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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

What is Amazon NARF and How Can It Help Sellers Expand Internationally?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Exploring new markets is a common goal for many Amazon FBA sellers, but the prospect of international expansion can feel overwhelming. The Amazon North American Remote Fulfillment (NARF) program offers a solution by enabling U.S. sellers to tap into Canadian and Mexican markets without maintaining inventory in these countries.

This blog will guide you through what NARF is, how it works, its benefits, limitations and how you can leverage it to grow your global footprint. Ready? Let's dive in!

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Key Takeaways

  • Amazon NARF is a program that allows U.S. sellers to sell their products on the Canadian and Mexican marketplaces without maintaining inventory in those countries.

  • By leveraging Amazon's fulfillment infrastructure, sellers can expand their international reach and tap into new markets without the complexities of setting up operations abroad.

  • Sellers must meet eligibility requirements, such as having a Professional Selling Plan and using Amazon FBA, in order to enroll in the NARF program.

  • While there are fees associated with NARF, sellers benefit from simplified logistics, increased visibility, and opportunities for cross-border trade.

Understanding Amazon NARF

Amazon NARF is a program offered by Amazon that allows sellers to sell their products on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.mx marketplace using the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service.

Definition of Amazon NARF

Amazon NARF, short for North American Remote Fulfillment, is an innovative program designed to assist sellers in expanding their businesses globally. It offers Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) sellers the opportunity to list and sell their products on Canada's marketplace without having to physically stock inventory in Canada.

By displaying U.S. FBA inventory across both local and North American marketplaces, this initiative effectively breaks down geographical barriers for sellers looking to broaden their reach.

The principal aim of NARF is facilitating market expansion while using the existing operational structure, thus reducing overhead costs associated with international product distribution.

If you're interested in understanding more about NARF, you might be interested in the eligible countries for selling on Amazon USA.

Eligibility requirements for enrollment

To enroll in the Amazon NARF program, sellers must meet certain eligibility requirements. Here are the key criteria to consider:

  1. Professional Selling Plan: Sellers must have a Professional Selling Plan on Amazon in order to be eligible for NARF.

  2. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): Sellers must use Amazon's FBA service to fulfill orders for their products.

  3. Prime Eligibility: Products enrolled in NARF should be eligible for Prime shipping benefits, ensuring fast and reliable delivery to customers.

  4. Compliance with Seller Policies: Sellers must adhere to all of Amazon's policies regarding product quality, customer service, and listing requirements.

  5. Seller Insurance Requirements: NARF participants are required to maintain liability insurance coverage, protecting them against potential claims related to the products they sell.

  6. Sales Volume Estimation: Sellers need to provide an estimate of their expected sales volume in Canada and Mexico so that Amazon can properly allocate resources for fulfillment.

Program fees for Amazon NARF

The fees for enrolling in Amazon NARF are straightforward and can vary depending on the seller's business size and needs. There is no additional fee to join NARF, but sellers are responsible for the standard FBA fees for storage, fulfillment, and customer service.

These fees cover services such as product picking, packing, shipping, customer support, returns management, and more. By leveraging Amazon's existing infrastructure and fulfillment capabilities through NARF, sellers can expand their international reach without incurring significant additional costs or complexities.

Benefits and Limitations of Amazon NARF

Amazon NARF offers benefits such as easier international expansion, access to new marketplaces, and simplified logistics. However, sellers should consider limitations like potential customs issues and additional costs before enrolling in the program.

Pros and cons of using Amazon NARF

Amazon NARF offers many advantages for sellers, but there are also some potential downsides to consider. Here is a comprehensive table outlining the pros and cons of utilizing the Amazon NARF program.


NARF PROS

NARF CONS

Amazon NARF simplifies the process of expanding internationally by utilizing Amazon's infrastructure and fulfillment capabilities.

Eligibility requirements may limit some sellers from participating in the NARF program.

With NARF, sellers can display their US FBA inventory across the North American marketplaces, helping to increase visibility and potential sales.

Although NARF offers increased exposure, it does not guarantee sales. Performance in foreign markets is never assured.

NARF allows sellers to sell their products in Canada and Mexico without needing to send inventory to these countries separately, saving on shipping and logistics costs.

The NARF program comes with fees. It's necessary for sellers to analyze the cost-benefit ratio before deciding to enroll.

NARF opens up opportunities for cross-border trade, helping sellers reach a wider customer base.

There might be unexpected challenges related to differing consumer preferences or regulations in international markets.

Sellers utilizing the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program can leverage NARF to grow their FBA sales.

Not all products are eligible for the NARF program. Sellers need to ensure their products meet the program's requirements.


How Amazon NARF helps sellers expand internationally

Amazon NARF plays a crucial role in helping sellers expand their business internationally. By enrolling in the NARF program, sellers can utilize Amazon's fulfillment infrastructure to tap into new markets without the complexities of setting up operations in foreign countries.

