Amazon officially goes live in SA in 2024 – Sellers, Are You Ready?

South African entrepreneurs, the wait is over – Amazon is officially on our doorstep! If you’re interested in becoming a seller on the Amazon platform, applications are now open. All you have to do is visit and apply to be a seller.

Robert Koen, general manager of the Sub-Saharan Africa region for Amazon, shares the excitement, stating, “We look forward to launching in South Africa, providing local sellers, brand owners, and entrepreneurs – small and large – the opportunity to grow their business with Amazon and deliver great value and a convenient shopping experience for customers across South Africa.”


Why should I sell on Amazon SA?

Firstly, small businesses find Amazon irresistible mainly due to the massive influx of customers it attracts. It’s by far the most popular shopping destination for consumers, with nine out of ten online shoppers making monthly purchases on Amazon! 

Secondly, South Africa’s online consumer sector is more than ready for this digital giant. Our e-commerce market, valued at USD 4.5 billion in 2021, has been steadily growing over the last decade thanks to factors like increased internet use, improved digital literacy, and a growing middle class.

While Takealot currently dominates the online shopping landscape, there’s still untapped potential, particularly in rural areas where online shopping adoption is yet to reach its peak. Amazon’s entry will certainly intensify competition, so Takealot will simply have to step up their game. But hey, they don’t seem too worried – in response to Amazon’s announcement, Takealot told MyBroadband that a little e-commerce competition is exactly what our economy, the sector, and shoppers need.

Finally, Amazon aims to give South African sellers more warehousing and delivery choices, potentially surpassing what Takealot offers. A recent survey by DHL looked into the preferences of 11,500 online shoppers across various regions, including South Africa, and found that flexible delivery options are a key concern for South African online shoppers.

Amazon’s seller plans, whether you go for Individual or Professional, give flexibility for sellers of different sizes. The pricing is competitive, and they offer comprehensive packages like Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), where Amazon takes care of all the logistics.


Gain greater control over your logistics with Airpool

Remember, as an Amazon seller, you’re not confined to Amazon’s shipping services. You can always opt for Airpool as your alternative logistics provider, which will grant you more control over the delivery process. This flexibility allows you to offer customised shipping options that align with your business and your customers’ preferences.

Another pretty great thing about partnering with Airpool is that we offer you a comprehensive tool that gives you a detailed cost analysis of the products you’re importing. No hidden fees to worry about – just pure peace of mind.


How do I get started on Amazon SA?

When you go to, you’ll find a PDF guide that explains the selling process, but it’s relatively straightforward. The first step is to register as a seller, choosing between an individual or professional account, based on your current inventory.

You’ll need two documents: your ID or passport and a bank statement as proof of address. If you have these on hand, you can immediately apply and complete the process in just 10 minutes. After uploading your products, you’ll proceed to a live call with an Amazon rep, so that they can verify your identity. All this means is you’ll have to hold up your ID for inspection. Within two days, you’ll receive confirmation of your seller status. The cost for selling on Amazon’s platform is a nominal R1 per month.


Amazon’s got the goods

Amazon’s marketplace debut comes with a promise to provide sellers with a plethora of valuable resources aimed at fuelling business growth. If you’re planning on becoming a seller, you’ll be able to benefit from hundreds of thousands of hours’ worth of articles, videos, webinars, and case studies, created to support you at every stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

The platform’s vast customer base, competitive pricing, and comprehensive seller plans make it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes. When you eventually decide to jump on the Amazon bandwagon, don’t forget the flexibility Airpool offers in logistics, providing control and transparency in your shipping processes.

Landed Cost

Landed cost is the sum of all expenses associated with importing your goods from China to South Africa. This includes the cost of the goods paid to your supplier, the shipping costs, clearance costs and the import taxes & duties.

It is represented on a per unit cost and helps you with:

  •  Understanding what you would need to charge for the product to make it profitable
  •  How to cost the goods in your accounts or accounting package

Note: This is not what you are paying to Airpool but rather what you are paying to all the suppliers and relevant parties: Airpool, the Manufacturer of the goods and the Import Taxes (VAT & Duties)