Are you importing goods to sell on Amazon UK? Heads up for anyone in the UK importing products to sell on Amazon…there will be a lot of hidden costs in the UK that you will not be aware and without knowing these amounts, or at least considering approx figures, your profit could be seriously hit, or even completely wiped out.
And that could be really bad news.
I am starting to come across a lot of new importers that have no idea about any costs in the country of arrival, or “landing costs” to phrase the technical term in the freight industry. The freight industry does love a technical term or abbreviation.
So How do I know about this? Let me explain in some more detail.
So let me tell your a little bit about my day job, I am freight forwarder in the UK by trade and have been for the last 21 years in the family business, we mainly ship cars but I have been arranging import clearances and deliveries for a lot of UK based Amazon FBA importers in the last few months as this line of business is starting to become a very popular way of earning an extra income, and I have been amazed at how poorly run and how expensive the UK side of the business is…it has become a BIG eye opener.
UK importers need to be more aware of the charges that they will get hit with here before they place an order. Do not just obtain a quote for shipping and think that is all that you will need to pay in total. It won’t be.
You need to factor in:
Remember, you will also need to pay import taxes to HMRC as well!
This video on YouTube gives you more information about paying import taxes:
Importing into the UK: Customs tips:
The freight warehouses in the UK are charging huge amounts of money for import fees and storage fees, they are also making it very difficult to arrange collection of the goods when using UPS to collect the items once cleared from HMRC.
UPS are Amazon’s preferred carrier so 99% of all importers are using them to collect their items from the warehouses, the biggest problem with having the items collected from these warehouses? we have to get allocated a time slot BUT UPS will not commit to a collection time…that causes a big problem and big delay.
The warehouse fees are an even bigger problem, their costs are beyond a rip-off, the warehouses are charging £650 upwards for 5cbm of effects and rent is being charged at £125 upwards per day.
They are ripping importers off.
And it is not just one warehouse….it is everyone that are we being are being forced to use.
I am arranging customs clearances only, I have not control over which warehouse receives the goods, if I did have control, I would be charging a LOT less.
And that is very frustrating.
When I ship across a whole container to the UK, also known as FCL (full container load) I would pay no more than £250.00 to the shipping line for the whole container – not including freight or unloading costs – and the warehouses are charging £650.00 for about 3 pallets of goods, think how many pallets they have in that container?
That is a BIG money earner. And a BIG charge for the importer that they do not normally even know about, and that could be a BIG dent in your profit.
So how is this happening?
The shippers are charging low freight rates to win the business and then importers are being stung with huge fees and rent costs with very poor customer service, the agent in China will then probably receive a bit of a kick back.
We all need to make money, and that’s how money is being made in the freight industry at the moment on a lot of routes due to the fact that freight costs are currently so low, this all down to less freight cargo being moved around the world.
Make sure you know all your costs BEFORE placing an order, ask the agent in China that is arranging shipping of the goods for you who their local agent is in the country of arrival e.g. UK, you can then make contact with the local agent and ask them to confirm all the costs payable before placing your order.
Or you can offer to pay all the costs upfront.
Either way, make sure you know all your costs coming in, you could be wasting both time and money if you are not completely organised with your finances and budgeting.
We all in business to make a profit, so make sure that you have your figures calculated correctly to ensure that a profit can be made.
We have a whole section dedicated to earning money by selling products on Amazon here.
Looking to find out more information about Amazon FBA? This book will help you get started: