Selling on Amazon Canada from US

Panna Kemenes

If you’re an Amazon.com seller based in the US, you might be wondering how best to tap into the growing Canadian market.

The good news is that Amazon have made selling on Amazon Canada from US as simple as possible with the Amazon North America Unified Account (NAUA). This account opens up Canadian and Mexican marketplaces for sellers based in the US.

This article covers all you need to know to sell your products on Amazon.ca.

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Why you should be selling on Amazon Canada from the US

In short, Amazon Canada is a growing marketplace — and that makes it a perfect place to expand your reach, if you’re already selling on Amazon in the US.

Excited yet? You should be. Amazon Canada is the country’s 5th most visited website, with over 160 million visits logged.¹

Growth of Amazon Prime accounts was estimated to be 80% year-on-year during 2017.²

One thing that’s sure is that as Amazon Canada grows, more and more US sellers will get onto the platform. By joining in early, you’re well placed to get a good slice of this C$3.5billion a year marketplace - so you can grow as it does.

Amazon North America Unified Account — NAUA

If you're looking into how to sell on Amazon Canada from USA, then this is the first thing you should know about.

Amazon have created the Amazon North America Unified Account (NAUA) to make life easier for sellers looking to expand beyond the US. It offers a solution to tap into the growing markets in Canada and Mexico.

NAUA lets you list and sell items across the 3 Amazon North American sites. You can switch between them using the features in Seller Central, to make it easier to see your listings by country.³

If you’re a Pro Seller, you will need to continue to pay the subscription in the marketplace you first subscribed to — likely the US market. There are no additional fees for expanding your listings to Canada or Mexico.⁴

For pay per item sales, you will pay the fees related to the country that the sale is made in.

You can check if you already have a NAUA enabled account from the Seller Central page. Just click on the language change option at the top of the page to see if other marketplaces are already listed there.

If you don’t already have a NAUA account, you can get one quickly as long as your account is approved. Just send a message to Amazon using the chat feature to start the process.³

Making Fulfilled by Merchant listings available in the two other countries by default

If you’re using Amazon’s FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) option, all you’ll need to do is go to the Build International Listing tool, and select the target marketplaces you’re interested in.

These can be either Canada, Mexico, or both. You’ll then follow the steps on the tool to ensure you list the correct pricing in the different markets, and include accurate shipping details. You can then change the details in any of the individual Amazon marketplaces, whenever you need to, from the Seller Central page.

Don’t forget to check that the items you’re selling are approved and legal in each of your target markets, to avoid problems down the line. Canada has different regulatory requirements for food imports, compared to the US, for example.

Do I need a local bank account in each marketplace?

If you start to sell in Canada — or another territory outside of the US — you’ll need to decide whether or not to open a bank account in your new market. Amazon does not require sellers to have a local bank account in each market you trade in — although you may find that having a Canadian account is a good way of keeping track of your finances across both geographies.

If you’re opening a local bank account, you’ll need to take some legal advice to check whether you also need to register your business in Canada.³

If you don’t have a local account in Canada, you can choose instead to use Amazon Currency Converter for sellers — ACCS. In this case, Amazon will convert any money you make in Canadian dollars, and pay it into your US dollar account automatically. Amazon will therefore carry out the currency exchange for you, using their exchange rates. ⁴

You’ll be able to see the exchange rate which will be applied via Seller Central. However, it’s good to know that the amazon exchange rate also includes a markup to cover fees and charges — here’s what the terms and conditions say:

“The applicable exchange rate includes all fees and charges related to your use of Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers.³”

    An alternative approach is to use a third party conversion service. One great way to get a good deal on currency exchange is to get yourself a Wise Business account. This account lets you hold your money in dozens of different currencies, and convert between them when you like, for a small transparent fee. There’s no markup on the exchange rate, so you’ll get the mid-market rate as you might find on a Google search.
    Simply add Wise Business to your Amazon seller account, and accept payments into the account in whichever local currency your customers are using. You can then switch back to US dollars when you want to, for a great rate with no markup. The Wise Business account has integration with accounting software, such as QuickBooks and is perfect for anyone receiving international payments and paying suppliers abroad.
    The account can be used for either personal or business use, which means you can use your balance to pay for your travel, and even apply for a linked debit card to make it simple to spend your money at home or abroad.

Discover the Wise Business account

Shipping and inventory

Before you get started trading in Canada, you need to decide the approach you want to take to fulfilling customer orders.

Options include:

  • Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM), sometimes known as self-fulfilling — you personally manage your inventory and send it to customers

  • Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA). You send a shipment of your product to an Amazon warehouse in the local market you’re trading in, and Amazon deal with picking and shipping on your behalf

  • Seller Fulfilled Prime, which gives you access to Prime customers, but leaves you in charge of the day-to-day inventory management, and shipping of your product

Each different route has slightly different requirements for you as a seller, so doing some research before you choose the right one for you is essential.

If you need help managing your inventory, check out our inventory templates to get you started.

Shipping to Canada

If you’re about to start shipping to Canada, there are a few things you need to know.

