The good news is anybody can start selling on Amazon Europe's sales channels; however, it can get rather intricate. In addition to achieving Amazon's performance level standards, you'll also need to follow applicable local tax regulations and provide product information and customer assistance in the local language.
There are 340 million potential customers on the European continent, but selling there might be complicated for sellers who haven't dealt with the regulations and rules that come with selling in the EU. So here's a step-by-step guide on selling in Amazon Europe.
What Is Amazon Europe, and what areas does it cover?
Amazon has expanded to sixteen marketplaces throughout the world. In addition, Amazon's marketplace can be broken down into four distinct geographic zones: the Americas, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe.
These are the current European Amazon marketplaces:
- Netherlands – amazon.nl
- Germany – amazon.de
- Poland – amazon.pl
- Spain – amazon.es
- United Kingdom – amazon.co.uk
- Italy – amazon.it
- Sweden – amazon.se
- France – amazon.fr
How to start selling on Amazon Europe
- Choose your "home" marketplace
Across Europe, Amazon operates five marketplaces: UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. All you need is one Seller Account to sell on any of the five markets, but you should still prioritize the marketplace from which the vast bulk of your sales will originate.
You can keep your products in the United States and ship them to international customers, but doing so will be costly for both you and your customers. While Merchant Fulfillment from the European Union is possible, it requires using third-party warehouses and delivery services.
If you want to sell on Amazon Europe through Fulfillment by Amazon, your home marketplace must be outside the European Union. However, you can select between shipping to a single or several countries.
- Register your US / UK business for VAT in Europe
Successfully importing into the European Union, storing inventory in Amazon warehouses, and starting online sales necessitate registering your business for Value Added Tax (VAT). Pan-EU FBA, which allows you to reduce shipping costs to customers, requires your US or U.K.-based company to register for VAT in seven EU nations (as of January 2022). The time required to acquire a VAT number will vary from nation to country but is often between weeks and months. In addition, Amazon has relationships with third-party accounting firms that can help you register for Value-Added Tax (VAT) in the European Union, and special Amazon promotions can make it possible to obtain a VAT number at no cost to you.
- Register your US / UK business for EORI EU
If you have been doing online business in the European Union (EU) before Brexit, you should know that your EORI UK registration will no longer be recognized in the EU. Therefore, to get your imports through customs in the EU, your business in the United States or the United Kingdom must register with EORI EU in one of the EU nations.
While getting an EORI number in certain EU nations may take up to a month, in others, you may have one in as little as three to five business days. The EORI EU registration you obtain in one member state is valid in the others; for example, you can use your EORI FR number for customs clearance in Germany, Spain, etc.
- Determine your fulfillment method: FBM vs FBA
Both American and European bases provide their challenges when it comes to FBM. Although it could appear less complicated to store and ship your product from the United States, doing so will increase your costs by $22 to a couple of hundreds of dollars for every purchase due to the necessity of paying international shipping rates.
When delivering FBM from the EU, you can save money by setting up storage and shipping operations at a third-party distribution center. However, you might not be eligible for Prime.
You can choose between FBA's European Fulfillment Network (EFN), Multi-country Inventory (MCI), or Pan-European FBA, each of which comes with its own set of benefits, drawbacks, and fees.
EFN enables you to choose a fulfillment center in the European Union (EU) to store and distribute your products and expand your reach to customers in other countries. Further, it satisfies the requirements for Prime membership.
With MCI, sellers can keep inventory in distribution locations in several countries at once and qualify for Prime in the country where it is stored.
With Pan-European FBA, products can be stored in a single distribution center and made available to Prime members in all five European Union member states. However, Amazon will redistribute stock to other European Union member state warehouses based on its estimates of future demand.
- Check if your goods comply with the EU requirements
The European Union (EU) is well-known for its consumer protections and the hundreds of regulations a product must meet before it can be sold within the EU. Labels should be in all local languages of the countries/marketplaces where the product will be sold and should provide information necessary for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
- Research the international legal obligations of the country you want to sell in
You can do the legwork and make the necessary contacts with foreign parties on your own, but if you don't have a lawyer on speed dial, it could be easier to hire one. In addition to determining the exact EU labeling and warranty rules you are expected to comply with, an attorney specializing in international law can detail the legal, tax, and compliance duties you must follow in each jurisdiction.
With EU-wide conformity marks and country-specific product limits and compliance duties, Europe is often more stringent than the US regarding labeling and product compliance. Spending money on competent help may prevent you from having legal problems in the future or from having your listing deleted for non-compliance.
In conclusion, there are fewer barriers to entry than ever before for selling on Amazon Europe. Moreover, thanks to Amazon's continuing investment in the region and its extensive fulfillment network, sellers worldwide can reach Amazon's hundreds of millions of European customers.
There is no better opportunity to start selling or to expand to Europe and fill an existing market need than now, as countries and their clients are quite different from one another yet are still relatively near.