A guide to Selling on Amazon Europe with Euro Flips
We have been selling successfully on Amazon Germany, France, Italy and Spain for more than 5 years. There have been huge opportunities with high demand and limited supply into these new Amazon European marketplaces. If you are currently selling in the UK you should definitely be selling in the EU markets. You can make more profit per sale and it is relatively simple to get set up. We currently make more profit from the EU than from the UK.
If you are based in the USA then you should open a separate Amazon selling account in the UK Marketplace. From this single account you can then sell to over 700 million new customers in Europe.
Euro Flips are where you buy from a supplier in the UK and then sell on Amazon Germany, France, Italy or Spain. If you are an FBA seller then you simply send your products to the UK Amazon warehouse and they will take care of the rest. When sourcing new products you can buy specifically for one or more EU markets or just buy a deal for the UK but still list it in Amazon Europe to get extra sales.
How do I get my inventory live in the Amazon European marketplaces?
2. Create your listing as you would do normally with Manage Inventory>Add Product.
3. Send your products to the Amazon FBA warehouse in the UK.
4. While you are waiting for the stock to get to the Amazon warehouse view the product in ‘Manage Inventory’ and click on ‘EDIT’. Then you can input your European pricing at the bottom of the page. Remember this is the price in Euros and not in Pounds Sterling.
5. Your listings will automatically go live in all 5 countries once your stock has been processed at the warehouse. This normally takes from 2-14 days.
6. You can now treat any orders just like you would UK orders except you will be paid in Euros. If you are keeping a record of your sales in a spreadsheet remember that you will only know the exact amount you are actually paid when Amazon transfers your funds. This happens every two weeks and it is converted to Pounds Sterling.
7. Remember some products may not be suitable for the EU markets. For example, if it has an integrated UK plug or it is a toy that only speaks in English. If you sell these you are risking negative feedback as the customer will expect a product designed for their country and language.
Top Tip – you can reach even more customers by making your products available to all 26 EU countries. Just view your FBA Settings and then ‘Export Settings’ to enable this in all 5 marketplaces.
How should I work out my pricing in Euros to make sure I am still making a profit?
You should be pricing per marketplace as prices can vary massively between markets. Setting blanket prices or a set percentage can mean missing out on extra sales and profits. You can manually check the current pricing in each country and then decide on your price. Alternatively, use software like FBA Wizard Pro to quickly see the Buy Box price in each Amazon marketplace.
You need to see all 5 Amazon countries as completely separate markets and price against the competition in each to maximise sales. Remember there is probably more potential sales and profits in Europe than the UK. This means pricing competitively for Europe should be your priority.
Calculating your selling price in Euros
As a very rough guide, you need to multiply your UK price by the current exchange rate paid out by Amazon, Currencies Direct or OFX. For example, if the official exchange rate is currently 1.16 Euros to the Pound you normally will actually get about 1.18 after the exchange. Then add about 2 Euros for additional EFN (European Fulfilment Network) fees for standard size items and 3 Euros for oversize items. This should now mean you will make a similar profit as you would if you sold on Amazon UK.
Here is an example of the additional fulfilment fees for shipping a standard size toy to Europe. Amazon is charging about £1.30 or 1.60 Euros more than if it was shipped to a customer in the UK.
Looking at this example we can see that the fees do increase when sending oversize products. Amazon are now charging £2.20 or 1.83 Euros extra to ship this to customers in Europe.
If you are selling in Europe you will need to keep checking the exchange rate as any major movements can have a big impact on the profits you make. When selling in the EU we tend to aim for a minimum of £15 profit per item. This offers some protection from fluctuations in the exchange rate.
We recommend you use Currencies Direct or OFX as the bank to receive your payments from the European marketplaces. The exchange rate is much better than you get directly from Amazon. Simply set up an account with them and add this banking information in Seller Central for Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
What is the difference between Amazon Pan-EU and Amazon EFN and which should I sign up for?
