How to order Amazon to Israel with free shipping

Historically Amazon has always provided products that ship to Israel with paid shipping.  In addition, while not necessarily widely popular they have offered free shipping to Israel. The problem was that the free shipping threshold was $75 (on total order) which is the same amount that begins to incur Israel import tax fees.  With the new lower Amazon threshold of $49 (on total order) Israelis can reap the benefits of free shipping without exceeding the import tax limit.  In other words, those who purchase between $49 and $75 (total order) now benefit from paying local U.S. prices.

With all that said, Amazon has not made it particularly easy for users to search and find specific products that Ship Free to Israel.  In the example below are a combination of products listed together some of which state.

  • “Ships to Israel” – Paid shipping
  • “Free Shipping to Israel on Qualifying Orders over $49”
  • “More Buying Choices” – Which in many cases means that the products do not ship to Israel.  It’s imperative that if you are looking for Free Shipping that you choose the correct item
how to order amazon to israel with free shipping

Guide to ordering via “Free Shipping to Israel”

  1. Make sure your default shipping address is set up with an Israel address
  2. Identify and select product you wish to purchase. Make sure it has the identifier “Free Shipping to Israel on Qualifying Orders over $49”
  3. Add to Cart as you normally would
    1. If the individual Item is over $49 than you automatically qualify for the Free Shipping. If not, you must add items in order to reach a TOTAL ORDER of $49 or greater.
  4. Review your cart and checkout
    1. Purchases $49 – $75 – NO IMPORT TAX
      amazon to israel free shipping
      free deliver to israel on amazon
    2. Purchases over $75 – Import Fee Deposit is now included –(IMPORTANT – AMAZON CALCULATES Import Fee Deposit BY RETAIL VALUE PRIOR TO ANY COUPONS OR PROMOTIONS) – For more information on the Amazon Import Fees Deposit policy Click Here
      amazon to israel free
    3. Combined Purchases – Combination of products that qualify for Free Shipping to Israel and those that do not (i.e. “Ship to Israel” = Paid Shipping). Note that Amazon indicates that only part of the order qualifies for Free Shipping. The shipping cost of any items that do not qualify will be added at checkout
      amazon to israel

How to return a product to Amazon from Israel

How to Return a Product to Amazon from Israel

Consistent with its normal return policies, Amazon’s policy on items shipped to Israel is that you can return unopened items within thirty days of receiving them in Israel.

Starting the Process of Returning a shipment from Israel[1] 

1. Go to ‘orders’ and select the order that you wish to return. The ‘Orders’ tab can be found in the top left corner of the amazon screen, next to the search bar. Alternatively, you can select ‘Accounts & lists’ (also pictured) and then choose ‘Orders’ from the dropdown menu.

2. Select the ‘Return or replace items’ tab.

3. All of your orders that are still eligible to be returned will be shown. The date on which the item was shipped will also appear in each item’s box. When you select the relevant item(s), you will see the date until they can be returned at the bottom left corner of the page.

4. Select ‘Why are you returning this?’ and then choose ‘Item is defective or doesn’t work’ from the drop-down menu. A comment box will then appear under the relevant item. Provide a detailed account of the issue in the comments section and then click ‘Continue’.

5. This will take you to the ‘How can we resolve it?’ page. Select ‘Refund’ and then click ‘Continue.’

6. You will then be redirected to the ‘How do you want to send it back?’ page. The default address that it is being sent from is listed beneath the page heading. If you would like to change it, select the blue ‘Change Address’ text.

7. You will also need to select a return option. This page will also inform you of the return fees for each carrier option, including the option to apply for UPS to pick up an item that is too large for you to transport to the post office on our own.

8. Submit your request.

9. You will now be on the ‘Your Return Summary’ page. If you have a printer available, select ‘Print label & instructions.’ Otherwise, you can select the ‘Email it to a friend’ or ‘Request label by mail’ tabs. We advise that you do not opt to have it sent by mail, as this will detract more time from your limited return timeframe. Regardless of which option to select, you will automatically be emailed a copy of the label.

