Have you been thinking about selling on Amazon Canada? Are you an existing seller on Amazon US, looking for a way to diversify and grow your business?
Though not as big as the US marketplace, Amazon Canada holds a lot of potential for ecommerce brands. The Canadian marketplace boasts over 15.9 million monthly unique visitors. And the overall ecommerce market in Canada is one of the fastest-growing in the world, worth nearly $58 million US, projected to reach 118 billion by 2027.
That’s a lot of money – and you can earn yourself a slice of the pie. Keep reading and we’ll show you how to sell on Amazon Canada, whether you’re a new seller or already established on another marketplace.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Selling on Amazon Canada
It’s straightforward to start selling on Amazon Canada, especially if you’ve already got an active and established brand.
We’re going to walk you through this process, which consists of the following steps:
- Set up a Canadian Seller Account
- Understand Your Tax and Legal Responsibilities
- Choose a Fulfillment Method
- List Your Products
- Enroll in Brand Registry for Amazon Canada
Now let’s dive right in.
1. Set up a Canadian Seller Account
The first step is setting up your Amazon seller account for Seller Central Canada.
You can go here to get started. When you sign up for an Amazon Seller Central account, you’ll need to provide several pieces of information:
- Business email address or Amazon customer account
- Credit card
- Government ID (e.g. passport)
- Tax information
- Phone number
- Bank account
You’ll also add a few details about your business, including the type of business and location. Note that your business doesn’t have to be located in Canada in order to sell on Amazon Canada. You can register an account and sell on the marketplace from many different countries, including the US.
One more thing you’ll need to choose here is whether to create a Professional account or Individual account. Here’s a quick primer on each:
Individual Seller Account
The Individual Seller Account is designed for people selling a low number of products. Think of this as the type of account you’d use if you plan to sell odd bits and pieces from around your house.
This account charges $1.49 CDN on each sale, with no monthly fee. This makes it more affordable as long as you’re selling fewer than 20 items per month.
Professional Seller Account
A Professional selling plan costs $29.99 CDN per month (on top of the regular Amazon seller fees). It also provides access to the full range of Amazon selling features and tools.
If you’re selling on Amazon as a business, this is the account you’ll want to sign up for.
North America Unified Account
If you’re already have a a Seller Central account for the US or Mexico, you can skip this step, as you’ll already have a North America Unified Account.
This means that you can sell on Amazon in the US, Canada and Mexico, all from one account. You don’t need to set up a new seller account when you want to start selling on another of these marketplaces (you will need to re-list your products, though).
You’ll see when you go to Seller Central, when you click on your business name, you’ll have a dropdown that allows you to choose from either of these three marketplaces.
2. Understand Your Tax and Legal Responsibilities
You’ll need to pay relevant taxes and duties on your Canadian sales. This is particularly important to take note of if you’re expanding from Amazon US to Amazon CA, as it could affect your profit margins.
There are three different types of sales tax in Canada:
- Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST)
- Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
- Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) – a combination of GST and PST
Different regions in Canada have different applicable taxes.
- Alberta (5% GST)
- Nunavut (5% GST)
- Northwest Territories (5% GST)
- Yukon (5% GST)
GST and PST
- British Columbia (5% GST + 7% PST)
- Manitoba (5% GST + 7% PST)
- Quebec (5% GST + 9.975% QST)
- Saskatchewan (5% GST + 6% PST)
- Ontario (13%)
- New Brunswick (15%)
- Newfoundland (15%)
- Nova Scotia (15%)
- Prince Edward Island (15%)
You’ll need to register your business with the Canada Revenue Agency and provincial tax authorities, and may also need to acquire certain other documents if you’re importing products into Canada.
It’s best to get this out of the way as soon as possible, to avoid any delays to your product launch.
Click here to learn more about Canada tax and regulatory considerations, and be sure to consult a professional for complete and accurate information.
Note: we are not legal or tax professionals, and the above does not constitute advice on such. Please contact a professional for complete advice.
3. Choose a Fulfillment Method
Now figure out how you’re going to store and ship your products.
