Update: Due to Brexit, from January 1st additional fees for customers and returns on Amazon UK purchases come into place. Also, virtual UK delivery addresses will be impacted by Brexit. Learn more about Brexit and shopping in the UK.
Just a few years ago, ordering from Amazon.co.uk to Ireland was a bit of a pain. Today, there’s still not official Amazon Ireland store online. However, that doesn’t stand in the way of Irish shoppers spending their money on Amazon.co.uk instead. In a survey, we carried out, 34% of respondents said they had made a purchase with the online retailer in the past twelve months. The online shopping giant has renewed focus on Ireland ahead of Brexit and recently opened a permanent Irish delivery centre which now allows you to live to track your packages en-route to your home.
With this in mind and with Black Friday 2020 around the corner I wanted to pull together the ultimate Amazon.co.uk shopping guide for Irish shoppers. This guide will give you some pointers on how to qualify for free delivery, make use of an Amazon Prime free trial, what might happen with Brexit and get items shipped to Ireland which Amazon may say are unavailable for delivery to Ireland.
Amazon is a very smart business set up which knows how to squeeze everything from potential customers. Amazon Prime is one of these clever tricks. I say trick, but Amazon Prime really is just a premium and optional service for customers to enjoy. Amazon Prime unlocks a range of exclusive special offers on eligible items and speedier delivery, including unlimited one day delivery on certain items.
Amazon Prime costs just under €90 for the year or €9 per month, but if you’ve never used the service before, there is a free trial.
The Beauty Of An Amazon Prime Trial
I think most of Ireland has probably already used a free Amazon Prime Trial already. So powerful is the free trial to get people shopping, Amazon will, from time to time, offer people who’ve already had their free trial a second bite of the cherry.
The free trial lets you live like a premium Amazon customer for thirty days. That means you get:
- Free one day delivery on selected items
- Access to Prime Video, Amazon’s answer to Netflix which has great TV shows like The Boys
- Free reads on eligible books from the Kindle book store
- Access to over two million songs on Prime Music, Amazon’s answer to Spotify
Amazon knows that their trial could see you replace a few services and save quite a bit of money, so I always tell people it’s worth giving it a try for 30 days anyway.
With your trial setup, you’re ready to start shopping on Amazon.co.uk; even if you’re in Ireland.
Shopping On Amazon.co.uk While In Ireland
Now that you’re an Amazon Prime member, there are a few more things you need to know before you start shopping.
Amazon Delivery To Ireland
For the vast majority of products, getting Amazon to Ireland delivery isn’t a problem. Getting’s Amazon’s free delivery might prove tricky on some products while other products may not ship to the Republic of Ireland at all. First thing’s first. How to qualify for free delivery to Ireland.
How To Qualify For Free Amazon Delivery To Ireland
While a lot of Amazon’s marketplace sellers will ship to Ireland and ship to Ireland for free, you’ll come across quite a few who’ll either refuse to include shipping to Ireland or free shipping as a delivery option. Often this is because free shipping is an option reserved for UK addresses. That’s where you need to make us of a virtual UK address.
What Is A Virtual UK Address?
Virtual UK addresses are services provided by quite a few delivery companies in Ireland. The two best-known providers are Nightline’s Parcel Motel and An Post’s AddressPal. These services will give you a UK address to use for your shipping and then reroute your package to a collection point.
Parcel Motel by Nightline
My preferred provider of a virtual UK address is Parcel Motel. Parcel Motel has 175 lockers around the country, usually located on a petrol station forecourt. Once you get a notification that Amazon has your items dispatched, they aren’t actually on the way to you. Instead, they are en route to a Nightline depot in Northern Ireland.
Because Northern Ireland is within the UK, your order qualifies for free UK delivery. Nightline then drives your order into the Republic of Ireland and drop it into a locker of your choice.
All of these will cost you just €3.95 per night your package stays in the Parcel Motel. Sure enough, this means you’re not really getting free delivery, but it’s much cheaper than many delivery options to Ireland Amazon sellers offer themselves.
Because of how the system works, Amazon’s next day delivery will always be two days and during peak shipping times like Christmas, it can take longer.
