When you first move to France there are a couple of things that are a little different, especially when it comes to online shopping. With Amazon being the global mega-company that it is, surely it’s a no-brainer that there’s a dedicated French Amazon site, rather than just using the international portal, right? So, is there Amazon in France? Let’s find out!
Is There Amazon in France?
Yes, there is a French-specific Amazon site called amazon.fr. From here you can buy directly from Amazon without the plentiful International charges that can apply to other Amazon domains.
You also don’t have to scroll through the items that aren’t actually available in France. This is one of the annoying things about Amazon’s international options and something that’s avoided with a dedicated French Amazon site.
It’s relatively new, but it still has all the variety that we’ve come to expect from Amazon. The main difference? The shipping costs and lead times!
If you’re living in France, you can benefit from the online convenience of Amazon without having to pay a premium or wait for weeks for your items to arrive.
Is There Amazon Prime in France?
Amazon’s most beloved feature, Amazon Prime is available in France for 5.99 euros. Much like other Amazon Prime offerings, you can get 1-2 day delivery as well as access to the Amazon Prime streaming service. You can also pay upfront for an annual subscription for just 49 euros, which saves you a lot in the long run.
That being said, just like when you access Netflix in different countries, the shows and films that are available may vary from your home country.
If you want to access streaming options in different countries while using your single Amazon Prime or Netflix streaming option, you can use a VPN to switch your digital location and access more content.
Differences Between the US and French Amazon
Although the shopping and browsing experiences on both US and French Amazon are much the same, there are some differences that you should be aware of when you sign up. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but there are some things to look out for.
First of all, you’re not going to find all the same stuff. The point of having a French version of Amazon is that it’s for shops that will ship to and around France as standard. That’s not necessarily true for many of the stores on Amazon US.
Another key difference is obviously the language. You can change this with your browser’s in-built language translator but be aware that Google Translate is pretty literal, so some phrases that you’re used to may not be directly translated in the same way.
Everything is going to be in Euros as you might expect, but you can’t swap and change the currency as you can on other sites.
So, if you’re not used to paying in Euros yet, maybe have a currency converter open in another tab so you can keep an eye on your spending. No one wants a scary surprise at the checkout!
How to Shop on Amazon.fr
You can shop on Amazon.fr pretty much exactly the same way you’d shop on Amazon in the UK or US. Simply go to amazon.fr in your chosen browser and search away for all the weird and wonderful things that you need!
It’s worth noting that you’re going to have to create a specific Amazon.fr account, even if you already have one for the US or UK site. So, before you start shopping, it’s a good idea to set up your account so you’re not messing around at the end of your shopping process.
When you sign up for an Amazon.fr account, you need to put your French address in. This is to help show you what items are available to you and what the shipping costs might be.
The address is also necessary for border towns, thanks to the close proximity of many of the European countries to France. For example, if you have a Belgian address but are on the border, you may be redirected to the Amazon International site, or be subject to international shipping charges.
Can I Change the Language on Amazon.fr?
No, the only language available on Amazon.fr is French. However, you can change the language on Amazon.fr as it’s run through browsers that normally have Google Translate. You’ll need to have the Google Translate extension.
Honestly, the language translation option doesn’t need to be built into individual websites if you use Google Chrome or similar as your default browser.
That being said, look out for any translation differences or slight errors, as Google Translate tends to look at individual words rather than phrases when it’s translating.
Can I Change the Currency on Amazon.fr?
The default payment currency for Amazon.fr is Euros and while you can change the currency, it might be an idea to use an international currency card, such as Monzo or Revolut, to avoid having to swap currency options on each and every French site or incur the extra conversion fees.
You can’t actively change the currency on the amazon.fr site, but when you get to the checkout there are two credit and debit card options, in addition to PayPal.
You’ll be asked to let Amazon know your card currency. From there, you can either select that your card is in USD or in a different currency.
This is a simple way to pay on amazon.fr as an expat and it’s an interesting feature that you perhaps wouldn’t expect on international versions of Amazon. Honestly, I thought you’d have to just pay in Euros on whatever card you have and just accept any conversion fees, but this makes the process much clearer.
If you’re living in France or abroad, you definitely should have credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, that way you can pay in any currency you want (usually the local currency is the cheapest!) and then not worry about any fees.
Of course, you can pay through PayPal still and they’ll calculate the current conversion rate for you on your purchases.
Although I don’t personally recommend doing this since PayPal is known for giving crappy conversion rates. You are better off choosing to pay in Euros and then having your bank card do the conversion for you.
Can You Ship From the US Amazon to France?
The simple answer to this is yes, you can ship from the US Amazon to France. It’s what we all did before amazon.fr came along, and you can continue to do so. You can do this through the Amazon international postal service.
You’ve got two options if you’re trying to buy stuff from US Amazon from France. First with the international postal service. You’ll need to set up a one-click account with an address in France.
After you’ve done this, it’ll automatically filter all your search results so that only items that are available to be shipped to France show up.
The alternative option is definitely more expensive but means that you can order from either the US or UK sites directly. This is done by using a shipping forwarding provider.
Basically, you end up shipping your item to a site in the UK or US and they’ll ship it onwards to you in France. It’s a great option if the item you want doesn’t ship to France, but you’ll need to leave enough budget and time for it to arrive.
Simply sign up for a shipping forwarding service, like MyUS.com, create an account and you’ll be given your US or UK shipping address.
Before you place an order, you can check out how much it’s going to ship to your French address, so you can weigh up if it’s worth the shipping cost versus getting a more local alternative.
This is a great option for any online shopping in a foreign country. If you’re craving clothing styles from back home or need to ship presents home for the holidays and can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s definitely worth considering for your expat life in France.
Is There French Customer Service for Amazon.fr?
Yes, you can get in-country assistance for any customer service issues through Amazon.fr. All you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of the site and you’ll find it in the site’s menu, in the same place as it is on other Amazon sites.
So No Need to Worry, Amazon is in France!
Yes, there is Amazon in France and you can find it at amazon.fr. It works the same as any other specific country Amazon site and means that you can shop freely without having to pay hefty international shipping fees.
It also means that you can access Amazon Prime and all the wonderful benefits that come with it!