January 24, 2023

A Guide to Amazon Business Financing

This guide explains the process of Amazon Business Financing and how to fund your Amazon Business.
A Guide to Amazon Business Financing
Shannon Okubor
A Guide to Amazon Business Financing

A Guide to Amazon Business Financing

Are you an Amazon seller looking to take your business up a notch? Do you want to expand your business or product offerings on the Amazon marketplace? 

As an Amazon FBA business owner, getting sufficient cash to expand your business can come with some challenges especially if you are at the early stages of business. This is coupled with the complex lending system at banks. Qualifying for a loan at a bank can be quite difficult, especially for Amazon sellers selling low-value products. 

In 2011, Amazon began lending funds to Amazon sellers looking for quick and easy finance options to expand their business. 

Thankfully, there are many Amazon Finance options you can access to take your Amazon online business to the next level. 

What to consider before getting an Amazon loan 

So you're thinking of expanding your inventory and want to take out an Amazon loan. 

As an Amazon FBA seller, it is important to carefully define your goals for the loan and gain a full picture of the requirements needed. What is your goal? Do you want to purchase products in large quantities? Do you want to increase your inventory for the holiday? 

You also want to ensure you meet the requirements for a loan. Review your credit score, annual cash flow, and other personal and business finance information. Estimate how quickly you need funding and how long it will take you to pay back the funds. Short-term loans typically come with shorter application and approval processes.  

Why choose non-traditional lenders? 

If you sell online, you may not have the requirements that banks look for. 

Banks typically require a traditional business plan, credit history, tax history, and other information which may not be readily available for many Amazon sellers. 

Also, approval may take a couple of weeks and it may be difficult to get small loan amounts. 

On the other hand, non-traditional lenders like lines of credit and Amazon Lending have more flexible terms. These lending options are designed for ecommerce businesses, making it easy to access loans as quickly as possible. 

Amazon funding options: How to finance your Amazon business 

Here's a list of Amazon Finance options for sellers: 

  1. Amazon Lending
  2. Amazon Line of Credit
  3. Amazon Merchant Cash Advance Program
  4. SBA Microloan
  5. Fintech Lenders

Amazon Lending

Amazon Lending is a program that grants short-term business loans to qualified Amazon sellers. This program is invite-only which means that borrowers have to be qualified to take out a loan. These sellers must have high sales volumes over an extended period. 

You can take a minimum loan of $1000 and a maximum of $1,000,000. Amazon Lending offers a term loan length of 3,6,9 or 12 months with fixed monthly payments.

Interest rate 

The interest rate is not disclosed. Amazon sellers may have different interest rates depending on their account and sales metrics. Some sellers may get an interest rate as low as 3% and some as high as 17%. 

Eligibility

  • Sellers must show a consistent increase in sales
  • Must have good customer satisfaction metrics
  • Should have no outstanding copyright or trademark violation
  • Should comply with Amazon listing guidelines 
  • Eligible sellers will see it in their Amazon Seller Central account. 

Who is this Amazon finance option best for? 

If your business has a consistent increase in sales with a fast-moving inventory, then this is a loan that can work for you. It is also best for restocking inventory. 

Pros of Amazon Lending

  • With Amazon Lending, you can get your loans approved within five days, a day, or even a few hours
  • Amazon does not check credit scores
  • Amazon does not require application fees or prepayment fees
  • Once your loan is approved, you get it credited to your Amazon seller account balance
  • It has relatively low-interest rates. 

Cons of Amazon Lending 

  • Since it is a short-term loan, monthly payments are high
  • You can only use this loan for your Amazon business financing.
  • Qualifying for the program doesn't guarantee your automatic approval

Amazon Line of Credit

Another finance option available for your Amazon business is the Amazon Line of Credit.

Amazon recently partnered with Goldman Sachs, to provide business owners selling on Amazon with a Business Line of Credit

With this funding option, sellers can take out loans when the need arises instead of taking a large one-time sum. 

The program offers a credit limit of up to $1 million and sellers can borrow and repay as the need arises.

Interest rate 

With Amazon Line of Credit, you get interest rates ranging from 6.99% to 20.99% APR

Eligibility 

There isn't much information about this program yet. However, this will be an invitation-only program. When sellers click on the invitation button, they will be redirected to a website to verify their eligibility and finish up their application. Also, sellers will see if they are eligible on their Seller Central account. 

