn’t needed and I already have a Ltd company here though I haven’t yet set up for VAT. How do I set up for state tax? I think Delaware have the lowest rate of tax. I also note California state have now put the onus on amazon to collect these taxes too which is good news.

    Thanks for your help.
    Catherine

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Catherine,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I can see from your questions that you’re new to all this and that’s why I HIGHLY recommend you start with the UK marketplace first. Trust me, it will be much easier for you to handle than the US, if you’re just starting out.

      The fact that you have Ltd. company set-up doesn’t change anything really, but you DON’T want to register for VAT if you’re not reaching the threshold and plan on selling in the UK first.

      As for DDP terms from China – have you actually got any documents on previous shipments that they have paid those taxes? As most Chinese suppliers hide behind DDP terms to under-value goods and get them into the EU without paying any taxes. This is something you should seriously think about and investigate.

      The Sales Tax in the US – it’s not that simple. You should do some research online to learn more about how Sales Tax work – it’s not enough that you register in one State – essentially you need to register in ALL States in the US (apart from ones that are already on the Amazon list where they handle this on our behalf) and do tax returns and payments in all those States. It’s not easy (to say least).

      Lastly, if you want to learn more about how to launch a successful Amazon FBA business properly, take a look at my training videos here:

      https://www.amazonsharks.com

      Hope this helps! 🙂

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  15. Hi Andrew

    My carrier asks contact name and number for DHL and I am being told that the shipment cannot be sent without this information. Amazon is not providing any of this info. Any suggestions here?

    Thank you in advance!

  16. Hi Andrew, I sell on Amazon US, I want to merchant fulfil from UK to USA and am looking for cheaper shipping options, i have tried DHL, royal mail and the price for postage is expensive considering the price its selling on .com. Do you know cheaper postage options or is it possible to buy international shipping on Amazon if i am merchant fulfilling.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Vee,

      Thanks for your comment.

      There are no cheaper ways to send packages below 2kg to the US as with Royal Mail.

      If you can’t make it work with RM, your margins are not good enough – you should consider using FBA in the US (which will come with many problems tax-wise but will give you lots of advantages too).

      Andrew

  17. Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for making such a great blog! I had a “coach” that was helping me through but he seems to have gone MIA now, and at such a pivotal time for me too. My products have arrived at the FBA in Texas, but i am having problem putting the listing as “active” on the seller dashboard. I am not even sure where to put certain information (i have all the copyright pitch i need already and all my product photography). Please can you consider doing a walkthrough on how to actually start to sell the product via the seller dashboard. I would be truly grateful and willing to sign up to a coaching sessions for that!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Yemmy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      IF your product has arrived at Amazon warehouse and inventory shows up in your dashboard, it means that listing is already active/live (unless it is in the suppressed state).

      If you need training on how to set everything up, launch a product etc., take a look at my Amazon Sharks course here:

      https://www.amazonsharks.com/vsl

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  18. Hi Andrew,

    I am planning on selling on Amazon.com but sending items from the UK. Do I need to pay USA sales tax? As I am already paying tax here in the UK on all my sales.

    Thanks
    Greg

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Greg,

      No, in general, you don’t have to pay US Sales tax IF you send goods from abroad (the UK in this case).

      You would only need to do that when/if you go above distance selling threshold. These are different for each State in the US but in general, as long as your sales are just a few thousand a year per STATE, they won’t apply to you.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  19. Hello Andrew,
    thank you so much for giving us such a helpful piece of information.
    Everything regarding registration process and taxes seem clear to me but I have a question regarding shipment. I live in PL and once I ship items to the US (I trade on Etsy) I have to fill out a customs form, include the invoice as I legally sell items to the US individual. When sending inventory to FBA warehouse I do not sell it but “officially” move from my warehouse in PL and the US. Could you reveal some more details on your conversation with DHL or UPS? Thank you, Wojtek

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Wojtek,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You will have to create a special invoice where this goods movement shows up, at least that’s how we do it.

      You should ask your accountant for more details on how it works as I’m not too involved in that side of things.

      Andrew

  20. I’m beginning to sell on Amazon. I intended of starting from UK as I live in the UK. Mistakenly, I’ve registered for seller central.com and have paid the subscription fee. Is there any means that I can swap my US account to UK without any additional cost? What would you recommend me to do in case I cant swap the account.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Juliana,

      Thanks for your comment.

      No, there’s no way to “swap” your accounts. You have to cancel US account and open up a new one in the UK.

