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I have bought countless goods on Amazon over the years (books, toys, air purifier, pollution masks, etc) and had them shipped to Indonesia, in Jakarta or Bali, without any difficulties. In spite of this, I know quite many expats who are still not confident using the website.

That's a shame because there are still many products that are hard to find in Indonesia, especially if you live in smaller cities. Amazon also has competitive prices (in particular on its "Today's Deals" page) and it is much safer to use than local alternatives like Lazada or Tokopedia.

If you are still hesitating, this guide will explain everything you need to know about buying on Amazon from Indonesia and why you should not worry about it.

I will answer common questions like:

- Is it safe to ship from Amazon to Indonesia?
- What kind of products should you avoid buying on Amazon for Indonesia?
- What is the AmazonGlobal shipping program and how does it work?
- Does Amazon Prime exist in Indonesia?

If you have a personal experience to share, negative or positive, please let me know by leaving a comment at the end of the article.

1) Can you buy products on Amazon and have them shipped to Indonesia?

Yes, absolutely. Many people are afraid that their package will be stopped by the Indonesian customs or lost in the mail, but there are no reasons this should happen as long as you follow these simple steps:

First, after you've created an Amazon account, you should make sure that you have a precise Indonesian address listed. By doing so, you will be shown ONLY the products that Amazon can send to Indonesia (and not the whole Amazon catalogue).

My address in Jakarta :-)
Second, when you order a product, just before paying, you should select the AmazonGlobal Shipping option:
This option is more secure because Amazon guarantees that your product will arrive at your home address in Indonesia. If not, they have a 100% refund policy, part of their "AmazonGlobal Shipping Program" (see below for more explanations). The delivery will be done through courier services like UPS, DHL or FedEx, and you will be able to track it down online all the way. They have 24/7 assistance and they are quick to react if there are issues.

The standard International shipping option is a bit cheaper, but you should use it only for goods costing less than US100$ as they are not subject to any import fees. With this option, the delivery will be done through normal mail services (Pos Indonesia) and it will take much longer for the products to reach the country. You may have to deal with customs yourself, which can really be a pain in the a$$.

2) What kind of products should you avoid buying on Amazon for Indonesia?

There are some products that you should avoid buying on Amazon in Indonesia:

- Goods that are urgently needed: You will receive most products within 10-15 days, but it might take longer. There is also the (small) possibility that the customs will refuse the product (in that case, you will get a refund).

- Products that are heavy (for instance a TV or a bike). Since you have to pay a delivery fee between US2$ and US3$ per pound, the shipping cost of those items will probably double or triple their price. Buy them directly in Indonesia instead on Tokopedia or Lazada.
International shipping cost of Amazon
- Prescription drugs, vitamins, food supplements: If they are not sold in Indonesia, there is a chance that they don't have the proper import license and they will be blocked by customs. Still, you can take your chances with small and inexpensive packages first.

- Expensive electronic goods that are easy to carry in your luggage (for instance a laptop): They will be subject to an expensive import fee, usually between 30% and 50% of their initial price. Instead, I recommend you to buy them in Singapore or in Malaysia, get a VAT refund, then bring them back with you to Indonesia. Just make sure to take them out of their box when passing the Indonesian customs.

- CDs and DVDs: I've never purchased any, but some of my friends told me that they could be blocked by customs (depending on the agent in charge). This might be due to fears of inappropriate content or censorship.

- Goods that are prohibited to enter Indonesia such as coins, books/magazines in Indonesian, sarongs, batiks, used clothes, etc. You can see the full list here: Import restrictions in Indonesia.

3) What is Amazon's global shipping program and how does it work?

AmazonGlobal is Amazon's attempt to crush local E-commerce competitors. Basically, the company will deal with customs clearance on your behalf, and it guarantees that you will receive your order at your Indonesian address.

To do so, they will charge you an estimated "import fees deposit" that will be used to pay the Indonesian customs for the right to import the product you order.

For instance, on this Air Purifier, the Import Fees Deposit is US$48.98:
This is a heavy product, hence the expensive shipping fees. As I mentioned before, it's best to avoid ordering this kind of goods.
Once your product arrives in Indonesia, Amazon will then adjust this amount. They will refund you if the actual cost of importing (duty fees) is lower than the deposit you gave.

In the unlikely event that it would not pass customs clearance, you will get a full refund.

4) Does Amazon Prime exist in Indonesia?

Amazon Prime is an exclusive membership program that lets you get free delivery within two days, plus a few other useful services (including video streaming). As of today, it is NOT available in Indonesia.

2 comments to '' My Experience Buying from Amazon in Indonesia (2019) "

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  1. Hi Thibaud-

    A quick questions, when you said that if the items do not pass customs clearance, Amazon will do a full refund.
    Does this include the shipping and import fees deposit? Or just the price of the items?

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi there.. Amazon will refund everything you've paid, including the shipping and import fees deposit...

      Just buy from the Amazon Global website and enter your Indonesian address. You will only be able to purchase the products that can be sent to Indonesia, not the whole catalog (for instance, many vitamins and food supplements are not available).

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