How To Shop At Amazon from Portugal

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Yes, you can shop at Amazon from Portugal. Amazon doesn’t have a warehouse in Portugal so you’ll have to shop at one of the Amazon stores in another country (for example Amazon UK, Spain, or Germany). 

Which Amazon should you shop at? Generally speaking, Amazon.es (Amazon Spain) is the best option for several reasons:

  • It offers free shipping for orders over €29 (or €19 for books)
  • It’s generally faster than ordering from Amazon Germany or France
  • Amazon Prime is available through Amazon Spain
  • It’s available in Portuguese

The second best option is Amazon.de (Amazon Germany). The products are sometimes cheaper here, but you will typically need to pay for postage and, due to the distance, it’s likely to take a day or two longer than Amazon Spain. In theory anyway: sometimes Amazon Germany is faster, often depending on the courier you’re assigned. If you’re buying an expensive item, it can be worth comparing Amazon Spain and Amazon Germany.

There are other European Amazons, like Amazon France and Amazon Italy. Generally speaking, they’re no cheaper than Amazon Spain or Germany but it’s sometimes worth comparing.

Amazon UK and Amazon US are usually best avoided due to the import charges that go with ordering from outside of the EU. Sometimes you need to order from one of these sites—English language books, especially old or secondhand books, can be hard to find on the other Amazon sites—but it’s usually best to stick to an EU version of Amazon.

Getting orders delivered

Delivery issues are, unfortunately, common in Portugal. This is typically a problem with the courier rather than Amazon and varies depending on where in Portugal you are.  

Apartments

If your apartment is on the top floor, you may have issues getting your packages delivered. This is especially true if you don’t have an elevator in your building. 

Basically, some delivery people won’t climb five flights of stairs.

Solution(s):

  • Get your order delivered somewhere else
  • Run downstairs to meet them as soon as they buzz (if they know you’ll come down, they’re more likely to deliver).

Houses in the countryside

Many houses in the countryside have a postbox near their house rather than at their house and, because they’re not big enough to take a package, this means that couriers are unable to deliver orders from Amazon and other online shops. 

Solution(s):

  • Add your (Portuguese) phone number to the address, so they can phone you if they get lost. Make sure you know how to give directions in Portuguese or be willing to go meet them.
  • If you’re sending via a courier, it may be better to not put the CP box number on the address and just wait for them to phone.
  • If you can get it sent somewhere else, such as an office or a shop, get it sent there instead.
  • Make friends with your courier drivers.
  • Put a note on your mailbox with your real address.
  • If you’re in the Algarve, shop at Amazon UK and get it to the UK address of one of the following companies. Then pick it up from their Algarve depot: Algarve Express (Depot in Almancil), Algarve Removals (Depot in Alcantarilha, Almancil, and Tavira), Direct Transport (Depot in Porches).

Amazon lockers

Amazon Lockers don’t exist in Portugal. If you make friends with a café or shop, they may be willing to receive orders on your behalf and, as they’re on the ground floor they’re more likely to be delivered. Another option is to use Bounce to get a business to receive your order on your behalf.

Delivery to Madeira & The Azores

Unfortunately, some sellers won’t ship to the Portuguese islands even though they ship to mainland Portugal. There’s no real solution here other than to look for a seller that does. 

Amazon alternatives

Many people are concerned about Amazon’s reported ethics or just want to shop at a Portuguese company. Unfortunately, there really isn’t an alternative to Amazon, particularly in Portugal.

Some shops are good for certain things. For example PCComponentes.pt & PCDiga.com which both specialise in PC parts, that are worth looking at and comparing to Amazon. Staples.pt is good for office supplies and furniture

In terms of Portuguese companies, Fnac and Worten are probably the two biggest companies that could compare but they only cover certain products like appliances and some electronics. Supermarkets like Jumbo (Auchan) or Continente can often be worth looking at but, again, that’s only for certain products.

Two other sites that are a bit Amazon-like are dott.pt and stock-off.com.

Ebay is one alternative if you’re just looking for choice and, if you’re willing to take your chances or second-hand or almost second-hand products, OLX, the Portuguese equivalent of Craigslist or Gumtree, is worth examining.

Will Amazon deliver to a hotel, Airbnb, or campsite? 

It is possible to get an Amazon order sent to a hotel, although it’s a good idea to ask the hotel first. Normally they always say yes.

Tip: If you haven’t actually booked the hotel yet, choose one with a reception so there’s someone there to sign for your delivery.

