5 Financing Solutions for Amazon Sellers
Disclaimer: This post is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. We always suggest doing additional research before you make a financial decision for your business.
If you’re ready to take your Amazon business to the next level, you’re going to need to invest in growth — be it in more inventory, a new product, or a marketing campaign. But as you know, Amazon’s two-week payment delay stymies your cash flow and prevents you from jumping on every growth opportunity. To help bridge the gap, you might want to consider outside financing. Here are five solutions to consider for your Amazon business:
1. Amazon Loans
Top-tier Amazon sellers have access to Amazon Lending loans up to $750,000. Rates are not publicly available, though sellers have quoted Amazon Lending rates anywhere from 3% – 16.9% APR on seller forums. Payments are automatically deducted from your Amazon payouts.
Both of these financing options are part of an invite-only program Amazon offers to qualified sellers only. This means you cannot apply directly for them. If you qualify, you’ll see an offer in Seller Central and from there, can begin an application.
The application process is pretty simple, requires no credit check, and typically takes five business days to get a decision and funding. As part of the application, you might need to provide proof of sales, A-to-z Guarantee claims, etc., so be sure to have all of your Amazon seller account info at the ready.
If you sell on multiple eCommerce channels, you won’t be able to factor in the sales history of your entire portfolio as part of your Amazon Lending application. They only look at your Amazon sales history and only lend to Amazon sellers. And there are some restrictions to consider. For example, when Amazon Lending launched, you could only use their loans to invest in inventory to sell on Amazon. Now, it looks like you can also use the funds to invest in new products or marketing and advertising.
All in all, Amazon’s financing offerings are a good fit for Amazon’s most successful sellers that do all or most of their business on Amazon and who are looking to invest in the growth of their Amazon business.
Learn more about Amazon Lending and Amazon Lending Alternatives.
2. Instant Access
Amazon’s two-week payment delay causes cash flow issues for many Amazon sellers, making it difficult to re-invest in inventory, prevent stockouts, invest in growth, and more. Fortunately, there are ways for Amazon sellers to get paid daily and in real-time. One way is through Amazon’s daily payments program, which issues daily payouts to grandfathered accounts only who have been selling on Amazon for 10+ years. The other way is with Instant Access from Payability, a financing company for Amazon and other eCommerce sellers.
Instant Access pays you your Amazon income one business day after making a sale. For example, if you have $5,000 in your account on Monday, Payability will pay you $4,000 of it on Tuesday. The remaining $1,000 is kept on hold to cover any returns or chargebacks and is released to the seller when Amazon releases the next payout. Instant Access is not a loan — it’s simply a way to get your Amazon payouts the next business day, every business day.
Payability works with sellers from numerous eCommerce platforms, including Amazon, Walmart, Tophatter, Newegg, and more. Their decisions are based on your entire eCommerce portfolio. Just fill out their 10-minute online application, connect your seller accounts, and get a decision without ever doing a credit check. If approved, you’ll start getting daily payouts within 24 hours.
At the end of the day, Instant Access is a great fit for eCommerce sellers looking for fast, flexible access to their payouts to improve cash flow and invest in growth. Minimum requirements are 90 days of Amazon sales history and an average of $2,000/month in sales.
3. Instant Advance
A common financing option for Amazon sellers is a cash advance — or an advance on future receivables (sales). Businesses get a large lump sum of cash, the amount of which is based on projected sales volume. Instant Advance is one such cash advance option that can get you up to $250,000 in cash in as fast as 24 hours based on your future eCommerce sales.
Similar to Instant Access, Payability’s application process for an Instant Advance is entirely online, requires zero credit checks, and is based on your entire eCommerce portfolio.
An Instant Advance can help you invest in bulk inventory purchases, run a marketing campaign, or even launch a new product. It can be used in the place of or in conjunction with Amazon Loans or Shopify Capital. Unlike Amazon Loans and Shopify Capital, Payability customers (both Instant Access and Instant Advance) get to speak to real people throughout the entire application process. Their U.S.-based team will go over your offer with you and be there to answer any questions you may have.
To learn more check out this Instant Advance case study with Go Buddha Meals.
4. Bank and SBA Loans
Small businesses can get loans and lines of credit from banks as well as SBA lenders. The primary difference between bank financing and SBA financing is that the latter is guaranteed by the SBA. More specifically, the SBA will guarantee between 75-85% of a loan. In general, bank and SBA financing includes large loan amounts, long payment terms, and low interest rates. For example, the SBA’s 7(a) term loans go up to $5 million with terms ranging from 7-25 years.
An important consideration to make with bank and SBA financing is that the application processes are very long. In fact, you’ll likely wait weeks or even months to get a lending decision. If you have that kind of time and are fortunate enough to get an approval, you can use the funds for working capital, inventory investments, product expansion, etc. However, keep in mind that banks are very risk averse and only work with the biggest and most established businesses. Therefore, approval rates for small and online businesses are low.
5. Credit Cards
Credit cards are commonly used by business owners trying to get their ventures off the ground and/or to fund early stage growth. The “buy now, pay later” model that credit cards offer is certainly tempting when cash flow is tight — especially when most credit cards come with cashback and other rewards.
That said, you have to adhere to spending limits, and interest payments can quickly compound if you don’t pay your balance on time and in full every month. If you use a credit card, make sure to use it responsibly — and opt for a business credit card vs. a personal credit card. With a business credit card, you’ll be able to build your business credit, which can make it easier to get other types of financing in the future.
There are so many ways to finance the growth of your Amazon business. The key is finding which one is right for you. To start, think about why you need financing in the first place and when you need funding in-hand.