Amazon Infiltrates Australia—How Retailers Can Take Advantage

Amazon announced earlier this year that Australian retailers can now sell through the massive marketplace to customers on Amazon.com—a boon for retailers down under looking to get their products in front of Amazon’s hundreds of millions of loyal buyers.

The world’s largest online retailer has quite an expansion project underway with fulfilment centres popping up all over the world in Japan, China, Germany and the UK.  Rumors are circulating about future fulfilment centres in India and Australia, though Amazon has yet to confirm either location.

Regardless of Amazon’s expansion plans, Aussie retailers are already looking to cash in on the benefits of being able to sell to Amazon customers all over the world. ChannelAdvisor customers like ANTA Sports (sponsoring the Chinese Olympic team) and Aimer (a China-based seller of high-end lingerie) are currently launching on Amazon to strike while the iron is hot.

Here are five tips to help retailers make the most of selling on Amazon:

1.     Remember the different seasons

You may have a surplus of thongs right now that are off season in Australia, but what about Amazon shoppers in California? Or consider the benefits for a ski and snowboard outfitter based in Sydney. That retailer has an audience at home from April through to September, and a northern hemisphere audience from October through to March.

2.     Don’t neglect Amazon’s high seller reputation standards

A retailer’s worst nightmare is getting kicked off Amazon due to poor ratings, delayed deliveries, mismanaged expectations or otherwise.  Also, if you want to obtain Featured Merchant Status on Amazon, and thereby be eligible for the Buy Box, you have to make sure that you are meeting all of Amazon’s seller requirements.  At ChannelAdvisor we have a dashboard called Amazon 360 where we surface all of the information for sellers that is a high priority for Amazon such as Order Defect Rate, Orders Needing to Ship, Buyer Claims, Negative Feedback, Account Errors, Product Listing Status and more.  So long as you’re keeping track of all of these things you can maintain your “Good” seller status, which is crucial to success on Amazon.

3.     Keep an eye on your top-sellers

If your top-selling products are in high demand, you’re going to want to check your inventory depth on them and make sure you’re well-stocked. Amazon considers your product depth when determining who wins the Buy Box, so you’ll certainly want to keep a surplus of best sellers.

4.     Consider Fulfilment by Amazon

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is definitely worth evaluating, even if you only chose to use it for certain products—especially if you have items that you have a hard time meeting shipping requirements for or that are difficult to ship. Using FBA will automatically make those products eligible for Super Saver Shipping and Amazon Prime, which can bump up the price competitiveness of your products and give you a greater chance of winning the Buy Box.  Another positive part of FBA is that Amazon handles all of the returns, so any negative feedback that comes through won’t affect your performance.

5.     Keep an eye out for listing errors

When you send your product feed over to Amazon, you need to make sure that it matches the specifications that Amazon has asked for, and that Amazon is matching your products to the correct Amazon listings. Since Amazon uses one picture for each listing, not necessarily an image that you’ve sent over, you need to verify that the image matches up with your product, as do the product details.  Otherwise, you could end up with a disappointed customer who leaves negative feedback and causes your “Good” Seller Status to suffer.

We’re excited at ChannelAdvisor about the opportunity on Amazon for Aussie retailers, though a final note to retailers is to make sure that you’re diversifying and hitting all online channels. You don’t want to rely too heavily on any one online channel, especially when there are so many different ways to reach and acquire new customers.

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40 thoughts on “Amazon Infiltrates Australia—How Retailers Can Take Advantage

  1. It is a load of bullsh*t, Australian seller cannot sell through Amazon, you need and American address and American bank account. we really need an online store in Australia that isn’t the mega cost ebay or the, only Europeans and Americans amazon, wake up Australia its an Pseudo trade embargo, sell to us but not let us sell. Screw Amazon. wake up Australian business, we have the best dollar in the world security wise and they won’t accept it our banks, yet they’ll take dodgy euro banks. they are either the dumbest business people on the planet or don’t like Aussies.

