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.