Amazon is a global marketplace where sellers and buyers from around the world can sale and buy goods. The company being based on the U.S. can ship to buyers in the United States freely often providing with free shipping through the Super Saver Shipping and Amazon Prime programs. Amazon have marketplaces in a couple of other countries as well – Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and United Kingdom, at the time of this writing. Buyers from these countries can buy from their respective Amazon marketplaces and avail offers such as free shipping.
When items need to be shipped outside the territory where Amazon operates, various restrictions dictated by international laws come into play, due to which Amazon cannot ship all products to all countries.
Books, DVDs, music and VHS videos can be shipped to almost all destination outside the U.S. without restrictions. Only some products such as clothing, consumer electronics, health and personal care, home and garden, industrial and scientific, jewelry, pet supplies, shoes, software, toys, video games, watches etc. can be shipped to some international destinations.
Amazon can ship only to the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom.
However, there are some merchants on Amazon, that can ship all products to all countries.
Locating Merchants at Amazon Marketplace
Products sold on Amazon fall under two categories – 1) products sold by Amazon.com, the company, and 2) products sold by Amazon merchants.
Amazon merchants are independent sellers that sell their products through Amazon, just like sellers on eBay. These merchants have their own shipping rates, methods, and terms, and some of them ships to all over the world, including countries that Amazon doesn’t officially ship to. It’s because of these merchants that Amazon is such a great place to buy, and often at bargain prices.
When you click on a product listed for sale on Amazon you arrive at the product page. Here is the product page for Nikon’s new release D5100.
This product is sold by Amazon.com (highlighted in the screenshot). Now, I know Amazon doesn’t ship cameras to India. So I click on “23 new” to find merchants that sell the same camera, and to see if anyone of them ships to my country.
Here is the partial list of merchants that currently stocks and sells the item. Now I can tell at a glance who ships the products internationally and who does not.
How? From the link “International & domestic shipping rates”. Merchants which ships only within the U.S. will have “Domestic shipping rates” shown. To find whether a merchant will ship to your country, click on the International & domestic shipping rates link, scroll to the bottom of the page and locate your country in the list. You can also find out how much it will cost you in terms of shipping from this page.
Another way to determine this is to add the item to your cart and proceed to checkout. Then enter the destination address. If the item cannot be shipped to the address you entered you will receive a message such as "We’re sorry. This item can’t be shipped to your selected destination". If no such message is displayed, the item can be shipped to your country.
Automate it Using Browser Extension
An easier way would be to use a Firefox and Chrome extension called Does Amazon Ship to …?.
Does Amazon Ship to …? adds a button to the product page that lets you quickly find all merchants that ships that product to your country. On the product page, click on the button titled “Check if this item could be shipped to your country” and choose your country from the list.
This opens a list that displays all merchants that stocks the product, their price and an icon indicating whether the merchant ships the product to the country you have chosen. A green icon means the product can be shipped to your country and a red icon means no. This saves you from manually opening each merchant’s shipping rates page.
Also, after you select your country the selection is saved so you don’t have to chose your country every time you use the button. Does Amazon Ship to …? is an excellent add-on for those international buyers who frequently shop at Amazon.
One caveat: Does Amazon Ship to …? requires Adobe Flash plug-in to work.
Locating Products Sold by Amazon.com That Ship Internationally
While buying goods from merchants is entirely safe as buying directly from Amazon.com, if for some reason you want to buy only stuff sold by Amazon.com, then you can use Amazon Global.
Amazon Global takes the guesswork and heavy lifting out of international shipping.
By shopping through Amazon Global, you’ll be able to take advantage of duty and tax estimation during checkout, as well as customs clearance by the courier on your behalf. Whether you’re sending gifts overseas or shipping to your own international address, Amazon Global will help get your items delivered without surprise duty charges or hassles.
Only products sold by Amazon.com falls under Amazon Global. Products sold by merchants doesn’t come under it.
Pro Tip: Interested in saving a few bucks? Search for ‘Amazon coupons’ on Google/Bing to locate active coupons that will knock off a few dollars from your order. Also search for ‘Amazon deals’ to know about discounts and special offers.