Amazon is the largest online retailer in the U.S. In fact, Amazon sells over US$410 million worth of things each day.
Other than stocking millions of products through third party sellers, Amazon has a large number of proprietary products like Amazon Echo and Amazon Kindle.
These makes Amazon one of the most popular online retailers in the US as well as around the world. However, for people living outside the US but want to make a purchase from Amazon US, the process can feel daunting.
You might be wondering to yourself: How can I buy things from Amazon US? Will my products arrive in Malaysia safely?
If you're a Malaysian looking to buy from Amazon (US) and aren't sure how to ship your purchases safely into Malaysia, I'll show you how.
Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you'll have a better understanding of the options available to you.
Let's get started!
How can you ship from Amazon US to Malaysia?
There are a few options for you to ship from Amazon US to Malaysia:
Option 1: Ship directly from Amazon US to Malaysia (on 1 condition)
Some buyers from Malaysia might not know this, but you can, in fact, ship from Amazon US to Malaysia directly. This is done using Amazon's International Shipping program.
With Amazon International Shipping, you will be able to ship products directly from Amazon US to your local Malaysian address.
Under this program, you'll pay for shipping and any import duties imposed directly. This reduces the hassle of having to take the extra step of paying duties upon your product arrival.
The exception to this are electronic products, where you'll need to apply for a SIRIM permit separately on top of your duties paid.
Personally speaking, this is usually the best option as you'll get your order directly from Amazon. This would drastically reduce shipping time and make it easier for you to report to Amazon directly if your products arrive damaged.
The caveat here is that the product you want to buy must be eligible for international shipping. Otherwise, you won't be able to take advantage of Amazon's International Shipping program.
As an example, let's say I want to buy this cooker from Amazon:
I need to first check that it is eligible for international shipping. I can check this on the Add to cart section on the right:
If the item ships to Malaysia, you'll see the note: "This item ships to Malaysia", along with some information about the shipping fees and expected delivery dates.
I used this method to buy a laptop from Amazon in January 2019.
Option 2: Use a Forwarder
If the item you're interested in does not ship directly to Malaysia, your best option is to use a forwarding company.
Using a forwarding company to ship your order in works like this:
First, you ship the product to the forwarding company's local warehouse (in this case, in the US).
Then, the forwarding company will ship your order out from their local warehouse to your local Malaysian address.
This means you'll need to key in the forwarding company's local warehouse address as your ship-to address in Amazon US upon checkout.
Personally, I've used BuyandShip.com.my for a supplement purchase I made in 2018. Though it cost me RM10/lb then, the rates have now increased to RM18/lb.
When using a forwarder, you'll need to factor in the shipping time between Amazon and their local warehouse, as well as the shipping time between the warehouse and your address. Based on my experience, it usually takes around 2 - 3 weeks in total.
The biggest downside to using a forwarding company is that you won't be getting your order directly from Amazon. This may mean that Amazon will only be accountable for your products up to the forwarding company's local warehouse.
Buying products directly from Amazon can be pretty tempting. This is especially true if your things you're interested in isn't available in Malaysia, or is available here in an inferior version.
Luckily for us, there are a select number of products that can ship directly from Amazon US to our local Malaysian address. And if a specific product you're interested in doesn't ship directly to Malaysia, you can always consider using a forwarding company.