Does Amazon Ship To South Africa?
If you live in South Africa and have tried to buy something from Amazon, chances are you’ve run into some difficulties. The most common issue is that your item can’t be shipped to South Africa, but there are plenty of other problems that come up, too.
Fortunately, Amazon will ship just about any item to South Africa—as long as you know the right way to do it. Our 2-step strategy shows you exactly how to get just about any item on Amazon.com delivered to South Africa.
Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. There is no additional cost to you.
Important Note: You should always do your shopping on Amazon.com’s USA site, because it offers a larger selection at much lower prices than other Amazon sites around the world.
Strategy #1: The Double Filter Method (Extremely Easy, 80-90% Success Rate)
Step 1: Visit Your New Amazon South Africa Homepage
Problem: You try to buy something on Amazon.com (the USA site) from South Africa, but when you reach the checkout page, you’re told that the item can’t be shipped to South Africa.
Solution: To avoid wasting your time with items that don’t ship outside of the USA, you need to start every future Amazon search from this page. It filters out the USA-only items that can’t be shipped to South Africa, so you’ll want to keep it handy!
Step 2: Set Up Your 1-Click Address
Problem: Even though you’ve filtered out the USA-only items, that doesn’t mean everything else can be shipped to South Africa. Government regulations prevent certain items like special electronics from being imported directly from Amazon, so to only see items that can be shipped to South Africa, you need to set up a 1-click address.
Solution: Go to your Purchase Preferences, ensure you’re using your South Africa address as your default address, and enable 1-click ordering in your browser. If you aren’t set up like this, simply add your South Africa address and set it as your default address. You never need to actually use the 1-click ordering feature, but you do need to have it enabled here so that Amazon will only show you items that ship to South Africa.
The photo below shows what this looks like. And once you’ve got that set up, you can shop on Amazon as much as you’d like!
What if Strategy #1 doesn’t work for me?
This method of using Amazon’s international page only works for about 80-90% of Amazon items. For the other 10-20% of items, we have Strategy #2: package forwarding.
Strategy #2: The Package Forwarder (100% Success Rate)
There are some items that Amazon won’t ship to us here, most notably their own Kindles and other electronic devices.
In those cases, the only way to receive your items is to use a third-party package forwarder. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Sign Up With A Package Forwarder
Package forwarders are specialized companies who will accept your Amazon purchases at their warehouse in the USA and forward them on to you. I’ve tested nearly a dozen different package forwarders over the past several years, and I'm confident that Planet Express is the best. Their shipping fees are the lowest in the industry, they have thousands of 5-star reviews, and they're the only package forwarder out there without any monthly fees.
Here are a few more things I like about Planet Express:
- Cheaper Shipping: Planet Express has negotiated discounts of 40-80% with major shippers like UPS, FedEx, DHL, and USPS, which has saved me serious money on my shipments.
- Satisfied Customers: They've got excellent customer reviews all across the web—and they get my stamp of approval, too.
- Fast Shipments: They shipped out my packages within hours of receiving my request.
- High Level of Care: They've always handled my packages carefully to ensure they arrive without any damage. (This sounds obvious, but you'd be shocked how frequently other package forwarders manage to damage packages.)
- Tax-Free: Planet Express has multiple warehouses across the US and UK, including a tax-free warehouse in Oregon that saved me an additional 5-15% on my orders.
- Extra Savings: They'll repack and consolidate your shipments into a single box to save you even more on shipping costs.
- Free Photos: They send you free photos of every package as soon as it arrives at their warehouse.
Step 2: Purchase Your Item
When you sign up for Planet Express, you’ll receive a unique shipping address to send your packages to. This address ensures that your packages don’t get mixed up with anyone else’s, and it's how Planet Express knows to send you photos of your package when it arrives.
Add your Planet Express address to Amazon and have your item shipped there—it’s that simple.
Step 3: Forward Your Item
Once your package arrives, you'll have two decisions to make:
- Speed: Planet Express will offer you 5+ different shipping options, each with a different speed and associated cost. In my experience, there’s always been at least one shipping option that suits my needs. If you're looking for the cheapest rates, they'll be there, but you can also pay more for express delivery with FedEx or DHL.
- Insurance: Do you want additional insurance for your shipment? I normally don’t buy the insurance, since Planet Express is already using reputable shipping agencies, but if you opt for cheaper shipping on a high-value item like the new Macbook Pro, you may want to add on some extra insurance as well.
Once you’ve made your speed and insurance selections, it’s time to ship! Most of the shipments I made with Planet Express cost me around $7-12 USD, though this varies depending on the size and weight of what you buy, of course. For more information on shipping rates, taxes/duties, and everything else, sign up here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Amazon Offer Free Shipping To South Africa?
No, Amazon does not offer free shipping to South Africa. You’ll normally have to pay around 150 ZAR to have your Amazon purchase shipped to South Africa, and you may have to pay more if you’re buying multiple items or your purchase is heavy or bulky. Most Amazon packages in South Africa will be delivered by South African Post Office.
