Most Amazon sellers experience cash flow issues and, as a result, a need for outside funding. With financing, you can reinvest more quickly in inventory, launch targeted marketing campaigns, better manage fallout from account suspensions and blocked listings, and more.
At the end of the day, capital gives you more flexibility and opportunity. But where and how can you get it? If you’ve done your own research, you know there are a wide variety of financing options for Amazon and other eCommerce sellers. Here, we outline five such options to help you find the right one for you.
1. Credit Cards
Credit cards offer a convenient “buy now, pay later” option for business owners — especially those just starting out who don’t have enough cash reserves to invest in launch-related expenses.
If you use a credit card and are able to pay your balance in full and on time every month, you’ll avoid compounding interest payments. So, as long as you use them responsibly, credit cards can serve as a helpful funding source that you can also use to build business credit.
Just keep in mind that credit limits only go so far, with business credit cards offering about $56,000 on average. And, if you take the credit card route, make sure you open a business credit card to keep your business and personal finances separate.
2. Amazon Lending
Amazon Lending is an invite-only loan program for Amazon’s most successful sellers. It includes business loans up to $750,000 and access to the Marcus Business Line of Credit from Goldman Sachs.
Sellers that show a steady track record of growing sales and high customer satisfaction ratings are among those that qualify for Amazon Lending. If you’re one of them, you’ll get an offer in Seller Central. From there, you can apply online via their simple application. Decisions, which are based on your Amazon sales history and customer service ratings, are typically given within five business days of applying.
Amazon Lending is a convenient funding option for Amazon sellers who qualify for it. While interest rates are not publicly available, sellers have posted in forums about rates ranging from 3% to 16.9% APR, with payments automatically deducted from your Amazon payouts.
All this to say, you cannot apply for Amazon Lending unless you have an invite to do so in your Amazon account.
3. Instant Access
As an Amazon seller, you’re all too familiar with payout delays that cause cash flow issues and other growth challenges. That’s why companies like Payability exist.
Payability, a financing company for eCommerce sellers, offers a variety of solutions to help you bridge cash flow gaps, get paid daily, and be able to invest in growth opportunities. One such solution — Instant Access — gets you your payouts one business day after making a sale, every business day. This includes payouts from Amazon as well as many other marketplace you sell on, such as Walmart, Newegg, and more.
For a simple example, let’s say you have $5,000 in your Amazon account on Monday. With Instant Access, you’ll get 80% of that (or $4,000) on Tuesday. The rest is kept on hold to cover returns or chargebacks and is included in your next scheduled Amazon payout.
An important note about Payability is that they are not a loan company. Instead, they help get you your money faster. So there are no credit checks or compounding interest payments, and decisions are made based on your account health and seller performance. Their fast, easy approval process includes a 10-minute online application, same day approvals and funding, and even Same Day ACH transfers – all without a single credit check.
To qualify for Instant Access from Payability, you must have at least three months of selling history and average monthly sales of $2,000.
4. Instant Advance
Another solution from Payability is Instant Advance, which is an advance on your future sales. With Instant Advance, you could get up to $250,000 in as fast as 24 hours. The application process works the same way for Instant Advance as it does for Instant Access, meaning you only have to fill out a simple, online application — no credit checks required.
Your Instant Advance can help you invest in bulk inventory, marketing, or other growth investments. To qualify, you must have at least nine months of selling history and average monthly sales of $10,000. You can expect to receive 75% to 150% of one month in marketplace sales revenue.
As far as repayment goes, you’ll typically pay 0.5% and 1% per week — and there’s a prepayment benefit if you pay your advance back early.
Pair either Instant Advance or Instant Access with Payability’s Seller Card, and you could earn up to 2% cash back on purchases.
5. Traditional Bank Loans
Another option for your financing needs is a traditional bank loan. Banks typically lend large loan amounts — around $1 million — to established businesses with years of operating history and, in most cases, a physical location. In fact, bank loan officers will often do site visits as part of the application process.
Also required for your bank loan application is paperwork — and a lot of it at that: bank statements, tax returns, business plans, personal financials, and more. They also put a lot of emphasis on your personal credit score.
Banks have a rigorous application and underwriting process that oftens takes weeks — sometimes months. Unfortunately, approval rates for small and online businesses are low. So, unless you have a highly successful Amazon business with years of operating history, you have some sort of physical location, and you don’t need financing right away, you might have better luck finding financing elsewhere.
These days, Amazon sellers have a lot of financing options to choose from. To help you find the right one for your business, consider how soon you need funding, what you need funding for, and how many channels you sell on. From there, you should be able to narrow down your options.
If you’re still not sure, start by perusing go.payability.com/ecommerceChris for eCommerce-specific financing solutions.
Marketing Manager, Payability