Gone are the days when I would spot a must-have item on Amazon and send the product link to my husband’s hotel address during one of his business trips. It was easier because Amazon didn’t have the Ship to Ghana option available for majority of it’s products. But now that Ghana is listed on the international shipping list on Amazon Global , more products are accessible to international shoppers like myself. It’s a pretty straightforward process  if you are conversant with using e-commerce websites . If you aren’t it might seem a bit daunting trying to understand how to go about it and what certain terms might mean. Follow the steps below on how to shop on Amazon desktop from Ghana when you really need that item you know you can’t get from anywhere else in the country. 

  1. Account Sign-Up

Create an account first to use Amazon by entering your name and your existing email address with a chosen password. Always use a strong password other than your name and birth date. 

Once your account is created, you need to enter key information such as shipping address, payment  options etc. 

 

2. Shipping & Billing Address

Your shipping address is basically where the item you purchase on Amazon will be delivered to, so make sure it’s a permanent address such as your place of work or house address. Complete the address form by selecting Ghana in the drop-down list and adding the rest of the information required. For the Zip Code you can enter 00000 ( Amazon doesn’t really mind that info).  You have the option of entering more than one address as well especially if you live in both Accra & Kumasi due to work demands. You should as a matter of priority also set your home address in Ghana as your default address, this allows Amazon to prioritise what can be shipped to you. 

3. Amazon Wallet ( Payment Options )

Paying for your orders on Amazon can be done using a VISA and a MasterCard which are easily accessible via your local bank branch. Amazon is a secure e-commerce site so don’t have any qualms at this stage. Enter the card details as required in the fields. The same card will be used by Amazon when you subscribe to Amazon Prime and other Amazon related subscriptions but you can disable that feature as well. The default address will be displayed at the top-left corner of the site which can be switched out to your location of preference. 

When you place your first order and enter a payment method and shipping address, 1-Click ordering is automatically enabled. When you click Buy now with 1-Click on any product page, your order will be automatically charged to the payment method and shipped to the address associated with your 1-Click settings. This saves you click-time for finalising your order. But I have found that it’s much better to go through the entire process instead of rushing to the 1-Click, you avoid making some mistakes that way.

Key Point – Inform your bank of your intended use for the VISA or MasterCard so they authenticate/approve it for Amazon purchases. 

Time to shop! 

4. Shopping on Amazon

Amazon has an expansive variety of products listed in the Departments field.  Scroll through to view listed products or search using the Search bar to find the specific item you need. The sidebar on the far left offers you several filtering options to select – brand type, pricing, customer reviews etc- there’s a ” Ship To..” option to select and choose Ghana from the list of countries in the drop-down. The page will refresh and only display  products legible for shipping to Ghana. Always look out for the Refine By filter to save you shopping time before being informed that the item doesn’t ship to Ghana. If you don’t see the ” Ship to..” filter go to the top left corner under the Amazon logo and click “see more filters” . Based on the product selected, you should see ‘This items ships to Ghana on the far right sidebar where you can also add the product to your Cart. Your cart is your digital ‘shopping basket’.

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Amazon has calculated the Import & Shipping fees on behalf of customers legible for international shipping. This cost is shown beneath the original cost of the shopping item. You can read more about Import Fees Deposit charged by Amazon below:

Calculating Fees

When you order products from AmazonGlobal for shipment to countries or regions outside of the U.S. or from Amazon Global Store for shipment to the U.S., an estimate of the Import Fees will be levied on those items in your order. With your authorization, these funds are used by the carrier or another agent to pay the Import Fees on your behalf (or the recipient’s behalf) to the appropriate authorities of the destination country (“Import Fees Deposit”). The payment of import fees is the responsibility of the importer and is levied based on the laws of the country into which the products are being shipped.

Import Fees Deposits will vary depending on the selected shipping method. The Import Fees Deposit is an estimation of the taxes and duties that may apply and isn’t an actual calculation. Customs regulations and tax rates applicable to certain goods may change between the date the taxes and duties were estimated and the applicable taxes and duties on the date of import into the destination country. The duty or tax rate is often determined by the classification of a good, which varies by country and region.

Duties and taxes are calculated based on the market value (actual price before any promotions) of the product and not the price after Amazon promotions. This allows destination country customs authorities to obtain the accurate import duties and taxes owed to them based on the actual value of the goods.

You won’t be charged additional fees if the actual Import Fees exceed the Import Fees Deposit we estimated. For items sold by Amazon Marketplace sellers, please check the seller’s policies.

If the actual Import Fees are less than the Import Fees Deposit collected by us on your behalf, you’ll automatically be refunded the difference to the payment method you used for the order. You’ll receive a notification e-mail confirming the amount of the refund. The process takes 60 days from the shipment date.

5. Changing To Local Currency

Products listed on Amazon are by default displayed in dollars but you can opt to review or pay for your purchase in cedis. Amazon also displays the exchange rate being used to convert your order to cedis below your order total.

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Same also applies for the shipping & handling costs. If your Visa card is a different currency you can change that on the Payment Options page and click My Card Is A Different Currency, and select the currency type.

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6. Delivery Date

Amazon will offer standard or expedited shipping options and depending on the urgency of your order, you can decide to ship via the Amazon Priority Shipping on checkout. Sometimes it’s several delivery options to choose from, other times it’s the only option. See the delivery dates for the various shipping options to Ghana here

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7. Placing Order

After converting to the local currency, you can place your order or edit your cart before placing  the final order. Maybe you have had a change of mind concerning an item in your cart. It happens. Once you place the order, Amazon will send you an email confirmation of your order and you will also be able to see your order list in the Accounts & List drop-down. The Orders page shows you open orders which are yet to be shipped, a history of all orders made on Amazon, digital orders (e-books, audiobooks, etc) as well as cancelled orders.

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7. Tracking Your Order.

Once you place your order you have to track and monitor using the orders page described previously. If you ordered more than one item, there’s a probability each could have a separate delivery date and tracking information. Click on each order, then click Track package. However it’s not every package which is trackable. Some orders shipped using the Standard International Shipment may not be trackable. You may also be unable to track some orders if the merchant hasn’t provided tracking information to Amazon.

 

Most of my orders placed on Amazon have ended up at my local post office based on the billing address on my account. The post office places a pink slip in your mailbox for package delivery.

Amazon has a mobile app you can shop from on both PlayStore & Appstore

I hope this post has been useful for you. If you have any questions, feel perfectly free to post in the comments section. Do share the knowledge as well 😀 .