Firstly, if you will personally be sending goods to Canada — either direct to customers, or using an Amazon fulfillment centre in Canada, you’ll need to get yourself a Canadian business number first. You can do this online, via the Canadian government website business registration page. Once you have a registration number, you can get an import-export account from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

This account is what you’ll need when importing goods into Canada. Don’t forget, when selling in Canada, you may also need to pay tax and duty, which we will cover a little later.

Using the FBM or self-fulfilling route, you’ll be sending products directly to customers yourself. Amazon recommend that you use a carrier such as UPS to track and manage deliveries, and keep your customers happy. As the sender, you’ll be listed as the exporter of record for the goods, and the carrier in effect is the broker, passing the goods on and through customs clearance.

If you choose FBA instead, you might be shipping large quantities of goods all at once to an Amazon warehouse in Canada. In this case, you might find that sending a shipment using a customs broker or freight forwarder is a more cost effective way of moving your goods. This can simplify the import/export process, as the broker will deal with most of the paperwork, although you can expect to pay a fee for the service.

There’s a wealth of information on different ways to export to other markets on Amazon’s website, including some recommended providers by country, and resources to make the process as simple as possible.

Shipping to Canada? Don’t forget to fill out the Canada customs invoice!

Managing the inventory — FBM, FBA or Seller fulfilled Prime

If you choose an FBM model you’ll need to store your own inventory and ship it to customers yourself. That means you need physical space to hold stock, and will be taking care of the day to day activities of packing, sending, and dealing with customer queries yourself.

With Fulfilled by Amazon you don’t need to hold your own inventory as it will be placed in a local Amazon warehouse for picking and shipping on your behalf. This is more straightforward for a seller — especially when entering a new marketplace. But of course, it costs. There’s a higher fee to pay for this option, compared with FBM.

Seller Fulfilled Prime, like FBM, leaves you in charge of the day to day inventory management, and shipping of your product, so again you’ll need to have space to hold your stock, and the capacity to send items quickly to customers across your marketplaces. Amazon has strict rules on this — you won’t be allowed to use the Seller Fulfilled Prime route unless you’re able to meet high customer expectations, ship quickly, and maintain good customer satisfaction scores.⁵

Some of the fees and taxes you need to pay when importing to Canada

Wherever you’re shipping to, you will find that there are duties, fees and some tax to pay in the local market. The exact fees will depend on the type of product you’re importing, and full details can be found from the Canadian customs authority.

You’ll need to check first is there is any duty to be paid on the items you’re selling in Canada. If there is, this amount will be added to the value of the goods, and then a 5% tax will be applied. You are responsible for paying duty and tax, before your goods can be sold to Canadian customers.

On top of this, you may need to collect GST (Goods and Services Tax)Harmonized Sales Tax)

Step by step — it’s easy to get started as a seller on Amazon.ca

If you’re new to Amazon, and want to sell in the US and Canada, you’ll probably want to register first in the US. In this case you’re asked to create a seller account and provide the following:

  • A valid credit card

  • Your current phone number

  • Tax information — this could be a W-9 or W-8BEN form depending on whether you’re a US taxpayer or not

Once you’re up and running in the US market, you can simply go to Seller Central to make listings and sell items in Canada and Mexico. Just use the marketplace switcher option to move from one North American market to another. Simple.

How to sell on Amazon Canada from US: Tips and tricks

Here are a few final ideas, to get you started in Amazon’s Canadian marketplace:

  • Customer satisfaction is key in growing your business — make sure you fully understand the shipping costs and times, so your new Canadian customers get their goods when they expect them, and are pleased with the service you offer

  • If you’re growing your business, you might benefit from a volume listing tool which lets you create multiple listings at once, rather than needing to individually create them — there are some tools available via Seller Central to help with this

  • Don’t forget that listings should be in the language of the market, which means you might need to translate your listings to French for some areas of Canada, or Spanish for Mexican sales. Amazon highlight several professional translation tools, including Gengo and Language Wire, which can make translation simpler

  • Consider getting a Wise Business account, to link to your North American Amazon account. This way, you can accept payment in US and Canadian dollars, or even Mexican pesos, and then convert to any currency you like for a low, transparent fee.

If you’re looking to grow your Amazon business, or have an idea you think will be popular beyond the US, expanding into Canada can work well. Amazon.ca is popular, growing and trusted by customers, making it the perfect place to kickstart your business expansion. To ensure you keep your standards high as you learn the new market, it pays to take things slowly.

With the help of this guide, Amazon’s resources, and our handy tips and tricks, we’re sure you’ll hit the ground running.

manage-your-international-business


Sources:

  1. amazon.ca Traffic Analytics & Market Share | Similarweb

  2. Amazon reports 80 per cent growth in Prime members in Canada - The Globe and Mail

  3. Amazon North American stores

  4. How to sell your Amazon products in all three North American countries

  5. Fulfillment by Amazon vs. Fulfillment by Merchant vs. Seller-Fulfilled Prime

All sources checked 21 December 2023


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