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Amazon Further Evolving Delivery with Direct Overseas Shipments of Goods Planned

Amazon reportedly will be getting into the business of offering goods that can be shipped directly to customers from China.

In a meeting with China-based sellers, Amazon made the announcement. The move is meant to emulate websites such as Temu and Shein, which ship goods directly from overseas destinations to U.S. customers.

The move would widely change the existing shipping practice for sellers from China and from elsewhere: goods are shipped from the origin country into the U.S. where they are then sent to an Amazon fulfillment center/warehouse. This would eliminate the warehouse component where applicable to certain goods.

The products will be available in a new dedicated section on Amazon’s website and in its mobile application.

In recent years, sites that offer very cheap goods, such as the ones mentioned above, have gained popularity. This is particularly true in the era of inflation. Goods such as fashion products, beauty products, home goods, and even cheap furniture have been being sold on these sites with success.

What are the specifics of the new shipping offering for Amazon?

Delivery Time

Per information from the meeting with Chinese sellers, goods would arrive to the U.S. from China in as few as nine days, with average delivery times between 9 and 11 days.

Launch Date

Amazon hopes to begin listing Chinese seller inventory as early as this upcoming fall season. Sellers can enroll and express their interest in the program in the coming two months, per reporting.

Beta Phase

The product offerings will likely be offered under a “beta testing” phase, with limited availability, limited pricing strategies, and fixed shipping policies, at the time of launch.

What are some potential challenges with the new shipping scenario?

The main sticking point is U.S. Customs. It is unclear at this time what the actual customs requirements will be for goods shipped of this nature. For example, it has been reported that potentially, Amazon will leverage a federal rule that exempts packages worth under $800 from duties, but that could change if the shipping practice becomes much bigger in the long run. Time will tell on that front.

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