Like with most Amazon marketplaces, you can use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or manage this side of your business by yourself (known as Fulfillment by Merchant, or FBM).
With Amazon FBA, you ship inventory from your supplier straight to Amazon. Amazon stores, picks and ships products themselves, using their extensive fulfillment network.
With FBM, it’s all up to you to arrange this. Most of the time, you’ll use a third-party logistics provider (3PL), who do essentially the same thing that FBA does.
Most of the time, it’s best to choose FBA as your fulfillment method. This makes fulfillment simpler, with less for you to manage, and takes advantage of everything Amazon’s done to build a fast and efficient fulfillment network.
Amazon also tends to favor products using FBA for SEO and the Buy Box, and you get more conversions as your products are automatically Prime-eligible.
The downside is that FBA fees are generally higher than what you’ll pay with a 3PL. You’ll have to weigh this up against the benefits of FBA, to decide which is best for you.
For more on the benefits of FBA vs FBM, check out this post.
Remote Fulfillment for Amazon Canada
Like when setting up your seller account, you’ll have a leg up on the process if you already have an Amazon business in the US/MX.
Remote Fulfillment lets you use your existing US/MX inventory to fulfill orders on Amazon Canada. Customers will still be able to get Prime free shipping on these orders, though the shipping time is a little more (7 to 12 days for Canadian customers).
North America Remote Fulfillment with FBA is a good option if you’re just experimenting with selling on Amazon Canada, as it saves you needing to invest in shipping and inventory for another marketplace. However, the downside is longer shipping times and increased fees, which will hurt conversions and profit.
Once you start getting a steady flow of sales on the Canadian marketplace, it’s best to set up FBA or a 3PL specifically for your Canada listings to save money and increase profit margins.
4. List Your Products
Next up, to make your products available for Canadian customers to purchase, you’ll need to create a product detail page (aka product listing) for each.
Depending on whether the product you want to sell is already listed on Amazon.ca or not, you may need to provide some information to create your listing, such as a product identifier (GTIN, UPC, ISBN, or EAN), along with specific details about your product.
This video gives a breakdown of how to create a product listing:
While this video looks more at product identifiers, as mentioned above:
For those just starting out with Amazon, you can learn more about the different elements of a product listing on sell.amazon.ca.
If you’re expanding from the US or another marketplace, it’ll be a lot simpler to just transfer your product listings from your US store to Amazon.ca. It will automatically fill out all the information from your US product, and will even transfer the reviews you have over to the new listing.
You’ll just have to specify your fulfillment method (as discussed earlier), and your price. Don’t forget to consider the exchange rate here – listing your product for the same amount, without thinking about the difference between USD and CDN, will provide a rude shock when the payout hits.
You should also consider the differences in Amazon Canada selling fees and taxes for the Canadian market in deciding how much to sell your products for, as well as any differences in how competitors on Amazon.ca are priced.
When you set up your product listing, it’s important you optimize for SEO, to maximize your visibility on the new marketplace. For a full guide on Amazon SEO, check out this post.
5. Enroll in Brand Registry for Amazon Canada
To be successful on Amazon today (Canada or otherwise), you really need to have a real brand.
This means you’ll want to have a trademark for your brand, and enroll in Amazon Brand Registry. Brand Registry gives you access to advanced selling tools, like A+ Content, Sponsored Brands, Amazon Stores, Amazon Attribution, the Brand Referral Bonus and Brand Analytics. It also helps you to protect your brand against fakes, through programs like the IP Accelerator and Amazon Transparency.
It’s free to enroll, as long as you have a trademark for your brand. The good thing is, you don’t need a trademark specifically registered in Canada to enroll in Brand Registry for this marketplace. If your brand is trademarked in the US, or another supported country, you’ll be fine.
Learn more about eligibility requirements and steps to enroll in Brand Registry here.
Now you can launch your products in the Canadian marketplace. Just like if you’re launching on Amazon US, or any other marketplace, you’ll want to be proactive and come up with a launch plan.
There are numerous ways to do a product launch. You can drive external traffic, get aggressive with Amazon PPC, and more.
