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FAQ Post about Amazon free shipping to Israel - Buyer's Guide

Amazon recently announced free shipping to Israel on a limited product range. Our groups have been going crazy for it! Here is a buyer's guide/FAQ to Amazon's Free shipping Promotion to Israel 
  • How can I shop in Hebrew? איך אפשר להזמין בעברית? 
    • Change the language to Hebrew here. יש לשנות עת השפה פה
  • What is the minimum order size to qualify for free shipping? 
  • Why is it recommended to not exceed $75 in a single purchase?
    • The government holds the shipment and charges VAT (usually 17%). If you can split up your orders, it will save you time and money. 
  • How long should I leave between purchases to avoid VAT? 
    • The officially recommended timespan is 3 days (72 hours). If it is any closer, amazon might combine the two shipments and you may go over the soft $75 "limit". 
  • Are there any other ways to avoid paying VAT? 
    • Having a friend bring the item from outside of Israel, will help you avoid paying 17%. Alternatively, have a family member (over the age of 18) make the next order from their account. Make sure they use their own TZ number too. 
  • Should I answer the text/SMS from the delivery company? 
    • Usually, delivery companies send messages requesting you to select a pickup location. If you simply ignore the text, they will have to deliver it to your doorstep instead. 
  • Why does a product that says "eligible for free shipping", also doesn't ship to Israel? 
    • These cases are few and far between, but the seller pulled out of the promotion, or they are out of stock.
  • What is the maximum weight of a single product before the government starts giving me issues?
    • It is supposedly around 5 Kilograms (11 lbs.), that is why you won't usually find heavier things with free shipping to Israel.
  • Why aren't many food products included in this promotion?
    • This is a major issue. I am not an expert, but I have heard multiple reasons. One is that the Rabbanut needs to certify the import of these products. 
    • Another possible reason is that there is an extra tax on food items which is cost-prohibitive for amazon. 
    • And the last one that comes to mind, is that most food products are perishable and could go bad before, during, and after the whole shipping process. +
  • What should I watch out for when purchasing electronics? 
    • Make sure that the item has 50-60Hz and is compatible with 110-220v
      • Otherwise, you will have to use a transformer (expensive and not 100% trustworthy)
    • Alternatively, 50Hz and 220v itself are perfect.
    • Search amazon for "220v" and/or "not for usa", to get the best results. You still need to verify that on the product page it mentions 220v and 50Hz. 
  • Does subscribe & save work in Israel? 
    • There is a bug with the system, you can select subscribe and save, get the 5%, then it will cancel the subscribe and save. It does this because S&S isn't supported yet in Israel. 
    • So S&S isn't officially supported in Israel,, in short. 
  • Who ships the items that I order, to Israel?
    • As of now (December 5th, 2019), there are several shipping companies that amazon works with. 
      • DHL, UPS, Israel Post (דואר ישראל), Bar, Cheetah, and Aramex (GCX)
  • What is the estimated shipping time?
    • Usually 2 weeks, maximum. Many of the private companies deliver earlier. 
  • What other things should I know about shipping?
      • DHL sends an e-mail confirmation, you should click on the link and select to deliver to your house (unless you want to pick it up). I believe that you have to choose to leave with a neighbor (if you aren't home), for it to work. 
      • Some companies, like Bar and Cheetah, send SMS messages asking you to select a pickup location. Unless you really want to pick it up, just ignore them. They will have to send a delivery ma to your address. 
If you have any more questions, join the community and feel free to ask there. 

Lastly, here is the Tax Office's official website (in English) with a lot of useful information -

Bonus: How to contact Amazon's Customer Service


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