If you are starting out you just need to select EFN (European Fulfilment Network). This is when your inventory is stored in the UK and then shipped by Amazon to customers in Europe. With EFN you pay one or two Euros more in fulfilment fees than with Pan-EU. Your offer will still appear as Prime but the customer may be told it will take 2-4 days to arrive rather than next working day. This can have a small impact on sales.
With Amazon Pan-EU you have to register for VAT in the 6 EU countries which can be expensive and time-consuming. With Amazon Pan-EU you are allowing Amazon to move your inventory to Germany or other countries to be nearer your customers. This makes the fulfilment charges lower and delivery faster. We would recommend that you move to Pan-EU when you reach the VAT thresholds in one of the EU countries as you will have to register for VAT at this point anyway.
The money you save on fulfilment fees will go some way to covering the costs of getting the VAT filed in the 6 countries. There are six countries because Amazon make you sign up for VAT in every country the goods are stored and they have warehouses in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic. You can opt not to hold stock in Poland or the Czech Republic but you will pay slightly higher fulfilment fees.
Current VAT Thresholds (total value of sales in the 12 month period)
Germany – €100,000 per annum
France – €35,000 per annum
Italy – €35,000 per annum
Spain – €35,000 per annum
Top Tip: To avoid going over the thresholds focus on lower value products with high margin.
Some people will temporarily stop selling in one particular country if they are getting close to the threshold. Getting a letter in German from the German VAT office demanding you register and pay backdated VAT charges is not a nice way to start the day. Be careful and constantly monitor your total sales volume.
Remember if you are VAT registered and selling to other VAT registered businesses in Europe these transactions are VAT free and are not included when calculating the total sales for the threshold.
Why is my listing not showing as live on certain European marketplaces?
There are a few situations where your product might not be live on one of the European marketplaces which can cause some confusion and this question keeps coming up in the Facebook groups.
You may not be able to see your product live on Amazon France when you check your listing. This is because Amazon is only showing customers products that they can purchase from the country they are searching from. So if a seller does not offer international shipping you will not see their product available to buy. You need to use a VPN or a site like Zendproxy or Hide My Ass to view the page so you see it as if you are a French customer. This is annoying and unfortunately, they will probably add this to other EU marketplaces soon.
Top Tip: One of our Facebook Group members suggested this solution. On the Amazon.fr page where your product should be showing – in the top left it has a ‘votre adresse de livraison’ which means ‘your shipping address’. If you change this to a French postcode, like 82000, it should then show your listing.
Sometimes your DVD or Video Game listing does not appear on Amazon Germany or Spain. This happens a lot and there are different reasons. For DVD and videos games in Germany, they have some rules where age rated items can only be shipped from within Germany to meet legal obligations. You can request Amazon to move the stock to Germany which they seem happy to do and for some reason, this does not mean you have to register for VAT in Germany.
There are similar strange things going on with Spain sometimes and Amazon cannot explain why this is even when we asked them about five times. For this reason, I would not buy DVDs or Video Games where the potential profit lies in selling in Germany or Spain.
If you know of any similar situations or restrictions please let us know and we will add them to this article.
What is the future of selling into the Amazon European marketplaces?
There are still good opportunities but the boom times are now probably over. More and more companies realise they can sell their brands directly in the EU themselves. There is also more software available to help people source and sell in the EU like FBA Wizard Pro which adds to the competition.
We cannot ignore the implications of Brexit. At the time of writing, it is looking like Britain is heading for ‘Hard Brexit’ which means an end to tariff-free trade. Customers in Germany, France, Italy and Spain might have to start paying import duties on items ordered from the UK. This could have a hugely detrimental effect on sales and could effectively kill off selling in the EU as a viable option. At the moment we are not sure how Amazon will handle this and what the outcome of negotiations will be.
Amazon has invested so heavily in the European Fulfilment Network market they will probably be trying to figure out a way of keeping the current system working. It may be that you would need to send more of your stock to the European warehouses for example.
We are constantly monitoring this situation and will offer more information when it is available on Twitter or our Facebook Group. If anyone has any information please let us know. As with other threats to your Amazon business it again highlights the need to diversify. We are focusing on building up our UK side of the business until we know exactly what will happen as we have become overly reliant on EU sales over the past few years.
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