Amazon re-classify Channel Islands as UK Street address

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Amazon have written to UK sellers to inform them that as of the 21st March they will have to deliver to UK off shore Islands at the same cost as to mainland UK. They specifically mention the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey, as well as the Isle of Man. These destinations will now be included in what Amazon call the “UK Street” region.

The problem for Amazon merchants is that whilst Royal Mail will deliver to the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands at normal postage rates couriers won’t. Not only are they more expensive to deliver to for heavy items, but couriers classify the Channel Islands as an International Destination and charge International tariffs.

Merchants will either have to swallow the loss on courier fees when shipping to off shore destinations, or increase shipping costs (or prices) across the board to take into account the increased costs.

As Jade of says “How am I supposed to accurately charge for a courier delivery to a customer who lives in Birmingham, when I will have to charge the same to a customer who lives in Guernsey. Even though this could cost 5 or 6 times more!“.

I can understand Amazon wanting to make it attractive for residents of the off shore Islands to purchase from Amazon, what I can’t understand is how they don’t appear to have realised that the cost to deliver to these locations is significantly more expensive than to the mainland UK.

It would be reasonable enough to include locations such as the Isle of Wight as “UK Street” as they’re classed as part of the UK. However whilst the Channel Islands are British Crown Dependencies they are not part of the United Kingdom and in fact are not even in the EU.

International destinations such as the Channel Islands cost more to deliver to. The problem for sellers is how to deliver to them at the same cost as domestic UK deliveries.

Dear Seller,
We are writing to let you know about a change to the UK shipping regions in your seller account. As of 21st March 2012, deliveries to the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, as well as other off-mainland locations, will be included in the main “UK Street” shipping region.
We are making this change in order to ensure a consistent delivery experience for buyers on our site. Customers can now shop in confidence knowing that they will be charged the same rates for delivery to addresses throughout the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Your “UK Mainland Street” delivery rates will be automatically applied to the new “UK Street” region. If you wish to modify your current pricing, click the “Shipping Settings” link on the Settings tab in your Seller Central account, and then click the Edit button at the top of the Shipping Model section.
To find out more about changing your shipping settings, enter “Shipping Settings” in the Search box in the upper-right corner of the main seller Help page, or click “Configure My Shipping Settings” under the Configure Account Settings heading.
Thank you for selling on Amazon.
Amazon Services Europe

56 Responses

  1. Gah. That sucks Jade, so glad we left Amazon last year.

    Anyone who thinks Amazon is easier to sell on than eBay needs to see a shrink.

  2. Royal Mail won’t ship my products to the Channel Islands – too large. They have to go by courier. This means every sale I make to the Channel Isles will end up losing me £24. Sure, increase P&P a bit to cover the odd channel islands order, but that means raising prices across all selling channels to comply with price parity, putting you at a disadvatage with with other sellers on those channels who aren’t selling on amazon and so don’t need to raise their prices. There really should be an option for sellers who sell items that royal mail won’t accept for the channel islands to opt out.

  3. Once Channel Island buyers work out they can buy heavy goods without a delivery surcharge on Amazon they’ll be buying TVs and washing machines and then demanding the VAT is refunded.

    How can it be a good buying experience for customers if sellers decide to cancel orders because they are not viable? Then the seller gets penalised for pre-fulfilment cancelation and also receives a neg.

  4. Another problem will be when you set Christmas shipping cut off date if the Channel Islands are counted as ‘UK Street’, it would mean that you would get three days less selling if you have to guarantee all ‘UK Street’ buyers delivery for Christmas.

  5. Perhaps Amazon have just negotiated with their own couriers to include CI etc. in an ‘All UK’ package without a surcharge.

  6. Our postage rates are the same for main land Britain, Northern Ireland, The Channel Isles and the Isle Of Man. I thought it was strange when I discovered Amazon charge different rates for the above.

  7. I find myself wondering who it could be who has come up with this idea. I would expect that most, if not all Europeans would realise that there are ancient historic differances that have caused the Channel Islands to be separate from both France and the UK and indeed not a part of the EU. So the chances are that the decision was made by an American who is not intelligent enough to realise that there are problems.

    However I wonder what his decision would be if he considered Gibralter. Gib is in the EU and is physically connected to Spain but the inhabitants vote for the MEP’s of the South West of England. So it could be argued that Gib should possibly be considered as part of the South West of England(of course the Channel Islands not being in the EU do not vote for any MEP’s either in France or indeed in the UK). Just wait for the decision to ship to Gibralter at the same price as Mainland UK.

  8. Surely you’ll be pocketing the VAT for Channel Island sales which would offset the additional shipping costs? Or am I missing something?

    And Royal Mail will deliver packages over 2kg to the Channel Islands – both Tracked (up to 15kg with just 2000 packages/yr as a minimum) and Special Delivery (up to 10kg from any Post Office) are available options.

  9. This is a real blow to us and we may have to remove our heavy items from Amazon!

    Warren, we have to use couriers as Royal Mail would charge around £14 to deliver a 10kg parcel within 3 days that is not tracked, whereas a courier can deliver it next day within the mainland for less than £6, that’s why we we have to charge extra, surely you can see that it is the customer who wins here as we can save most £8 in unnecessary delivery charges!

