AmazonGlobal: Ordering Experience

AmazonGlobal: Ordering Experience

There is no denying, Amazon is the global leader as retail e-commerce company. With operations based mainly in United States and independent marketplaces in Europe, they have established very strong ground to the biggest markets. How about Asia, which has been proven to be harder to penetrate? Also other countries that is currently unreachable directly.

Their solution is called AmazonGlobal. The way it works is very simple, Amazon will send the order directly from their US store/warehouse and have the customs fee estimated upfront. This allows Amazon to ship to additional 65 countries around the world and hoping to compete with other e-commerce companies who are operating locally. I personally doubt they will be able to generate much revenue from here, compared to what they are already earning, it is more about prestige and as very early step to dominate global market.

Products Selection

It is very important to note that not all products, in fact only very small percentage of their massive catalog, which are eligible for AmazonGlobal shipping option. They are only items that are sold and shipped by Amazon.com and very likely the ones that qualify to enter by local customs.

You can also start by going to their AmazonGlobal page to browse the catalog with products that are eligible with this offer.

Ordering

I have gift certificate balance on my Amazon account. It is not a discount.

I have gift certificate balance on my Amazon account. It is not a discount.

If you are already familiar with Amazon, there is nothing new here. You browse and search for the products you are looking for and add them to the shopping cart. Upon checkout, you will see the breakdown and total of your order that you will need to pay. Aside from the normally high shipping cost (from US to Indonesia), you will also find the Import Fees Deposit.

The Import Fees Deposit will be used to reimburse the carries for the import fees that they have paid on your behalf to the appropriate authorities (read: customs) of the destination country.

Amazon also offers two types of shipment:

  1. AmazonGlobal Expedited Shipping (averages 5-10 business days)
  2. AmazonGlobal Priority Shipping (averages 2-4 days)

My Experience

I had ordered with Amazon many times before, although usually for smaller items for direct shipping to Indonesia (without using AmazonGlobal) or asked a friend to bring it back from US during his travel there. But when I saw Philips Fidelio X1 at half the suggested retail price from $300 to $150 on Amazon’s Today’s Deals page and it was eligible for International shipping, I could not resist to order it. I threw in a Sandisk Cruzer 16GB as it almost added nothing to the shipping cost.

Amazon Invoice

A total of $235.60 for $300 retail priced product, including shipping, import fees, and an extra USB stick with decent capacity. Not bad at all. Placed my order and then I waited.

Delivery

For carrier partner, Amazon worked with i-Parcel to track down the International shipment. It provided regular updates to the package, until it reached local customs. Then it was stuck for over a week, which I was not too surprised. After making several contacts with reps from i-Parcel regarding the status of customs clearance, my order finally arrived.

From the estimated delivery of 5-10 business days, it ended up to more like 20 business days which was still acceptable. It was more important for me to know the package was handled very well. The box of the headphones which was rather large was in perfect shape, no bend whatsoever or anything lost or tempered.

After nearly 6 weeks from the delivery date, I also received an email from Amazon that they had refunded an amount of $19.55 from the Import Deposit Funds. Wow, that makes the total order only $216.05!

Conclusion

Is ordering through AmazonGlobal shipping recommendable? YES, but only if you cannot find the products in your local stores or if the total price after additional fees is noticeably less than what you can grab locally.

Happy shopping!

13 Comments AmazonGlobal: Ordering Experience

  1. Hun

    Seriously. Even items that are not eligible for tax by our country’s post office is taxed by Amazonglobal.

    Reply
    1. Michael

      Hun – In my experience, the customs fees quoted by Amazon are only estimation. On some cases, I received refund for “overcharged” customs in form of Amazon account credit balance.

      Reply
  2. Jack Derby

    I’d like to share tips that can help you save some money in import fees since this fee is quite expensive. I have been using this site called hargadunia.com. They provide buy and ship service for amazon, ebay, and others. You just need to choose which product from their online store and buy it with credit card. Their fee is much lower compared to amazon. Now I always full in my shopping list, not a good thing for my pocket.

    Reply
  3. Trilly

    Thanks for your experience. I also live in Indonesia and just ordered a $700 item on AmazonGlobal and am very anxious to see how long it takes, or if it even gets here… yikes! I have received dozens of care packages from the U.S. with nothing missing or Customs applying extra charges, but that was with POS.

    Question for you: was your item available for sale in Indonesia already?