You can also get Amazon orders sent to an Airbnb but, unless you’re staying in the Airbnb long-term, this can be a little trickier as there isn’t going to be a reception desk. It’s also polite to ask the Airbnb host beforehand.

For those that are travelling in a motorhome, you can get orders sent to a campsite in the same way as you would get them sent to a hotel.

Prime Membership

If you order from Amazon Spain a lot, Prime can be worth it. Amazon Prime (Spain) gives you free one-day delivery on many items to Portugal.

When is Amazon coming to Portugal?

Amazon is coming to Portugal and, as of 2018, it has announced that it will be opening up warehouses near Porto. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any recent announcements so nobody knows when this will happen. Well, Jeff Bezos probably does but nobody outside of Amazon’s team really knows.

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Comments

  1. Hello,
    Thanks for the super helpful post.
    I saw a kitchen appliance on amazon.es and under “Sold by” it shows “Amazon.co.uk”. Should I be worried that the final amount will be higher due to customs/import duties etc although I don’t see it during checkout and the purchase is being made through amaon.es?

    Reply
    • Hi Ram,

      Not sure on this one. I personally would probably try and order with another vendor just in case.

      Reply
  2. Just tried to set up Amazon.es from Portugal - when I enter my Portuguese mobile number with +351 selected I get the error: area code is wrong

    Any ideas much appreciated!

    Reply
  3. Just a note that starting on January 1st, 2020, Amazon.co.uk will definitively charge you import duties/taxes. That amount will not be shown to you on your checkout page (I was told) so expect to see a bigger amount on your credit card.

    Also note that if you buy something from amazon.co.uk right now, you will be charged import duties! This comes with all those fun forms that you'll have to fill out, all in Portuguese. My advice is to wait until Jan 1st and purchase it then and let amazon.co.uk charge you import duties.

    For what it's worth I just tried shopping on amazon.de and I find it's my least favourite amazon shop. It was actually really frustrating, I couldn't complete a single purchase due to errors and what they call 'random checks' that failed my Portuguese credit card and bank account. Try at your own risk.

    Amazon.es is good, but not as much selection there as on amazon.co.uk in terms of... most things and it's harder to search for products in English. Also, my Canadian credit cards often fail when I shop on amazon.es - apparently it pops up on their radar as possible fraud (but amazon.co.uk is never a problem) so I have to have a telephone conversation with my Canadian bank occasionally.

    Reply
    • Hey Dom,

      Great pointers!

      I've found Amazon.de to be fine and never had any problems with them. Searching in German/Spanish adds a challenge, but normally I look for what I want on Amazon.co.uk and then see if I can find it on one of those two shops.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  4. Great website.
    You did ask if there is an alternative to Amazon in the article.
    The answer you gave was no. Perhaps you are right, but
    there is a fnac.pt that you can find many things at.

    Reply
    • Hi Joe,

      This is true. Fnac does have plenty of electronics, DVDs, etc.

      It doesn't cover everything in the same way Amazon does, though. I've purchased some random things from Amazon over the past few years that I think I would struggle to find anywhere else.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  5. Thank you for such an indepth and helpful guide. We have been living in Portugal for several years but getting Amazon Portugal to delivery to us is always hard. Thank you.

    Reply
  6. Do you happen to know about ebooks? I hear reports that ebook sales of English-language books are blocked for Portugal. Is this your experience?

    Reply
  7. As always, lots of very detailed information, which is going to be a big help for us as new property owners here in the Algarve (coincidentally, we live between Porches and Alcantarilha, where two of the big depots you mention are located). I've saved this page for future reference. Thanks again for being so thorough in your research.

    Reply
  8. Hello!

    I am from Canada and am moving to Portugal.

    I am wondering what items I can bring from here to help myself adjust easier until I find my own way in Portugal.

    I am wondering what are the top items you purchase over amazon?

    What top items from US/CAN are not available in Portugal? Including electronics.

    Also I have read somewhere that I people have used North American extension cords using an adaptor in EU. Do you advise doing this or have any experience with this?

    Many Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Joyce,

      I think electronics are the main thing. If you're planning on getting a new laptop or mobile phone anytime soon, for example, it's better to buy it in North America than in Portugal. Obviously you don't want to go spending money for the sake of it, but it does make a bit of financial sense to buy things that you know you'll need in Portugal.

