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How to Sell on Amazon if You Live Outside the USA

How to Sell on Amazon if You Live Outside the USA

Updated March 28 2017

Following my recent 12-Part Series on How To Sell on Amazon, a few of you that live outside the USA (in Europe, Australia, Africa & Asia) expressed some interest in getting started selling on (the US version of Amazon) so I decided to do some research on how to make this happen.

But first, quick disclaimer:

I am not a financial advisor or tax lawyer. The information shared here is from my own experiences. Use this as a guide to get things set up then do your due diligence to ensure everything abides by the laws of your respective country.

Cool? Ok, let’s dive in!

Quick Encouragement Video Proof of How I Sold $23,362.99 on Amazon in Less Than 3 Months

So, how easy is it to sell on Amazon if you live outside of the USA?  

From my research, it seems that it used to be pretty hard, but now it’s quite easy.  If you have an email account, this shouldn’t be any harder.

With my Kenyan roots, I am aware that a good number of my readers live outside the US and I know for a fact that there are a ton of talented and capable people that live outside the US.

What put things in perspective for me was the realization that the US population is only about 5% of the world population. However, the US market is still the biggest (Amazon US currently has 1.10B monthly visitors) so I certainly understand why someone outside the US would want to sell here.

Thank you, modern technology!

Things like Internet, Email, Translation Apps, Skype, Google Hangouts, Cheap International Shipping all of a sudden, it’s very possible for non US citizens to do business in the US.

So today I’d hopefully like to answer one of the most frequently asked questions I have been getting lately…

“How do I sell on if I live outside the USA?” ( is the US version of Amazon)

The real answer is that it’s not very different than if you live in the US.

When you signing up for an account as a US Citizen, Amazon requests the following things;

  1. Your full address
  2. A bank account number where they can deposit your earnings
  3. A phone number which they can call you to verify your account
  4. A credit card on file to charge any amounts such as pay per click advertising & seller fees
  5. You business information e.g. Social Security Number (personal number issued by the government) or your EIN (Employer Identification Number)

Not too long ago, if you lived outside of the US you had to have a US phone number, pay for services that offered a physical address and even have a US bank account and credit card.

Probably why only a handful of people were able to sell on Amazon.

Thankfully, those days are gone!

Current Sign Up Process if You Live Outside the USA

Now when you sign up as a non US citizen or non-resident, the process is significantly easier.

Amazon walks you through a signup checklist and guide you step by step, it’s very intuitive and helpful.

Here’s what you will need as a non US citizen:

  1. A U.S. Bank Account so Amazon can deposit your payments (Use Payoneer for this. If you’re in the U.K., just use your U.K. Bank Account).
  2. A credit card that can be charged internationally e.g. Mastercard or Visa. (Payoneer can help with this too used to help with this but as of today (March 28 2017), I’ve noticed they have removed all links from their site regarding this service, so it’s safe to assume they don’t offer this option anymore)- read below for more information on this.
  3. A U.S. mailing address for receiving returned orders. You can get one from or a similar US address service company.
  4. A U.S. based phone number (Download the TextMe App for Android or iOS or use Skype)
  5. A US Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). Apply on website this normally takes 4-7 weeks to be processed so submit as soon as possible.
  6. After you receive your ITIN, complete & submit form W-8ECI from the (Internal Revenue Service which is the US government tax collection agency) website. Make sure to read the instructions first.
  7. Someone to receive, label and ship your goods to Amazon FBA warehouses for you so you never touch your merchandise. My Invetory Team does that, I haven’t tried them yet but from my online research, they seem trustworthy.

Getting a Credit Card to Use on Amazon (Added March 28th 2017)

From the amount of emails I receive as well as the comment section below, I’ve noticed that setting up a Credit Card to sell on Amazon is one of the trickiest part of this whole process. Payoneer used to offer this service but I can’t seem to find any information about it on their site (or anywhere online).

However, if you know about it, please let me know if the comment section below and I’ll be sure to update this article.

So, assuming your country is supported by Amazon secure a pre-paid credit card from your home country.

I tested this out by searching for pre-paid CC in my home country Kenya. Just a quick Google search with terms “prepaid credit card in kenya” did it for me.

One option that stood out I&M Bank Visa Nakumatt Prepaid Credit Card. Here’s why;

  • Accepted at all Visa Merchant outlets worldwide.
  • Can be used to withdraw cash at all VISA ATMs worldwide and I&M Bank ATM’s
  • Reloadable anytime, anywhere.
  • Available in US Dollars.

