Want To Be An International Seller on Amazon USA? (Part – 01)


Are you thinking to be an International Seller on Amazon USA? Then here is some good news for you. If you are not a US resident or if you do not have an organization in US then don’t worry, you can sell your product at Amazon.

Throughout the below article, I will let you know about how to set up an Amazon account as a foreigner, ins and outs of importing your products, being paid and growing beyond the US.

Step 01: Pre-requirements for Opening an Amazon US / North America Account

To be an international seller on Amazon USA and start selling , you must open an account first. First of all, you need to know what types of account you want to open, Professional or Individual?

Decision 1: Professional or Individual?

From the below image you will come to know about the difference between Professional and Individual seller. The individual seller account is for those who will be selling less than 40 units per month. More than 40 units is for Professional sellers and you have to pay $39.95 per month. You also have to be on the Professional Selling plan if you are thinking to sell specific product category.

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Decision 2: Merchant Fulfilled vs FBA

This choice interrelated to how you get your products to clients.

The answer of the question ” Merchant fulfilled or FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon)” might be different for every seller.

You might consider to choose 3rd party fulfillment centers if the 3rd party fulfillment center’s fees make much more sense especially for your light weight items or if you have products with multiple variations. We will talk about general shipping issues and advantages later.

You should definitely consider to FBA if you have an new account. There are multiple reasons like starting health account without having any shipping problem etc.  but this article is not about that. Please send me your questions. I’ll try to respond as fast as I can.However as you can imagine you will have less problem when it comes to “trust” and “healthy account” you should definitely go with the FBA.

Below are some points on How FBA works for a foreigner seller

  1. You register in the FBA program after opening a Seller account in that country’s marketplac
  2. You introduce your products to the US and deliver products to Amazon’s fulfillment center(s), whereby Amazon will dispatch products directly to US clients. In part 3 you will learn more about importing requirements & processes.
  3. Your product inventory, picking and wadding clients’ orders, client service, and returns information will be handled by Amazon. The cost of these service is same for both US based and foreign seller.
  4. Amazon fulfillment centers will receive the Customers return. If the product is sellable, the product will be re-stocked and can be sold yet again. But if the product is dented or faulty, stock can only be returned to a US address or smashed by Amazon.

Decision 3: Status of Amzon Taxpayer

Tax information needs to submit of all professional sellers or those sellers whose yearly transaction is more than 50 transactions in a calendar year. While opening an account, you have to go through a Taxpayer Wizard, which will create an IRS tax form (W-8) that need to complete by you. Non US residents have to complete the tax interview and you will find that it is a W9-BEN form, which means you will not be liable from U.S. tax reporting requirements.

It is a good news that overseas persons are not subject to US income taxmaintenance if performing the work outside the U.S. Definitely, you may need to pay tax on this regard in your own country. And if you set up a US-based corporation or LLC, that entity will be measured a US “person” and therefore subject to paying income tax.

Before making the decision regarding whether you will open a business entity in the US or uphold a status as an overseas person, consult with a tax professional.

Receiving Approval In Your Item Category

There are some items which need approval in your item category. Items are listed below.

  • Beauty / Health & Personal Care
  • Clothing & Accessories
  • Collectibles & Fine Art
  • Grocery & Gourmet Food
  • Jewelry, Watches
  • Luggage, Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses

Receiving approval in the above category will ensure that you are lawful manufacturer or brand. Also, Amazon wants to make sure that you have a considerable sufficient business to justify the attempt of reviewing your items or brands as well as you are not at a threat of providing cheap or out of order products.

Other Requirements

To make your account valid, you also need to provide

  • For International transaction (i.e. Fees) a valid credit card is required.
  • Cell number. As Amazon Seller Support apparently makes calls in US numbers so Viber Out or US Skype number will be helpful.

Note: Please make sure to look at the rules and regulations in your own country as well as the existing information given by Amazon and the US Federal Government.

In the Part 2 article I will discuss on  how to get paid for your sales on Amazon (coming soon) bank accounts, taxes, and selling fees.


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