      Contact Seller support in the US and ask them to refund you that payment for the first month you already made.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  21. Would fulfillment by merchant work from the UK, I know delivery would take longer but is it doable.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi There,

      Yes, it can work. Amazon does not restrict such shipping method (many Chinese sellers for example ship directly from China).

      But you need to consider shipping costs as they can be expensive, especially if the item can’t be sent via Royal Mail (Airmail package below 2kg). Courier shipping to the US will be super expensive.

      Another thing is that as far as I remember, even if you use Royal Mail, which generally arrives fast in the US (5 to 10 days), Amazon will list that the shipping times will be very long, 2-4 weeks, which will put off a lot of customers.

      Apart from that, you can def. do this.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  22. Hi Andy,
    Thank you for your a great informative blog.
    I am planning to open my account in Amazon Uk, but I have very many questions regarding the verification process . Reading so many cases when Amazon considers account doubled or people facing problems on loging on the site when traveling,
    I have few questions , before opening this account. Hope you can help 🙂
    1. I am Us citizen leaving in Romania for the time being, I would like to open an account in Uk and sell first across Europe. Do I need to open a Romanian bank account and use the Romanian address in Amazon Uk, or can I use the Us bank account with the Romanian home address. Would they consider this a strange mix ?
    2. Can I change bank accounts in the system if I need?
    3. If I move to another country in Europe, the home address changes. When accessing Amazon from there, would they consider unauthorized access? ( I read about accounts closed because they where accessed from other location).
    4.In order to sell products in Beauty, do I need Ce approvals ? If so how do I get that?
    4. When selling the same product , how can one avoid being penalized ?
    Regards,
    Camille

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Camille,

      Thanks for your comment.

      1. Yes, most likely they will see this as a “strange mix”. To make it safer, use a Romanian bank account, Romanian credit card and address. This way you should be fine as the fact that your passport/nationality is different, shouldn’t cause a problem. What matters is address, bank account and card.

      2. Yes, you can – once you VERIFY first bank account.

      3. Depends on the situation. If you do move your address, you need to contact Amazon and update it.

      4. Yes and not only that – if those are cosmetics, they are highly regulated in the EU and you need to follow this procedure (IF importing from the outside of the EU):

      https://andrewminalto.com/importing-cosmetics-from-china/

      5. Sorry, not sure what do you mean by this?

      Hope this helps! 🙂
      Andrew

  23. Hi Andrew 🙂

    Thanks for making such a helpful blog. You have helped me so much regarding amazon fba.

    I have recently created my uk amazon account (uk resident) but would like to open a us seller account too so the option is there to sell in the us. Its super confusing finding the right info for what is necessary to open the us account so thanks for writing this blog.

    I just have a few questions and would be very grateful if you could clear things up a little.

    1) I’m not currently uk vat registered but I understand that it isn’t necessary in order to sell in the US?

    2) I have read that its necessary to have a EIN number? is this true and will I be asked for this when signing up to amazon.com?

    3) I also have read that you need to fill out a w-ben-e form so amazon don’t take 30%, is it true that you need to fill out this form and will I be asked for this when signing up to amazon.com?

    4) In order to be eligible for a EIN number and the w-ben-e form do I need to be vat registered in the UK?

    Thank you for the great work.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Wesley,

      Thanks for your comment.

      1) No, not at all. The VAT has nothing to do with selling on the Amazon US site.

      2) Yes, you will need it, but not at the time of opening account. You will need it when you send your first goods to the US.

      3) Yes, it is a very simple and quick process provided directly by Amazon. Nothing to worry there or think about.

      4) No.

      Hope this helps & good luck with the business! 🙂

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  24. Laura Bladon

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for some great advice!
    I have been selling on Amazon Europe with a range of my own brand hair cosmetics which I have manufactured in the UK. I have all up to date PIF which comply with EU law and have been selling without issues for years here.
    I recently decided I wanted to sell my products on Amazon.com and have followed much of your advise, unfortunately I have hit a brick wall.
    I have opened a .com account, registered as a professional seller and created my listings but Amazon.com have now asked me to apply to sell in a gated category called ‘Topicals’ to be able to list my products. I have applied 3 times uploading all the documents they ask for, they are all to their requirements but they have refused me all times saying, we have reviewed your account and determined you are not eligible to sell restricted Topical products.
    Is this the end of the line for me selling my products on .com or can you advise if there is another way to get ungated?

    Many thanks,
    Laura

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Laura,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have experience with this, sorry… it could be that in the US they’re looking for FDA approval maybe?

