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Everything you need to know about selling on Amazon Canada

online-sellerEverything you need to know about selling on Amazon Canada
If you’re already running an e-commerce business through and are seeking to expand your international presence, opening a store on would seem like a natural fit as Canada shares many similarities with the US market.

However, while there’s some truth in this it doesn’t quite tell the full story…

In this article we’ll outline what it takes to be successful at selling on Amazon Canada and provide an overview of some of the requirements and regulations you should be aware of.

E-commerce in Canada by numbers

While Canada may not be able to compete with the US just yet, e-commerce in the country is growing at a dizzying pace.

Online retail spending in 2019 is expected to have been worth around CA$39 billion, having more than doubled since 2012 when it was worth just CA$19 billion.

Amazon Canada is by far and away the most visited e-commerce site in the country, with estimated monthly traffic of 124 million, dwarfing its closest competitor (eBay Canada) with just 34 million.

According to research by Reprise Digital 63% of Canadian’s have used Amazon to discover a new product within the last year, with 42% of households having signed up for Amazon Prime.


Adapting your approach to the Canadian market

While the US and Canadian markets share many similarities, simply replicating your selling strategy without any changes won’t give you the best chance of success.

You should keep in mind that around 20% of Canadian’s consider French to be their first language. While its use is mostly confined to the Province of Quebec, both languages must be represented on all product labels, manuals and other material.

As a result you may need to adapt your target keywords if you want to optimise your listings and brush up on your French in order to respond to any customer queries. 

You’ll also need to put careful consideration into your pricing strategy as a simple conversion of your existing prices into Canadian Dollars could leave you short as it won’t take into account the associated costs of selling in Canada, such as increased shipping costs, duties and taxes.


Meeting your Canadian tax commitments

Canada has a complex tax system which includes both national and provincial sales taxes and those imposed by specific provinces.

There are four distinct tax categories which sellers need to be aware of:
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
  • Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
  • Quebec Sales Tax (QST)

To make things easier the Canadian government provides a handy tax calculator.

Depending on the size of your business you may also eligible for some tax breaks, so it may be worth consulting a tax professional to see if you qualify.


Payment solutions

If you’re selling through the Amazon marketplace you’ll be aware that Amazon offers a service to repatriate the revenue from your sales into your local currency. However, with Amazon charging a fee for all transfers you’ll find that this service can quickly eat into your profits.

However, you can make sure you’re maximising your international earnings by working with a leading currency transfer specialist.

With our team of currency experts, exceptional online service and range of transfer solutions (like multi-currency accounts) you can save time and money.

If you’re hoping to target the Canadian market, get in touch with our team and find out how we can help you cut costs and streamline your international payments +44 (0) 20 7847 9400.
Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.

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