  10. You can send upto 15kg with royal mail tracked so long as you are on the new contact (we are not so we have a 5kg limit)

    And as Royal Mail class any of these as UK as they have all have a UK postcode the tracked price will be the same as shipping from liverpool to hull etc.

    Guys speak to your royal mail account manager about the tracked service

  11. We have found larger courier item, UPS and other carriers to the channel island to be higher than France.

    For example (Interparcel)

    Gurnsey + Jersey 5 KG at 50cm x 39cm x 39cm = £31.35 + VAT

    France = £19.00 + VAT

    Northern ireland and isle of man are achievable.

    Some peoples margins are not high enough to swallow the extra costs i reckon.

  12. Royal mail will only accept items up to 90cm in length and there is no standard parcel service to channel islands which means there are no good options for anything over 2 kilos or 90cm length. We use royal mail tracked but sendind 15 kilo parcels to the channel islands is going to have a massive effect on your account price.

    I can see warren is already trolling…..

  13. I think it is just going to be something else we have to just swallow, already we have the odd heavy order from ebay to highlands and we just have to send it.

    I can’t think that people from the channel islands are suddenly going to rush to Amazon and start buying heavy items!

  14. A warning to those thinking of sending up to 15KG using RM Tracked, remember the cost per parcel is based on average weight of samplings. So a few 15KG parcels would soon push up your average weight a lot and you would be stuck with higher prices for all parcels for the next 3 months. That is the reason we still send heavier items by courier to keep our Tracked average weight down.

  15. Oh hang on, it doesnt mention anything about delivery estimates

    I assume this also applies to expedited delivery? *starts removing anything remotely heavy from Amazon*

  16. Having exactly the same issues here as everyone else… A dreadful policy.

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be vocal to Amazon and complain via their seller support contact form – You never know if enough people complain they might backtrack… Just like they’ve recently done on the selling fees for large appliances!

  17. Hi, i have already contacted Amazon and have already had a personal reply so PLEASE if you sell on Amazon contact them and complain the more people that do it the more chance there is of success.

  18. This would be a game changer for us.

    Since most of our products are too heavy to go by the subsidised Royal Mail to these off-shore areas.

    The cost of putting 100 Kilogram Item on a 50 mile road trip to mainland destination is far less than putting that same item on a road trip to Southampton Docks. Followed by a 158 mile Journey by sea to Jersey. Followed by another Road Road trip to the Channel Island street address.

    So we are between a rock and a hard place. Either we put the prices up for everyone to accomodate the occasional Highlands and Island buyers, or leave the prices where they are and hope we do not get any business from these remote places.

    Unless we find a way to avoid subsidizing these buyers from our own pockets, We will avoid using Amazon as one of outlet channels on 21/03/2012 and leave this outlet to the “Jiffy Bag” Sellers.

  19. I also complained about this (for me its a size issue – RM will not accept it). Amazon did reply that they had passed my concerns on to the appropriate team, so for anyone who is affected by this, I would suggest you voice your opinion to Amazon. You never now, maybe they will offer an opt out for larger/heavier items?

  20. Does Amazon FBA deliver to Channel Islands? I have tried to purchase one of our items and it comes up with an error saying that they do not deliver to this area and either to choose a different address or change the quanity to “0”.

    Scroll down to FBA in the second table.

    Response from Amazon “you are right it is not yet possible to ship FBA items to the channel Islands. I have been lead to believe that it will happen however I do not know the date.”

    Also the new “Buy Delivery” option to get Amazon to pick goods up from you and deliver do not ship to Channel Islands either.

    So I would suggest that the motive behind this move is not to encourgae sellers to use FBA or other Amazon services. It is just a bad thought out idea which will either be removed before 21st March or break Amazon, with either prices increases across the board, or simply sellers moving away from Amazon. It’s a lose, lose situation for all, Sellers, Amazon, Mainland UK customers.

  21. I would also guess that prices to ship to Channel Islands will rise soon to. As the will no longer have the VAT free advantage over mainland UK. (See

    I believe all the off-shore warehouses that ship DVDs / Music etc will move back to mainland where I would guess it is cheaper to sell from, rent costs, staffing costs etc, plus quicker delivery times too.

    This means less commercial traffic from Channel Islands so many services (ferry/flights) will be cut removing many of the empty outgoing space to the Islands. In the same way the cost of a container to China is cheaper than from China.

  22. Like many CI customers, I have always used Amazon as the supplier of choice, both for personal items and for my business. Lately it has become increasingly difficult to get anything shipped to CI. Whatever I put into my shopping basket invariably provokes an error message:

    We’re sorry. This item can’t be shipped to your selected destination. You may either change the shipping address or delete the item from your order by changing its quantity to 0 and clicking the update button below.

    It has got to the point where it is easier to use other vendors. Bye Bye Amazon.

  23. The reclassification of the shipping areas came into force today. Straight away I got an order to ship a 120kg trampoline to a remote part of Northern Scotland incurring a courier surcharge of £55.
    I contacted Amazon and not only are the Isle of Man, and Channel Islands now considered to be Mainland but also Northern Ireland, and all of Scotland. (Though there is some uncertainty about the Outer Hebrides).
    This will mean a lot more orders with huge courier surcharges that I am expected to absorb, than if it were just the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, as Amazon stated in their original announcement. I can’t immediately see a workable way around this.


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