11. Can I sell on Amazon if I live outside the USA?

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Welcome to the Merch Entrepreneur podcast. I’m your host, Elaine Heney. Today we are going to look a little bit about how you can sell on Merch by Amazon if you are an international seller and if you don’t live in the USA. The first question is can I actually use Merch if I live somewhere fantastic, like Ireland, or exotic and beautiful like Australia, or England, or South America or somewhere like that. The answer most times is actually yes. One of the main things to figure out is in terms of getting paid. Anyone can sign up and apply for a Merch account and get approved for a Merch account, but there are a list of countries that Amazon will support in terms of actually making bank payments to you.

I’m actually in my Merch account here, I’m going to … If you bear with me just do a quick run through of the countries that Merch will actually pay out money to. They support banks in those countries. They are the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Andora, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadalupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,[inaudible 00:01:42], Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, [inaudible 00:01:49], Romania, [inaudible 00:01:51], [inaudible 00:01:55] Can’t pronounce it. Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. They are the list of countries that Amazon right now can process money to. If you earn money they can pay money to those countries so you don’t have to just be in the US. I think I’ve also heard of people using Payoneer, which is another kind of automated website that you can set up. I think it’s like a virtual US account or something along the lines of that, but if you just google Payoneer you can get some more information about that.

Can I set a Merch by Amazon account and actually get paid if I don’t live in the states? The answer is yes. Absolutely. What else do you need to know? When you’re setting up your account, you have to put in tax info. You have to say what your name is. Do you live in the US or not? If you don’t, you just check that I don’t live in the US. They will then tend to ask you for your tax number of the country that you live in. Whatever that is, your personal tax number, or whatever in your country that you would be using. Based on this, they may or may not withhold some of your money. For example, in Ireland, there’s some kind of tax treaty with Ireland and America, that if I earn money in America, there’s no withholding tax. I just et all of the money because I live in Ireland and they’ve done some paperwork … I don’t know, together to figure it out. I guess, if Americans earn money in Ireland, they get the money back to the states and they don’t have to pay … They don’t get any withholding tax. Of course they have to pay tax on the money they earn, but they actually, in the first place, they get all the money from Amazon or whatever it is.

It really depends on the country and what kind of arrangements that have been put in between America and the country that you live in, in terms of whether you’re going to get all your t-shirt royalties, or maybe just get 70%, or maybe just get 85%. There’s not much you can do about it. It just initially depends on what country that you’re a tax resident in, and you put that information in your Merch account when they’re like, “Okay. Where’s your bank? Where’s your bank located? What’s your tax identification number? What country is it in?” Blah blah blah. A lot of countries actually have the same thing as Ireland where there is this zero tax agreement thing that just if you earn money in one place, it just can go straight over to the other without any issues. Once it actually comes to me, then I have to declare it as income tax of course.

It’s pretty straight forward. Amazon just works it out for you. Obviously depending on what country you’re in. I guess, the third thing in terms of a challenge. Designing t-shirts because right now Merch by Amazon is only … The t-shirts are only for sale in America. Obviously, I presume in the future, they’ll be for sale world wide, and they’ll be for sale in different countries, but for now the t-shirts we make are being bought by Americans. Obviously as somebody, well, currently in Spain, living in Ireland, or wherever I am in the stage, I’m not really massively up to speed on what’s happening in American politics. I see a little bit, but not totally up to speed with it, or the hot topics that are going on in the states. I do have to make more of an effort to read specifically American news and follow American websites. That kind of thing. In this day and age, we have the interweb. God knows we could do anything on the internet. Google is your friend. I can research trends and ideas, sitting in the countryside in Ireland just as easily as I could do if I was sitting in some type of apartment in the middle of San Diego, or something. That’s really not an issue at all.

Definitely, if you’re listening to this podcast, and if you are living somewhere beautiful and exotic, like New Zealand, one of my favorite country’s ever, I should say. Australia or South Africa, or somewhere in Europe or Asia, I’d love to hear from you. Definitely pop over to the website, Merch Entrepreneur. If you started selling, seriously drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you. Maybe get you an interview on the podcast. I just think it’s crazy. It’s like back in the day, America was this amazing land where you could go and there was opportunities for everybody if you worked really hard, but obviously you had to physically be in America because the internet didn’t really exist back in the day. You had to just be there and ake advantage of the opportunities and work really hard and work your way up. There huge opportunities, and it’s kind of crazy because now I think those opportunities are still there, but now they’re available to people all over the world through the internet. You don’t have to physically live in America to get access to sell things on Amazon, which is pretty much the … It must be the biggest US marketplace ever on the internet, which is absolutely crazy.

I think we live in very just wonderful times really, in terms of opportunity, regardless of where we actually physically live. Yeah, I think it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur. It’s a great time to be thinking about how can I make some extra income? How can I make a few hundred extra dollars a month, or a few thousand, or whatever your goals are. There’s a lot of opportunity out there. That’s it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. MerchEntrepreneur.com is the website if you want to join the Facebook group or learn some more. Look forward to talking to you again soon.

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