If you’re already an established seller on Amazon in the US, you might be looking for a new way to grow your ecommerce business. Amazon launched its Australian marketplace in 2018, opening a great new market for international businesses. Selling in Australia has a few distinct advantages. Unlike some other international marketplaces, there’s no language barrier to worry about, and Amazon is sure to attract more customers as it grows. Expect to see new features and selling categories added in future, which will introduce Amazon to an even bigger Australian audience.
Read on for all you need to know about how to get started selling on Amazon Australia, including:
- Who can sell on Amazon’s Australian marketplace
- The categories of products open to sellers
- Fees and charges you need to know about
- Tax and costs when importing or sending products to customers directly
Ecommerce isn’t as established in Australia as it is in many other developed economies. High delivery costs meant that until recently it tended to be cheaper and easier to shop in a regular brick and mortar store.
However, things are changing as more ecommerce platforms expand into the Australian market. Amazon Australia launched in 2018 and is a growing marketplace. Although Australian customers had previously been able to shop with Amazon US, the Australian launch was intended to offer customers lower shipping fees and shorter delivery times. ¹
Thanks to Fulfillment By Amazon — FBA — it’s possible for international sellers to list items on Amazon Australia and have local logistics and delivery taken care of by Amazon. If you’re already an established Amazon seller in the US and looking to expand your business, getting in early with Amazon Australia could be a good way to introduce your products to a whole new market.
Unfortunately, Amazon Australia doesn’t currently offer linked accounts. That means that if you have an Amazon account already operating in the US or one of the other available marketplaces, you’ll still need to create a new one to sell in Australia. For this, you need a unique email address and storefront name.
To sell on Amazon Australia you’ll also need to give the following information:
- Your business name and address
- The name of the person or entity which owns the business
- Your credit card details, including the address used for billing
- Your Australian bank account details, to receive payments
- You may also be asked for an official form of identification and a bank statement
It’s helpful to know before you sign up that your credit card must be internationally chargeable.
If you don’t have an Australian bank account, one option is to get yourself a TransferWise borderless account to receive payments in Australian dollars. You’ll get your own Australian account details, which can be used to receive money. You can then convert your balance back to USD whenever you like, using the mid-market rate and for just a small fee. More on this a bit later.
You’ll be able to list your products on the Amazon Australia website, under any of over 20 categories and sell directly to customers there. You can then either fulfil your orders yourself — mailing items to customers directly — or choose to use FBA to have Amazon sort out your local logistics on your behalf.
There are several different fees you need to know about. You’ll pay a monthly charge of AUD49.95, plus a referral fee on any products sold. You may also need to pay what’s known as a closing fee of AUD1 for any media product you sell, such as books and DVDs.³
Referral fees vary depending on the product category you’re selling in. Here’s an outline of the fees from 31 March 2019:
- Automotive - 9%
- Baby Products (excluding Baby Apparel) - 9%
- Beauty - 15%
- Books - 15%
- Camera and Photo - 7%
- Clothing & Accessories - 12%
- Computer/ Video Games - 9%
- Consumer Electronics - 7%
- DVD - 12%
- Electronics Accessories - 12%
- Health & Personal Care (including Personal Care Appliances) - 9%
- Home - 12%
- Jewellery - 15%
- Kitchen - 9%
- Luggage & Travel Accessories - 12%
- Large Appliances - 7%
- Mobile Phone Devices - 7%
- Music - 15%
- Musical Instruments - 9%
- Office Products - 12%
- Outdoors - 15%
- Pantry Food & Drinks - 9%
- Personal Computers - 6%
- Pet Products - 9%
- Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses - 12%
- Software - 15%
- Sports - 15%
- Tools & Home Improvement - 12%
- Toys & Games - 9%
- Video & DVD - 12%
- Video Game Consoles - 6%
- Everything else - 15%
There’s also a charge if you refund a customer purchase. In this case, Amazon will return the referral fee you already paid, minus the refund administration fee which is the lesser of AUD5 or 20% of the referral fee paid.⁴
When you’re pricing your products for Amazon Australia you’ll need to bear in mind the costs involved, including Amazon’s fees, shipping and the cost of goods. Depending on the product you sell, and where it’s being shipped from, you may also have to pay GST — a tax of 10%, or other import costs.⁵ Make sure you include these in your calculations to protect your profit margin.
