Did you know India exported over 34 billion dollars worth of merchandise to the USA between April and September last year alone?
It’s slightly smaller than the country's revenue in 2022, but it proves that selling products from India to the USA is a highly profitable venture.
The question is, how do you do it? How do you make your products available to the US market?
The answer lies within Amazon. It's a platform that simplifies export for retailers of all types and sizes from around the world.
However, selling on Amazon USA from India in 2024 can be tricky for beginners. If you're new to e-commerce and want to learn the process, you can use this article as a guide.
Why Amazon instead of third-party logistics?
Before Amazon launched Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) in 2006, selling products from India to the USA could only be done through third-party logistics (3PL).
What is FBA, you ask? Well, it's a program that allows you to hire Amazon to pick, pack, and ship your products instead of a 3PL provider. But is it any better than 3PL, especially when selling products from India to the USA?
FBA has several advantages over 3PL:
- It offers end-to-end solutions that can streamline your sales and delivery process.
- It gives you access to Amazon's vast customer base. Specifically, it lets you sell your products to over 167 million Amazon Prime users in the USA.
- While shipping may cost more, your products are guaranteed to reach your customers much faster than with 3PL.
- It relieves you of providing customer support, handling complaints, and managing return logistics.
- Its transparent fee structure lets you estimate shipping costs and your expected profit, helping you make necessary adjustments before fulfilling orders.
Why Amazon instead of other online marketplaces?
Amazon isn't the only marketplace where you can sell your products from India to the USA. There's also eBay, Shopify, and Etsy.
So, what sets Amazon apart?
There are a few. One is its extensive reach. Although you won't need to sell to every Amazon Prime member in the US, you can still reach a larger audience on Amazon than on any other platform.
Another is its convenient fulfillment system, which guarantees swift delivery since there are fewer stops and transfers during shipping.
Amazon also has a vast array of product categories that attract all kinds of buyers. This means you can sell just about any product and find potential buyers in no time.
What products from India will give the most ROI when sold in the USA?
First things first—choose the products you want to sell. Make sure they are among the products that Americans actually buy.
According to Amazon, the top products to export from India to the USA are jewelry, spices, plastic and rubber items, tea, home linens and textiles, and leather products.
Here's a tip: Go to Amazon and search for the bestselling products under each of these categories. List down all the products that you find interesting. Then, narrow down your list by eliminating products that cost the most time and money to produce, acquire, or ship.
Documents required to export from India to the USA
Here comes the tricky part.
Just because Amazon will do most of the job to ensure your products reach your customers doesn't mean you can skip the paperwork. You are still responsible for securing all the necessary documents to be allowed to export from India to the USA.
The good thing is, if you're selling on Amazon, you can find the documents you need to obtain on the Exports Compliance Dashboard, which you'll have access to once you've set up your account. This dashboard also lets you connect with third-party service providers to obtain those documents.
Here are the documents you need:
- Import Export Code (IEC)
- Purchase Order
- Commercial Invoice cum Packing List
- Pro Forma Invoice
- Bill of Exchange
- Certificate of Origin
- Insurance Certificate
Depending on the types of products you plan to sell, you may also need to obtain the following:
- Certificates of Inspection
- Certificate of Health or Sanitation
- US FDA Certification (for food products, medical devices, and drugs)
- Phytosanitary Certificates (for plants or plant products)
Step-By-Step Process for Exporting from India to the USA through Amazon
Assuming you've already decided on what to sell, here are the next steps you should take to successfully start exporting products from India to the USA through Amazon this year:
Step 1: Create an Amazon seller account.
This account is different from the typical Amazon account where you view and purchase listed products. To create one, visit sell.amazon.com and click Learn More. Fill out the form and follow the succeeding instructions. You'll need to submit a few Know Your Client (KYC) documents and your credit card details to be a verified Amazon seller. Because you're selling physical products from India, this is also the part where you need to secure and submit all the necessary export documents mentioned above.
Step 2: List your products.
When listing products on Amazon, a good rule of thumb is to provide as much information as possible. Each product must have a stock-keeping unit (SKU) for easy tracking, a suitable title, a clear and concise description, and crisp images. You'll also need to provide relevant keywords to make your products easy to find.
Step 3: Wait for orders and monitor sales.
Selling products on Amazon doesn't automatically enroll you in FBA. You can still choose to ship orders on your own or through a 3PL provider. This setup is called Fulfillment By Merchant or FBM. If, after some time, you realize that FBM isn't for you, you can always switch to FBA, but additional fees may apply.
Export Products from India to the USA Today!
Exporting products from India to the USA has never been easier, thanks to online marketplaces like Amazon. Take your slice of the billions of dollars the USA pours into India's economy each year by starting your own retail business on Amazon. Revisit this blog whenever you feel lost in your journey.