The best thing about expanding to Amazon.ca, if you’re already selling on another marketplace, is that you’ll be uniquely positioned to re-launch your product. You’ll know what keywords work for you on the other marketplace, and you may even have a customer list and audience insights you can use to cut down the cost of running ads and driving traffic.
Just like with any other product launch, you’ll want to run your launch for a period of time (usually around three weeks), check your results, and optimize and iterate if you’re not yet ranking as high as you want to.
Go in-depth into how to create the perfect product launch here.
Why You Should Expand to the Canadian Marketplace
Now you know how to sell on Amazon Canada – let’s explain why you want to in the first place. In particular, let’s discuss why it’s such a great idea to launch on the Canadian marketplace when you already have a product (or products) selling well on another Amazon site.
We mentioned some stats at the start of this article – 15.9 million monthly unique visitors, in a fast-growing ecommerce market. These are more potential customers you can reach, which means the potential for more sales.
In most cases, it’s easier to increase your sales by expanding to a new market, as opposed to trying to claw back market share on your existing competition (especially in a competitive niche).
Though you’re not exactly getting in on the ground floor, Amazon Canada is still lower competition than the US marketplace. That means you may be about to get your foot in the door easier, and rank higher than you would against more competing products and brands on Amazon.com.
Diversification is vital for Amazon sellers. At any moment, you’re at risk of losing sales due to ranking updates, new competitors, competition from Amazon, negative tactics from black-hat sellers, bad reviews, supply chain interruptions, and much more.
The only way to sleep soundly as an Amazon seller is to diversify, and ensure you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Launching new products or brands is one way to do this – but so is launching the same products on new marketplaces.
Wider Brand Reach
Expanding to new countries increases your brand’s overall reach. It gives you the chance to be recognized internationally, in a number of different markets. This kind of global brand recognition becomes an extremely powerful thing in time, and makes it hard for others to compete against your brand.
Low Barrier to Entry
Finally, if you’re already selling on another marketplace, there’s a low barrier of entry when it comes to launching on a new market.
You’ve already done much of the difficult work of coming up with product ideas, validating your ideas, sourcing products, and figuring out if you have product/market fit.
Unless the new market is drastically different (and the US and Canada are extremely alike), there’s little reason you can’t simply replicate what you’re doing for the new market and have success. You don’t even need to set up a new Seller Central account to start selling on Amazon Canada, as you’ll most likely already have a North American Unified Account.
Learn More: All you need to know about Expanding to Amazon Europe.
Selling on Amazon Canada FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we see about selling on or expanding to Amazon Canada.
Yes, you can sell on Amazon Canada from outside the country. It’s easy to manage the whole process remotely, from within your Seller Central account. You can arrange for suppliers to ship your products directly to Canada, and then use Amazon FBA Canada to store and fulfill your products without needing to be physically present at any point.
You don’t need a registered Canadian business to sell on Amazon Canada. If you already have a registered business that you use to sell on another marketplace, you can likely use this business for your Canadian store as well.
Your bank account does not need to be a Canadian bank account. You can use an account from any of Amazon’s accepted countries. However, to avoid unnecessary currency conversion fees, it’s generally a good idea to set up a Canadian account, or at least an account that can accept Canadian Dollars.
Though Canada is a smaller market overall than the US, Amazon Canada is very successful. It makes over $10 billion in sales per year, continues to grow every year, and is by far the most popular online store in Canada.
You will need to pay sales tax in Canada. These may include some combination of GST, PST and HST. You may, for example, be required to pay both Quebec sales tax and Federal sales tax on a sale. Check Amazon’s content for more on Canadian tax regulations, and consult a professional to ensure you’re fully compliant.
Summing Up: Get Started Selling on Amazon Canada Today
If you have a successful store on another Amazon marketplace, there’s no reason not to parlay that success into launching on Amazon Canada as well.
Doing so is a great way to reach more customers, increase your overall sales, and build a more diversified business.
It’s simple to get set up and start selling on the new marketplace. Then all you need to do is figure out how you’re going to grow your audience in Canada (external traffic and building an email list is a great way to do this).
This will be the best decision you ever made for your business. Make it today.
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