How To Buy From Amazon In South Africa

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Amazon is the largest online store in the world. They have what seems like an endless range of products.

Thanks to the internet, we are all global customers and we see products from all over the world. You might see something that you want that can only be bought overseas

Here we will explain to you how to buy from Amazon from South Africa

Related: 12 Lucrative Affiliate Programs in South Africa

Create An Account

To create an Amazon account, start off by heading the Amazon website by clicking on the link below.

Once you are on the Amazon website, To the right near the top there is a tab that says Hello. Sign in. Move your mouse over it and when you do, you will get a dropdown menu that says Start Here.

Click on Start Here and you will see the page to create your account. Enter your name, email address and choose a password. Your account is now created. You can now buy from Amazon.

Buy From Amazon

How to place an order on Amazon

  • Go to store to place an order
  • Browse through the storefront to find the items that you want to buy. If you are looking for specific product, search for it in the search field near the top of the screen.
  • Add all products you want by clicking Add To Cart near the right end of the screen.
  • When you are done shopping, click on Proceed To Checkout and input your address.
At this point, the company will calculate all your fees and import duties and have all your items delivered to your address
You can buy from  Amazon on any smart device, including smartphones and tablets. But the easiest way to buy is on the desktop as you are able to see the many different menus more easily and zoom in on products.

How To Pay

Buying on Amazon is a straightforward process but there are some limitations that you need to know about when you are buying from South Africa.

Paying with Debit / Credit Card

Paying with a card is the most common option. The process is staightforward and no different to paying with your card in South Africa. Simply go to the checkout area and under payment details you will need to input your debit card details and your address.

Paying with Payoneer

If you do not want to use your debit card or credit card for safety reason, you can use a Payoneer account. Payoneer allows you to make and receive payments from overseas. The great thing about Payoneer is that it is the official payment partner for Amazon. People who make money through Amazon’s Associate Program can only get paid through payoneer if they want a digital payment. You can read up about the benefits of Payoneer and how to create a Payoneer account on our article: How To Set up A Payoneer Account in South Africa.

Amazon Gift Cards

Another way to pay for product on Amazon is through gift cards. It can be a gift card that was given to you and comes with a code. You can also buy gift cards on Amazon through the website.

How To Start A Lucrative Online Business Through Amazon

Does Amazon Ship To South Africa?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that while Amazon does ship to South Africa, it does not sell all the products itself. Many of their products are sold by different vendors through Amazon and some of those vendors do not ship to South Africa.

When making a payment, make sure that you tick the “delivers to South Africa” filter in searches. This will simplify things by only showing you items that you can buy and have shipped to you. You will see in big red letters if it doesn’t ship to South Africa Also, you want a seller that ships with Amazon, i.e. fulfilled by Amazon. This means that the product has to be delivered by Amazon or one of their partners and you are guaranteed reliable service in having your package delivered. In South Africa, Amazon is partnered with Aramex for delivery. They are relatively affordable and reliable.

Import Fees

What’s great about Amazon is that they charge you import fees and state them upfront. This means that you know how much your purchase is going to cost from the start and you pay the price and import fees all at once. If the import fees are less than what was estimated, the amount gets kicked back to you, which is always a nice feeling.

When shopping for an item, it can help you to look across Amazon, Amazon UK, and Amazon DE. Sometimes a product can be much cheaper on one store than it is on the other. Just by taking the extra time to check the different store can save you a good deal of money, which is great, especially when you are buying products that are on the more pricey side. From my experience, products are usually cheaper on the US store and exceptions are when products are made in Europe.

Shipping To South Africa From Amazon

When buying on Amazon you have the choice to ship through postal or courier. Courier are companies like Aramex and DHL. They do not go through the post office and parcels usually fly through customs without any delays. They then deliver the package to your door. Aramex is the company that Amazon deals with in South Africa. Dealing with any other company will likely cost y ou a lot more, at around R400 at the minimum. The USPS option is postal so it goes to the post office. If you ship through them, they should send you a note to go pick up your parcel at the post office that is associated with the delivery address.

Avoid Post Office Shipping

South Africa’s postal service has a bad reputation and there are a lot of risks with shipping via postal. The best option is to ship products through a courier. It will cost more but you have the peace of mind of knowing that you will receive your purchase and in reasonable time. With postal, the package can make it to South Africa fairly easily. Once your package arrives in SA, you will get a new tracking number. The problem is that stuff can be stuck in customs for two to three weeks, although it’s not unusual for a parcel to take two months to reach you. There are even reports of packages taking two years to reach the recipient.

