Amazon India has launched its global store which will offer ‘millions of’ products across apparel, fashion, electronics, home, kitchen and office supplies, books, software and sports and fitness categories. The company says that this is to address the gap in products found on Amazon globally but not available in India. It adds that product prices will be inclusive of taxes, duties and other charges but not delivery charges. Products from some brands will also be available under next day delivery.
Of course, it goes without saying that products from the global store will be priced much higher than their Indian counterparts owing to shipping and import taxes. On face value, Amazon wants its Indian users to buy global products, thinking that may be they could get somewhat quicker delivery and save a part of shipping and tax costs, but it has made one thing clear: “Warranty not applicable for India” across all products. This defeats the purpose. No matter how much you pay for a product, including delivery charges, users are not going to risk buying products from the global store over those available on the Indian store with warranty.
It is unclear if Amazon will ship these products from its US store on demand or if it has already imported some and is testing demand with the current lot. The website says “Ships from USA. Sold and fulfilled by Amazon Export Sales LLC.” which is basically listed as a seller on the India store. However, customer support will be done through the Amazon India arm.
On face value, most of the products are being delivered to Mumbai in 3-5 business days. However, for some electronics, the company is charging a humongous amount for delivery, given the item weight is high and so are import costs. We checked computer components (see here, here and here) and Amazon is charging a bomb, almost equal to the product price (which it says is inclusive of “import fees deposit”) for delivery. Some products even need an ID for delivery.
An Economic Times report states that users can’t use the cash on delivery payment option for global store products. According to the report Amazon’s global stores are operational in Mexico and China as well. Amazon India currently claims to have 80 million products. Interestingly, global store products are not available under Prime memberships.
Amazon India investment and private brands:
Last month, Amazon invested Rs 115 crore in its wholesale business in India. So far, the company has invested Rs 155 crore in the unit. Amazon Wholesale (India) was set up in 2013 and runs the company’s B2B portal as well as acts as a distributor of exclusive products on Amazon India. In the same month, it launched its first private label fashion brand called Symbol in the country. This is Amazon’s second private label in the country – it previously launched AmazonBasics in India in September last year, starting with consumer electronics.