10. Print out the authentication receipt and shipping label, and then follow the attached instructions. The sheet with the authentication number should be placed inside the package, while the shipping label should be attached to the front of the package.

11. You can use either the original packaging that the item was delivered in or a new sturdy box.

12. You can now take it to the drop-off point, post-office or wait for it to be collected, depending on the option that you chose.

Return fees

  1. As for the shipping fee, you will need to pay it unless the error is from Amazon’s side. In that case, they will reimburse you for this fee up to a $20 USD after they have received the item back.
  2. According to Amazon’s return policy page, it can take up to 25 days for an item to reach Amazon’s warehouse once it has been shipped, a further 2 business days to be processed and up to another 5 business days for the refund to go through. This means that it can take a total of up to 35 days days for the refund to come through. This may also be longer during holiday periods.
  3. You can track you return package from either the ‘Orders’ page in the same way that you can track you ordered items, or through Amazon’s ‘Returns Center’ page by selecting the ‘Manage returns tab’. and will only receive a refund if the item is returned before the date listed at the bottom of the ‘return method’ page. Once it has been received by Amazon, the refund should take between 2 – 3 weeks to process.
  4. It is important to note that you will be expected to pay the shipping fee upfront. Amazon will then later cover up to $20 USD of the shipping fee later as part of the total refund amount that they will return after they have received the item. However they do make exceptions and refund higher amounts, so it is worth contacting customer support to request a full refund if your shipping fee exceeds that amount. Custom fees are not refunded by Amazon, and so will have to be covered by the customer.
  5. Furthermore, this may differ slightly if the order was processed by a third-party seller rather than directly through Amazon’s warehouse.

However, you should be careful not to abuse this return system, or Amazon might ban you from using their site. But they will first send you a warning email if they feel that you are returning too many items, so it won’t come out of nowhere.

Although there are no specific criteria for bans, it seems that ban warnings usually occur when the buyer returns too many opened products or when their returns total more than 10% of the overall amount that they have spent over a long period of time. The ban itself also only occurs if the buyer returns another item after receiving the warning. The buyer can appeal the ban, but it’s probably best that they don’t push their luck.

It is also likely that Amazon would be more tolerant of reasonable return requests such as receiving the wrong item or incorrect size. However, this isn’t known for certain.

How do shipping fees work when returning items from Israel?

Although Amazon has a free shipping policy for returned items within the 50 US states, this does not apply to areas outside the united states.

Can items shipped to Israel be exchanged?

No. Exchanges are only accepted when the item was bought and shipped through amazon to a US address. Other examples of exclusions include gifted items, add-on/promotional items.

Of course, you can just go to your order history and choose to reorder that item, so the ‘no exchanges’ policy isn’t too much of an inconvenience.

What are Amazon’s complaint categories when applying to return an item?

  • Description on website was not accurate;
  • The shipping box or envelope and item are both damaged;
  • Defective/Does not work properly;
  • Better price available;
  • Missed estimated delivery date;
  • Accidental order;
  • Wrong item was sent;
  • Arrived in addition to what was ordered;
  • No longer needed/wanted.

I have updated this according to a video that I watched in addition to the Amazon video and online information. Have any of you returned an item and can confirm that this is how it still works?


How long to wait between orders

One of the big questions that has come up since Amazon started their free shipping to Israel is how long to wait between orders. In order to attempt to answer that question let’s start from the beginning.

Amazon Free shipping starts and $49 while Israel import taxes start at $75. That means that the “sweet spot” for ordering and reaping the free shipping while not incurring the import tax is
between $49 and $75. That begs the question if one orders for example $55 worth of products, can one then order right away another order for $55? Do you have to wait a certain period of time before placing another order? How much time should one wait? When does the import tax take hold?

Unfortunately, the answer is somewhat vague. As the service is so new there have been various opinions. Some people say wait 72 hours. Others say wait until your first order has shipped before placing another one. In fact, there is even a case where an individual purchased $115 worth of products with each product under $75, and Amazon staggered the shipment and the person wasn’t charged the import fees.

