Selling on Amazon Canada can be a great way to reach new customers and grow your business. However, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of the process before getting started. In this post, we’ll give you an overview of what you need to know about selling on Amazon Canada, from setting up your account to shipping your products. By the end, you’ll be ready to start selling on Amazon Canada like a pro!
Why should you sell on Amazon.ca?
Selling on Amazon.ca in 2023 will be beneficial for any business looking to reach a larger customer base and grow their brand. Amazon.ca is one of the world’s largest marketplaces, and its vast reach makes it an ideal platform for businesses to tap into the Canadian market. With millions of customers searching for products every day, selling on Amazon.ca can be an excellent way to increase sales and reach potential customers who may not have access to your products elsewhere.
Not only is there the potential to reach a larger customer base, but selling on Amazon.ca also allows businesses to take advantage of its powerful marketing tools and analytics capabilities that help them optimize their product listings and target the right customers.
How to sign up for a Canadian Amazon Seller Account?
Setting up your selling account is simple. All you need to do is go to the Start Selling Online page, choose the selling plan you want, and then fill in the required information.
1) Choose A Seller Account
As with the Amazon US marketplace, you’ll need to choose between individual and professional plans.
i) Individual Plan
The individual plan is a good choice if you don’t plan on selling more than 20-30 units per month. We also advise you to choose this plan if you are a beginner in the Amazon CA marketplace or unsure of what you want to sell.
With this plan, you’ll pay a flat rate of CAD$ 1.49 for each item you sell, plus additional selling fees.
We advise you to get this plan if you plan to sell more than 30 items because the overall cost will be lower than the monthly fee you’ll pay with the professional account.
Let’s look at the professional account for more understanding.
ii) Professional Plan
This seller plan requires you to pay a monthly fee of $CAD 29.99.
Unlike the individual plan, you won’t need to pay a fee for every item you sell. This allows you to sell as many items as possible at the same CAD$ 29.99.
Therefore, if you intend to sell more than 30 items on the Amazon CA marketplace, this plan is more convenient than the individual plan because you’ll end up paying less. After all, CAD$ 29.99 is less than (30 x CAD$ 1.49).
Another reason this plan is better suited for sellers who want to sell more than 30 items is because you can enjoy access to advanced selling tools. These tools include APIs and reports.
You’ll also get to advertise with this plan and qualify for top placements on Amazon’s product details pages.
This seller plan also allows you to sell products in restricted categories. If you want to apply to Amazon selling programs like Amazon Business, Launchpad, and Handmade, this is the plan to go with.
2) Sign Up for Your Account
In order to complete your seller registration, you will need the following:
Bank account information, including your account and routing numbers
Chargeable credit card
Government-issued national identification
On the Start Selling Online page, click on “Sign up.”
Next, create a new Amazon account with your email and password.
Now enter your business information and location. Even if you are located outside of Canada, you can still sell on the Canadian marketplace.
If you don’t have a registered business, choose “None, I am an individual.” Otherwise, click the option that best describes your business, then click “Agree and continue.”
The next few steps include entering your individual information, including:
Your physical address
Billing and bank account information
Store name and selling plan
Once you enter in all of this required information, Amazon will need to verify your account before they approve your account to sell. Once you are approved, you can start listing items for sale!
Create a seller central account on Amazon.ca and start selling today!
Fulfillment methods for Amazon Canada
Shipping products to customers and handling logistics is a major concern for Amazon sellers. You can fulfil orders yourself (otherwise known as Fulfilment by Merchant or FBM) or let Amazon handle it for you (referred to as Fulfilment by Amazon or FBA).
Self-fulfilment may result in greater cost savings than FBA in certain situations. Still, it isn’t easy to let go of the comfort that comes with letting Amazon handle logistics, which is why it’s the more popular fulfilment method. Let’s take a look at both methods in more detail.
Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)
Fulfilling customer orders via FBA requires you to pay a percentage-based fee for each unit sold. In exchange, Amazon will pick, package your products, store them at a fulfilment centre, and ship them out—and that’s not all. Amazon’s customer support team will also handle all queries on your behalf.
