Amazon Singapore, if you don’t approach it the right way, can be a frustrating experience to say the least. It’s not clear which items Amazon is shipping to Singapore and which they aren’t, and how much shipping will cost if Amazon does ship (or is my order eligible for the renowned Amazon free shipping?).
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 Singapore much, much easier. 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 Singapore Setup Process
STEP 1: Bookmark your new Amazon Singapore 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 Singapore, 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 Singapore 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 homepage will tell you what items are eligible for global shipping, there are still some items that can’t be delivered to Singapore. So to avoid those, you’ll need to tell Amazon that you only want to see items that are eligible for shipping to Singapore.
To do that, go to Manage Shipping Addresses under Your Account and ensure you have your Singapore 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 Singapore address set up, add it as your default shipping address, including 1-Click and gifting, as shown below.
FOREVER AFTER: Your New Amazon Singapore Search Process
As a general rule, books, clothing and other mainstream media are almost always eligible to ship to Singapore. 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 Singapore. Here’s how I’d do it:
First, I go to my newly bookmarked Amazon homepage and type “Fitbit” in the search bar:
Next, I refine my search to only include those items that can be shipped to Singapore:
And voila! As you can see, the item not only ships to Singapore, but it’s also eligible for free international shipping!
Amazon Free Shipping to Singapore
In fact, our example item is not alone in getting free shipping – a lot of the items coming from Amazon USA are eligible for Amazon Singapore Free Shipping, assuming they meet these criteria:
- Every item is being searched on Amazon USA (amazon.com) and is a part of the AmazonGlobal Shipping Program. Assuming you start every search from your bookmark, these considerations are automatically taken care of.
- Total order size is more than $125 USD.
- All items in the order are sold by Amazon.com and not a third-party seller.
- Total weight is less than 20 pounds (9 kg).
- Each item in the order is smaller than 18” x 14” x 8” (46 cm x 36 cm x 20 cm).
- Note: e-documents, software downloads, digital music, Kindle devices and accessories, and gift cards are excluded from this free shipping offer.
That said, most of the things you’ll buy on Amazon (clothes, electronics, home and kitchen items, beauty products, etc.) meet this criteria easily, so free shipping with Amazon Singapore is actually pretty easy to get.
Import taxes/duties on items purchased
Any order that exceeds $400 SGD including shipping is subject to 7% GST tax imposed by the Singapore government. If you want to avoid this tax, break up your order into multiple orders less than $400 SGD. Keep in mind that the cost of shipping is included in this calculation, so if you buy a $300 SGD item that has an additional $200 SGD shipping charge ($500 SGD total), you will pay a 7% GST on that item of $35 SGD ($500 x 7%). This tax is collected by Amazon when you checkout, so you’ll never need to worry about paying any additional taxes or fees when your item is delivered.
Who actually ships my Amazon items?
In most cases, it will be SingPost who deliver your items, and they generally take 1-2 weeks to arrive. If you’re not home when SingPost 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 every SingPost location in Singapore.
How can I buy items that Amazon won’t ship to Singapore?
There are some items that Amazon won’t ship to Singapore, 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 Singapore, 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 USA and forward them on to you. We recommend Planet Express, since they ship with DHL have excellent customer reviews. Planet Express will even repack and consolidate your shipments so you can ship multiple items at once and save on the shipping cost, and they allow you to store your packages at their USA warehouse for up to 10 days for free. Their customer service is known to be excellent, too. If you want to get a Planet Express price quote on a specific item, use their Shipping Cost Calculator here.SIGN UP FOR PLANET EXPRESS NOW (FREE!)
STEP 2: Purchase Your Item
After going through your new Amazon international search process above and verifying that you cannot ship the item you want from Amazon to you (maybe it’s the iPhone 6), send it instead to your new USA address by copying and pasting that address into Manage Shipping Addresses under Your Account. Then you’re ready to buy!
STEP 3: Forward Your Item
You’ll receive an 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 for the shipment forwarding. For shipping something like a Kindle, the charge will be $10-15 USD or less.
What can’t you ship to Singapore?
Between these two methods – searching for items that Amazon ships directly to Singapore, and using Planet Express to forward packages that Amazon won’t ship directly to Singapore – you can get 95+% of the items you’d want into Singapore. But there are still some items you are prohibited from importing into Singapore, so those first two methods won’t work. Here’s the full list, though the prohibited items that are most likely to cause you a headache (assuming you aren’t a dealer of explosives/flammables or tobacco) are alcohol, gold/silver/diamonds/currency, chemicals such as paint thinners or bleaches, and any media banned by the Media Development Authority (MDA).
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.