As a Canadian, I find that there are some unique benefits to selling on Amazon. First, I can sell on Amazon Canada (Amazon.ca) and have UPS pick up parcels right from my porch. And second, being so close to the US border, I can also sell on Amazon.com and get my inventory over the border inexpensively.
Online Arbitrage/Retail Arbitrage
I often source for inventory online (online arbitrage) and in store through others (retail arbitrage) right here in Canada, and find products that sell for massive profit on Amazon in the US. Demand is huge in the US market, and many popular items sell out quickly causing prices (and profits for sellers) to rise.
In Canada, since we have a lower value dollar relative to the US dollar, prices are often less here for popular items than in the US. And, because of our smaller population (and less of a consumer based society), many retailers have popular items in stock.
But international arbitrage is just one way I source for inventory.
I also source for products online in the US, and then have the goods shipped to my prep and ship companies (a place that receives packages for you, then prepares and ships the items to Amazon for you for a small fee). I also sometimes ship goods to a prep company close to the border where I live, then import products into Canada to sell (yes, reverse international arbitrage works well too for a lot of products)
The other way I get my inventory is via wholesale. I have several wholesale accounts that I buy from in Canada, and many more in the US. Again, with our Canadian dollar being so low vs the US dollar, I can often find products for a lot less money in Canada than in the US from wholesalers. This provides a replenishable source of inventory and ensures I always have enough to feed the Amazon beast!!
Getting set up with wholesalers is easier than you’d think too. I offer a Mastermind Group with ongoing support to help you get started with wholesale (I even give you daily wholesale accounts!)
Shipping and Borders
For many people located overseas or outside the US, you can still sell on Amazon.com. If you source within the US, you have no import requirements or duties/shipping costs to worry about. But chances are, there are products available in your own country that could sell in the US on Amazon for a profit. Sometimes a very large profit at that!
Shipping internationally, you’ll likely want to use DHL. They have the best rates (though still not cheap) and can get your goods to Amazon inexpensively.
If you’re Canadian like me, you can get your goods from Canada into the US really inexpensively too. Shipping from Canada to the US, as you may have already discovered, is expensive though. So you need to be able to think outside the box (pun intended)!
There are companies on the East Coast and West Coast of Canada that you can have goods shipped to. They then take the parcels over the border into for a small fee. Once in the US, the parcels are picked up by either FedEx or UPS and delivered to Amazon FBA warehouses.
You purchase the shipping labels right in Amazon Seller Central, from your Amazon.com US account. Amazon FBA sellers get the lowest discounted rates available for Amazon’s partnered carriers (UPS and FedEX). Often, a large box only costs $8 USD to ship to FBA! And the cross border parcel companies charge less than $10 CAD per box in many cases. So if you’ve a full box with $500 worth of profit (when it sells), these costs are marginal and a fraction of what you’d pay shipping yourself from Canada!
If you’d like to learn more about how to sell on Amazon.com from Canada, please check out my eBook below. It’s helped hundreds of Canadians (and international sellers) get up and selling in the US.
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