Typically, lower priced goods, costing in the region of $10-$50 tend to work well. This price point is great for online sales as it’s low enough that customers will still buy unseen, without worrying too much about carrying out their own detailed research on the product, and yet high enough that you can make a profit.⁶
There are over 20 categories open to sellers on Amazon Australia. Some require you to have approval to sell — more on that below. Here are the categories of products you can choose from:
- Baby Products
- Camera and Photo
- Cell Phones
- Clothing & Accessories
- Health and Personal Care
- Office Products
- Personal Computers
- Shoes, Handbags & Sunglasses
- Software and Computer Games
- Tools & Home Improvement
- Toys & Games
- Video, DVD & Blu Ray
- Video Games and Consoles
If you plan to sell videos, DVDs or Blu Ray discs, you’ll need to apply for approval before you can start. Depending on the specific products you’re selling, you might also need approval if you’re selling baby or beauty products, home and outdoor goods, health and personal care items, sporting goods, toys or games. Full details are available on the Amazon Australia website.⁷
If you’re selling through Amazon Australia you’ll need to decide whether to fulfil orders yourself directly or use the Amazon FBA service. If you choose to deal with shipping and inventory management yourself, you’ll need to find a reliable way to get your products to international customers, such as using a courier service. It’ll also be your responsibility to hold and maintain your inventory, so you may need additional space to keep the stock you need to sell abroad.
An alternative is to use FBA, which involves shipping your products in bulk to an Amazon warehouse in Australia. Amazon will then deal with holding and shipping orders from within Australia, making it cheaper and quicker for customers there. You’ll pay a fee for this service, which comprises of a cost for storage, and a price per item shipped. Costs vary depending on the type and size of the products you’re selling.
From July 2018, any product being imported to Australia and sold for under AUD1,000 is subject to a charge of 10% for GST (Goods and Services tax)
If you choose to use FBA, you’ll likely use a customs agent or freight forwarder to have your products shipped to Australia in bulk. Your agent will be able to advise you of the fees and taxes you’re liable to pay, which will vary depending on the type of product you are selling, and the value of the shipment.
To sell through Amazon Australia you will need to register a new account for this marketplace. Once you’ve done this, you can get started by taking the following steps:⁸
- List your products using the add a product tool, by uploading an inventory file, or with Amazon Marketplace Web Services
- Sell and ship products — you can either fulfil orders yourself by mailing them directly to customers, or use FBA
- Amazon will send your payment to your registered Australian bank account, their fees deducted
If you don’t have an Australian bank account, you can open a Transferwise borderless account instead, for easy and convenient payments and currency conversion. This multi-currency account lets you hold dozens of different currencies in one place. You’ll get local Australian bank details which you can use to receive payments from Amazon, and can then switch your Australian dollars back to USD within your account whenever you’re ready, at the mid-market exchange rate. That’s the best rate out there, and the one you’ll find on Google. You can then simply withdraw your dollars to your regular US bank, or spend them using your borderless debit card.
Here are a few final ideas to make sure you hit the ground running when you start selling on Amazon Australia.
- Make sure you list your products in the correct categories, to pay the right referral fee no matter what you sell — and don’t forget to check local regulations to ensure your products can be legally sold in Australia
- Amazon’s Best Selling Rank (BSR) is a useful tool to check how your products are likely to sell in Australia. Popular products are marked as top sellers so you can check out the competition and see how your goods may rank
- Use a TransferWise borderless account as a great way to receive customer payments in Australian dollars, and convert back to USD, using the Google exchange rate and for just a low fee
- If you decide to start selling a product which requires approval from Amazon, you can apply via Seller Central. Simply use the add a product tool to find the item you want to sell, and click to request approval, You’ll need to complete some details and be assessed as a seller, so Amazon can guarantee high standards for their customers
As Amazon expands into Australia and builds a bigger customer base there, sellers who get in early are likely to benefit. Setting up an Australian account now, and introducing your products to a new market can be a great long term growth strategy. Do some research into the local requirements, and how to best minimize your costs, and you could give your profits a significant boost by listing on the Amazon.com.au marketplace.
All sources last checked 21/04/2019
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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