Another massive benefit of FBA is that your products become eligible for prime shipping. Prime members can get their hands on their products in 1-2 days, making your offer more appealing than FBM sellers.
Fulfilment by Merchant (FBM) or Seller-Fulfilled
Sellers who don’t want to pay the extra FBA fees ship orders themselves, i.e., Self-Fulfilment or Fulfilment by Merchant (FBM). If you decide to take the FBM route, get ready to pack, store, and deliver orders.
Some sellers partner up with a third-party fulfilment service provider but only if the fulfilment costs are lower than or equal to Amazon’s FBA program. FBM takes precedence over FBA in niche situations like:
High FBA fees for heavy or oversized products
Low monthly sales volume
An already established logistics network
Items that require special care during transport
For the average seller, FBA offers more benefits than FBM.
Amazon Canada Selling Fees
One of the most important things you need to do before selling on Amazon Canada is estimate how much it will cost. Selling via FBA or FBM means you’ll be responsible for some seller fees, which vary depending on if your inventory goes through an agent (FBA) or directly from a supplier (FBM).
You may have to incur transport costs due to importation and customs duties charges; however, sales taxes are not very complex when it comes to Canada. For more information about tariffs as they apply specifically to items coming into Canada, please visit https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html
If you’re looking to sell your items on Amazon, the referral fee is a commission that you have to pay to Amazon for selling on its platform. It typically amounts to 15% or less of the product’s sale price
Amazon automatically deducts its referral fees after each sale is made. You will earn your profit minus their 15% commission (and any shipping costs if selling via FBM). Amazon deducts whichever of these two amounts are larger: either the percentage for that item or a per-item minimum fee, which varies depending on what you’re selling and its price.
Fees paid by FBA Sellers
If you decide to use the FBA fulfillment method, Amazon charges additional fees for handling your storage, packing, shipping, and customer services. The number of fees that FBA sellers pay is determined by the size and weight of the items sold.
FBA Storage Fees
On top of the costs associated with fulfilling an order, sellers are also responsible for storage fees if they sell on FBA and use Amazon’s warehouse space. There are two types of long-term storage: monthly or yearly.
Monthly Inventory Storage Fees
Amazon’s monthly storage fees are charged within 7-15 days for any given month. For example, to see your inventory storage fee for January refer to February’s payments report (which includes transactions from 7th -15th Feb).
Standard size products may be cheaper but require more complex shelving than oversized ones and so can actually end up costing you more in terms of long-term costs if not considering these factors carefully at the planning stage.
Long-Term Inventory Storage Fees
Amazon long-term storage fees are calculated on the 15th of each month and items that have been stored there for over 365 days will be charged $150 per cubic meter.
Canadian tax and regulatory considerations
You should keep these tax regulations in mind when selling on Amazon Canada.
Here are the two types of taxes to consider.
A) Federal Sales Tax
These are also called Goods and Services Tax (GST) or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The type you’ll encounter depends on the Canadian province that you are operating in.
With this type of tax, you’ll still be required to pay even though your business is not registered in the country.
B) Provincial Sales Tax
These types of taxes are also called Quebec Sales Tax (QST) or Retail Sales Tax (RST). They depend on your business’s specific province.
However, ensure that you consult your accountant or tax advisor for more information.
5 Easy Steps to Get Started Selling on Amazon.ca
Here’s the easiest way to get started selling on Amazon.ca.
Send a small shipment to Canada – get your feet wet; Work it up to Pallets.
List your products on Amazon.ca.
Turn on Sponsored Ads for Canada!
Monitor the exchange rate every month.
Register for GST/HST.
Send a Small Shipment to Canada
As you probably did when you first started with Amazon.com FBA, you probably sent in a box or two of goods to test out FBA, and not a full 20′ container. The same goes for Amazon.ca. Send a box or two via UPS or FedEx to get your feet wet. The procedure is almost identical as sending to Amazon.com.