Who is this Amazon finance option best for? 

The Amazon Line of Credit is more flexible since you can take it out when the need arises. This type of loan is great for growing businesses with a consistent increase in sales. 

Pros of Amazon Line of Credit 

  • The Amazon Line of Credit is more flexible than Amazon Lending since you can take out funds when you need them.
  • The application process is digital and short and can be done within a few minutes. 
  • There is a fixed interest rate that starts at 6.99% to 20.99%.
  • You can use the funds for a wide range of activities including expanding your Amazon product offerings, covering operation costs, product development, marketing, and so on. 

Cons of Amazon Line of Credit 

  • It is an invitation only.
  • The credit rates may be high.
  • If you do not use 30% of your credit line, you will be charged maintenance fees.
  • Goldman Sachs controls the underwriting process, not Amazon. 

Amazon Merchant Cash Advance Program

The Amazon Merchant Cash Advance is another finance solution provided by Parafin - a US-based growth capital provider for sellers. 

This funding option allows sellers to get cash in advance when the need arises in the future. It also offers flexible payment options. There are no fixed terms, credit checks, capped rates, or excessive paperwork. However, payback time is short (18 months or less) no matter how much is borrowed. 

Interest rate 

There are no fixed interest rates. Instead, MCA uses factor rates to calculate the cost of your loan. Also, you can borrow as low as $500 and as high as $10 million

Eligibility 

In 2023, this loan will be open to sellers who have been selling on the Amazon marketplace for at least three months. 

Pros of Amazon Merchant Cash Advance

  • There are no minimum payments each month. This protects sellers during periods of low sales. 
  • There are no interest rates but a fixed capital fee
  • No personal guarantees, credit score checks, collateral, or excessive paperwork
  • The loan can be used for different aspects of your Amazon FBA business

Cons of Amazon Merchant Cash Advance

  •  It is an invitation-only 
  • May incur higher costs compared to other loans

SBA Microloan

The SBA Microloan is offered to small businesses by the US Small Business Administration. This loan is designed to help small businesses start and expand their business. 

Qualified applicants can get a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $50,000. They offer a maximum repayment term of 6 years. 

Interest rate 

SBA Microloan offers an interest rate that falls between 8% – 13% APR

Eligibility 

The business should have had no bankruptcy or foreclosure record in the past two years and should be a for-profit business. 

Who is this Amazon finance option best for? 

The SBA Microloan is great for small businesses and startups with little experience. Also, this can be a great option for sellers who have average credit scores. 

Pros of the SBA Microloan

  • You can use the SBA Microloan as working capital, inventory, and other supplies
  • Doesn't require a minimum personal credit score from business owners
  • You can get a microloan of up to $50,000

Cons of the SBA Microloan

  • The application can take as long as a few weeks or even months
  • You need to have a written business plan
  • You have to provide personal financial statements, business licenses, and permits. It may also require collateral or personal guarantees. 

Fintech Lenders

Securing a loan from a bank has grown more and more difficult for businesses that sell online. 

Fintech Lenders give out loans and lines of credit to ecommerce businesses. With these funds, you can get the needed capital as well as fast approval and funding. Some examples of Fintech Lenders include:

AccrueMe

This Fintech company offers growth capital to Amazon sellers with no required monthly payments. They also require no credit checks or personal guarantees. The company does not charge interest. They only take a small percentage of your profit as you make use of their services.

Kabbage

Kabbage offers different loan types for different businesses and is great for ecommerce businesses. 

Kabbage gives out loans based on your sales volume and can give out loans up to $250,000. 

 

What should new Amazon sellers do if they don't qualify for a loan?

As a new Amazon seller, it is important to carefully plan and research - and this includes finances. 

It may not be a good idea to start borrowing funds immediately. You can start with funds from bootstrapping and reinvest the profits to get more money. You can even start by selling used or returned items on Amazon.  

As your Amazon business grows, you can then look into getting business loans.  

Final thoughts 

You can grow and expand your business thanks to the many funding options available for Amazon sellers and business owners. Keep in mind that before taking out a loan, it is important to do your due diligence to ensure you secure the right loan for your business. 

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