I use Parcel Motel for 80% of my orders, but the option isn’t always available. Some sellers will not ship certain items beyond the Mainland United Kingdom. Often, this comes down to restrictions on Lithium-Ion batteries in gadgets. Straight away, that rules out Northern Ireland and Parcel Motel.
But there’s another option.
AddressPal by An Post
AddressPal is extremely similar to Parcel Motel and it also costs €3.95 per package. The key difference is that instead of lockers, AddressPal will reroute your package from the UK to your local Post Office. For me, the even bigger difference is that AddressPal routes your packages through an address in Manchester.
This is significant if you have added your virtual UK address from Parcel Motel to Amazon.co.uk and it still says delivery is not an option. Pop in your AddressPal virtual UK address and you should once again be able to avail of free UK delivery to Ireland for just €3.95.
It’s worth noting, of course, you won’t have 24/7 pickup options with AddressPal. Instead, you’ll have to visit the post office during opening hours and pay when you’re in there.
Parcel Wizard by DPD
Parcel Wizard, is like the two other services. The big difference is that you can get items delivered through a virtual UK address but then routed to your real address for no extra cost. The service costs €3.85. Because of Covid-19, I’m working from home. I’ve found this service is great because I can get items delivered to my front door.
Get The Best Price On Amazon.co.uk When Shopping In Ireland
Pardon the pun, but now you’re in a prime position to start shopping on Amazon.co.uk while living in Ireland. There are still some tricks left in my arsenal that will save you some more of your hard-earned money.
Shop In Local Currency With Revolut
A little later, I’ll be looking at Brexit and the impact this might have on Irish shoppers seeking a bargain over on Amazon.co.uk. Right now, Brexit is having the impact of “good lord why aren’t you already shopping on Amazon UK?”.
The arse has effectively fallen out of the Pound which means now is the time to shop on Amazon.co.uk.
When you shop on Amazon UK, by default you’ll be paying with Amazon’s own conversion rates.
Let’s look at an example. The brand new Samsung Tab S6 WiFi 128GB.
To buy this version of the Samsung Tab S6 from Samsung Ireland online, would set me back €719. After doing some digging, I can see Amazon.co.uk is the cheapest place to buy.
When I click through and go to Amazon, I can see it’s still showing prices in Pound Sterling and it’s £619. If I continue to check out using my regular Irish card, I’ll pay using Amazon’s own currency converter. The result is me paying €711.83 for the Samsung Tab S6.
If I swap over to Revolut, I can use live exchange rates and pay the Sterling amount from my Euro balance. Suddenly, I’m paying £619 with Euro at a live exchange rate of £1 = €1.10 and the Samsung Tab S6 now costs me just €681.12. That’s a saving of almost €30 by just using a smarter payment method in Revolut.
Using Revolut, not only are you saving money, but you’re also protecting your card details for your primary bank. Sign up to Revolut now and I can almost guarantee you won’t regret it. Last year, I used it constantly in New York where I didn’t once worry about foreign exchange or carrying cash because I always had access to the best rates for Dollars on my card thanks to Revolut. It’ll be the same for me in South Korea later this year.
Brexit And The Future Of Shopping On Amazon UK From Ireland
That’s it for the ultimate guide to shopping on Amazon UK from Ireland, or at least that’s all for what I know right now. Brexit has brought some great short-term opportunities to bag a bargain with the UK e-commerce giant. Longterm, Brexit brings massive problems, especially if there’s a no-deal Brexit.
Increased Prices And Delivery Times Because Of Brexit
European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee recently warned that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, online purchases from the UK may be subject to VAT and import duties depending on their value. Delivery times may also increase due to more checks being required.
However, Head of Parcel Services with An Post, Garret Bridgeman, doesn’t believe there’s anything to be concerned about. “We’ve put the operational arrangements in place. We’ve worked very closely with our colleagues in customs who are on-site in all our facilities and also with our colleagues and friends in Royal Mail and large customers, the likes of Amazon”, Bridgeman said.