      It could be that some ingredients in your products are not FDA approved in the US?

      EU certificates don’t mean much in the US.

      Andrew

  25. Hi Andrew,
    We have been trying to open an account in US Amazon.However we keep receiving this message.

    “Please provide the following updated documents and confirm there is a valid credit card on file:

    –Utility bill with name and address visible
    –Business license
    –If you have active listings, include copies of invoices, receipts, contracts or delivery orders from your supplier issued in the last 90 days.”

    I am not sure what is business license. I have sent my utility bill, active listing, supplier invoice so I am not sure what else I can do.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Silva,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Are you a registered business? Then usually they need a company registration certificate or similar document from your local company registration office.

      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew

        Thank you for your reply. Yes, we are a registered Ltd company. Our brand is registered as well. We have an account in the UK amazon last 3 months and we also want to have an account on the US Amazon to expand our market.

        1. Andrew Minalto

          OK, good – then simply provide all the documents they ask for, you should be fine.

      2. Sultan Aioub

        Hi Andrew, nice article man, thanks.

        I have registered in Amazon Seller US as an individual seller but I keep receiving this message:

        “Please provide the following updated documents and confirm there is a valid credit card on file:

        –Utility bill with name and address visible
        –Business license
        –If you have active listings, include copies of invoices, receipts, contracts or delivery orders from your supplier issued in the last 90 days.”

        I sent all my bills with my name and address on them, but a business license is not applicable to me as I am starting as an individual seller.
        What should I do?

        Thanks

        1. Andrew Minalto

          Hi Sultan,

          I don’t know, as I didn’t register as an individual (I registered as an Ltd. company).

          You will need to ask Amazon seller support to clarify this for you.

          Thanks,
          Andrew

  26. Hi Andrew,
    Great article. Question about sales tax. My products are too big/heavy for FBA, so I’m planning on using a third party fulfilment company based in the US. Would I have to pay any sales tax if the fulfilment centre is based (and products stored) in a non sales tax state, like Montana for example? Plus that way would I only have to register for sales tax in one state?
    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi James,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, that is a good strategy – pick a fulfilment house in a State that has no Sales Tax and register there.

      You will still have to register in other states when you reach distance sales thresholds but at least in the beginning, you will be safe and play it 100% by the rules.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  27. Christopher James Chalk

    Hi Andrew, great content as always!

    We have our barcodes printed onto the boxes of our UK Amazon stock – I believe these are the barcodes generated inside seller central on the UK AMZ, which I believe is the ASIN. Would I have to relabel and stick new barcodes over the existing barcodes that are currently printed on to our boxes?

    I hope not, I I fear so!

    Best wishes

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You probably mean FNSKU barcodes that Amazon creates for you? No, you don’t have to re-label anything as FNSKU barcodes are what you need to use to identify each product.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  28. Hi Andrew, I have a quick question.
    I’m setting up a brand new Amazon NA account currently under a completely new UK Limited company I have just formed.
    I already have an established Amazon EU account under a different UK Limited company I’ve been running for a couple of years but NOT an Amazon NA one for it.

    The two businesses are totally unconnected in brand / set up.

    Have you done it in this order before? Did you experience any issues or are there any pitfalls to avoid.

    Does Amazon NA do any checks to verify the UK Limited company?

    For example: when asked for the business address, do you enter your UK home address (since that’s where you trade from) or the registered address that shows on Companies House (I have mine set to my accountants). If then I’d need to provide evidence for that address I’d struggle since there are no bills etc which go to that address.

    Many thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Jon,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I can’t see any issues with that – but sure, they will want to verify the company and address so they will ask for a company registration certificate, proof of address, proof of ID.

      You have to be ready to provide all these documents for verification purposes.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  29. Hello,
    I have just registered on amazon.com and I am waiting for indentification clearance.
    My supplier is in China and I would like to ask them to send the product directly to amazon if my individual seller account get approved.
    I live in Switzeralnd and I am planing to sell less than 10 items per month and I have only one kind of item this is the reason I registered as individual.
    Please advise me which kind of shipment I should choose and if i should register for tax purpose
    Thanks

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your comment.

      You can’t send shipments directly to Amazon from China as Amazon can’t act as an importer.

      You will need to use a middle man – an Amazon pep company or freight forwarder.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Dear Andrew,

        Thanks alot. it is useful information.
        Do you have any idea, where I should pay tax, I live in Switzerland and the product is in China, I just buy from the manifacturer in China and the product will be transfert from the manifacturer to Amazon through middle man.
        Should I pay tax in China or Switzerland?
        Thanks

        1. Andrew Minalto

          You pay taxes where your business is registered in + VAT in EU countries where your stock is held in.

