If you’ve seen success selling on Amazon, there may come a time when you start eyeing international expansion — and places like Canada and Mexico? They’re probably at the top of your list. But selling internationally isn’t as easy as listing your products and waiting for the sales to roll in — even in a country just south of us.
Are you thinking of selling on Amazon Mexico? Want to make sure it’s the right move for your brand? This is the guide for you.
What is Amazon.Mx?
Amazon.Mx is the Amazon marketplace for Mexico-based shoppers. As of 2017, it also offers a Prime Program which, like ours in the U.S., includes free shipping, Prime Video and other major perks.
Amazon Prime Mexico also offers some of the one- and two-day shipping options that we see in America, but only in a few select markets (like Mexico City, for example.)
Selling on Amazon Mexico
To get started selling on Amazon Mexico, you can simply enable international shipping on your listings, though this likely won’t get you the full exposure you’re looking for.
Pro-tip: Shoppers typically prefer purchasing from sellers in their own marketplace, so unless you open a North American Unified Account, many users may not even see your listings — regardless of whether you ship to them or not.
A North America Unified Account allows you to sell products on all three North American Amazon marketplaces: U.S., Mexico and Canada.
You may already be approved for this if your account is on the newer end (just check the language-switcher in your seller central dashboard to see if other marketplaces appear), but if you’re not, you can request approval for a Unified account through Amazon support.
Once you’re approved, you can begin selling.
What To Consider Before Selling on Amazon in Mexico
One of the biggest things you’ll want to think about before selling your products on Mexico Amazon is your ability to handle customer service requests, returns, and replacements.
Many Amazon.Mx sellers have reported a high volume of shipping issues — lost packages, shipping delays, etc.
These all require a decent infrastructure to handle: customer service reps to field the requests, fulfillment employees to repack, replace and re-ship products, and of course, the time and resources to do all this.
Here’s some additional information on what to consider when selling on Amazon Mexico:
1. Shipping costs
When selling on Amazon Mexico, shipping costs will naturally rise, especially if you’re shipping from the further reaches of the U.S. Amazon also recommends using FedEx, DHL or UPS for shipping (not USPS/Correos de Mexico).
This will add costs as well.
2. Duties and Fees
There are also other logistical costs to consider, too — things like taxes, duties, and fees for shipping internationally. Make sure you fully estimate these for your products before moving forward.
There are also currency conversion fees to think about. Currently, Amazon charges a 3 percent on every disbursement it needs to convert (So $3 on every $100).
3. Language barriers
In order to build trust (not to mention communicate order details), you’ll want to speak to buyers in their native tongue.
Do you have Spanish-speaking team members who can help with this? If not, do you have the resources to find someone who can?
Handling returns on Amazon Mexico is tricky. First off, you need an in-country address in order to process returns.
If you don’t you’ll have to pay for the entire return (shipping and all) yourself, or refund orders without returned products — both options that will eat into your bottom line.
Using Amazon FBA in Mexico can help combat many of these issues. By utilizing Amazon’s own network of Mexico-based warehouses and shipping partners, you can cut down on shipping costs (and problems) and make processing returns easier.
FBA, of course, comes with fees.
These range from $52 to $67 Mexican Pesos per product, depending on weight.
What are the payment preferences in Mexico?
According to Claire Taylor, CEO at SIMPLYVAT, it’s critical to have a different cultural mindset when expanding to new markets.
“It’s not just languages, there are cultural nuances such as payment preferences,” she said.
“For example, in the UK we like to use Paypal, while the Germans prefer a wire transfer. It’s understanding the psyche of each individual country in addition to the different rules and regulations that they have to adhere to.”
So what is the preferred payment preference in Mexico?
According to recent reports, Amazon is in discussion with Banco de México (Banxico) to potentially to support CoDi, a government-backed mobile payment technology that will allow users to pay for online and in-person purchases through QR codes.
According to the article by Engadget, “Phone-based payment systems have become popular in emerging markets like India over the past few years and has the potential to take off in Mexico where half the population doesn’t have a bank account.”
With any new venture — especially one in an unfamiliar region — you’ll want to take rollout into Amazon Mexico slowly. Start with a few products, and take time to get comfortable with the logistics and how it all works.
Once you’re confident in your approach, you can then move on to more products and higher sales volumes.
If you’re seeking expansions into Mexico (Europe, and beyond) check out our ultimate expert roundtable: “How To Sell Internationally on Amazon” featuring brand experts across the globe.