Is Amazon Shipping Now Free to Israel?

Among limitations on new service: option is only available for products sold by Amazon.com and only available for orders over $80; import taxes may be high
Amazon Pantry launched in 2014 as an entree into consumer packaged goods, a business worth more than $800 billion a year in the US. Photo: Reuters

Online retail giant Amazon has begun offering free shipping on some of its products to international destinations — including Israel.

Though the move will come as welcome news to many in the country, it arrives with quite a few caveats.

The newly added option is only available for products shipped and sold by Amazon.com, and does not include any third-party sellers. Among those products, many do not ship internationally and are thus of course ineligible.

The offer is only available for orders over $80 — which are subject to Israeli import taxes. The taxes are calculated using the order’s total price including shipping fees, so tariffs for items with costly shipping will be high.

Finally, the option of “FREE AmazonGlobal Shipping” is only visible at the final stage of checkout, before payment is made, and sets expected delivery times at 12-17 business days — not ideal for buyers who need their order in a hurry.

All these limitations mean an online shopping bonanza may not be in the cards just yet, but local shoppers may very well find cases where the benefit is worth their while.

Meanwhile Amazon is still said to be preparing to officially open up shop in Israel.

If Amazon sets up warehouses locally, it could lower the price of Amazon products for the Israeli consumer and cut back on delivery times.

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