This means that sellers can sell their products in Canada and Mexico without needing to send inventory separately to those countries. With NARF, sellers benefit from cross-border trade and reach a wider customer base, allowing them to grow their sales and increase their international market presence.

It simplifies the process of expanding globally for sellers by leveraging Amazon's resources and expertise in international fulfillment.

Considerations for deciding whether to use Amazon NARF

Before enrolling in Amazon NARF, there are several important considerations for FBA sellers to take into account. Firstly, it's crucial to assess the potential market demand and sales volume in Canada and Mexico.

Conducting market research and estimating potential sales can help sellers determine if expanding internationally through NARF is worth the investment.

Secondly, sellers should evaluate their ability to meet any customs or regulatory requirements for cross-border trade. This includes understanding import restrictions, duty fees, and navigating the complexities of international shipping.

Furthermore, it's essential to consider whether selling internationally aligns with your overall business goals and resources. Expanding into new markets requires additional time, effort, and potentially hiring bilingual customer service representatives or translators.

You might also be interested in knowing about Amazon Fulfillment Centers located in the US, so you can easily find an Amazon Warehouse near you.

How to Enroll in Amazon NARF

Enrolling in Amazon NARF is a straightforward process that involves following a step-by-step guide provided by Amazon. To learn more about the enrollment process and ensure successful enrollment, keep reading.



Step-by-step process for enrolling in Amazon NARF

To enroll in Amazon NARF and start expanding internationally, follow these steps:

  1. Check eligibility: Ensure that you are eligible to enroll in the NARF program. Sellers must have a Professional selling plan and be registered for sales tax in the United States.

  2. Prepare your inventory: Make sure your products meet the eligibility requirements for international fulfillment. Check if they are eligible for export to Canada and Mexico.

  3. Set up an account: If you haven't already, create an Amazon Seller Central account. You will need this to enroll in NARF and manage your international orders.

  4. Enable FBA for international fulfillment: Sign up for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) if you haven't already. This service is necessary for using NARF and ensuring seamless international shipping.

  5. Enroll in NARF: Go to the 'Settings' tab in your Seller Central account, click on 'Fulfillment by Amazon', then select 'North American Remote Fulfillment.' Follow the instructions provided to complete the enrollment process.

  6. Update product settings: Once enrolled, review and update your product settings to ensure they can be fulfilled internationally through NARF. Make any necessary changes or adjustments as required.

  7. Manage inventory placement options: Decide how you want your inventory to be placed across different marketplaces within North America (e.g., U.S., Canada, Mexico). Amazon offers options such as regional placement or worldwide distribution based on your preferences.

  8. Optimize listings for international markets: Adapt your product listings to cater to Canadian and Mexican customers by providing accurate translations, local pricing, and relevant product details.

  9. Monitor performance metrics: Track key performance indicators related to your international sales through NARF. Use these insights to optimize pricing strategies, improve customer satisfaction, and drive overall success in global markets.

  10. Expand beyond North America (optional): Once you have successfully established a presence in Canada and Mexico using NARF, consider further expanding to other international marketplaces. Amazon offers various programs and tools to support your global expansion journey.

Tips for successful enrollment

To ensure a successful enrollment in the Amazon NARF program, it's important to follow a few key tips. Firstly, sellers should carefully review the eligibility requirements for enrollment and make sure they meet all the necessary criteria.

This includes having an active Professional Selling account on Amazon and complying with certain seller insurance requirements. Secondly, sellers should take advantage of the resources provided by Amazon, such as their resource library and support team, to better understand the program and its guidelines.

Additionally, sellers should accurately estimate their sales volume in order to determine if enrolling in NARF is a viable option for their business. Lastly, it's essential to familiarize oneself with customs clearance processes and any specific regulations that may be applicable when selling internationally.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Amazon NARF is a powerful tool that allows sellers to expand internationally by utilizing Amazon's fulfillment capabilities. With NARF, sellers can easily sell their products in Canada and Mexico without the hassle of setting up operations in those countries.

This program provides an excellent opportunity for sellers to tap into new marketplaces and reach a wider customer base, ultimately helping them grow their business on a global scale.

You'll definitely need a good freight forwarder for this. Check out the guide for sellers on working with Amazon freight forwarders.

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FAQs

1. What is Amazon NARF?

Amazon NARF stands for North America Remote Fulfillment and it is a program designed by Amazon to help sellers expand their business internationally by utilizing Amazon's fulfillment network.

2. How does Amazon NARF work?

With Amazon NARF, sellers can store their inventory in designated North American fulfillment centers. When an international customer places an order, the item is shipped from the closest fulfillment center, reducing shipping costs and delivery time.

3. How can Amazon NARF help sellers expand internationally?

By leveraging the infrastructure of Amazon's global network, sellers using NARF can reach customers in different countries without having to set up separate international operations or create new distribution channels.

4. Are there any additional fees associated with using Amazon NARF?

Yes, there are additional fees associated with using Amazon NARF such as storage fees for keeping your inventory in the fulfillment centers and international shipping fees when orders are fulfilled from outside the United States or Canada.

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