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.