    Reply
    1. I live in Canberra and I work as an Australian government employee. I started selling on Amazon part-time back in May 2013. I was able to set up an Amazon Seller Central account using my Australian address. I just needed to think creatively to get a US bank account and I found a service that let me create one. The online banking service provided me with a US bank account where Amazon pays me. The service comes with a debit Mastercard so I can withdraw cash from ATMs and pay bills.

      Reply
        • keith
        • 16th December

        Hi Geoff, I’m keen to do the same, could you let me know how? keithmcoombs@gmail.com

        Thanks

        Reply
        • Agus
        • 4th February

        HI Geoff,

        I am interesting in your story. I wonder if you could share me the way you did it to have a US bank account where you can sell product in Amazon by send me an email to asx88rt99@gmail.com

        Many Thanks.
        agus

        Reply
        • Mogens Bonde
        • 24th February

        Hi Geoff.

        Could you please forward some more details.

        Regards,
        Mogens Bonde

        Reply
        • tony
        • 15th May

        Hi Geoff, I’m also in the PS in Canberra and might be facing Involuntary Redundancy. If you have some tips or info about what works, this might be something I can do is to cover some bills at least. thanks mate.

        Reply
        • Mary Beth
        • 3rd July

        Hi Geoff,

        I am interested in what service you used to create a US bank account. We are a US company trying to sell on other countries seller platforms.

        Reply
        • george
        • 29th July

        Hey Geoff,
        I would really like to know what account you set up? did you just go to a bank and get an offshore US account?

        Thanks

        Reply
        • MS
        • 27th March

        Hi GEOFF

        I like to do the same thing.

        Could you please help me how ?
        Thanks

        Reply
        • Isi
        • 21st April

        Hi Geoff,

        Great to hear your story!

        Would really appreciate any info you would be willing to share to help me get back on my feet.

        I’m very tech savvy looking for work.

        Many thanks,
        Isi

        Reply
        • Chris
        • 28th May

        Hi Geoff, could you please send me
        Details of how you opened a bank account in the US costea89@live.com

        Thank you
        Chris

        Reply
    • Niki
    • 20th December

    I agree in principle with comments by A C Quinn (not necessarily the choice of words). I wonder why Amazon won’t accept Australian Banks. This leads me to the next question, how difficult is it to open a US Bank Account? Do you need to be a US resident? From the outside looking in, it all seems a little too hard and certainly we do seem to be disadvantaged because we live in ‘God’s Country – Australia’.

    Reply
    • Ben
    • 29th January

    It’s bloody hard to open an American Bank Account, then the fees are killer.

    I have one… only Wells Fargo just decided to close it down due to a policy change on foreigners… just crazy. They were actually making a lot of money from me.

    So much paperwork, ancient systems. Greatest country on earth is a load of crap. Super hard to do business there.

    If I cannot find an easy alternative bank in a short period of time I will just stop selling there.

    No surprises that their economy is in the poo.

    Reply
    • John
    • 9th March

    I attempted to open a US checking account during a recent visit to the US, only to be told (by 3 different banks) that despite fronting up for interviews and having multiple forms of identification, that unless I could show genuine evidence of residency in the US (including service bills in my name to that address) then I would be unable to open such an account.

    Reply
    • John
    • 17th December

    Has anyone actually found a solution yet?
    I used to live in the USA and had an American bank account – and NO they won’t create an account for you if you’re not a temporary or resident. I believe the same rule applies in Australia.
    My guess is that Amazon hasn’t opened the ability to have Australian bank accounts because our population is pretty tiny compared to larger parts of the world like the Eurozone. It will be great when this restriction is removed. I’m conducting some research amongst my writer friends to see what they do so stay tuned…

    Reply
  2. Australians can open a bank account in the US without toddling over there. You just go to the NAB who also owns Western Bank in the US and they will organise it for you. You can also get a US address through viabox.com (free).

    Reply
    1. thank you for that info, this may have been a major factor in the loss of my sales, thank you

      Reply
      • Isi
      • 21st April

      Thanks Ruth,

      Valuable information!