  30. Hi Andrew,

    I have just contacted DHL and the price they gave me was ~20EUR/1kg for express delivery to amazon FBA from Europe. It’s much more than I expected.

    What would you consider is a “good” price?

    Do you think it is possible to get 5EUR/1kg? (considering Ocean Freight)?

    Superb article and blog in general! thanks!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Martynas,

      What is the size and weight of your shipment?

      As it all comes down to that.

      Andrew

      1. Hi Andrew,

        My package dimensions are:
        35x32x34 cm, total weight 10kg;
        Inside this package I have 20 pcs (indivudially packed) products.

        Thanks!

        1. Andrew Minalto

          that’s simply way, WAY too small of a shipment to get a good price no matter what shipping method you use.

          You need much bigger orders if you want to get shipping cost down.

          Andrew

          1. Martynas

            Thank you!

  31. Shay Robertson

    Hello, I have set up amazon.com just to sell my current biography on paperback not to sell anything else. I am in the Uk and each time a book is sold the standard postage from uk to us is £7.10 not even signed for, will it cost me more to do FBA or shall i just stick to posting out the books when they sell, which us currently about 6 a week to the us
    Many thanks
    shay

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Shay,

      If you want to sell your books on the US site – Amazon US, create an account there and send your books in bulk to the US warehouse. This way your customer will get cheap/fast/free shipping via Prime locally and you won’t have to deal with it.

      If you’re not ready to do that and your volumes are low, stick with sending them on your own, via Royal Mail.

      Andrew

  32. Finally found a great, helpful article on this difficult subject, thank you Andrew!
    What type of business is most easy to set up as a Uk based seller wanting to sell on Amazon US – a PLC or LLC or something else?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Matthew,

      Ltd. is the way to go if you want to form a company.

      If not, you can sell on Amazon US as a Sole Trader too, just like on Amazon UK.

      Thanks
      Andrew

  33. Hi Andrew,
    Great article and very useful / practical.
    One question: I’m a US citizen living in the UK and would like to register a company (UK limited liability company) with Amazon. Would my company be considered a ‘US person’? That is, because of my American status. Just wondering if you faced this issue too.
    Many thanks,
    Al

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Al,

      Thanks for your comment.

      No, if your company is a UK Ltd. company, you open your Amazon seller account in the name of that UK based Ltd. company.

      Not as an individual.

      Andrew

      1. Thank you Andrew. Much appreciated!

  34. HI Andrew,

    Great article. Quick question if I may – with regards to sales tax. From what I gather, we are collecting tax the customer is paying on top of our retail price and then we pay the state at end of the year? Is there any other sales tax or tax we need to pay out from our pocket? (I am a UK, VAT registered Seller branching into the USA market)

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Dipen,

      Yes, that is correct – Sales Tax is charged on top of the price and transferred to the appropriate State via regular statements/tax returns.

      No, there no other taxes in the US you need to worry about (apart from import duty, of course, when you send goods to the US).

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  35. Very useful article, thanks. Do you need to be VAT registered in the UK to sell on US Amazon? I’m currently under the threshold but would like to look at expanding into US.
    Thanks.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for your comment.

      No, you don’t have to be VAT registered to sell on Amazon US.

      Andrew

  36. Daniel Jones

    Hi Andrew,

    Great post, thank you!

    I just wondered if there has been an update on the Sales Tax issue in the US on Amazon?

    It is the only thing stopping me from expanding into the states.

    The ideal seen for everyone would be as you said for Amazon to pay the sales tax on our behalf.

    Thanks

    Daniel

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Daniel,

      Amazon has started doing it – they now charge and pay Sales Tax on our behalf in FIVE States. In recent months they have added one new State every month.

      Hopefully, they will ramp up the speed with this and in 2029 add all the States to this program.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  37. Marios Savva

    Hello Andrew ,i hope you are well. I know that most probably you are too busy to reply but im desperate and any help would be greatly appreciated. I just opened my amazon seller account and the only market places i have to choose is amazon US and amazon Canada..i have never chosen those the only one i want is the amazon europe market place and particularly amazon UK. i spent hours and i cant find the way to switch to amazon UK marketplace. any help?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Marios,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      maybe you created the account on Amazon.com website?

