Amazon Philippines, if you don’t approach it the right way, can be a frustrating experience to say the least. It’s not clear which items ship to the Philippines and which don’t, how much shipping will cost if they do ship, and we all know what it’s like to get to the checkout page only to be told that the items in our cart aren’t eligible to be sent to the Philippines. What a pain!
But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve tested all of the prevailing techniques and developed a process that makes shopping on Amazon in the Philippines much, much better. And you’re going to love how easy it is to do it.
Do you have four minutes to spare? If so, log in to Amazon.com and let’s get started.
FIRST: The 2-Step, One-Time Amazon Philippines Setup Process
STEP 1: Bookmark your new Amazon Philippines Homepage
Normally when you go to Amazon.com, Amazon assumes you are within the United States. And that’s a problem, because for those of us in the Philippines, we’re constantly seeing error messages when we reach the checkout page.
So instead of going to the Amazon USA page, it’s important that you start all of your Amazon journeys on the Amazon International page, which you can think of as the Amazon Philippines homepage. Amazon makes it pretty tough to navigate here on your own, so just bookmark this page and start all of your Amazon searches from there moving forward. Using this page alone will make all of your searches much, much more relevant by eliminating items that can’t be shipped internationally.
STEP 2: Set up your 1-click Address
While searching from your new Amazon Philippines homepage will tell you what items are eligible for global shipping, there are still some items that can’t be delivered to the Philippines. So to avoid those, you’ll need to tell Amazon that you only want to see items that are eligible for shipping to the Philippines.
To do that, go to Manage Shipping Addresses under Your Account and ensure you have your Philippines address listed (if you don’t, add it as a New Address). Also, ensure that you have 1-click ordering turned on so that Amazon will check your address before showing you any item (Note: you never need to actually use the 1-click ordering functionality, but it’s still important to turn it on here). Then, once you have your Philippines address set up, add it as your default shipping address, including 1-Click and gifting, as shown below.
FOREVER AFTER: Your New Amazon Philippines Search Process
As a general rule, books, clothing and other mainstream media are almost always eligible to ship to the Philippines. But on the flip side, a lot of electronics – particularly Apple products – are not. Use the method below to shave down your search time to the bare minimum.
Here’s an example. I’ve recently been thinking about getting a Fitbit to track my workouts and monitor my sleep, so let’s assume I’m going to buy one and have it shipped to the Philippines. Here’s how I’d do it:
First, I go to my bookmarked Amazon Philippines homepage and type “Fitbit” in the search bar:
Next, I refine my search to only include those items that can be shipped to the Philippines (*Note: if you don’t see the Ship to Philippines option in the left menu as shown below, just skip this step):
And voila! As you can see, the item ships to the Philippines.
Amazon Free Shipping to Philippines
While you won’t find completely free shipping to the Philippines on Amazon, shipping is still very cheap. As you can see on Amazon’s Shipping Rate Chart to Asia & Pacific Islands, standard shipping costs $2-8 per item, while express shipping costs $10-20 per item.
Import taxes/duties on items purchased
Import duties in the Philippines range from 0-65%, with an average duty of 11%. Luckily for you, Amazon adds this fee directly onto the total price when you checkout, so you’ll never be hit with an unexpected import fee when buying from Amazon. Some items like books, laptops and some electronics are eligible for duty-free import. A 12% VAT tax is also applied to all purchases shipped to the Philippines.
Who actually ships my Amazon items?
In most cases, it will be PHLPost who deliver your items, and they generally take 1-2 weeks to arrive. If you’re not home when PHLPost attempts to deliver, they’ll leave you a delivery notice and you can pick up your item from the nearest post office location the next day. Here’s the official list of all the post office locations in the Philippines.
How can I buy items that Amazon won’t ship to Philippines?
There are some items that Amazon won’t ship to the Philippines, most notably their own Amazon Kindles and the new Amazon Tap and Amazon Echo Dot devices. Still, there is a workaround that you can use to get these items to you in the Philippines, which is using a third-party package forwarder. Here’s how to do it.
STEP 1: Sign up with a Package Forwarder
Open an account with a package forwarder, who will accept your Amazon purchases at their warehouse in the United States and forward them on to you in the Philippines. We recommend Borderlinx, since they ship with DHL and have fantastic customer reviews. Borderlinx will repack and consolidate your shipments free of charge, and they allow you to store your packages at their USA warehouse for up to 30 days (free as well) so you can take full advantage of that service and combine multiple Amazon packages into a single shipment. Their customer service is known to be excellent, too.
If you’d prefer to do your own research and assess other package forwarders as well, here’s a price comparison chart of the four major players on some common items you may be buying. As you can see, COMgateway has the cheapest price on 6 out of the 9 shipments, with Borderlinx being the cheapest on the other 3 and MyUS and Viabox consistently more expensive. If you want to get a Borderlinx price quote on a specific item, use their Shipping Cost Calculator here.
However, the features comparison table below uncovers why Borderlinx’s prices are higher than COMgateway’s. COMgateway’s shipments are considerably slower (6-8 days vs. 2-6 with Borderlinx), they charge $10 to repack shipments while Borderlinx is free, and they don’t include taxes and duties in their prices, which can lead to some nasty surprises when your items are delivered. When it’s all said and done, most people prefer Borderlinx.
STEP 2: Purchase your item
After going through “Your New Amazon Philippines Search Process” above and verifying that you cannot ship the item you want from Amazon to the Philippines (maybe it’s the iPhone 6), send it instead to the address that Borderlinx gives you by copying and pasting that address into Manage Shipping Addresses under Your Account. Then you’re ready to buy! Keep in mind that you can still use your Philippines address as the billing address on your credit card without any problems, but it’s still a good idea to double-check your shipping address to ensure it’s exactly the one Borderlinx gave you!
STEP 3: Forward your item to Philippines
Borderlinx will email you when your package arrives at their warehouse in the USA, so all you need to do is confirm the shipping speed on the forward (priority, economy, etc.) and whether you want additional insurance (it’s already being sent with DHL, so you probably won’t need it), and then pay Borderlinx for the shipment forwarding. For something like a Kindle, the charge will be 1000 PHP or less.
Alternatives to Amazon in Philippines
Between these two methods – searching for items that Amazon ships directly to the Philippines, and using Borderlinx to forward packages that Amazon won’t ship directly to the Philippines – you can get 95+% of the items you’d want into the Philippines. But there are still a list of items you are prohibited from importing into the Philippines, so those first two methods won’t work. So who do you turn to then?
Here are a few good options:
- AliExpress: Owned by Alibaba, the largest retailer on the planet, AliExpress is the Amazon of Asia, though significantly less refined than Amazon itself. Its sellers are mainly Chinese business owners displaying their goods to the world. Most items ship to the Philippines, and a lot of them will ship for free via China Post.
- eBay: The world’s best-known consumer-to-consumer portal for selling just about everything. This is a great spot to grab the electronics you can’t find on Amazon Philippines.
- Hallo Hallo Mall: The largest online shopping mall in the Philippines, it feels a bit like Aliexpress.
- Rakuten: One of the largest online retailers in the Philippines and in the entire world.
- Lazada: Best for home, lifestyle, and electronics.
- Zalora: Best for a wide variety of fashion and accessories brands.
- Qoo10: Not the prettiest site, but you can buy just about anything on here.
If you need to order from Amazon somewhere else in the world, see our guides for other countries in alphabetical order here: Austria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Also, since so many of you have been asking us for them, here's our full list of country-specific posts outlining how to ship anything from Amazon to any country in the world. Our 2-step method makes it as simple as humanly possible, and takes about 3 minutes total: Austria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.