      Appreciate you sharing anything further.

      Many thanks,

      Isi

      Reply
  3. Great suggestion Leanne! I wasn’t aware of that and went through the process of obtaining an account with Payoneer, which allows people from all over the world to receive payments from and make payments to people/organisations in the USA – including Amazon.

    Reply
    • Lisa
    • 28th April

    Hello Leanne and Chris,

    Just to clarify. I live outside the US.

    I am interested in placing products on Amazon but I am not able to due to where I live.

    But from what I am reading you are saying that if I open a address through this Viabox.com its like an address. They will give me an address that is legite.

    secondly the Payoneer looks interesting. Just a question. It is a bank account and I can use it anywhere in the world. I am in a Western country with decent banks just not the US or where Amazon like our bank accounts.

    Do you know if Payoneer is easy to use also.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Kind regards

    Lisa

    Reply
  4. I just came upon this article as I was looking to find any further evidence of FBA becoming available for fulfilment in Australia, the home market for Starlettos. Starlettos has been using FBA for 2 years and US sales are now a major revenue source.

    Getting set up on FBA for the USA from Australia is quite easy. The US address you need is really only for returns of products that are not purchased on Amazon.com but on another site. To be clear (in case you missed it) as an overseas retailer you can get set up on Amazon FBA in a matter of weeks – as long as it takes to ship your first consignment to them. You can then sell on Amazon.com (or not, if you prefer) and importantly, you can use FBA fulfillment to send out orders purchased on any other site, including Ebay, Etsy, or your own Shopify or Big Commerce store.

    And the breaking news is that you no longer need a US or European Bank Account. We were using Payoneer until last week but now can take the payments direct to our AUD bank account in Australia.

    So it’s getting much easier – but there is still no FBA for shipping within Australia. Ship it in, I say!

    Reply
      • Chanthira
      • 1st May

      Hi Mark

      Thanks for the information you posted mate. I’m in Perth and am thinking of selling Private label physical products on Amazon.com
      I was not aware that you we can take payments directly into our Australian Bank account. I’m with CBA.
      How about the tax Mark. Do you pay tax for selling in Amazon USA. How does that work?I know USA and Australia have a tax treaty.
      I have also heard that Amazon may be commencing FBA in Australia soon.
      Cheers mate and thanks again.

      Reply
      1. Hi there. I completely missed this comment when you made it. Did you ever get going with your Amazon business. I am now doing a bit of training and coaching on getting up and running on Amazon if you live outside the USA at FBA2USA.com. Feel free to have a look in!

        Reply
        • Chris
        • 28th May

        Hi Chanthira, I live in Perth too, could you please send me
        An email so I could ask you a few questions costea89@live.com

        Reply
  5. I was also looking at the Amazon FBA situation for Australia. I use Payoneer and it works very well also i use a middle man processing center that prepares goods and labels them for Amazon FBA located in the U.S.A so i just ship goods and inventory I source online and basically I don’t even see or touch the inventory. A totally online retail business. I can help you out if you are looking for an inventory processing solution-bulk orders are fine, it is capable of processing large stocks. This is the business model of 21st century.

    Reply
      • bronzesonline
      • 15th September

      Hi Michael,

      Could you please contact me at my email (click the link on my name)

      Thank
      Mark

      Reply
      • Helen
      • 3rd February

      Hello Michael,
      Could you help me… I so wish to setup abusiness of some sort at Amazon.com
      Alot of time on my hands now to have an existing home business… Yet no website at the moment.
      I have been watching videos to date on FBA.