      You should have done it on the UK website here:

      https://services.amazon.co.uk/services/sell-online/how-it-works.html

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  38. Hi Andy,

    just to clarify, you are saying that if I am a UK business selling in the USA via Amazon.com I fill out the W-8 form via Amazon (I think this is called a tax interview on seller central) and therefore do not have to pay federal income tax?

    Even though I have done the tax interview successfully am I expected to submit a tax return at the end of the year to the US IRS? I have seen some people claiming that you need to submit an 1120-F & 8833 form every year. I have also read (on Amazon and elsewhere) form W-8 is suppose to mean you dont need to report to the IRS?? I’m a bit confused about this. Do we have a duty to report annually to the US even if we are not actually liable for any income tax there?

    Also what are we to do with the 1099-K form that we get annually from Amazon under the circumstance of being a UK based seller selling to US customers on Amazon.com???

    Still quite confused about this…

    Thanks for any help you can give…

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Yes, that is correct. No, you don’t have to report to IRS anything (as far as I know) because of the double taxation agreements we have in place with the US. That’s what the tax interview is for – so you don’t have to submit any reports or pay income tax in the US.

      As for the 1099-K – put it on the wall! 🙂 It’s really more for your information as you will be doing accounts locally anyway, on a monthly/quarterly basis and your accountant (or you) will already have all the sales in the system.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  39. Andrew, if you started from scratch and based in the UK would you choose the UK or the US Amazon marketplace?

    The US is huge in comparison. The competition might be more but the potential customer base surely outweighs that?

    Surely registering a US company from the UK and using an exchange with your bank would be the easiest option?

    Also, if you registered a US LLC would you only need to pay sales tax or would there also be UK taxes?

    Very nice article by the way that came to the top of Google when I searched UK Amazon selling in the US Amazon.com marketplace.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      I would DEFINITELY recommend starting out on Amazon UK! Competition on the USA site is MASSIVE, bid prices on ads are crazy high!

      Take a look at my latest progress update and see for yourself what I’m talking about:

      https://andrewminalto.com/october-2018-amazon-fba-update/

      There’s no point in opening a company in the US – it only complicates things.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

      1. Thank you very much! I could not decide, whether to start in UK or US. So I will listen to more experienced person on this subject.

        Greetings from Czech republic

        1. Andrew Minalto

          No problem, you’re welcome Michael! 🙂

  40. Hi Andrew,

    Last question for a while i promise 🙂 i had a fba website saved and they offer $1000 charge to help with keeping records for tax information in the US, and then another bullet point below an extra $300 they charge for a certificate to avoid double taxation, to then give to my accountnt. I thought i would need to do this when i started selling on the Amazon.com. do i not need to do any of this?? can i just give my accountant the total sales incl. the US, like normal, at the end of the tax year? this would be so much easier.

    I want to use DHL air as well to ship from China to US prep centre, how do i get the POA form, and arrange ‘registration for Importer of Record’, do you need to call DHL up and just ask them how to do it all? and should i sort this out before my manufacturer ships the good or during shipping?

    Thanks very much again

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Lynden,

      1) I don’t know really what that service was about… but you can of course do these books on your own. You don’t have to worry about double taxation on corporate/income tax as Amazon will ask you to fill out a special form for this (no need to pay anyone).

      2) You need to communicate/ask DHL about all this. Your manager @ DHL will help you organise all this.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  41. Hi I am an 3 year FBA seller from the UK, do you do FBA meet ups of any sort I am looking for a small group to discuss FBA and exchange ideas. Thanks great post, Dan

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Dan,

      No, sorry, I don’t have time for that…

      I barely have time for running this blog, answering comments, helping out my paid Amazon Sharks customers etc.

      There are other people who do these kind of seminars/meet ups – I’m sure you can find them on Facebook.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  42. Hey Andrew,

    Thank you once more for the great post.

    R.e. Sales Tax – how are you personally tackling this right now?

    I too am keen and eager to launch my product on amazon.com having been selling on .co.uk. Have you proceeded to register in every single state?

    Secondly, Trademark – if we have a registered trademark here in the UK am I therefore right in thinking that we have the same IPO rights selling the product on Amazon.com in its entirety? I was under the impression having spoken to the trademark agency we dealt with here in the UK, that we would need to lodge and create a brand new trademark registry for it to be valid and effective in the US, but the article seems to suggest otherwise.

    Finally – how are you dealing with returns in the US? Personally, for the UK marketing I have returns shipped to my home address for inspection – I find a lot of the products can easily be re-sold, saving considerable losses..having no presence on the ground in the US, this wouldn’t be possible. Curious to know your approach and any potential advice.