How To Ship An Amazon Echo To South Africa
The Amazon Echo is Amazon’s groundbreaking voice-activated smart speaker and personal assistant device. Originally released in 2014, the Amazon Echo is now in its 3rd generation. Amazon has also released the Amazon Echo Dot, a smaller, less expensive device with all of the functionality of the Echo (including Alexa) and a less powerful speaker. Here are some of the popular features of the Amazon Echo:
- Playing music on command (connects to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc.)
- Telling you the news and weather
- Setting timers, alarms and calendar events
- Controlling smart home devices (Philips Hue, Nest Wi-Fi, etc.)
- Looking up information
- Reading recipes
- Adding items to your shopping list
Let’s say you want to get an Amazon Echo shipped to you at your home in Cape Town. Following Strategy #1 above, you should:
- Visit your new Amazon homepage here.
- Add your Cape Town address in your Purchase Preferences here, buy the Echo, and have it shipped to your address.
If that process doesn’t work for you, Strategy #2 definitely will.
Amazon Promo Codes In South Africa
Unfortunately, you’ll almost never find a working Amazon promo code in South Africa. Nearly all of the Amazon promo codes and coupons you’ll find online don’t actually work. Rather than wasting your time chasing down Amazon promo codes in South Africa, we suggest applying our 2-step double filter method (Strategy #1) above to get your items shipped to South Africa quickly and reliably. If Strategy #1 doesn’t work, using a package forwarder (Strategy #2) will.
Amazon Web Services in South Africa
Amazon Web Services provides on-demand cloud computing to individuals, companies, and governments on a metered, pay-as-you-go basis. It makes building websites and web apps extremely easy and affordable, and keeps costs low by only charging you for the data you use. To build a website or web app using Amazon Web Services in South Africa, click here.
Amazon Flex in South Africa
Amazon Flex is the company’s delivery platform that enables independent contractors to deliver packages for Amazon. Flex was launched in 2015 as a way for Amazon to gain greater control over its value chain and speed up last-mile delivery.
Here’s how Amazon Flex works:
- Amazon Flex drivers retrieve a bundle of packages from their local Amazon warehouse. The packages are organized into specific, narrow geographies, allowing each driver to concentrate on a subset of adjacent streets for that day’s deliveries.
- Drivers use the Amazon Flex app to get the details of each delivery: the address it’s being delivered to, delivery placement, special requests, etc.
- Drivers complete the block of deliveries in 3-5 hours. Amazon Flex drivers can sign up for multiple delivery blocks in one day, enabling them to earn a competitive wage delivering Amazon packages.
Since Amazon Flex drivers are independent contractors, not Amazon employees, they generally do not wear Amazon-branded apparel, and they make their deliveries using their personal vehicles.
Amazon Prime in South Africa
Amazon Prime is Amazon’s premium shopping subscription service. Launched in 2005, Amazon Prime benefits include free two-day delivery, Prime Reading, a host of music and video streaming services, and much more. There are over 100 million Amazon Prime users worldwide, and that number increases by tens of millions of users every year.
Amazon offers a handful of other services alongside Amazon Prime to make membership even more valuable for subscribers:
- Amazon Prime Music: An unlimited, ad-free music streaming service, similar to Spotify or YouTube Music. Amazon Prime members get access to most of the Amazon Prime Music library for free, and they can upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited to access all of the songs in the Amazon library for an additional fee.
- Amazon Prime Video: Launched in 2006, Amazon Prime Video is an Internet video-on-demand service that offers a wide variety of original content and programming, making it a strong competitor to other video-on-demand services like Netflix and Hulu.
- Amazon Prime Now: Launched in 2014, Amazon Prime Now enables subscribers to have products delivered to them within 1-2 hours for an additional fee. Nearly half of Amazon Prime members have used Amazon Prime Now at least once.
Since 2015, Amazon has been running its annual Prime Day on July 15th. Prime Day is similar to Black Friday in that many of the site’s products are offered at steep discounts both on the 15th and across the several days before and after.
Amazon South Africa Careers
If you’re looking for a career at Amazon in South Africa, you’ve come to the wrong place. This is not a jobs portal for Amazon in South Africa! Backtrack to Google and continue your search there, or go directly to Amazon’s global jobs portal.
How To Sell On Amazon In South Africa
Selling on Amazon in South Africa is simple, and you can get started in just a few easy steps:
- Go to services.amazon.com.
- Scroll down, click Start Selling, and log in to your Amazon account.
- Follow the prompts and you’ll be set up within a few minutes!
Here’s what you’ll need to start selling on Amazon in South Africa:
- A credit card that can be charged internationally (any Visa, Mastercard or American Express card will work).
- A bank account in South Africa that supports ACH (automated clearing house) for accepting payments from Amazon.
- Your mailing address and phone number in South Africa.
- A U.S. EIN (Employee Identification Number), which you can get by filling out IRS Form SS-4 here.
That’s everything we wanted to share about how to buy items from Amazon in South Africa. If you’ve got any questions about how to make our strategies work for you, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you get your items delivered safely, quickly and at the lowest cost.