You will need to send your goods via UPS or FedEx or another service that allows you to be billed for any duties and taxes, also called DDP. Do not send via USPS. If you do Amazon will be asked to pay taxes when your product arrives and they will reject your shipment.
Pro-tip: In America, there is an $800 de minimis value (any orders less than this do not have to pay duties/taxes). In Canada, this de minimis value is just $40.
List Your Products on Amazon.ca
When you will need to select what inventory you want to list in Canada. Recently, Amazon has made it so that you can simply look up the Amazon.com ASIN in the “Add a Product” tool within Seller Central and all the listing data will be carried over.
Your reviews from Amazon.com will transfer over until you get your first review on Amazon.ca
There are also a few other settings like shipping that you need to set-up for Amazon.ca but the whole process should only take a few minutes.
Turn on Sponsored Ads
The first thing you should do once you get your inventory to FBA is start using Sponsored Products if you’re using them for Amazon.com. You will pay dramatically less than what you pay for Amazon.com (see our stats below – we’re paying just 0.2% ACoS!)
Monitor the Exchange Rate Every Month
When you price your products in Canada, you’re likely simply converting from U.S. dollars to Canadian dollars and maybe adding a bit of a cushion. Monitor this exchange rate on a quarterly or monthly basis as it will change and you should change your prices accordingly.
Setting Up a Canadian Business Number
If you’re sending goods up to Amazon.ca FBA via UPS or FedEx as a trial, you can likely avoid this requirement for your first couple of shipments. However, once you do any significant volume you need a business number.
If you’re sending anything that requires a customs broker to clear (i.e. you’re sending an LTL shipment) you will definitely need a Business Number. A business number is simply a number that you can use to collect/remit GST/HST and to import goods into Canada. It’s similar to the U.S. EIN.
Registering for a Business Number in Canada is quite easy. You simply need to complete a form RC1. You can fax or mail it in (there’s no option to fill it out online) OR just call 1-800-959-5525 and a person will ask you all the questions on the phone and get you setup very quickly. Once you fill it in, you’ll be issued a Business Number within 10 days. When you register for this business number you can also get your GST/HST and Importer numbers – this is on the RC1 form you fill out. There are simply check boxes for each one.
Alternatively, your customs broker can register you for a business number for free or a nominal fee (under $500). Pacific Customs Brokers can help you with this (let them know that EcomCrew sent you).
The form is self-explanatory and should take no more than 5-10 minutes (when it asks for social insurance number, simply leave this blank). When it asks for your estimated taxable sales in Canada it’s wise to enter something below $100,000 as otherwise you will be required to prepay half of your estimated GST (The Canadian Revenue Agency will determine in your second year if you need to prepay a percentage of your GST/HST).
Pro-tip: If you want someone to set-up your business number and help with your sales tax filings you can contact David at Small Biz Pro – he has a lot of familiarity with non-Canadian sellers on Amazon.ca and can help you get set up for those who don’t want to self-register.
How to Ship Your Inventory to Canada?
Before shipping inventory to an Amazon fulfilment centre in Canada, there are a few things to consider. First, we recommend calculating your monthly storage fee to determine how much you need to pay for storage expenses.
Second, since the start of the pandemic, Amazon imposed inventory storage limitations as low as 200 units per tier size. As a result, new sellers have relatively less inventory storage room to work with, but as your Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score rises, you’re allowed to store more units. Contact a third-party storage and fulfilment service provider if you’re running short on storage space.
Note: Amazon.ca is a much smaller market than Amazon.com. You might not need to ship and stock as much inventory as you think (especially if you’re a US seller expanding into the Canadian marketplace). Start slow and see how many sales you’re making per month and plan your next move.
Third, each country has governing bodies that formulate laws governing the import of commercial goods. Visit the Canadian Border Services Agency page to ensure you’re compliant with local regulations.
Finally, you should know that Amazon Canada does not have partnered carriers like the US where sellers can work with UPS for cheap inbound FBA shipping. And clearing customs and the paperwork involved with getting goods into the country is beyond the scope of your average Amazon.ca seller.
