Selling in Amazon Europe

Why Sell via Amazon Europe?

Many US-based Amazon sellers look to Canada or Mexico when contemplating the expansion of their Amazon business outside of the United States. But, Amazon Europe ( should be a consideration as well. Not only is the European market a relatively new one for Amazon, but as an option to consider when selling outside of the U.S., Amazon Europe is significantly larger than Canada or Mexico.

As the second largest Amazon marketplace outside of the U.S., Amazon Europe represents an opportunity to sell your products to millions of new, organic consumers. As well, Amazon Europe’s product categories may not be as saturated as those in the U.S.

Amazon Europe is Committed to the EU

Headquartered in Luxembourg, Amazon’s commitment to the European market is substantial, having created 10,000 new permanent jobs in 2015 for a workforce now totaling over 40,000. Amazon has invested over €15 billion in the European Union (EU) since 2010.

That translates to millions of new, organic, customers for you as a seller, since the unified platform gives you access to Amazon shoppers in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden (from FBA warehouses located in UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy).

Why Expand into Amazon Europe?

One distinct advantage of expanding into this populous marketplace: some categories that may be saturated in the U.S. are ripe for expansion in Europe. Due to the various fulfillment options offered (see below) you can test the viability of selling in Europe, minimizing your risk with small quantities until you adjust to the systems.

The European marketplace provides great opportunities for sales growth, but keep in mind that the more you expand into new regions with different laws, customs, cultures, etc., the more administrative work there will be to do, ongoing. So, as in all things Amazon, preparation is key.

The 5 Different Ways to Fulfill via Amazon Europe

Seller-Fulfillment from the U.S.

If you choose the “Seller Fulfilled from U.S.” option, you self-fulfill just as you would for an order coming from within the U.S. but you will be shipping internationally.

The benefits of this fulfillment method generally concern savings and avoidance of fees and taxes. The drawbacks tend to be outcomes that may affect the satisfaction of your customers. Learning about these pros and cons is advised so that you can determine how much you can accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.


  • Low cost option
  • Since self-fulfilled, you only pay referral fee (no FBA fees, etc.)
  • You won’t pay Europe’s value added tax (VAT) on the sale. In Europe, the sales tax, or VAT, is built into the seller’s advertised price, not tacked on after. The advertised price a European consumer sees is the price they pay, tax included.


  • Long lead time to get shipments from U.S. to the EU, which makes your merchandise not “Prime eligible” there.
  • Your customer may be responsible for paying Europe’s value added tax (VAT) on the sale, as imported merchandise. Ordinarily, for goods bought and sold within Europe, the VAT would be built into the advertised price.
  • Due to the above “cons” you may risk providing a poor customer service experience between shipping and customs issues.

Seller-Fulfillment from within Europe

If you choose the “Seller Fulfilled from EU” option, your merchandise stock is held in any countries of EU.

Both the benefits and drawbacks of this fulfillment method are relative to shipping from the U.S.

Seller-fulfilled over Amazon Europe requires a little more work and management of details, but may be the right approach for some sellers who need control of their logistics.


  • Only pay referral fee
  • Shorter lead time since there is no overseas shipping
  • Can possibly apply for Seller Fulfilled Prime if you can absorb the extra expenses involved with getting it to you customer within 2 business days (i.e., your merchandise is Prime eligible without using FBA, a relatively new option offered through Amazon with its own unique set of requirements and restrictions)


  • Expensive to get started. High setup costs and overhead involved with shipping to an EU customer from outside the EU. You must establish a fulfillment center or warehouse, and contract with someone in Europe to fill the orders for you
  • You must register for the VAT in a country where your warehouse is located, and you must make sure the VAT gets paid
  • If you want to use the Seller Fulfilled Prime, you must register for it; approvals are a complex pursuit

FBA European Fulfillment Network (EFN)

“FBA European Fulfillment Network (EFN)” - You ship and store products from one EU warehouse location, which will then ship from Amazon Europe to customers across the EU.

Depending on the seller’s business model, this method may present a wash in terms of savings versus expenses.


  • No setup fees (for warehouse, fulfillment network, 3rd party logistics, etc.)
  • Fast delivery - shipping is in Europe
  • Prime eligible
  • FBA fees are typically lower than 3rd party logistics


  • Cross-border fees (customs) apply from your home country to other countries, adding a complex layer of details to your fulfillment spend
  • Need to be VAT registered in home marketplace, however Prime products can take up to 3 days extra to be delivered if outside of the country where your inventory is stored
  • Although still Prime eligible, any shipment with a deliver address outside of the country you are shipping from may take up to 3 days longer

FBA Pan-European Fulfillment

This option enables you to send stock to one fulfillment center (warehouse) in a country of your choosing from which Amazon Europe will re-distribute that stock to areas where most demand will be, per Amazon’s algorithms. It is possible the merchandise will be distributed among all distribution centers in all of EU (from FBA warehouses located in UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy).

This is the fulfillment option Amazon prefers as it provides the best efficiencies, generally for Amazon, seller and customer. The benefits are plentiful and varied, and clearly outnumber the drawbacks. Some sellers, however, may see this option as limiting their control over logistics.


