Selling on Amazon Germany is definitely a good step to take with your business. Nonetheless, there are many things to consider in order to access this incredible market.
The world of eCommerce created a revolution in terms of the possibility’s merchants had.
Suddenly, it was easier to sell products to a wide range of people with the added advantage of not having geographical limitations.
We sometimes forget how powerful this can be; especially if we think about the fact that the internet is not limited to the borders of our country.
If you’re interested on selling in Germany, buckle up because this country has a great market and is a good strategic location for later expansion.
Read on to learn more!
Why Should You Turn to Germany’s Market?
Amazon has positioned itself very well in the country. In 2016, they had around 44 million registered users, 16 million of which had a Prime subscription.
There were also 64,000 registered sellers. All of this made Amazon’s reach incomparable, not to mention it has only continued to grow since then.
At that time, 34% of product searches were performed directly on Amazon as opposed to people using a search engine like Google.
This means that people have established Amazon as their go-to solution for shopping, giving the platform a firm position and an unmatched commercial advantage.
If I’m Enrolled in FBA, Aren’t I Already Selling in the EU?
FBA will make your products available to shoppers in the EU who are purchasing on the US platform. However, the item they’re purchasing is still an imported product for them and might have to pay import taxes.
Another great example is that free shipping with Prime will not apply and they might get a discounted rate. additionally, let’s keep in mind that shipping times are not always as fast as local shipments.
Some customers might not have a problem with this but most of them will prefer to just get a similar product through their country’s Amazon page (amazon.de).
This is one of many reasons why selling on Amazon Germany is a big advantage for your business.
You will not only be exporting merchandise; you will actually have an overseas presence and the ability to offer your products to that market without making it complicated for the consumer.
What Should I Consider if I Decide to Sell in Germany?
Source: Amazon Global Selling
Most probably you will be using FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) to save you time and headaches.
You can use FBM (Fulfillment By Merchant), but you will have to double-check lots of details to make sure your fulfillment goes smoothly. Especially, if you’re not physically there.
Take into account that the FC network in Germany does not always have the capacity you would expect. This is why it requires additional support from the networks in Poland and the Czech Republic.
What does this mean for you?
If you decide to place your products solely in Germany, you will need to pay an outbound fee of around 0.35 EUR for every unit outbound from DE.
In many cases, it’s recommended that you place in Poland and the Czech Republic as well.
However, you should take into account that if you do you will be responsible for VAT (Value-Added Tax) obligations for each country.
Do your research and plan according to what works best for you (read more about VAT below).
Related content: Amazon Premium Shipping Options Available in 2021
What are the Requirements for Selling on Amazon Germany?
There is not much to it honestly, that’s not to say this is not a big undertaking, but the requirements are not extreme nor are they out of the ordinary:
- Get informed on local taxes and policies
- Create an appropriate account
- Upload your listings
- Ship your products and fulfill your orders
The process is pretty standard with the difference that you’re doing this remotely and will have to understand the local laws and taxes regarding your products.
Value-Added Tax (VAT)
Any kind of commerce that requires importing or exporting of merchandise will require some sort of tax. For the entire EU, this tax is known as VAT.
If you sell products in any country in the EU you may be subject to that specific country’s VAT.
Like with most places, taxes are the responsibility of the seller/business owner, nevertheless, Amazon has some resources to help you in this area.
Regulations in Place for the EU
Regulations shouldn’t be anything new to you. As a seller, you will have to deal with regulations from your own country.
Obviously, this is nothing you can’t handle, just be aware of the possible differences that each place might have when it comes to the way they handle the merchandise.
Here are some clear examples:
Importing goods is no easy task. No matter where you do it, we strongly advise that you hire a logistics expert. Find someone to give you consultation on the matter; and overall, don’t try to “wing it”.
Different countries have different policies, also these vary depending on your shipping method (air, sea, etc.), there is no one-size-fits-all’ solution.
Something you should know is that you are responsible as a business for your exports. Try to use Amazon’s name for this in any way as this could lead to the return or destruction of your shipment at your expense.
If you’ve ever imported merchandise or even shopped on one of those overseas platforms, you know how frustrating the wait can be. But more importantly, you know the stress of having your package detained at customs.
Now, picture the same situation but with a large shipment that represents a big investment on your part! Getting that stuck in customs is something we definitely want to avoid.
A common reason for this to happen is when the commercial invoice is not clear enough. This will make the corresponding authorities feel uneasy, thus confiscating your merchandise while they investigate and clarify everything.
Always make sure your commercial invoice includes the following:
- The complete name and address of the seller/manufacturer, whoever shipped the merchandise (Don’t claim Amazon as the shipper).
- Shipping address, this can be the address for the Amazon Fulfillment Center, just remember that is just the address where it’s going to but Amazon specifically prohibits you from using the Amazon name as the entity responsible for the import.
- Importer of record: This means all of your business’s legal information, address, registry, VAT registry, Import licenses, etc.
- Date of issue for this invoice.
- FBA shipment ID, you get this when you register and it will help the FC claim the shipment from customs. Make sure to add the letters FBA along with the code.
- Currency used in the transaction.
- A detailed description of the goods, containing:
- Value of each product
- The combined value of the entire shipment
- Quantity of products
- HTS Code
Keep in mind that you are legally responsible for this shipment.
And although it may be going to a fulfillment center, Amazon itself won’t be responsible for it.
If you claim them as the IOR (Importer of Record), or the person or entity attempting to import this shipment into the country, they will deny the connection and you could lose your inventory.
Depending on the products you might need additional licenses or requirements, remember that you are the sole responsible for researching and compliance with adequate norms.
Related content: Inside The Amazon Partnered Carrier Program
Watch this video to learn more:
How Are My US and German Accounts Connected?
The short answer is: they’re not.
Selling on Amazon Germany means you’ll have to create an EU account, implying that in a way you’re starting from scratch, your current metrics are for your current account and will not be transferred to your EU account.
Basically, you will have to build up your market and reputation in Germany.
It is possible to transfer your listings between the 2 accounts so you don’t have to upload them all from scratch. However, you will need a translator to check that everything is in German and makes sense. If you already speak German yourself, then it will be much easier.
The good news is that if you are enrolled in FBA, things will be much easier for managing your inventory.
With this fulfillment option, Amazon will ship any number of products you wish to send overseas—as long as they’re stored in their facilities as a part of the FBA program.
Everything we wrote before still applies, but you won’t have to go through the hassle of finding a logistics company that will ship your now European inventory.
Labels and Languages
Take into account that there are some different legal requirements when it comes to labels.
For example, you won’t have to translate most of your labels, but most items that are consumable (as in foods or cosmetics) must have the ingredients, nutritional values, and other specs in the local language.
There will also be different guidelines when it comes to the safety and information logos and icons you have to include depending on the nature of your product.
All this talk about regulations, imports, exports, and all the little things you have to research and plan for might seem overwhelming. But if you think about it, it’s not that different from what you’re already doing with your Amazon business in your own country.
Starting from scratch (in a sense) might seem like a tedious feat. You may immediately think of how gruesome and time-consuming it can be.
However, we recommend you to shake those thoughts off because selling on Amazon Germany has proven to be a great investment of time and money for many sellers on the platform.
If you did it once, you can do it again! The rewards are well worth it.
Viel Glück! (Good luck!)