    My sincere thanks and gratitude to you once again.

    Best,

    Roger

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks for your comment.

      1) Right now I haven’t done any registrations yet, as I have barely started selling. The plan is to most likely register in one state – one that I send stock to and ideally I will be paying extra for placement service (where Amazon charges you and you can select warehouse) and will pick a warehouse that is located in ZERO Sales tax rate State. But I’m still working on my plan for this.

      2) Please don’t confuse Amazon’s Brand Registry with how in general Trademarks work. For Amazon’s Brand Registry purpose, your UK trademark is enough – they accept it. BUT yes – you won’t have your brand/logo protected by this in the US – you can only get IP protection if you register your trademark in the US too.

      3) I let Amazon handle it which basically means destroying items if they’re not in re-sellable condition. I get very few returns and my product cost is low, so it’s really not a problem for me.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  43. Hi Andrew, thanks for this. When you used DHL to import direct from China, did they deliver direct to the fulfilment centre or did the goods have to stop off at an intermediate prep centre?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I did not import these goods from China, they were already with me, in my warehouse.

      Andrew

  44. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for this awesome blog. I have just stumbled upon it, read some articles and I can appreciate the good stuff!

    I am about to find myself in a similar situation as yours : running an amazon.com FBA business and operating from an Europe based company (UK for you, France for me).

    My question relates to VAT and is kind of a followup to a comment made by Zuber here: https://andrewminalto.com/vat-amazon-fba-trap/#comment-460255

    What is your experience regarding VAT pertaining to FBA fees charged by amazon.com? Do you collect it back from HMRC thanks to your UK VAT number? Or does it turn out that amazon.com does not charge any VAT if you provide them with your UK VAT number (as per Zuber’s assumption)?

    Thanks

    Stephane

  45. Robert Field

    This is the most detailed article I have found on selling UK products on the Amazon.com platform in the USA. It is a shame the process is so complicated as I am now close to giving up before I have even started. I have sold several products direct through my own website and found it no where near as complicated as Amazon has made it. I wanted to do all the shipping from the UK and not go through Amazons warehouse but this does not look possible at the moment. My products are quite unique so I do not feel there would be so much competition in Amazon’s massive market potential. However, Amazon are no help at all! Good luck everyone!

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your comment.

      It’s actually not that difficult! Also, you don’t have to use FBA in the US to sell your products on Amazon.com! You can still use your own fulfilment and send orders via Royal Mail or a courier company if you want to do that – Amazon allows it via the FBM option.

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  46. Andrew, your information and the level of transparency and clear detail you provide should be highly commended and is very appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Many Thanks Tony! 🙂

  47. Hi Andrew,
    We have been looking at expanding to US FBA for some time and this article gives the best advice I have come across so far and highlights all the factors to consider very succinctly. Sales tax has always been our hurdling point and it will be interesting to see if Amazon simplify this for sellers.
    I am curious as to why you are not using Taxjar now though. I think I would be too nervous to wait to see how things pan out this year. I would be too worried our little office in Southampton would get raided by the feds 🙂 LOL. (That’s Southampton, Hampshire by the way…… not Southampton, Massachusetts 🙂 )

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I am worried BUT I just see that at the moment, it would be sooooo impractical and expensive to do it that it wouldn’t make any sense, on sales volume I do right now. I have started selling on the US website just last month, so I feel I have time to figure it out.

      Andrew

  48. Donald Otokiti

    Hi Andy, Although I am new to your website, you know what you are talking about. I always like to read from blogs like yours.
    I have gleaned some important stuff from you so far as I an indie writer/publisher of children’s story book and I am looking to break into the US marketplace.
    Thanks for your knowledge shared.
    Regards
    Donald

    1. Andrew Minalto

      You’re welcome Donald! 🙂

  49. I remember reading somewhere that a few states don’t have sales tax at all. Might be worth setting up shop in one of those. Perhaps Oregon, since it’s closest to China, then shipping should be a little bit cheaper too.

    1. Callum, not sure that will work with FBA because Amazon can choose to tranship stock to a fulfilment centre of their choosing in any US State that they have a warehouse.

      1. Andrew Minalto

        Exactly! 🙂

        And they do it all the time – distribute goods across warehouses.

        Andrew

    2. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Callum,

      Yes, that is an option BUT it doesn’t change anything really as Amazon will distribute/move stock across the US after you send it to them.

      Andrew

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