That’s it! Simple right?

I’ll keep researching to see if there are other more standardized options available sorta like the way Payoneer had it set up.

In the meantime, try out “prepaid credit card in [your country name]” on Google and let me know what options you find out!

Additional Resources

Make sure you country is on the List of Accepted Countries:
Make sure your country uses currency supported by Amazon:
More information on adding a bank account:

Tax Interview Questions

That’s it!

Please remember that things are always changing, so depending on when you read this know that you might need to do something different, but don’t let that intimidate you- just one more loop you’ve got to jump!

Take Action!

Hopefully you can now open an Amazon account and have your items shipped directly to Amazon to take advantage of Amazon’s awesome FBA program.

You never even have to touch the items making this an awesome passive income stream to add to your list- nice huh?

In future articles I’ll cover on how to ship to Amazon from outside the US, but for now I hope you realize how easy and possible it is to sell on if you live outside the US.

Hopefully, I’ve just eliminated another excuse for you not to make money.

As always, I’m here to help if you have any questions. I may not have all the answers but I’m friends with Google 🙂

P.S. After you are done creating your Amazon’s Sellers account outside the USA, I’d appreciate it if you could come back and leave your comments below regarding your experience and share where you’re from! It’d be fun to know how far and wide this article reaches.

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86 Responses

      1. Pablo Lecce

        Hi Tim!

        In the list of countries appear an asterisc and below the list appear this:

        * Disbursements in these currencies are supported via a partnership with Payoneer, a third party, and require a separate Payoneer account. Learn more about Using Payoneer with Amazon.

        If you follow the link maybe can found the missing information about payoneer.


      2. Allena

        Hi Tim

        I have all the information needed to setup Amazon seller central account like US address bank account EIN etc, but can I signup from Pakistan and use my US details? Will it be OK? Does my IP address will not create any problem in future?

        Thanks in advance

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  2. antonio

    Hello Tim!, this is Antonio , an Italian guy living in Thailand and selling in Amazon US site. I just ran across your site today, as I was looking for specific information on tax registry numbers, IRS numbers, ITIN numbers, CBP numbers and all sort of crazy-mind boggling Numbers! As I said i’m already a pro-seller but since I’m looking to get my first shipment by sea done I realized i may have some trouble if I don’t have an Importer ID. To get that I believe I need to have some other “number” such as the IRS or ITIn ones.. Until now Amazon didn’t ask me much more than the initial tax-interview, so my question is: at which point will I need to have all of that done? If my forwarder from China agrees to be the IOR on my behalf, do I still need an ITIN number? Sorry if I sound confused or even worse CONFUSING but I’ve been all day looking too much information and forms to fill in. I would appreciate any input you may have. Thanks anyway, I’ll be heading now back to your blog: 30 INCOME STREAMS is my dream too 😉 Cheers

    1. Dylan Pede

      Hey Antonio or Tim, anyone who can assist me in this as well.

      I’m working from Belgium and I want to sell on US Amazon using the fullfillment program.
      I also have a shipping forwarder that will send my products directly to the fullfillment warehouses.

      They would also be the IOR on my behalf but i’m wondering what els I need.
      Please let me know either here or on my email: [email protected]

      Thanks a lot for this info!

      1. Dylan, did you ever get this resolved. Some comments were approved and never answered and although you most likely have this resolved, I still wanted to leave a comment for someone in who might be facing the same challenge as you did back in Feb.

        As I said to Antonio, I’d get an ITIN or EIN and keep just in case I ever needed- it costs nothing but a little bit of time (and slight headache lol)

        As far as goods for FBA, the only other thing that I recently encountered (which you might or might not have encountered yet) is Importer Security Filing ’10+2′ which is something the US Customs and Border protection are enforcing.

        It’s essentially a 10 pieces of information form that you as the importer have to fill out before your goods leave their shipping port e.g. from China. This form has to be filled out and submitted (via a broker) to UCBP at least 24hrs before your goods leave the original port otherwise you might face a delay in having your goods released due to extended inspection at the port of entry or a $5,000 fine (max of $10,000) or both.

        Just thought I’d share this new finding.

        You can read more about it here.