Was this Amazon’s doing or coincidence? Until there is more concrete information and specifics published either by Amazon or by Israel customs we really don’t know the specific rules. Most likely it’s worth waiting at least until your order has shipped or even until after
you received your order to place another one.

Some potential workarounds

When placing your order Amazon requires that you enter your Teudat Zehut (Israel Identity number). In theory It may be possible to order under another family member or have another
family member (i.e. spouse) order. That said, word is that Israel customs may start looking at taxing by delivery address rather than individual. In that case if you have a close friend, relative or neighbour you may have it shipped to their home or to a designated drop off point in your neighbourhood rather than your home.

Please note that this is an evolving situation and we’d love to hear feedback on your experiences. We will try and keep you updated in the future as we learn more on the exact policies.


What are the guidelines of the current deal when ordering to Israel with free shipping?

Everyone was excited when Amazon launched its new free shipping policy to Israel on November 11, 2019. Gone are the days of hounding every friend who’s coming from America to please bring you your orders and facing disappointment when they don’t have enough space or weight to help you out. 

The basic offer is to now offer free shipping on eligible orders above $49 USD, that are tax-free up to $75 USD. Although this is a bit restrictive, it still opens up a wide variety of products that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible. This includes anything from clothing, homeware, non-perishable food items, to board games and other hobby items. 

A major benefit here, is that many of the items are cheaper in America than they are in Israel and that the carrier will often deliver the package right to your door.  They will also give you access to sales that slash the prices even further. However, there is still a lot of confusion around how this offer works, which items it applies to, as well as how to set up an account, among others.

So, here are a few FAQs:

What are the basic parameters?

Amazon’s free shipping policy to Israel only applies to eligible orders totaling $49 USD or more. Multiple items can be added to reach the minimum requirement. However, they cannot be even a cent less than $49, or a shipping fee will be ordered.

All of the items in the cart must qualify for free shipping, or you will be charged for those that do not qualify. This also includes the qualifying items if they total less than $49 USD in value.

Will I need to pay taxes on my packages?

Orders are only taxed if they are valued at more than $75 USD. Therefore, in order not to incur any extra charges, you will need to spend between $49 – $75 USD on your order. No more and no less.

How often can I order to avoid taxes?

It is advisable to wait until you have received a notification that your item has shipped, although many people say that waiting 72 hours is sufficient to ensure that your orders do not go arrive at customs at the same time.

Can I order multiple items to the same address under different names?

If you use the teudat zehuts of different family members, then yes. Otherwise, you will be taxed if they arrive at customs at the same time.

How can I tell whether an item is eligible?

Under each item’s price, you will see either ‘FREE Shipping to Israel’, ‘FREE Shipping to Israel on qualifying orders over $49’, or nothing. Those with no statement may ship to Israel, but not necessarily for free.

Those stating ‘FREE Shipping to Israel on qualifying orders over $49’ are items that cost under $49 USD, with the statement serving to remind you that there will be a shipping fee unless another item is added to your cart.

An unmarked item that is added to the cart will either show more details either below its heading or when you ‘proceed to checkout.’ This is the step where you are shown your final total costs including shipping fees and customs taxes.

Is there a rule of thumb for items that do not qualify?

Fresh produce, fresh baked goods, perishable food items, weaponry and alcohol cannot be shipped to Israel. There are also other items that cannot ship for various reasons.

Is this new free shipping to Israel policy permanent?

Nothing has been stated yet. Amazon’s decision likely depends on their sales results during this trial period.

Can I pay in shekels?

Yes, there is an option to select shekels. However, this means that the items will be revalued at Amazon’s conversion rates, which are quite high. It is therefore best to rather purchase in dollars and allow your bank to convert the price.

Can I select my own carrier?


What is the expected delivery time?

These times below are provided by Amazon and show when to expect your item once you have received a notification that it has shipped. But it is important to note that these may differ from the times given by Amazon in their email of the ‘estimated arrival time.’ Furthermore, they often provide a very conservative time so as to accommodate any unforeseen delays.

amazon shipping times to israel

Amazon warranties

Receiving faulty or damaged items is always a risk when making any kind of purchase. Fortunately, Amazon has a 30-day return policy on all items sold on their website. This rule applies to third-party sellers as well. However, the policies for periods beyond 30 days varies from vendor to vendor. 

