by Renee

5 min reading time

All about selling on Amazon Germany

earnings

staxxer germany | Staxxer

You sell through Amazon, and are thinking of expanding into another market. Maybe Germany’s! Amazon has not long been available as a sales platform in the Netherlands, but in Germany, meanwhile, Amazon is well established. In 2016, for example, the platform already had 64,000 registered German sellers, and that number has only continued to grow. It also turns out that Germans start their search on Amazon in 79% of cases when they want to buy a product, where in the Netherlands it is only 13%. In addition, 52% of every euro spent online in Germany is spent on Amazon: that is 54 billion per year. Not sure where to start? In this article, we explain what you need to think about if you want to sell on Amazon Germany.

Registering yourself as a seller on Amazon Germany

If you want to sell products through Amazon Germany, you must first register yourself as a seller. Amazon Seller Central has a special page for this: you’ll find more info, and a button to sign yourself up. For your application, you need some information. First, your personal information, such as a copy of a valid ID. Your e-mail, phone number and credit card will also be requested. In fact, Amazon only accepts credit card payments! In addition to your personal information, of course, your company information is also important. Make sure you have those ready, along with the company’s contact information and Chamber of Commerce number. Once you have gone through all the registration, you are ready to sell!

Amazon is very strict when it comes to signing up – that’s why things can go wrong. The application forms are checked by computers that are quite strict on what can and cannot pass. Also, many sellers enter the wrong data, making it impossible to process the application.

Adding your products in Amazon Seller Central

The second step in the process is (of course) making your products available for sale. You do this by adding them within Amazon Seller Central. When you log in, “add products” appears on the dashboard. If you want to sell a product that already exists (and is already offered on Amazon), you can look up that product by typing the EAN number or name in the search bar. You will come to a list of products where you can find it. Don’t know what the EAN number is? You can find it at this link. The advantages of selling existing products is that you don’t have to create German product texts and can take advantage of the product’s ranking.

Want to add a new product? You can also do so using the “add products” button. Below the search bar you will see ‘I am adding a product that is not sold on Amazon’ are listed. Next, Amazon asks you to choose a category and subcategory for your product. After this, you provide further product specifications, and have the chance to add more variations of your product (such as multiple colors or sizes). The next section asks for your seller’s SKU number, product price, quantities, the condition of the product (here you can only enter “new”) and through which fulfillment channel you want to ship the product. More on this later! Now only the product images, descriptions and keywords remain.

The advantage of selling new products is that you are in complete control. You decide what the photos look like, and what the product text will be. More work than adding existing products, but completely to your liking. Eand small side note on writing product copy yourself: make sure it’s an easy-to-read, engaging text. Of course, you want your product to be findable by the customer, so you can throw in some keywords. But don’t forget that it should be easy to read! A well-crafted text comes across as more professional and builds confidence. Ist dein Deutsch nicht so gut? Then it is smart to outsource it to someone who can do it fluently, such as a translation agency. There are even agencies that specialize in writing Amazon product copy! For example Translated or Fiverr.

Amazon FBA: which option do you choose?

Have you thought about the logistics part of your sales? There are a number of options for this, which we will discuss one by one. These options are called fulfillment options, depending on which party takes on which part of the logistics. So too for Amazon FBA Germany.

The first FBA option is to ship your products to German customers yourself. This is called fulfilled by merchant. If you already work with a party that handles your logistics, for example, this is an option. Do keep an eye on when you exceed the €10,000 turnover threshold. If this happens, you become liable for VAT in Germany. That is, you need a German VAT number and must also file VAT returns in Germany.

Sounds like a lot of regulation? Amazon offers sellers the option of outsourcing logistics: Fulfilment By Amazon (FBA).. When you choose this, Amazon handles shipping, returns, billing and also customer service for you. You have to make sure that your products end up in one of the fulfillment centers, but from there Amazon takes care of the rest. With this option, you become VAT liable in Germany: namely, you ship stock to Germany, and deposit it in a fulfillment center in Germany. This means you need a German VAT number and have to pay VAT in Germany!

One option within Amazon FBA is the European Fulfilment Network (EFN).. With this, you give Amazon permission to ship your products from Germany to Italy, for example. For example, if an Italian customer buys a product through Amazon Germany. The advantage is that you still only have to send your products to Germany. The downside is that you get cross-border fees, which can add up quickly per product anyway. So even if you choose this option, having a German VAT number and declaring VAT in Germany is required.

Then you have PAN-European Fulfilment. With this option, you still ship your products to (for example) only Germany, but Amazon distributes your inventory to other fulfillment centers within Europe. You won’t have to deal with cross-border fees with this option! Keep in mind, though: if Amazon puts your stock down in other European countries, you’re liable for VAT there, too. You are responsible for this yourself!

Shipping your products to Germany

When you ship your goods from the Netherlands to Germany, you don’t have to worry about import duties and the costs involved. In fact, within the EU it has been agreed that there should be free movement of goods. If you ship to Germany from outside the EU, you do face import duties.

What you also need to pay attention to is the VAT rate you charge on the orders you send to buyers. Are you still under the threshold amount of 10,000 euros? Then you can still charge the Dutch VAT rate. If you exceed the threshold amount, you must charge the German VAT rate on the order.

Latest tips

  • Pay attention to how you package your products! In fact, Germany has a special packaging law in place that ensures that all packaging is taken back and recycled. This packaging law is called the VerpackG. Want to know more about this? Then check out this article.
  • Good reviews help sell your products. Go figure: if a product has many good reviews, you are more likely to buy the product than if there are no reviews. Reviews contribute to your reliability. For example, you could set up an e-mail campaign to bring in positive reviews. Remember to translate them well into German!

Staxxer and Amazon.de

You now know what to look out for if you want to get started selling through Amazon Germany. Still unclear, or would you like to outsource work? That’s what we’re here for. Even if you already have an accountant, you are more than welcome. After all, Staxxer goes well with accountants! Schedule a consultation, and we’ll see how we can tailor the tax picture to your situation.

At Staxxer, we can apply for a German VAT number for you. We can also take German VAT returns off your hands. In addition, we can also help you with your PAN European VAT return. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them!

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Yonis Brander

VAT consultant

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