When you buy and there are delays, it is not the company that you are paying for the shipping, but rather with customs where the issues lie. All companies that ship through postal are at the mercy of customs and you can have a 2-3 month wait in the worse case scenario. If a site offers up a courier fee that is between R400 and R500 you should go with that.

Courier Shipping With Amazon

Aramex is the company that is partnered with Amazon for fulfilling orders in South Africa. The way it works is that Aramex have addresses all over the world that you can ship to. They ship to the place that is closest to the vendor from whom you are buying. From there the product gets shipped to you, wherever you are in the world.

So when you are buying on Amazon and you use Aramex for shipping, just use Aramex as if it was your own address. Aramex will know from the address that the parcel belongs to you and will notify you by email when they get it. So to summarize, the steps are as follows.

  • Place an order on a desired site with the address that Aramex provides.
  • When the order arrives, Aramex will notify you and you must then pay.
  • After you have paid, Aramex will ship that package to you and all you have to do then is wait for it to arrive at your door.

How Long Does It Take For Amazon To Ship To South Africa?

According to the Amazon website, it takes 2 weeks or 10 to 14 business days for an Amazon package to reach you in South Africa. This is an estimated and I have had many packages delivered within a week of placing the order.  When you view an item on Amazon, on the right side of the screen above the “Add to Cart” button, it will tell you that the item ships to South Africa and how long the product takes to ship to get here.

For Amazon to ship to South Africa is usually 1 week. Thereafter, there is the 3-5 days that it will take for the item to go from the courier (like Aramex) to your doorstep.

There are premium options like Expedited Shipping and Priority Shipping which can reduce the wait time considerable.  Expedited Shipping estimated time is 8 to 16 days, while the estimated time for Priority Shipping is 2 to 7 business days.

The cost of Shipping

You pay shipping to the Aramex address, which is usually free. Then you pay Aramex to ship to South Africa. If you are a frequent buyer and are wondering if you can bundle products together, you can. To be able to do that you have to join Aramex’s flex membership programme which costs R1500 per year. You can stack orders from multiple places to have them delivered in one go to save costs. For more information on the flex membership you can read about it on Aramex’s website here.

Why Buy From Amazon?

Buying products that are not available in South Africa – Amazon allows you to buy specific products that you want that aren’t sold by merchants in South Africa. This is done in an affordable manner for the most part, so you don’t have to compromise on your buying needs.

Some products are cheaper – This is particularly true with electronics. Many of the products are cheaper than buying locally, even with shipping costs and import fees included.

Buy With Peace of Mind

And that is all the information you need to do to buy from Amazon in South Africa. If you follow the steps laid out above, you shouldn’t have any problems with buying and shipping

Thanks to companies like Aramex that have bridged the gap between us and Amazon, buying that desirable product that is not available in South Africa is not as difficult as it once was. Things will certainly get even better as Amazon supports South Africa more directly, thanks to the globalizing of online shopping.  You can now place orders from Amazon with the peace of mind from knowing that you will get your order without issues.

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55 thoughts on “How To Buy From Amazon In South Africa”

  1. Ok so could it be that they dont deliver to my adress in cape town that they say there is a problem with my order

  2. Tried placing a big order of 10 packages. Keep on being told in checkout “cannot deliver to your address”. Madness! Done dozens of on-line orders from other vendors in the past , no problems with delivery????

    What’s wrong with Amazon???

  3. Please help. I am trying to change my credit card details so I can receive my order. Just can’t seem to get it right.


  4. hello there are laptops that look cheaper at amazon (with all customs) after purchasing a laptop will there be any extra payment other than what is showing there thank you

    • What you see there is what you pay. What you need to keep in mind, though is that things like a warranty would entail a much bigger hassle in terms of sending the item in. Something worth considering when looking at the trade-off for the cheaper prices.

  5. I am trying to see whether AMAZON can help me URGENTLY with the following book – it must be a NEW copy.

    Porth’s Essentials of Pathology, 5/e – ISBN: 9781975107192

    I do need this information EXTREMELY URGENT.