    2. Antonio, did you ever get this resolved? If your supplier is your Importer on Record, you might get away without needing to update your EIN or iTIN but since these numbers don’t cost you a thing other than your time I would just get one and keep it for when you need it in the future, because as your sales grow, it will be inevitable to not use them.

  3. Hey Tim
    We register and file sales tax returns in all states for publicly traded, privately held, and FBA sellers (foreign and domestic). We register and file for many oversea FBA sellers. For foreign sellers, only an IRS EIN is needed. At this time, there is no need to establish a USA entity. No need to fly to USA to setup a USA bank account. We are not the lowest cost provider given our high level of expertise and reliable service especially convenient for oversea FBA sellers. We file for clients with a certain volume of sales. If your users need more info, then

  4. samm

    Hi Tim,,

    Could you please tell me what implies having an EIN. I mean, I’m outside America and want to sell on, so I am going to ask for an EIN, and I was wondering if US gov was going to send me taxes to pay because of this EIN??

    I already pay taxes for my business in my country (and I will continue to do it on my revenues) but if I’m also taxed by US govnt it’s a bit tough…

    So getting an EIN is easy, I know, but what are the consequences as soon as you get one concerning taxes?
    Thanks a lot for your help

    1. Samm, Amazon doesn’t really care much about your returns and charging your tax unless you’re making over $20,000/year in revenue. So in the beginning, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. As you sell more, you find ways to minimize your tax ticket so my advice is just jump in, the experience alone is very beneficial.

    1. Hey Butz, they are both unique identifiers that the IRS uses to identify the person/corporation behind the business being conducted. You apply for EIN (Employer Identification Number) as a business, whereas you apply for ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) as an individual and you don’t necessarily need to have a business to apply for this. Most US persons that apply for ITIN do so to use it in place of their Social Security Number on tax documents.

      If you’re a foreign (not in/from the US) individual, you want to apply for ITIN.

  5. Anish Nakarmi

    Hi Tim Maina
    Nice Blog I am planning to stard amazon fba from qatar please help me how can i do this bussiness ?

    1. Anish, sorry for the late response. Qatar is not on the list of allowed countries probably because financial institutions there for political and/or national security reasons may be barred from directly accessing the U.S. financial system.

      Have you heard about Estonia’s e-Residency program? I haven’t personally tried it but I think it might be a good way to getting “around the system” let me know if you try it out.

  6. Sohail

    Hi i am from Pakistan. i want to open amazon seller account but my target customer UK and also dispatch from uk(Manchester) is it possible amazon US aslo shown in UK. Thanks

  7. Eric

    Hi Tim,
    I am a Ghanaian and resident in Ghana. I am really looking forward to selling on Amazon. But after going through the list of accepted countries, I discovered to my horror that Ghana is not among the listed countries. I will be most grateful to hear from you what i can do in such a scenario. I have already started the process of creating a Payoneer account. Status is still under review.

    Kind regards,

  8. Adriana

    Hi Tim
    I have just studied a little the W7 and W-8 ECI.
    Can you help me with this…on W-8ECI they ask for Bussiness adress in USA.for example if i make Amazon FBA should i write Amazon adress amd name there ??Thank you with anticipation.
    Kind regards.

  9. María Elena Navarro

    Hi Tim! Thank you for all the usefull information on your blog! I’m trying to open my seller account on amazon. But, when it asks for a credit card, I’ve tried to use a debit card and it doesn’t allow me. In your blog says I can use the payoneer account which I already have but, amazon says I can’t use a prepaid card. Can I really use the payoneer account? or is there other way that can I have a prepaid credit card that I can use?

    1. Maria, as of today it seems Amazon has indeed updated their system and not allowing Debit cards or Prepaid cards during registration. I have tried to do some research before responding to your comment on what other options exist but I haven’t found any (yet) I’ll keep looking and intend to update my answer when I find a solution.

      Stay tuned!

  10. Samuel

    I am Samuel from Ghana .
    I am trying to open Amazon seller account but Ghana is not in the list. I have payoneer account and us mailing address but I don’t know if I have to select non us citizen or us citizen. I am waiting for your response. Thank you.

    1. Stephen

      Hello Samuel, we’re you able to register for the seller central account? I’m interested because I’m in a similar situation now. Thanks in advance

  11. Tomas Andres Cabrera

    Hello Team.

    I’ve been for months looking for the right answer to the following question:

    Amazon doesn’t work with all countries through Payoneer. In Latin America, for example, Amazon works with only 4 countries using Payoneer.