Reduced Consumer Protections For UK Purchases In Ireland
With a no-deal Brexit also comes a potential reduction in consumer rights should something go wrong with a product purchased online from the UK. Speaking to the Irish Times, Feargal O’Leary, from the consumer watchdog the Consumer and Competition Protection Commission, depicted what shopping online with UK retailers will look like in the very near future.
According to O’Leary, over the past number of decades, consumer rights within the European Union have grown massively and as a result, consumers are heavily protected when they shop both online and offline. Consumer rights in the EU have been built up over the last number of decades and they’re very strong for consumers.
Consumer rights in the EU have been built up over the last number of decades and they’re very strong for consumers
However, he also went on to say, “if the UK is not part of the EU in the next six-seven-eight weeks, that means that consumers will be relying on terms and conditions as opposed to statutory instruments. So if people are buying from the UK, just take that extra bit of time to check the website – what is the location, and what terms and conditions are you signing up to before you buy? And in that case, you’ll protect yourself no matter where you’re buying from”.
Should You Shop On Amazon.co.uk From Ireland?
All in all, after all of what I’ve written here, Brexit may very well leave you on the fence. I’d say, for smaller purchases make hay while the sun shines. There are some real bargains to bag if you shop right now. Then again, if I take the example of the Samsung tablet I used earlier, even if you purchase that from Amazon, Samsung themselves do have a certain duty of care to enforce their usual 24-month warranty.
There is a new ethical challenge too. Should we all be shopping on Amazon during COVID-19 instead of supporting local businesses. I personally still do shop on Amazon but also shop locally when possible and when it makes sense. 2020 saw a massive jump in interest for Amazon Prime Day in Ireland partially due to Amazon running TV ads with Irish voiceovers, again showing the companies increased focus on the Irish market.
You shouldn’t feel like you’re doing wrong by buying things on Amazon but if you do have the chance to spend locally, your local businesses would appreciate it I’m sure!
With Brexit comes uncertainty and as a result, I guess, shopping online needs to be a calculated risk. Here’s hoping the UK sorts out a deal and we can all get back to shopping online sooner rather than later.
FAQs: Shopping On Amazon UK From Ireland
The short answer is yes. It might not always be straight forward and some returns processes might be tricky, but there’s nearly always a way.
Generally speaking, yes. Items bought on Amazon.co.uk will be delivered to Ireland. Some sellers on Amazon will only ship to UK addresses. Others will online ship to mainland UK addresses. For these sellers, you may need to use Virtual UK addresses or An Post’s Virtual UK address. An Post uses a mainland UK address. This might be handy if you need something with a battery in it.
Yes. If you’re living in Ireland you can still join Amazon Prime.
Yes. If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can avail of many of the benefits that UK Prime members get. This includes faster delivery along with access to Prime Video and some two million songs on Prime Music.
Irish customers can contact UK customer service teams. They can often even resolve Ireland-specific issues such as issues with orders and returns going through virtual address services.
Given the logistics involved, it’s unlikely you’ll get next day delivery, but you do get faster delivery when you’re a Prime member. When completing your purchase, you’ll see a fairly good estimate of when your package will arrive.
This is often determined by the seller. Previously Amazon primarily used An Post and DPD but they’ve since opened their Irish distribution centre and now have Zeus delivering “as Amazon”.
Since Brexit has happened, nothing seems to have changed for people in Ireland shopping on Amazon.co.uk.
When you get Prime you also have access to Prime Video. This includes the entire back catalogue of RTÉ’s Bridget and Eamon, Dylan Moran in Black Books, classic Waking Ned and The War of the Buttons. That last one might not be a comedy but it is brilliant.
Some items can be shipped to Ireland. Mostly, these are flat-packs that you’ll need to assemble yourself.
You can indeed and in isolation, this has become a massive seller on Amazon.co.uk. Amazon stocks a huge range of hair clippers for you to choose from. Just make sure they deliver to Ireland or you’ll need to use a virtual shipping address.
Yes, but we don’t recommend it. Amazon has a currency converter which offers pretty poor rates. If you have a Revolut card, you can pay in Sterling using Revolut’s Interbank Exchange Rate. This usually saves you a tidy sum.