    Reply
    1. Michael

      If you’ve had good experience with POS then nothing to be worried about by using AmazonGlobal. The only difference is, Amazon’s local partner will be the party who handles the customs payment and release of the packages which you already pre-paid when placing the order. Then the packages will be delivered just like regular mail. Expect up to a week of late in delivery compared to what Amazon’s estimated date.

      Some of the items I ordered were already available here, but I bought it because they were on a sale. Others were not available here, but usually the brands were already established even though not selling those specific models.

      Reply
      1. Trilly

        Very helpful, thanks. I decided not to go with the rush delivery since I figured it would get stuck in Customs anyway. Nice to hear it will get delivered like normal.

        Did you end up ordering other things with AmazonGlobal? If this one item goes well, we expect to do more purchases.

        Reply
        1. Michael

          Yes, I have placed a couple more orders since I posted this. Both arrived safely, although around a week late than estimate dates. Next time I think I am going to try using AmazonGlobal Priority Shipping, just to see whether it is truly possible to get it delivered within a week after the order ships.

      2. Trilly

        I wanted to provide an update on my order. I ordered my item on Tuesday the 3rd, and they attempted delivery at my house on Friday the 6th! Incredible! It was all handled by UPS, and once it arrived in Jakarta, it stayed in Customs for about 30 minutes before it was sent out for delivery… amazing.

        Although they tried to deliver on Friday, they couldn’t find my house. My address is very hard to find, even for people who are familiar with our area of Jakarta. I really needed an extra line in the Amazon address book to give additional instructions on how to find our address, i.e. “Sebelah [major landmark]”. I also made the mistake of using my U.S. phone number and not giving my Indonesian phone number.

        After 10 pm on Friday, Amazon emailed me to say there was a problem with delivery and to contact them to update address. So using their Customer Service interface, I had them call me to discuss the problem, then they patched me through to UPS International. I gave the additional information to UPS, and they delivered it on Saturday. Wow!

        I’m guessing they went with UPS due to the size and weight of the item. So fwiw, the box in which it was delivered was 50 cm x 36 cm x 30, and weighed approx 5 kilo.

        I haven’t heard back from AmazonGlobal yet if there will be any refund of excess deposit of Import Fees, but I’m not too fussed about that due to the speed and success of the delivery!

        Reply
        1. Michael

          That’s quite amazing actually. I guess having the order shipped by UPS or i-Parcel makes a huge difference. Thanks for sharing your experience. Did you choose Priority or Expedited Shipping?

          Since you mentioned Amazon’s Customer Service, that’s also a good point of discussion. Their support staff have been terrific too, always responsive and know how to handle any kind of inquiries. Something that I wish that major e-commerce players here could learn from instead of just focusing on promotions and advertisement.

      3. Trilly

        I was offered two shipping choices: AmazonGlobal Priority Shipping (averages 2-4 business days), or AmazonGlobal Expedited Shipping (averages 5-10 business days). I actually chose the Expedited (slower) choice.

        I wonder what other factors were at play to speed up the process, such at it being a single item as opposed to multiple items, and if maybe UPS has their own agent working with Customs to expedite things. I’m guessing a lot of it was luck, and I’m keeping my expectations in check when I place my next order πŸ™‚

        Reply
        1. Michael

          I am assuming since your order was shipped in large box and quite heavy, even with Expedited Shipping you paid a good sum. Amazon has a sophisticated fulfillment system where it will automatically consider all shipping options and pick the best one based on the shipping cost the customer has paid. Probably the difference between using UPS and i-Parcel was not much if not actually lower, or i-Parcel could not handle a parcel in that dimension, so the system chose UPS. So, I don’t think it was pure luck πŸ™‚

          Amazon must get incredible rates from UPS so the theory above is very possible. At least I know even for Free Shipping on orders above $25 in US, customers often get them delivered in UPS instead of USPS.

          Anyway, awesome stuff. Happy to hear about your positive experience. I’ve been holding myself until Black Friday to see if there will be anything worthy to be added to my next order.

      4. Trilly

        I don’t mind sharing that the shipping cost was about $58 USD. Including that cost and the deposit for the duties, my total cost was still hundreds less than buying my item here. I can’t say enough how pleased I was with the whole experience.

        I hadn’t considered Black Friday until you mentioned it… nice! I’ll have to work on my shopping list πŸ™‚

        Reply
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