      I think everyone's Amazon purchases are going to vary a lot. For me, it's usually electronic items or random things like certain teabags that I like and that would be very hard to find in Portugal.

      And, yes, you can easily get A US-EU plug adapter for your electronic devices but you might as well order it in advance from Amazon and bring it with you.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
    • Hi! I am Portuguese living in the USA and the electricity in the USA is not the same as in Portugal. So, maybe a kindle or apple ipad and phones are cheaper here than over there...

      Reply
  9. Hi James. I have a Goddaughter in Porto, Portugal. I would like her to apply to a job at Amazon if it places a location within her driving distance from there. Do you have any clue when this might occur? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Priscilla,

      I'm not sure. Last year, there were a few news stories that said that Amazon Portugal was launching and Amazon was looking at opening a base in Porto. That was at the start of 2018, and I've not really read anything else.

      For the time being you'll need to use one of the other Amazons e.g. Amazon Spain.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  10. We have lived in Portugal for many years and initially spent a lot of time trying to order from amazon however after a lot of issues, we have given up. We might well try again after reading this article but I think the change has actually been positive. By not shopping at Amazon we interact a lot more with the Portuguese and it probably means that we spend less as well. Online shopping is addictive and often uneccessary.

    Reply
  11. Fantastic overview of using Amazon in Portugal. I wish I had read this when I first moved here. It would have saved me a lot of headaches and hassle as I tried to get stuff delivered to me.

    Looking forward to reading the other articles on this site.

    Reply
  12. Hi.. I think this is a brilliant overview for anyone living in Portugal. I can confirm that in the countryside even if it is not Algarve but the area of Pegoes GLS or DPD are still using the old trick of "Can´t find your house, and update your address.". A week ago I argued around with them for over 1 week to finally have my parcel getting delivered to a local Cafe. How sad is that really? I complained to Amazon ES who apparently took it on board.
    Sometimes you just don´t have a chance to ask for a speedy service. I am shocked by this terrible attitude to work. It was not the first time this happened to me. I even sent messages to GLS on FB with my GPS coordinates from Google. Nothing.
    Would you please update us on what is possibly going on with an Amazon WH in Portugal? That would be awesome to be fair.

    Reply
    • Thanks Petra,

      As you can tell, I'm very familiar with all the joys and pains that go with shopping at Amazon in Portugal (mainly pains).

      I don't know much about the Amazon warehouse but I think CTT, the Portuguese Post Office, are going to be delivering Amazon orders now instead of GLS. There were a few articles in the Portuguese news about it recently.

      If you're okay with going to pickup your Amazon order, I think some of the expat removals companies that come from the UK on a weekly basis are worth trying out (at least until Brexit happens).


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  13. HI, I'm Amazon Prime from amazon.es website, I live in Portugal near the boarder with Spain. The point is I have buy a lots of products and because I'm Prime I never pay for the shipping now I have 2 products on the basket and I have to pay 3,99€ is not fair because I pay the Prime subscription I'm not a regular costumer.

    Reply
  14. Hi!

    I have some balance in gift cards from Amazon US, which I have used before to buy a mobile and some clothes, without any trouble to be shipped and received in Portugal. However, in the last two months I placed three different orders to get some items (wristwatch and a mobile cover and protective glass)
    and they all have been returned to the seller (and I have been reemboursed after two weeks each time), but I don´t know if there is a new regulation on imports from the US to Portugal.
    I inquired to Amazon US and they said it is a problem with Portuguese customs, and Portuguese customs said they cannot provide any explanation since items have not received a delivered order in Portugal.
    I am afraid my Amazon.us gift card balance could not longer be used to import to Portugal. Amazon says it is not case, but my latest experiences make me thik the contrary.
    Are you aware of any similar case and/or how to overcome this issue?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Carlos,

      I think Amazon is right: it can't be anything to do with using gift cards. That wouldn't make a difference. As for new regulations, I have no idea and I don't know why those particular items would be returned.

      If you need the items, I would recommend ordering from a European Amazon store (e.g. Amazon UK, Germany, or Spain) and then decide what to do about your balance later.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  15. How does the delivery process work for a delivery to an apartment in Lisbon WITHOUT a doorman? Are deliveries "scheduled" in some way, or is there some sort of centralized delivery location from which I would have to pick things up??

    I realize things can't just be left on the street, and leaving them in an unsecured lobby would be crazy too.

