Amazon.com - You have to pay attention to this at Amazon USA

In addition to Amazon Germany and other branches in the EU and other European countries, there is of course also the parent company: Amazon USA. If you want to order there, you must enter the URL Amazon.com and find your way around the English-language site. However, this can be worthwhile for some products. Because not only are some items only available from the US Amazon - some offers are also much cheaper there. But what you should pay attention to when ordering in the USA, I'll show you below. In addition to the delivery time and the different power grids, customs and taxes must also be considered.

There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping at Amazon.com. In addition to customs and import taxes, there are also sales and delivery restrictions on the part of Amazon. Country codes, power grid differences, and more are also important.
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping at Amazon.com. In addition to customs and import taxes, there are also sales and delivery restrictions on the part of Amazon. Country codes, power grid differences, and more are also important.

Value of goods higher than 22 or 150 euros?

First of all, the note: Not only the pure invoice price that he pays for the products bought on Amazon.com counts as the value of the goods. In addition to the invoice price, this also includes the shipping costs. So if you buy an item for 50 euros, but pay 10 euros shipping costs, the value of the goods is 60 euros. With this in mind, you can apply the following value limits for customs and import tax:

  • Goods value less than 22 euros: no further taxes, unless you import alcohol, perfumes, tobacco or coffee goods
  • Goods value from 22 euros to 150 euros: no customs duties are levied, but import tax of 7% or 19% and consumption tax must be observed (duties are only levied from 5 euros)
  • Goods value greater than 150 euros: the customs tariff fully applies here

Source and further information: Zoll.de

Amazon delivery restrictions - you can't buy everything

If you work hard now Amazon.com want to shop, then unfortunately I have to present you a little damper. There are many restrictions, especially when it comes to technology, electronic items, gadgets and the like. In its own Support document (German) on the subject you can read the following:

Amazon.com generally does not ship products from the following categories to addresses outside of the United States due to customs and trade restrictions:

  • Entertainment and household electronics
  • Toys
  • Video games and software
  • Fashion
  • Cameras and articles
  • Mobiltelefon
  • Computers and hardware
  • household goods
  • Jewelry
  • Kitchenware
  • Journals
  • garden products
  • Tools

Shopping at Amazon USA - More tips and hints

Now there are still many product categories that you can select when shopping on the US Amazon site. For this I have summarized a few hints and tips for you:

  • Country codes still exist: Film DVDs and other data carriers may have country restrictions and will not work with EU devices or devices coded for Germany
  • Think of a voltage converter: In North America, the power grid has a voltage of 120 V (previously only 110 V) at 60 Hz; in Europe we use 230 V ± 23 V at 50 Hz 
  • Pay attention to the currency and rate: Simply enter “xx dollars in euros” on Google (instead of xx the corresponding value), you will receive the current rate and the euro amount for your purchase
  • Choosing a payment method: There is hardly any leeway here, as the transfer is seldom possible; so prepare yourself for payment by credit card
  • Delivery times are longer: you should be patient for at least 1 to 3 weeks

Also available on Amazon.de: LED TV simulator - fake TVs as protection against break-ins

Experience shopping on Amazon.com

Have you ever ordered from Amazon in the USA? And if so, what did you buy that the offshoot in Germany doesn't have? I am looking forward to your experiences with the US “original” version of online mail order. So please leave a corresponding comment;)

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2 Responses to “Amazon.com – You have to pay attention to this at Amazon USA”

  1. Beatrice Willius

    So I think I have ordered a couple of times in the US. Before 2000 or so. Back then there was no Amazon in Germany. Books as far as I can remember.

    I ordered something a couple of times last year that had to go to customs. Oh weia, that was funny. I felt like a smuggler then.

    1. Oh yeah! Especially when you have to pick up the rubbish at some customs offices that are 20 km away and have opening times, like the Pope's office hours. : D

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