Amazon has name recognition around the world as a retailer with serious earning power for sellers. Most of Seller Accountant’s clients are based in the US, but if you happen to live somewhere other than North America, can you find success on Amazon?
The Current E-Commerce Market
On the whole, buyer behavior is shifting towards online retailers, and not just because of last year’s global pandemic. According to Oberlo, e-commerce is expected to make up 18.1% of all retail sales worldwide in 2021, and that means good things for non-US sellers.
Online retailers don’t need a physical space, don’t pay rent, and don’t staff salespeople, meaning the rise in online sales is leveling the playing field for small sellers and those who don’t live in a market that supports their product.
When it comes to Amazon in particular, the retail giant has the US market cornered. However, Amazon has had a tougher time breaking into the EU and Asian markets, meaning non-US sellers in those regions have an advantage. US-based sellers don’t always have the resources and brand recognition to dip into non-US markets, but non-US sellers can easily make the leap into the US Amazon market, making their selling space twice as large.
Is selling on Amazon right for you?
Before you decide to try your hand at selling on Amazon, consider your competitive advantage. Our most successful non-US clients generally have a single solid advantage over their US competitors: supply chain or marketing.
A supply chain advantage will allow you to secure product at a low enough price after fees to make a solid profit. This may mean having a direct relationship with a non-US manufacturer who will cut you a deal or shaving down your margins to almost nothing to account for landed costs.
A marketing advantage means you understand your customer better than your competitors. You know exactly why US customers should buy your product over other options, and you can present it in a way that gets potential customers to want to pay the slightly higher price.
If you’re confident you have an advantage in one of these categories, you have a higher chance of success in the US market. Without either, you’re likely to get lost in a sea of non-US and US-based sellers alike.
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to sell on Amazon, the most important thing you can do to ensure success is to become tax compliant right off the bat.
US taxes are no joke, and keeping track of them as a non-US seller can get complicated fast. For tax compliance, the best place to turn is a CPA firm. Seller Accountant is non a CPA firm, but we’d love to put you in touch with one of our CPA partners if you’re looking to set up your business.
When you’ve scaled up to a certain degree, around $300-400k per year, it’s time to get get a package together that will allow you to either scale up further or sell your business down the road. This means getting your books in order and valuing your business accurately – and Seller Accountant would be happy to help there. Contact us for a free 15-minute discovery call and let us take your bookkeeping headache away.