  6. Do South African banks (Standard Bank, ABSA etc.) charge an international transfer fee for purchases made via Amazon?

    Typically I have found that purchasing from companies out of RSA, one has to pay an international transfer fee. Wonder if it is the same with Amazon

  7. Hi,

    One question, do the import fees that Amazon list include VAT?

    What are the chances of the import duties being significantly highter than they estimate?

    • Close to none, as far as I know. VAT is charged by the seller so it depends on where the person you are from is located and if their country levies VAT or a different sales tax.

  8. Hi Greg, I appreciate the help from this. I am interested in buying a laptop, get it delivered to my offt and the price are affordable compared to the local, however I’m told by my sister I’d have to pay customs fee of 23% since my item is more than R500

    I do know if you can advice me on that?

    • All of the associated taxes are included in the price you see before you pay, so you know how much you are going to pay upfront.

  9. 1.What is the customer care centre e – mail address of Amazon?
    2.Is their a customer care centre for Amazon in South Africa?

    • People don’t really work with email address anymore (at least not on the front end). All companies use CRM systems which are far more efficient. Here is the link to Amazon’s customer service portal.
      They have a data center in Cape Town. Whether any of the customer care is routed through that place, that I do not know, but I know that they have customer service reps in South Africa, some of whom work from home. The world has changed and there isn’t much contact based customer support around anymore. That hasn’t made much of a difference with regards to any issues that I have needed help for.

  10. Hi Greg

    I am trying to make a purchase from Amazon and on checkout there is a request to upload an ID document for Customs verification and clearance. For some reason the option is not working on checkout, would you perhaps know of another section in my online profile for Amazon where I can manage or add an ID doc?

    Thank you in advance and thanks for this post, it was very helpful.


    • It depends on whether they use Amazon .com or You go to the appropriate one and then search for gift cards. When you are buying a gift card, part of the process is filling in the details of the recipient along with a message and a delivery date. You can enter that person’s details and the Gift Card will be sent to them on your chosen date.
      You being in South Africa doesn’t matter since this is a digital product.

    • I don’t know, but possibly in the coming years. They announced earlier this year that they would be setting up headquarters in Cape Town. I assume that that might serve as their base for expansion into Africa.

  11. Hi, I have been a member of Kindle for many years and read all my books on a tablet. Just lately the international Kindle have got addresses, orders and currency wrong and I have been very annoyed. I was delighted to see Amazon South Africa and wondered if my Kindle membership of long standing will be useable in South Africa. I am a retired engineer and would be very interested in working for Amazon online as my hours are not defined and my time is my own.
    Please contact me with details – kind regards Bruce Raath

  12. Hi Greg

    On the shipping & payment tab it requires an ID for customs clearance. What do I put as my ID? The options are identity document or Sars importers code

  13. Kindly assist I have placed an order for business that was delivered in US however the goods are in South Africa and I want to exchange the goods. Can I send the goods to Amazon SA and you will assist with return and exchange.

    • If a seller doesn’t deliver to your location, Amazon should tell you. All the taxes and costs that you have to pay to ship from Amazon to Aramex will be included before you checkout.

  14. Hi thank u for this informative piece I just wanted to make certain, after payment is done and product shipped to Aramex do I have to pay Aramex a separate fee to deliver to my address? Please and thank u.

  15. Hello unfortunately I only read your article after purchase.
    Purchased 2 items via on 27 May 2022
    Despite ordering them simultaneously, according to above site it arrives on 2 different dates with 2 different couriers.
    Item 1 shows: On the way but running late (DHL Tracking ID RQ 12 091 839 5DE) Scheduled for delivery 27 June- has been showing since then as “On the way but its running late”.
    Item 2 shows “Dispatched. Expected by 27 June” (Swiss post UX012510006CH). Has been in this status since 27 June.
    I contacted SA postal services. They have no record of above. I have no way of contacting Amazon besides bots which send me around in circles.

  16. Hi Greg
    How long does the payment take to reflect out of your SA bank account? My order says it has been placed but no money for the order has left my account?

  17. Hi Greg thanks for the helpful info! Just wondering if you’d be able to help with this one.. would being a prime member and paying extra for the subscription affect any of the prices, shipping, import costs etc be affected? Or is it not worth while to get prime for us South Africans?

  18. Hi GREG im trying to bye pc components from amazon SA add to cart check out to pay but it will not accept any delivery adress in johannesburg i keep getting change adress message wat am i doing wrong or how do i fill in delivery adress please help


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