Yes, Amazon ships to Portugal! It’s the best website for online shopping to use while you’re in Portugal. No other retailer, Portuguese or international, comes close to offering the same selection and deals that Amazon does. And, their customer service is usually pretty fantastic as well.
But…(yes, there’s a but) you should know that Amazon doesn’t actually have a warehouse in Portugal. If you want to order from Amazon, you’ll need to use one of Amazon’s other websites such as:
- Amazon.es (Spain) – The closest Amazon warehouse geographically to Portugal.
And, if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, there’s also:
Amazon Spain is the most popular Amazon website for shoppers in Portugal, followed by Amazon UK and Amazon Germany.
- It’s the closest Amazon warehouse to Portugal.
- Free shipping or at least super cheap shipping is often available (typically on orders over €29 or just €19 for books).
- Almost all of the products can be delivered to Portugal.
- Express delivery (as quick as 1-2 days) is available on many items but, in general, expect your delivery to take around a week to arrive.
- It’s in Spanish which, if you speak Portuguese, is relatively easy to understand (if you don’t, click here to read how to translate Amazon Spain into English).
The downsides of Amazon Spain are:
- It doesn’t have the same range of products that Amazon UK or Germany have.
- Sometimes, items are more expensive than on Amazon UK and Amazon Germany.
So, if you can’t find what you’re looking for on Amazon Spain, you’ll need to look at one of the other alternatives.
Amazon UK is probably the second-most popular stop for Amazon shoppers in Portugal. This is possibly a little bit due to the large number of English speaking expats living in Portugal, but mainly due to the fact that it’s so good.
- Generally has the biggest range of products available.
- It’s often the cheapest (although not always).
- Great for things like books, especially second-hand or rare books.
As with Amazon Germany (below), the downsides to Amazon UK are:
- Delivery can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
- You normally have to pay for shipping.
- Some items can’t be shipped (or sellers charge an exorbitant amount to ship to Portugal).
Amazon Germany is usually the next fastest, and it’s often the European site that’s the best value for money as well. It doesn’t always have the same range as Amazon.co.uk, but it’s definitely a close second.
- Is often cheaper than Amazon Spain (and sometimes Amazon UK as well).
- It’s available in English as well as German.
- It has a great range of products.
Amazon.com is the biggest Amazon site in the world, naturally, as it’s based in the United States and that’s where Amazon is from. Items are usually cheaper on Amazon.com, but be aware that goods imported from outside the EU are liable for customs duty. This means they usually end up as expensive as buying from one of the European Amazon sites, and with a lot more hassle as well.
Some items don’t get stopped. Many small, low-cost items like books get through fine, but electronics and more expensive items are likely to get stopped at Portuguese customs.
Even if you use Amazon’s Global program, a program where Amazon collects the customs duties in advance, the item is still going to get held up for a few days. You won’t be liable for any more taxes, but your order will still be delayed and you may be contacted and asked to provide the receipt and your fiscal number (Número de Identificação Fiscal). Naturally, this applies to other companies like eBay as well.
In terms of shipping times, books usually take around 2-5 weeks to come from the United States. Other items can arrive faster but, the more expensive they are, they more likely they are to get held up in Portuguese customs.
What to do if a seller won’t ship to Portugal
There are two types of sellers on Amazon. There’s Amazon and then there are the merchants who pay Amazon to list their products on there.
Generally, Amazon ships most of the products it sells to Portugal. Most sellers do ship to Portugal, although the postage they charge is often very expensive, but there are plenty of sellers that don’t as well.
If the seller doesn’t deliver to Portugal – and you won’t find this out until you get to the checkout, all you can do is add another product to your basket and see whether that one can be sent here. Alternatively, you could use a package forwarding company who will “forward” your order onto you.
There are two things that you can do to make your shopping experience a little bit easier.
- Change your one-click address to your address in Portugal so that Amazon can tell you whether that product ships to Portugal without having to go as far as the checkout stage (or set up a new account that only has your Portuguese postal address). (a)
- Filter the results to only show products that can be shipped internationally. You’ll have to select this filter each time, and it doesn’t always work, but overall it does make life easier. (b)
(a) To change your address, go to your account and under ‘settings’ click ‘manage your addresses’. Underneath the addresses in your address book you should see the words “Click here to make this your 1-Click default address.”
(b) The filter can be found on the left-hand side. There are a lot of filters, and so it isn’t always easy to find but it’s there. Tip: press CTRL + F and search for the word ‘global’ to find it quickly.
Some places – and this isn’t just Amazon, but Portuguese companies as well – won’t ship to the Azores or Madeira. Unfortunately, all you can do is keep looking for a company that does.
Switching Amazon to English
Although Amazon is a global company, their websites aren’t always multilingual. Amazon Spain, for example, is only available in Spanish. If you want to get Amazon Spain in English, you’re going to have to use your browser or Google Translate to translate it from Spanish to English.
Amazon Germany does allow you to change the language to another language (like English, Dutch, Polish, Turkish and Czech). It doesn’t translate everything, though, and you’ll probably end up needing to translate the product description using your browser.
Amazon UK and Amazon USA are both available in English as standard, which is one of the reasons a lot of expats living in Portugal use them – especially Amazon UK.
Portuguese alternatives to Amazon
Portuguese retailers are generally just more expensive than Amazon and, unless you need something fast, it usually makes more sense to shop online.
It’s frustrating for many people who would prefer to support a Portuguese company, and be able to pick up their order on the day, but that’s just the way it is.
If price is your main consideration, and you don’t mind waiting a few days for your order to come, Amazon is almost always the best bet.
Do you regularly shop at Amazon? Share your reviews, thoughts, and experiences with other shoppers in Portugal by leaving a comment below.