  • FBA fees typically lower than 3rd party logistics
  • Keeps inbound shipping costs low
  • No cross-border fees (which can be quite pricey)
  • Fast delivery in all markets 
  • Prime eligible
  • Good for sellers who are unsure where the best market for certain items may be


  • Each country has different referral and FBA fees, but not a huge difference in percentile points
  • Need to be VAT-registered in multiple countries

FBA Multi-Country Inventory (MCI)

With this option you ship your product to multiple FBA fulfillment centers across multiple countries. Generally, this option is for sellers who know exactly where in Europe is their best market. For example, garden tools will sell better in the UK than they will in Spain, since more people, per household, actively garden in the UK, etc.

This is the FBA fulfillment method that gives sellers some control in regard to locating their inventory with Amazon Europe. Sellers who value that type of control should weigh the related costs to determine if this fulfillment option is right for them.


  • FBA fees are typically lower than 3rd party logistics
  • Full control of what country holds inventory
  • No cross border fees
  • Fast Prime delivery


  • Higher inbound costs either for shipments into each warehouse directly, or for paying a 3rd party logistics service to split up and deliver your inventory 
  • VAT registered in multiple countries (inconsistent FBA fees)
  • Cost of shipping to multiple fulfillment centers 

 The 4 L's: Localization, Logistics, Legislation & Language


  • Currency differences between Euros (mainland Europe) & Pound Sterling (UK)
    • If you operate at very tight margins, consider the foreign exchange costs even if it is only a percent or two
  • Differences in metrics. Do the proper conversions in your product descriptions (centimeters, grams, etc.)
  • Categories and category labels may be different per region
    • Make sure you place your item in the correct category
    • Differences in lexicon. Certain words do not mean the same thing in different countries. Ensure you know the different terms
    • For example, pants in the US are long pants. Pants in EU are often underpants (underwear)
    • Keywords need to be altered to suit the local lexicon
Amazon Europe - Euro and currency differences need to be considered.
Amazon Europe - delivery guy carrying a lot of packages.


  • Packaging
    • EU Often requires specific labels that are mandatory under legislation on certain categories
      • Usually applies to Food Products and Apparel
      • While it is not mandatory for all categories, you want a low return rate
      • The more you translate and help customers, the better.
    • Instructions / Leaflets should be translated as well
      • Low return rate is important
      • The more languages, the better
  • You’ll need to be familiar with the International shipping, imports, & customs processes
    • For this reason, it may be beneficial to partner with a company that can manage and take the pain away with these often tough logistics to make sure your product gets imported correctly from beginning to end
  • Storage & Order Handling
    • Do you want to do this as a company?
    • Do you want a 3rd party company to handle it, are they familiar with shipping to the countries you want to ship to?
    • Do you want Amazon to handle it (FBA)?
  • Product Returns
    • Cannot return products to the US
    • Everything needs to be returned to a EU address because Amazon won’t pay to send it back to the U.S
      • This is important for those with high retail value items for which disposal is not an option for returns
      • Refurbished items can still be resold


You will need to research or consult a lawyer to ensure you have covered all legal aspects and rights for selling your product(s) in EU

  • Make sure your intellectual property rights extend from US to EU
  • If you have exclusive distribution rights for US, does not mean you can sell in EU
    • There might be another company with exclusive rights for certain EU regions
  • CE Markings (the abbreviation of French phrase "Conformité Européene" which literally means "European Conformity”) is a mandatory marking system for certain products in the EU arena
    • Toys, medical devices, & low voltage electronics require this marking / testing
    • EU Consumer rights differ in the US and EU         
    • There are many cancellation and warranty differences
  • EU Directives apply to small electronic devices
    • You need to adhere and agree to regional recycling and disposal laws
  • Product Compliance and Restricted Products
    • Each country has different compliance and restrictions
  • VAT (value added tax)
    • Different than US where you pay sales tax at checkout to retail price
    • You need to register for a VAT number in EU in country where your inventory is
    • VAT varies in each country
Awesome Dynamic Lady Justice Legislation


  • You will need to translate information into the correct language in Europe
    • Not always mandatory, but helps increase conversion rates
    • This includes keywords, description, title, and bullets
  • Amazon offers expert translation services, for extra fees, as an option.
  • Customer Service
    • If you fulfill yourself (seller fulfilled), you will need to be able to provide customer service in customers home language
    • If you use FBA, Amazon will take care of the language barrier
  • Trash bags = rubbish / bin bags in EU
  • If you sell electronics, consider the different plug types

Where Do I Start?

Getting organized is important in order to avoid myriad extraneous warnings and fees which could lead to more setbacks such as Amazon locking up all your inventory, locking up your money, suspending your account, etc. Don’t let it scare you off because it is a huge marketplace, with huge potential. The key here is due diligence. Expanding your Amazon marketplace to include Europe is an exciting thought and is potentially lucrative!

Need Help with Amazon Europe?

We can help you create a strategy to break into the European market

Contact an Amazon Expert

  1. Decide on what country will be your home marketplace
    • Check your FBA export report to see what international sales you have to see possible demand in certain areas of EU
    • Always review your product competition in each EU marketplace
    • Product relevance is quite important
  2. Decide on what Amazon Fulfillment Option/Program is best for your business. Remember that you can mix and match, product by product
  1. Review local laws and legislation for your products/categories
  2. Consult a tax adviser
  3. Review international shipping companies that best fit your business
  4. Open a EU Seller Account
  5. Add listings, translate, and localize to all your selected marketplaces
  6. Send inventory to EU
  7. Provide excellent customer service

Awesome Dynamic™  Provides Consulting Services to Amazon Sellers

Demand Awesome, call us at (800) 238-1811