Guide to Buying from Amazon.com: Everything Canadians Need to Know

Guide to Buying from Amazon.com

Thinking about buying from Amazon.com? There's a few things you might want to consider before you do. To help out, we put together a guide to shopping on Amazon.com from Canada to answer some of the biggest questions Canadians have – and to pass on a few tips along the way!

Does Amazon.com ship to Canada?

Wondering if you can order from Amazon.com in Canada? Don't worry, because you're not alone. The short answer to your question is YES, but shipping options to Canada can vary, and not all products on Amazon.com ship to Canada.

Amazon.com ships internationally through Amazon Global, a service that makes it pretty easy to find products that will ship to your country (including Canada!). It's basically an online store that carries over 30 million products that ship to over 100 countries around the world.

When you shop on Amazon Global, you can see right away if a certain product or seller ships to Canada, which can save you lots of time in the long run.

Is shopping on Amazon.com worth it?

While Amazon.ca has stepped up its game over the past few years, there's no denying that Amazon.com has more selection and (sometimes) better prices. But when does it make sense to shop on Amazon.com vs Amazon.ca? In my experience, it's worth shopping on Amazon.com in two situations:

1. You want to buy something that isn't available in Canada

Since Amazon.com is a bigger site, it only makes sense that they offer more products and more third-party sellers than Amazon.ca. If you're shopping for something specific and can't find it on Amazon Canada (or anywhere else in the country), it might make sense to see if you can order it from Amazon.com instead.

2. You're shopping for big-ticket items

Looking for something a little on the pricy side? As is the case for most bigger-ticket items, there's a good chance you'll find a better deal shopping in the US than you would in Canada – and the same principle applies to Amazon. It could be cheaper to buy on Amazon.com than Amazon.ca, even with duties and fees!

Is Amazon.com in USD?

All prices on Amazon.com are listed in USD, which means there are a couple things you should keep in mind as you shop. First, there's the foreign exchange rate, which adds to your purchase total.

Second, if you're shopping on Amazon.com with a Canadian credit card, you may also be charged a foreign currency transaction fee. Many Canadian credit cards charge you 2.5% of your purchase total when you shop using a foreign currency (including USD), so just keep that in mind when you're budgeting for your order.

What are the Amazon.com shipping to Canada options?

Unfortunately, items shipped from Amazon.com outside of the United States don't qualify for free shipping, and delivery fees can add up really quickly.

If you're shipping items to Canada, you can choose from three delivery options: standard shipping, expedited shipping and priority courier shipping. All three delivery methods are subject to a per shipment charge and a per item charge. Amazon.com breaks those charges down in this list of shipping rates to Canada. Just note that there may be additional fees for heavy or bulky items.

Are there duties?

Hate to break it to you, but you might have to pay duties and sales taxes on things you order from Amazon.com. These additional fees are imposed on goods when they enter the country, which means you could end up paying more than you bargained for. Amazon.com can't predict what these charges might be, but you can find out more info about Customs, Duties & Taxes on their site.

When you order from Amazon Global, you'll see an estimated import fees amount at checkout. This amount is an approximate sum of the customs, duties taxes and fees you'd have to pay on your order. Basically, if you pay this Import Fees Deposit amount at the same time as your order, the carrier will use this money to pay import fees on your behalf. For the most part, you won't be charged anything extra if the actual import fees are more than what you paid – so it's definitely worth taking care of this upfront!

What are the shipping times from Amazon.com to Canada?

Shipping times to Canada vary based on the delivery method you choose at checkout. Typically, you can expect orders to arrive within one to two weeks if you opt for standard shipping.

Guide to Buying from Amazon.com: Everything Canadians Need to Know

What is Amazon.com's return policy?

Good news – you CAN return items you buy from Amazon.com. You'll need to use the return shipping label that came with your package and pay for the return shipping costs. However, Amazon.com will refund you up to $20 when they receive the item(s). If you return a defective or damaged item (or just the wrong product entirely), Amazon.com will refund you the full postage cost, as well as your import fees deposit. Here's a rundown of Amazon.com's return policy.

What is the process for selling on Amazon.com from Canada?

In order to sell products on Amazon.com, you'll need a Selling on Amazon subscription, which will give you access to sell on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.mx. Alternately, you can sign up to become an individual seller. Amazon breaks down the fees, benefits and restrictions of both professional and individual accounts here.


Have you shopped on Amazon.com before? Will you? Do you have any other questions for us? Let us know in the comments below!

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