Amazon.de is Ready to Ship to the U.S., Quickly (usually) and Affordably.
Feb 24, 2007 (Updated Mar 15, 2007)
Last year, when I needed to send a German birthday gift to my daughter, an exchange student in Germany, I found several German sites carrying the products I wanted. They didnt offer much help for English speaking shoppers, though. Fortunately, I found Amazon.de, saw the same layout and selection of products Ive seen on Amazon.com, and I knew my overseas shopping was going to be easy.
Making a Purchase from Amazon.de
Amazon.de carries a wide selection of products, matching Amazon.com, but sales to the US are limited primarily to books, prerecorded tapes, DVDs, music CDs, boardgames, and puzzles. My daughter put German versions of the Lord of the Rings on her Christmas list this year, which I easily found on and ordered from Amazon.de.
Its relatively easy for Americans to shop on Amazon.de.. The layout is identical to Amazon.com, Amazon.de has a thorough set of help pages for for English speaking shoppers, and shipping to the US is reasonable.
Most items are priced in Euros very close to the Amazon.com price in dollars. Factoring in the exchange rate, 1.32 dollars per Euro, leaves most things a little expensive. But if youre looking for German language books and movies in the US, youre unlikely to find a cheaper option than Amazon.de. Pricing does vary from week to week on Amazon.de, not unlike Amazon.com
Placing your Order
Ordering from Amazon.de is like ordering from Amazon.com. If you have an Amazon.com account, that account information is available on Amazon.de. You can even use Amazon.com gift certificates. Amazon.de only offers one shipping option to the US, at 14 Euros ($18.50), with delivery typically in two weeks.
On December 9th, I ordered three German DVDs to be delivered to the US. The total price was 51.77 Euros, including 14 Euros shipping (DHL). My Visa card was billed $70.63, covering the exchange rate plus a $2 exchange rate fee. No VAT was charged.
Over the next two days, I received 3 emails confirming that each DVD was shipped, in separate packages. No tracking numbers were provided.
One of the DVDs was delivered to my home on Dec 22nd. The others never arrived. When I emailed Amazon.de, I received a reply, in English, telling me that if the items didnt arrive within 30 days, they would reship. On Jan 10th I emailed again, the items were shipped again, and I finally received the DVDs on Jan 22nd.
Last May, I ordered two games, gift wrapped, to be delivered to my daughter in Germany. The games cost 20 Euros, qualifying for free shipping. Gift wrapping was 4.5 Euros, and VAT was 3.50 Euros. The order was delivered to my daughter one week after ordering.
Although one of my orders was initially lost in shipment, Im satisfied with the service from Amazon.de. If you need to buy German language movies, books, or cds, Amazon.de will deliver your order at a reasonable price.