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Ordering from Amazon abroad - how to do it and what to look out for

By Adrian Mühlroth | August 19, 2020, 12:15 p.m.

Amazon is a global company with shops in many countries. But did you know that you can easily order goods in Italy, France or the USA with your German account? This can often save a few euros.

There are good reasons why ordering from Amazon shops abroad makes sense: Often there are items that are not available in Germany or devices that are cheaper abroad, even including shipping costs. We'll show you how to order from Amazon in the US, UK, France, Spain and Italy.

How much can I save on orders abroad?

Online portals such as geizr.de offer a special Amazon price comparison. Simply enter the name of the item you want to order and Geizr will show you which Amazon shop is the cheapest for this.

A TECHBOOK research (as of August 19, 2020) showed, for example, that the Nintendo Switch (2019) is available in France with postage for 284.03 euros, while the customer in Germany pays 321.67 euros.

The Kenwood Chef XL Titanium KVL8320S kitchen machine currently costs 533.39 euros with postage in Italy and 601.75 euros in Germany.

The OnePlus Nord smartphone costs 384.42 euros with postage in Italy, while Amazon charges 399.01 euros in Germany.

Ordering abroad: you need to know that

You can simply log into any Amazon shop with your German account, search for products and buy them. However, there are a few pitfalls: On the one hand, most Amazon shops are only available in the respective national language, which is why you should either have language skills or install Google's Translate plug-in in order to understand the details of the order.

On the other hand, in the case of orders from the USA - and probably also from December 31, 2020 in the United Kingdom - tax and customs duties are added to the purchase price from certain order values, which are omitted for orders within the European Union.

In addition, not all products are necessarily sent to Germany. This can usually be read on the product page, but at the latest during the ordering process. It is also not possible to purchase items that are exclusively available to Prime members of the respective country, even if you have a Prime membership in Germany.

When ordering from the USA and Great Britain, please also note that electrical appliances have a different power plug. Operation in this country is therefore only possible with an adapter.

To order items from other Amazon shops, you need a credit card or a prepaid card for the respective country. Transfers with German giro cards are not accepted.

Also read: 6 little-known Amazon Prime services

Shipping times and costs

In the meantime, the shipping times and costs to Germany in the Amazon shops in the Eurozone have unfortunately become somewhat opaque. For the most Shipments within the EU but you can choose from three different shipping methods:

Standard: 4-5 euros + 0.60 euros per kilogram for delivery within six days

Express: 6-7 euros + 0.60 euros per kilogram for delivery within four days

1 day: 9-11 euros + 3 euros per kilogram for delivery within one day

The prices and UK shipping times same as those of the Eurozone, but the prices of Amazon's currency converter are converted at the current rate:

Standard: £ 3-4 + £ 0.40 per kilogram for 3-4 day delivery

Priority: £ 5-6 + £ 0.50 per kilogram for 2 day delivery

1 day: £ 7-9 + £ 2.40 per kilogram for one day delivery

Shipping times and prices for Deliveries from the USA are slightly higher than in the other countries, depending on the distance. It should be noted that for orders over EUR 22, taxes in the amount of German VAT (19%, or 16% reduced by the end of 2020) must be paid and additional customs duties from EUR 150. The taxes are clearly listed when paying and are paid automatically by completing the order. Here, too, the prices are converted at the current rate:

AmazonGlobal Standard: $ 4.99 + $ 2.99 per item, or $ 1.99 per pound for 9-12 day delivery

AmazonGlobal Express: $ 6.99 + $ 2.99-3.49 per item or $ 2.99 per pound for 5-9 day delivery (excluding baggage items that are $ 13.99 + $ 2.99 per pound in the Shipping)

AmazonGlobal Priority: $ 25.99 + $ 2.99-5.49 per item or $ 4.99 per pound for 1-3 day delivery (excludes Kindle devices and Kindle accessories that are $ 14.99 + 5 $ 99 per item in shipping)

Step-by-step instructions

The ordering process is usually the same in all Amazon shops. Wherever possible differences occur, this is indicated in the instructions.

  • Log in to your Amazon account before searching for a product. As usual, the button is on the top left, directly to the right of the search bar. Move the mouse pointer over it and click the orange button

  • After you have entered the account data, you will automatically return to the start page. ATTENTION: You may have to identify yourself using a two-factor login. In this case, Amazon sends an SMS with a confirmation link to the mobile phone number stored in your account. Click on the link and authorize the registration to the foreign Amazon account.

Step 2: Find the product and add it to the shopping cart

  • Find the product that you want to buy
  • On the product page, click the orange button on the right-hand side of the screen. Since you have logged in with your account, the delivery address should already be entered. Note that for some electronics on the US and UK pages, you will be asked if you would like to purchase additional insurance for the product. Since this will not help you in Germany, click here No thanks

  • You will now be taken to an intermediate overview in which you can check your shopping cart before making a purchase. Continue by clicking the orange button

  • You may now have to re-enter your password and select an address if several are stored in your account

Step 3: Choose the shipping method and payment method

  • You have now come to the point where you can choose the shipping method, but you don't have to. The shipping times are already adjusted to your location. Click the orange button

  • Next, you need to select the payment method. Only credit cards and gift cards are available for orders in foreign Amazon shops. Please also note that for countries (e.g. USA and UK) that do not have the euro, you have to select the currency of your credit card. Continue by clicking the orange button

  • Now select the billing address by clicking on the button below
  • In some cases, you may see an ad after the previous step. You can continue with a click on the button

Step 4: complete your purchase

  • You will now be shown an order overview in which all details and an overview of costs are displayed. You can see on the right side of the screen how much shipping, taxes and import duties you will have to pay. If several shipping options are available, you can check their price in the cost overview. The order can be completed by clicking on the orange button

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