Additionally, some of the items that are sold directly by Amazon come with manufacturer warranties.

It’s important to note that there are two different kinds warranties that come with products, namely the Seller Warranty and the Manufacturer’s Warranty. In a case where the Seller’s Warranty period has expired, you will need to contact the manufacturer directly in order to appeal for a refund or replacement. Some manufacturer’s warranties are only valid in certain countries or states, so it is a good idea to review these before making expensive purposes. 

If you would like to review the details of the terms of the warranty, you can either visit the manufacturer’s website or contact the manufacturer directly to request that they send a copy to you.

What is Amazon’s Basic Warranty?

All items can be returned within 30-days. 

How can I return an item covered by Amazon’s warranty?

The basic process is outlined in this article. 

What are Amazon’s complaint categories when applying to return an item?

  • Description on website was not accurate; 
  • The shipping box or envelope and item are both damaged; 
  • Defective/Does not work properly; 
  • Better price available; 
  • Missed estimated delivery date; 
  • Accidental order; 
  • Wrong item was sent; 
  • Arrived in addition to what was ordered; 
  • No longer needed/wanted.

Monthly Warranty Subscriptions

These are only offered to US residents and apply to both new and renewed items sold on Amazon.

Amazon renewed products

All products are covered by a limited 90-day warranty from the supplier, regardless of whether its from Amazon or a third-party provider. This period starts from the date that the product is received. Furthermore, Amazon will refund the shipping fees if the reason for the return was due to a product defect or similar error.

Third-party sellers that are offering renewed products independently of Amazon’s Renewed store are only covered by the usual 30-day policy. These returns will need to be organized directly with the seller, and Amazon will include the seller’s contact details in the package. 

Items covered by specified alternative warranties

Several distributors have their own warranties that are in affect in conjunction with Amazon. These include AmazonBasics One-Year Warranty, Stone & Beam Furniture Products Limited Three-Year Warranty and the AmazonBasics Gel-Infused Mattresses Limited Ten-Year Warranty. An full list of the various warranties can be found here.

Product Recalls

If Amazon is notified of a manufacturer’s recall of an item that is sold on their platform, they will notify all customers who have purchased the item via email. The customer will then need to reach out to the manufacturer directly regarding returns, refunds or replacements.


Managing cart, save for later, and lists on Amazon

Like all are accustomed to, Amazon offers the opportunity to either hold items in your cart, move items from your cart to “Save for Later”, or add them to specific lists.

It’s important to be aware that Amazon and/or its third party sellers reserve the right to change the terms of the sale.  This can mean price fluctuations either up or down, shipping restrictions applied or removed, and of course the availability of the item.

This can have an impact in various ways when looking at items that can ship to Israel.

Impact of Cost Fluctuations on Free Shipping to Israel

  • Price of an item goes up – As such, either the item itself now exceeds the $75 Import tax or pushes your total order over the $75 Import tax threshold.  It can also push you over the $49 minimum for free shipping
  • Price of an item goes down (Good News)! –  As such, either the item itself is now below $75 Import Tax limit or decreases your total order below the $75 Import Tax threshold and you may be able to add more items if you wish  
    • More importantly, you must be aware that a decrease may also have the impact of reducing your total order under the $49 minimum, and would incur shipping costs unless the order is added to

Shipping Restrictions

  • Shipping to Israel or Free Shipping to Israel of a particular item is at the discretion of the seller (either Amazon or 3rd party).  With this in mind, it’s important to note that shipping terms and conditions on an item can change – even overnight.  
    • A Real Life Example:  An individual had multiple items in their cart all designated as Free Shipping to Israel and waited 2 days to finalize and proceed to checkout  the order. On going to checkout, Amazon indicated that not all the items in the cart now shipped free. After looking through the various items in the cart the individual determined that one particular item, while still available to ship to Israel, was now designated as not free.  In fact, the shipping cost was about 9x more than the cost of the product!