    Reply
    • Hey Jeff,

      Most apartments in Lisbon (and I think most of Europe) don't have doormen so the process works like this:

      The courier rings the doorbell for your apartment.
      If you're in, he brings it to you and you sign for it (it's polite to go down to them if you don't have an elevator).
      If you're not in, he either comes back another time or leaves a notice that you bring to the depot to collect your item.
      Some couriers will leave an item with your neighbour but this *should* only happen if you've arranged for that to happen with the courier company.

      Most couriers will only tell you the day that the courier should come and not an estimation of the time. After a while you get an idea of their rhythms though.

      If you work in an office, it's often easier to try and get things delivered there.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  16. Hi James. I'm a regular user of Amazon Spain and I have Prime. Does my Prime.es work in other Amazon sites?

    Reply
    • Hi Bruno,

      Do you mean Amazon Prime or Amazon Prime Video?

      I wasn't able to get my Amazon Prime UK to work for deliveries in Germany or Spain. I think I am able to watch most of Amazon Prime's videos, though.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  17. Hi. Is there anything similar to Amazon locker to postbox in Lisbon. I've shipped Amazon items successfully, but the shipping service sometimes required me to go collect from the shipper. Thanks in advance! James

    Reply
  18. Hi.
    I want to send from Portugal birthday gifts to a friend in Spain. What shall I do?

    I also have an extra problem for I do not know if Amazon has gifts that could be sent.
    Maybe you can help me finding the items, too.

    Helium-filled balloons of animals;
    Teddy Bear (child size);
    Glass jar with roses.

    Thx!

    Reply
    • Hi Luis,

      You can send an order from Amazon to your friend in Spain, but Amazon don't really do gift wrapping or make it look like a present. If that's important to you, you should get the items sent to you first, wrap them, and then send the package to your friend.

      I would have a look on Amazon Spain to see if they have those items. If not, Amazon UK is a good place to look.

      James


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  19. Will the still ship items to Portugal azores from a USA account and will I still be able to buy digital items of amazon

    Reply
    • Hi Diogo,

      It depends on the seller and the item you want to ship. The only way to know is to add it to your basket and see.

      As for the USA account (amazon.com), that shouldn't make a difference.

      Will you still be able to buy digital items? Do you mean Kindle Books and things like that? If your Kindle is registered to a US address, you shop at the Amazon US store. If it's registered to a UK address, you shop at the UK store. Etc.

      Having a shipping address in the Azores won't make a difference. You can have several shipping addresses in your address book, but only one is tied to your digital purchases.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
  20. I heard that amazon pantry spain delivers to algarve...but now when i try and do it it says it wont deliver to this address? Do I have to have over a certain amount for it to deliver?

    Reply
  21. I live in Canada but my son is living in Portugal. Can I order from amazon UK or amazon es with a Canadian billing address?

    Reply
  22. Don't use forward2me for large items. Their website isn't very clear how much the item will cost, and you won't know until it arrives at their warehouse and they measure it. Stick to small items.

    Reply
  23. Does anyone know about the azores and does anything ship there? We are looking to move there and wanted to make sure places will ship?

    Reply
  24. Hi. We're going on holiday for 2 weeks self catering to Portugal in the summer.
    Wondering if I could use amazon pantry to deliver bulky items like drinks etc. We can't eat out much due to allergies

    Reply
    • Hi K,

      I don't think Amazon Pantry delivers to addresses outside of the UK. There are a couple of alternatives, though.

      Some Portuguese supermarkets offer home delivery, which I've written about in another blog post. So, you could order from them.

      If you're staying in the Algarve, and are looking for food items that you're already familiar with, you could go to Iceland at Algarve Shopping. This isn't identical to Iceland in the UK as it contains products from other stores like Waitrose as well. It's basically a supermarket with English supermarket products. A lot are frozen or tinned, but they do have a butcher's counter there as well.

      Alternatively, I'm sure there'll be a supermarket somewhere near your self-catering apartment. You could order a taxi or an Uber and do a weekly shop if you're not hiring a car in Portugal.


      Get the book Moving to Portugal Made Simple on Amazon now

      Reply
    • Hi there

      I just ordered electronic accessories on amazon.es. I ordered it with express shipment.

      According to DHL tracking information, it was shipped from Hamburg Germany yesterday. The parcel arrived today 16:30 in Carvoeiro/Lagoa/Algarve without problems.

      Even the driver called me on my foreign mobile number to doublecheck the location. Great!

      Reply