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Amazon Lending Program
If you had somehow never heard of Amazon before, no doubt you became acquainted with the e-commerce giant during the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, Amazon trucks have been a common sight on the streets and in our driveways, delivering items we needed while we were stuck inside.
And while we have been self-distancing indoors, most of us have binge-watched some great shows on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service as well.
Amazon is also a major online hub for merchants, with over six million sellers registered in its network. The company clearly understands that in order to foster the growth of its online platform it must support the merchants who are registered with it.
One of the more innovative ways that it is doing this is through Amazon Lending services by partnering with Bank Of America Merrill Lynch.
What is Amazon Lending?
Amazon Lending is a business finance option designed to help Amazon’s merchant community meet its business financing requirements. Amazon provides merchants with business loans to meet their short-term cash flow needs. The merchants can use these loans for key activities required to grow their businesses, such as purchasing inventory.
Amazon merchant lending offers short term loans to its registered network of Amazon sellers. These loans can range from $1,000 up to $750,000.
Eligibility – Amazon Lending Requirements
Amazon Lending Eligibility
Amazon Lending is available only to registered sellers on Amazon. Additionally, those sellers cannot simply apply for a loan; instead, Amazon determines the sellers’ eligibility for the program, then invites the seller to apply.
Amazon determines eligibility for a business loan by assessing a seller’s customer satisfaction and whether or not the seller is increasing its sales volume.
How To Get Amazon Lending?
If you are an Amazon seller, you can check if you’re pre-qualified; Just log in to your seller account and complete an online query to determine whether or not you’re prequalified.
Amazon Lending Terms and Fees
Here are some of the basic terms and fees that govern the program.
How Does Amazon Lending Work?
Amazon does not publicly disclose its loan terms and rates, however, the company insists that its rates are market competitive and lower than credit card rates.
Some merchants have reported getting interest rates between 6% and 14%, which is certainly lower than the rates on credit cards.
Additionally, when we compare Amazon Lending’s reported rates with those of PayPal Working Capital and other online lenders, then we find that these rates are market competitive.
Loan repayments are automatically deducted from the merchant’s account every month. Additionally, merchants with higher sales volume can opt to have the payments deducted twice each month.
If your merchant account doesn’t have sufficient funds then Amazon will withdraw funds from the secondary bank account that is linked to your Amazon account. If that second account also has insufficient funds, then Amazon reserves the right to confiscate your inventory as collateral and sell it off to recover the debt.
As mentioned previously, you cannot apply for Amazon Lending. Instead, Amazon notifies you when it deems you eligible. Eligible sellers will receive a notification on their Seller Central homepage, along with an email notification. Upon receiving the invitation you have three options to proceed:
- Decline the loan offer if you do not need it
- Accept the loan offer
- Ask for a reduction in the amount to borrow
Amazon Lending Application
Does Amazon Lending check your credit? Since Amazon already has your credentials and other key financial information, it doesn’t carry out credit checks during the application approval process; instead, loan approval is based on your selling performance over the past year.
Therefore, When you receive the loan offer, you can simply choose to accept it, fill out a short online form, and specify the borrowing amount.
Amazon Lending Approval Time
The loan is typically approved within 24 hours and funds are immediately transferred into your account.
Merchants can contact Amazon Lending via the customer service phone number or email. Additionally, merchants can also use the Amazon services seller forum to discuss any questions or issues they have with an application, loan, or the lending program overall within the seller’s community.
Since Amazon Lending is a service internal to Amazon and its network of sellers, there aren’t really any public reviews of this service.
However, some of the common complaints merchants have posted in seller forums include the lack of refinancing options once they have repaid the loan.
This may be because they no longer qualify as eligible sellers. Additionally, other sellers complain that the refinanced loans carry higher rates than the original loans.
Another concerning comment found in some of these seller forums is that new sellers are only given a six-month repayment term, instead of the standard twelve months.
Overall, however, most sellers expressed satisfaction with Amazon Lending and appreciated the ease of application and low eligibility requirements, along with the convenience of using the service.
Many merchants also appreciated that the upper ceiling for these loans is much higher than what Amazon Lending’s competitors offer as well.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the key pros and cons of Amazon Lending you should consider.
- Convenient. The loans offered are available through the portal that sellers already use to manage their business.
- Low Rates. Their rates are reported to be highly competitive with rival online lenders.
- Fast. Applying for the loan is quick, approval is rapid, and funds are normally available within a day.
- High Ceiling. Amazon Lending’s $750,000 lending ceiling is exactly what larger merchants need to grow their businesses and is much higher than what most of the service’s competitors offer.
- Availability. Only available to Amazon sellers; moreover, it is by invite only to the sellers as well.
- Limited Refinancing Options. Some sellers are not eligible for the loan refinancing option.
- Higher Refinance Rates. Refinanced loans have higher interest rates than the standard loans Amazon Lending offers.
Amazon lending is an excellent service for Amazon merchants. It provides them access to funding to meet their cash flow and other requirements internally through Amazon, without having to solicit external lenders.
The ease of transaction is perhaps the biggest benefit of this service for sellers, who do not have to waste time filling out applications and paperwork.
Additionally, for lenders who have a poor credit history or those who do not want to use an external lending service, Amazon Lending is truly a lifeline. The only real downside is that Amazon Lending’s services are only available to Amazon sellers.
Enjoy our review?
You may also be interested in PayPal Working Capital Review.