We should state that this does not always happen but it is something to be aware of and take into consideration.

Ultimately, our recommendation is, if you want to avoid the possibility of price fluctuations or shipping terms changes check the items out of your cart as soon as possible.  


Third-party sellers on Amazon

Third-party seller products account for 58% of all products sold on Amazon, with a third of these third-party sellers operating outside of the US. Additionally, many of Amazon’s own products are actually products that were purchased from Amazon and rebranded as Amazon’s products. 

This is because much of Amazon is actually a marketplace that functions similarly to eBay, in that it provides a safer space through which to buy products from third-party sellers. That’s great because it means that there is healthy competition being encouraged on the platform, and that many smaller businesses who may not have otherwise had the reach are now being given access to a platform on which to market their products to a wider audience. It also offers protection to consumers in that they can trace their purchases and increase accountability by suppliers for faulty or damaged items.

However, there are millions of third-part sellers listed on Amazon, so there will always be some questionable companies that have slipped under the radar and offer sub-par or faulty products or poor after-service, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in August 2019. It is therefore better to either stick with products that are fulfilled by Amazon or to do due diligence before purchasing the product from them.

Is it better to order items that are fulfilled by Amazon than by third-party sellers?

Yes. When Amazon takes responsibility for shipping and distribution of products on behalf of other sellers, they also take responsibility for returns and reimbursements. This means that if you have complaints, you can take them directly to Amazon, rather than by trying to deal with a third-party that may either be difficult to communicate with, noncompliant or offer less leeway with return policies.

Bigger corporations such as Lenovo or Toshiba are more likely to be reliable than an unknown smaller company for instance, as they are more traceable than small third-party sellers and also more vested in keeping their public consumer image positive. Smaller sellers with many bad reviews on the other hand, could simply remove their current page and create a new one for the exact same product, without anyone being the wiser. If you are having difficulty in claiming from these sellers, you can always contact Amazon with your complaint, as they do have all records of the complaints and attempts that were issued through them and they may even reimburse you.  

How can I tell whether products are being sold by or orders are fulfilled by Amazon?

When purchasing an item, it will state whether the order will be fulfilled by Amazon or not under the ‘Buy Now’ button to the right of the product page. If products do not state this, it means that the third-party seller will be handling the packaging, shipping, delivery and returns from its own warehouses and with its own resources. 

Additionally, there are three types of selling options that you should be aware of, namely

  • those that are sold by and shipped from Amazon. 
  • those that are sold by a third-party seller and shipped by Amazon.
  • and those that are sold by and shipped from a third-party seller.

Third-Party Seller’s Basic Returns Obligations

Third party sellers are required to offer the same return options as Amazon themselves, namely to provide the customer with either a return address to a location within the United States, a printable prepaid shipping label or provide a full instant refund without the item needing to be returned. 

The seller is then responsible for providing a collection service for larger items that required assembly or in-home unpacking.  If you ordered through a third-party seller, you can review their policies through Amazon’s Online Returns Center, when you enter in the product that you would like to return.  

What due diligence can I do when buying rom third-party sellers?

  • Look at the reviews. If there are only one or two reviews, it’s definitely best to do further research. If there are a significant number of reviewers and comments in the review section, you can search the questions to see whether someone else has already asked this question. If not, you can try asking other customers whether they have tried returning a product and what their experience was like. 
  • You can also read the content provided on the product page. Look at how much detail is provided, whether it is grammatically correct, and whether they list additional content with the product information (located near the bottom of the product page) such as a user manual or warranty.  
  • It is also worth visiting the company’s website, as there may be additional information there that is worth looking into. If your English isn’t so good, you could try accepting Google’s offer to translate the content for you, but you may lose some of the meaning or nuances along the way. Professional websites can obviously be faked to mislead consumers, but it’s often the case that those who care about their product and business wat to make a professional impression to potential customers. 
  • Furthermore, before opening your package, you should look at the packaging itself. If the packaging isn’t retail-ready it may be a warning sign of the contents that it contains. In cases where the packaging is damaged, Amazon may repackage the product themselves, which will remove the seller and manufacturer’s details, thereby making it harder to read the packaging. 
  • You should also be wary of the shipping rates displayed in your shopping cart, as independent overseas companies will likely charge extremely high shipping fees when compared to Amazon. Of course, many third-party sellers may also not offer shipping to Israel at all.