    What choice have other countries (people living outside the United States) to collect profits and pay the fee to Amazon if they don’t have the option of using Payoneer with Amazon?




  12. Osvaldo

    Hey Tim,
    Great Post! Thank you!
    When applying for an itin I was asked for a letter from Amazon describing that there is a need for an itin to create an account. Any idea on how I can get this letter?

  13. Kevin kamau

    Glad to have found this blog. Same goal. Tim, am also a Kenyan but residing in Tanzania, will have to check out the Estonia e-rsidency program. There was also a question about paying tax in local company,then Amazon then the US govt through ITIN. How does this implicates on returns?

    1. How’s life in TZ Kevin? Regarding your question, last I checked, Amazon doesn’t really care much about your returns and charging your tax unless you’re making over $20,000/year in revenue. So in the beginning, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. As you sell more, you find ways to minimize your tax ticket so my advice is just jump in, the experience alone is very beneficial.

      All the best!

  14. Anissa

    The bank in my country is not making it easy for me to pay my seller fees. My card keep rejecting any charges by Amazon. Do you have any recommendation for this problem? I thought about getting a payoneer card, but when I ask payoneer about it, they claimed that I can’t use their card to pay my seller fees.

    1. Anissa, look into virtual Credit Cards (I have never used any so can’t vouch for any specific ones) but it’s a great option. One that’s come up a lot is called US Unlocked, check them out.

  15. Joseph

    Hi Tim ,
    I’m also from Kenya 🙂 So glad to have found your blog. I was also thinking of opening an amazon seller account, but I wanted to only do dropshipping of products from aliexpress. Do I need all those requirements? or just the ITIN? Oh and when I have the ITIN, I’m I required to pay taxes again here in Kenya?

    1. Sema Joseph! 🙂

      If you dropship on Amazon yes you’ll still need to follow the requirements. As far as double taxation, I’m not familiar with Kenyan tax laws, I’d advice reaching out to a local accountant because I know there’s some deductions you might be able to claim that might include taxes paid in the US.

      Report back what you find so others can benefit from this 🙂

  16. MAxim

    Hello, my name is Max, i’m from Moldova i registred on amazon seller central but my country is not on list and this make mi anxious. I get a payoneer card and after registration on my acount appeared a message like this ,,invalid credit card,, the quiestion is : how to fix this or they don’t work with payoneer anymore? thanks

  17. Hi Tim,

    I am from Philippines and planning to set up a Seller account in Do I need to register as business in my own country first to be able to fill out the Amazon requirements on Selling in as Individual? Pls also reach me at my email [email protected] I badly need your help on this. I tried Amazon UK but they are requiring me to submit business requirements, are they the same with Thanks,Nette

    1. With the crackdown that went down (no pun intended) Oct 2016, it’s been a pain to get your first review. However, I’ve had some luck with just running a promotion on your product and then setting up automated followup emails with products like Feedback Genius etc. Let me know if you’d like me to expand on that, I should probably write a blog post on it. #streamon

  18. El

    Hi Tim,

    I am from South Africa and I am trying to jump through every possible loophole to get set up on Amazon FBA. I am in the process of immigrating to Canada (application still pending) and do not wish to wait the year or two to get there before starting. I know South Africa is not on the list of Countries but if I manage to open up a bank account in Canada, what would my biggest challenge be regarding setting up of my Amazon account and is there anyway around it besides hoping Amazon decides to allow South African residence to sell?

    1. Hi El,

      One to two years is certainly a long time to wait to take action so I’m glad you’re seeking alternatives to speed up the time it takes to get in on this whole Amazon FBA deal.

      I would say if you can follow the steps I’ve outlined here and set up your business in the US for now.

      Then, after your application goes through and you move to Canada, switch up and/or open up your store to sell to the Canadian market.

      The reason I say this is because it’s already somewhat complicated to operate in the US if you live outside the US and adding CA to that mix will add an extra layer of complexity that is unnecessary at this point in time.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

      Sending you good vibes, I hope your application goes through and it’s approved quicker!

    2. Kerry

      Hi El,

      Did you manage to set up to become an Amazon seller in the end? I would love to know if you succeeded in what seems like a crazy task!