The solution is to work with suppliers and/or freight-forwarding companies that offer Duty Delivery Paid (DDP) services. A DDP agreement means that your service provider will handle the import taxes, clearance fees, duties, and the necessary paperwork on your behalf. Like FBA, DDP services allow sellers to outsource shipping hassles to third parties, freeing valuable time.
How to sell on Amazon Canada from the US?
23% of U.S. marketplace sellers already sell in Canada — are you one of them? If not, you should be!
In the past, sellers used to need separate seller accounts to sell in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Now, Amazon offers what’s called the North American Unified Account, allowing sellers to conveniently switch within Seller Central between the Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Amazon.com.mx seller tools. That way, you can sell in all three marketplaces under one professional seller account — and you’ll only need to pay $39.99 per month to list products in all three countries.
When you create an account in either one of these marketplaces, you will automatically have a unified account. To switch between each marketplace, go to your seller name at the top of Seller Central and choose Mexico, Canada, or the U.S. from the dropdown menu.
Amazon makes it fairly simple to sell in Canada from the United States. You do not need a registered Canadian business or a Canadian bank account to get started.
All you need to do is connect your US bank account to your Canadian seller account and use the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers to route your earnings to your local bank, in your local currency.
How to Create an Optimized Amazon Product Listing
A product listing displays your product to potential buyers. Think of it as the entrance to your store, and like any store—physical or digital—the more appealing it is, the higher the likelihood of sales.
Covering the A-Z of Amazon product listing optimization requires a separate blog. For now, here are some best product listing optimization practices recommended by Amazon itself:
Product title: Capitalize the first letter of each word and do not exceed 200 characters. Also include your main keyword, preferably at the start of the title.
Product images: 500 x 500 resolution images are acceptable but 1,000 x 1,000 increase picture quality. Your main image must show your product clearly against a white background.
Variations: Create separate product listings (ASINS) if your product has variations such as different colours, sizes, or scents.
Bullet points: Add short, descriptive sentences highlighting your product’s salient features.
Product Description: Provide customers with additional information you didn’t include in the bullet points. Incorporate keywords to win favour with the algorithm and increase your product listing’s reach.
The best product listings are front and back-end optimized with the right keywords and contain well-written copy that compels readers to action. Inspect best-sellers’ product listings within your niche to better understand how to craft the perfect product detail page!
What Is North America Remote Fulfillment and Should You Use It?
In 2019, Amazon rolled out something called North America Remote Fulfillment, otherwise known as NARF.
If you enroll in this program, it allows your Amazon.com products to show up on Amazon.ca, and Amazon will ship the products from America to Canada. Amazon will handle all aspects of shipping, taxes, and duties for you and charge them to the buyer. This is the downside with NARF – it adds on extra costs to the customer and the shipping times to the customer are far longer than with inventory physically stored in Canada.
This program is excellent for those people who don’t want to actually go through the hassle of sending inventory directly into Canada. However, your sales can often be 90% lower or more when using NARF compared to physically sending inventory into Canada.
Things to be Aware of When Selling on Amazon FBA Canada
Amazon FBA fees may be higher in Canada.
The exchange rate is volatile.
Canadian duty rates are often higher than the US.
No Amazon-partnered carriers are going to Canada
You need a Business Number to formally import anything into Canada
If sending UPS/FedEx etc. to Canada, make sure you send them DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) otherwise, Amazon will reject the shipment
Canada has a federal sales tax (GST)
How to Add Your Amazon.com Listings to Amazon.ca
Because Amazon now has a Unified North American account, you can easily transfer your listings from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca, and yes, your reviews will transfer.
The easiest thing to do is to use the Add a Product option from the Inventory menu and add your existing ASIN.
By default, Amazon will preload your existing bullet points, descriptions, and images. You can edit your bullet points and descriptions if you want. However, if you change your images, these will be global unless you use the country-specific image upload manager here.
No matter which Amazon marketplace you choose to sell on, there’s no better time than now to start or expand your business. We hope this guide helps you launch your selling journey on Amazon.ca.