How to order from Amazon to Israel

How do I order to Israel?

  • Create an Amazon account, if you don’t already have an existing one. 
  • Create a new address. 
  • They will require your social security number, teudat zehut number or similar ID number for verification purposes, although you can opt to skip this step.
  • Have a valid Visa credit card or similar internationally recognized payment card handy.
  • Browse for items that you are interested in and add them to the cart. These can be removed at any time. If you are unsure, you can also opt to ‘save for later’ or to ‘add to your wish list’ to review another time.
  • Once you have completed your order, select ‘Proceed to Checkout.’ A final tally of the total cost will be available, including any additional shipping fees, customs fees or expedited shipping fees.
  • Once your payment method and details have been verified, your order will finish being processed.
  • Your address and credit card information will be stored for future use.

Is it safe to enter my personal information onto Amazon?

Yes. Only the last for digits of your method of payment and the last two digits of your teudat zehut will remain visible on the site. Amazon will also request additional information the next time that you would like to make a purchase. 

Amazon won’t recognize my address

A possible reason why Amazon may be unable to recognize your address could be due to the format of the zip code. Try adding ‘00’ before your zip code.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to contact Amazon support. Fortunately, their customer service representatives are easy to contact and even have a live chat option. During operating hours, they usually respond within minutes of your making a request, so it is best to remain in front of your computer with the tab open.

How to contact Amazon support

  • Scroll to the footer at the bottom of the page.
  • Under ‘Let Us Help You,’ select ‘Help.’
  • Under ‘Browse Help Topics’, select, ‘Need More Help?’
  • Select ‘Contact Us’
  • Select ‘More order issues’ under ‘Tell us more’.
  • Select ‘Placing an order’
  • Select your preferred method of being reached (email, phone or chat).

Importance of correct Israeli zip codes

Zip codes are important, as many couriers sort the post by zip code. The delivery person will then only try to find the address after taking their packages to their assigned route, which could lead to them delivering you package to the incorrect address.

How do I order to an American address?

You can ad as many addresses to your account as you would like, with each address having a different name. It’s important to ensure that you provide Amazon with their contact details even if you are paying for it, as the carrier will need to be in touch with them before they deliver the package.


How to use Amazon reviews

Review are an important part of your online shopping experience, as they allow you to view feedback from other buyers who have actually used the product, rather than by simply trying to read through the marketing hype. Amazon allows customers who have bought and received that specific product to leave a rating and review about each product. They can also answer the questions of new potential buyers, with all of this feedback remaining on the product page for others to view in the future.

Where can I find Amazon reviews?

When you select a product to go through to the product page, you will see a star-rating summary directly below the product title. To view more detailed reviews, you can either click on the highlighted number rating or questions next to the star-rating or scroll down the page until you find them below the ‘Compare Items’ section.

An example taken from the top of an Amazon product page:

example of an amazon review

What’s the best way to assess reviews? 

The star-rating shows the aggregate balance of all of those who have rated the product. The number of people who have contributed to the star-review is shown to the left of the star-rating so that you can have an idea of how balanced the star-rating is. A more detailed break-down can be found below the ‘Customers questions & answers’ section at the bottom of the page. 

The question section and detailed reviews at the bottom of the page are very useful for getting a clearer idea of the item’s uses or functionalities, as well as any common problems and solutions that people commonly encounter with the product. You can also leave your own question that someone might be kind enough to answer for you. 

The ‘Customer reviews’ section at the bottom of the page also provides a more detailed breakdown of how many people voted per star-rating, as well as a few feature star-ratings as well. For instance, silicon cupcake holders may also include star-ratings for features such as ‘Easy to use,’ ‘Easy to remove’ and ‘Durability’.

It’s important to note that the questions are located above the customer reviews.