      Reply
      • Robyn Lieberfreund
      • 26th November

      Hi Michael,
      Is the middle man processing centre Gateway? I’m also trying to send products to FBA from Australia. I can’t seem to work out who will act as the IOR. I wonder if you could contact me regarding this.
      Thanks

      Reply
      • Kath
      • 7th May

      Hi Michael Who do you use to process, prepare and label your goods?- I am just in the planning stage of setting up a FB Amazon store from Australia

      Reply
    • Jason
    • 28th May

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for the info, I am very interested in your middle man processing centre in the USA. Can you provide more details.
    Regards,
    Jason

    Reply
    1. Hi Jason,
      Are you the same Jason that I was just in touch with regarding working together on this FBA program?
      Alfred

      Reply
    • Greg
    • 11th September

    Guys our company can open bank accounts for you in America to sell on Amazon. We also repatriate the funds at a far better exchange rate than Amazon.

    Reply
      • Kevin
      • 11th April

      Hi Greg,
      Just saw comments you made on internet a few years ago about setting up U.S. bank accounts + repatriating funds to Oz

      You still involved?

      Reply
  6. great resources

    Reply
    • Ray
    • 17th November

    World First can set up bank accounts for Amazon purposes in US, UK, Canada and Euro Zone.

    Reply
  7. We’ve helped many Australians (and friends from around the world) get set up on Amazon.com with a U.S. based address/bank account etc. We have a large community of cooperating sellers from around the world in our community – many of whom are selling into the Amazon global community. There’s always a creative solution.

    Jim
    ProvenAmazonCourse.com

    Reply
    • jasonmorrisby
    • 15th January

    Hi everyone,

    I’m in the process of having my first Amazon private label product up for sale on Amazon.com. I will eventually be listing 4-5 products.

    I have started a marketing campaign with FB and Instagram and will drive traffic to these products.

    My strengths are writing good copy (which is essential for Amazon descriptions), graphics, images and marketing. I have built my own website to further increase traffic to my Amazon products and a press release ready to go.

    If there is anyone in the Sydney area (I’m in Rose Bay) that is interested in this particular business model, please get in touch. I’m always open for sharing ideas, partnerships etc as we may find we compliment each other’s skill set.

    All the best..

    Jason
    jasonmorrisby@hotmail.com

    Reply
    • Kay
    • 9th March

    Hello
    We are wanting to start selling through Amazon from Perth Australia.
    As first timers & having never had a business before we could do with the help.
    So we are sourcing our product from China & had planned to send direct to fullfillment centres in US.
    But sounds like it’s best tsent to Australia first to inspect as sounds like orders etc aren’t always met or of good quality??
    Can anyone advise us of what’s the best steps to take once a Chinese supplier is onboard where do we go from there to get our product to FBA centre at best value & less haste to us.
    After reading so many seller forums it seems a lot of confusion as to what’s the simplest way to get goods delivered & onto Amazon to start selling.
    So we no longer need a US bank account or address??
    Can use our Australian account & address??
    I thought that if we pay the $39.95 month seller account fees that that was it so what is this 50% FBA fee I just read about? If our item is $10 per item how much does Amazon take from each sale??
    Sorry as I said we are novices to all this so any help or proven steps to help us in the best way to source from China when we live in Australia ..& onto Amazon that saves us from going the long way around itwould be wonderful.
    As no fullfillment branches in Australia where would be our best option when it comes to our product to save us shipment costs? Are we best to find an independent quality control person based in China who can inspect our goods there on our behalf to save us having them sent to Australia & then to Amazon?? Can anyone recommend a company who does this service & cost of this??
    Thank you your valuable help & knowledge will be very much appreciated

    Kay

    Reply
    • Helene
    • 4th October

    Hi Kay
    I just came across this site and I read that you are on Perth wanting to sell through Amazon.
    I am in Perth too and I am a novice too with lots of questions.
    I guess you will have reach your goal by now, so I would appreciated if you could contact me to give me your lights.
    My email is helenelou65@yahoo.com

    Reply
    • Lisa
    • 17th October

    Hi
    I am looking at selling on Amazon Australia when they open their FBA here (grocery). Has anyone been able to set up yet? I’m in Brisbane and would appreciate getting some advice. I can be reached by email mlisa.karene@gmail.com
    Thank you

    Reply

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