  19. This article is just what I need, I will do exactly what you say to set up my business on Amazon. Thanks so much for sharing. I might get back to you if I have problem doing that 😀

  20. Levi

    Hi Tim,
    I have this scenario, i have someone in the US, she went to the US this year, i was advising her about selling things on amazon, but she has no idea how its done. Whats your advice to us (her and me) such that i can be the one selling on her behalf but she does the other logictis. i.e opening the accounts, bank account etc etc.

  21. Zokkoz

    Hi! Great content! it seems that Payoneer virtual bank account still does not work with Amazon. Any idea please about what card or similar service as Payoneer could be a good alternative?

    Email, just in case…: [email protected]

  22. Rhoewena

    Hi Tim,
    Thank you for this article. It answered a lot of questions in my mind. I am a non-US citizen and have been wanting to open an Amazon store. I am still quite “afraid” to open an amazon store but I will follow your links in here. I hope it is alright to reach out to you should I have questions or clarifications. Thank you. Have a lovely day!

  23. Hi Tim,
    I am from belgium and currently living in Thailand,
    I would like to start my business but I would like to know the best tax regime.
    Selling from EU or from US.
    Thank you

  24. Jassi

    Hi Tim,

    I have recently signed-up the seller central for US marketplace. I intend to do it from outside US, from India. I am planning to purchase products from US, and ship it to FBA warehouse using prep services. What tax liability do I have considering, I am not importing anything to US. Do I still need ITIN?

  25. Edgar

    Tim, your post is great.I have a few question here!

    How and where do I submit the W-7 form after filling it?

    Can I also use my dollar MasterCard for Amazon FBA?

    Can I receive my Amazon FBA Payments with a dollar domiciliary account in my country?

    1. Edgar, what country are you in? Also, I’m not familiar with the dollar domiciliary account you mentioned. Share some more details and I can see what I can find out, I’m good with research 🙂

  26. Christoph Weismayer

    I just helped a friend of mine from Austria to set up an FBA amazon account and this is what he needed
    1) credit card (from Austria)
    2) bank account (in Austria) and
    3) his Name –

    from the US we needed
    1) an EIN
    2) a business entity name associated with the EIN and
    3) an address that also goes with the EIN

    one word of CAUTION: if you use FBA you legally owe income and sales tax so even if you just sell small amounts, if you store and sell goods in the US you have to pay income and sales tax if you want peace of mind…if you ship it from outside the US than you do not owe any taxes. I would be careful and if you intend to repeatedly and continuously sell stuff I would not get started…anyways. Good luck everybody and if you needhelp, i just did it 🙂 let me know

  27. Antony Njagi

    Hi Tim!
    I’m in Kenya & my book “WHAT KENYAN ENTREPRENEURS NEVER TELL YOU” has been retailing on Amazon for the last two months.
    I know it sounds funny but I have no idea how I will get my dues. My seller account details clearly indicate that I am based in Kenya. Your thoughts? Are ebook sales treated differently now that I’m not shipping physical goods?

    1. Yass!!!! Hearing stuff like this energizes me so much! You have no idea 🙂 I’m glad this post was helpful, thank you taking the time to leave a “thank you note”! I hope your Amazon journey brings you happiness! I’ll make it SA someday, I’ve always wanted to visit!

  28. Wen Chian

    Hi Tim,

    thanks for your article! I found it so, so, so helpful…
    just finished read it, can’t wait to try your advice, but I have too 🙁 since I’m still on working hour..
    hopefully I can realize it.. 🙂
    I’m going to do it tonight…

    Warm Regards from Indonesia

    1. Hey Wen Chian! I didn’t realize I had readers all the way from Indonesia, that’s amazing! How are things coming? Did you try it? Please report back and let us know. Cheers!

  29. Jeniffer

    Hello Tim,
    My name is Jeniffer and am Kenyan. Imagine I opened a seller central account, went through the entire process, submitted my driving licence, Equity bank statement and KRA pin.
    To my disappointment they were not able to verify my documents so account was rejected.

    What do you think I should do?
    Any advice please?

  30. OsmHuzi

    wow great article i also try to find what peoples are searching on Amazon and wishing that item to have. I just found this link of Electronics category you also check this from Amazon.

  31. Noora

    hello Tim, i am from the middle east and i need to get in touch with you but nobody is responding can you send me your whatsapp number or check your instagram or Facebook. thanks!

  32. Charles

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for the information. I am from Kenya and i was just wondering. How much do i need as capital to become a seller at Amazon? Is there a minimum amount that i should have that will cater for the expenses , purchasing requirements and still give me a considerable return?

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