There are thousands of people who apply to be new sellers on Amazon’s marketplace every day. With testimonials all over the internet, people have seen many sellers on Amazon transition to selling full-time. Although the results are promising, as a new seller you must focus on the basic logistics to ensure you can sell on Amazon.
Without actually being eligible to sell on Amazon, you’re wasting your time with all of the other “feel-good” aspects. This blog post will cover what you will likely come across on the Amazon seller application and what you can do to maximize the chance of your seller application being approved.
What do you need for the application?
It’s important to get several pieces of information gathered prior to starting your Amazon seller application. This helps expedite the process significantly and ensures you submit information correctly. Some of the information you will need includes:
Ensure your country is one of the eligible countries: Although many sellers who come across this blog post may be located in North America or Europe, there are a lot of sellers in different global markets that are interested in selling on Amazon.
Although Amazon is a global company, not every country has Amazon operations. You can check if your country is one of the eligible countries by looking at the eligible countries list linked here.
Primary contact details: Your primary contact details like your email address, phone number and business/residential address are important to have prior to your application. Although most people know this information by heart, it’s important to put in the right information or it will cause a ton of trouble.
For example, the address you use in your application cannot be changed after you input it. Amazon often sends a code via mail to the address you mentioned, so if it’s wrong you will never get it and you can’t submit your application.
This will often result in you having to start a new application, which can cause further issues. It’s important to make sure all of your primary contact information is correct from the beginning because changing it will cause some hassle.
Credit card: When you sign up for Amazon, Amazon will ask you to either select an individual or professional selling plan. When you do this, Amazon will ask you for your credit card information to ensure that your card can be charged for your Amazon related fees.
I can’t emphasize enough that you need to use a credit card and not a debit card. Even if all of your other information is perfect, your seller application will likely be rejected until you can upload a credit card for your account.
Banking information: Amazon will also ask you to put in your banking information when signing up for a seller account. Your banking information includes your bank’s name, your routing number and your account number.
You can get this information by signing in your bank’s website. Getting this information prior to your seller application will make it go much quicker. Ensure all of the details of your banking information is correct or your application will likely get rejected.
Tax information: If you have an existing business, you will need to gather your tax identification details like your EIN number. If you are an individual seller, you will need to use your social security number as your tax identification.
If you’re a U.S. seller, you will provide Amazon with a W-9 form or W-8BEN form. Keep in mind that the tax information Amazon requests will vary based on your country of residence. Even for North American sellers, tax requirements vary between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The Amazon seller application steps
Now that you have the basic information you need on hand, it’s time to actually start and submit your application. This will be much faster now that you have your information on hand. Go to the seller application site linked here and click sign up in the upper right hand corner.
Create account: Once you click the sign up button, you’ll go to a new page asking you to create an account. It will ask for your email address, your name and the password you’d like to make for your account. Fill that information out and click next. You will receive a code from Amazon to your email address to verify your email. Put that code in and your email will be verified.
Set up your Amazon selling account:
Seller agreement: Now you should be on a new page asking for information to set up your Amazon selling account. On that page it will tell you that you should have your information that I’ve mentioned before like your banking information, tax information, etc. You don’t have to read all of that since you already have that information. Next, Amazon will ask you for your legal name. Enter your legal first and last name and check off the box asking if you agree to Amazon’s terms and conditions.
After completing the seller agreement, you will be directed to the next page: seller information. The seller information page will request your business address, your unique business display name, phone number and more. First, you will need to enter your business address. This will either be the address of your business if you have an office or the address of your home. Make sure this is correct because it will be very hard to change.
Next, you will need to put in your unique business display name. This is what Amazon customers will see when they shop for products. You can change this later, but don’t make this brand/niche specific like “reseller toys”. This isn’t important in your seller application and you can always rebrand this.
Next, put in your cell phone number. This is the number that Amazon will contact you in case that something goes wrong with your application. It’s also the same number that you will receive codes for when you are signing into your account. Once you put in your phone number, Amazon will text you a code to verify your account.
Billing/deposit: Next, you will be guided to the billing/deposit page. This will show you which selling plan you have chosen (individual or professional). Amazon will then ask you to put in your credit card information. Whichever card you use to do this, Amazon will use to charge for your selling plan. Once you put this in, you can enter your banking information.
Since you already have this prior to starting your Amazon seller application, just enter your routing and account numbers. This is where Amazon will deposit your sales, make sure it is your preferred bank account. It will be very difficult to change this in the future. Make sure to click the box at the bottom of the page agreeing to Amazon’s terms and conditions.
Tax interview: After completing the billing/deposit page, Amazon will request your tax information. This can vary depending on whether you’re signing up as a business or as an individual in addition to which country you reside in. Amazon will ask you a variety of questions and you should answer truthfully to the best of your knowledge. The answers will vary based on if you’re selling as an individual or business.
The first few questions will ask if you are signing up as a business or as an individual seller. Click the appropriate answer for you. You may get different questions if you are not located in the U.S. The questions are not very hard, they ask for your address, SSN or EIN number in addition to the basics around your plans of selling on Amazon. If you’re looking for how to get your EIN number if you’re a business, go to this IRS link here and it will guide you on what you need.
Address verification: Once you complete your tax interview, Amazon may request to verify your address. Similar to how you receive a SMS message to your phone to verify your phone, Amazon will send a similar code to the address you listed. Amazon says it may take 5-8 days for the code to reach your address. When I signed up, I got it within a few days and Amazon verified it afterwards.
Once the address verification is done, Amazon will finally review your seller application. It takes a few business days for you to get word from them, so don’t worry or stress about it too much. You will receive your approval or rejection via email. If your seller account is approved, you can sign in to Amazon seller central and Amazon will ask for you for some minor information before you can list your first product. If your Amazon seller application is rejected, you will get an email stating the reason and what you need to submit for approval.
Please be very meticulous about any rejection emails because if you don’t do exactly what Amazon says, it will keep getting rejected. It can be very frustrating because if your seller application is rejected, it can take weeks or even a month before you finally get approved. Going to the seller forums (linked here) can be a good resource, so you can get help from other Amazon sellers who have likely encountered the same issues as you.
What are some common issues sellers run into in their applications?
Unable to verify identity: One of the biggest issues new sellers run into being unable to verify their identities with documents. When Amazon originally asks for your information like your address, they will hold you accountable to that. For example, if you live at your home and the documents that Amazon requests are not in your name, your seller application will be rejected.
If Amazon rejects your application due to not being able to verify your identity, they will require other forms of identification to match your information with your address. This can be an electricity bill, an internet bill, passport, etc. If your name and address don’t match what you put into Amazon originally, you will be rejected. It’s important to ensure this is correct prior to submitting your application.
Unclear/unreadable documents: Amazon will ask you to submit several documents in your seller application. If the documents you submit are formatted wrong (ex. Not JPEG, JPG, etc.) or if they are not readable, your Amazon seller application will be rejected. You can double-check how clear your documents are by opening them prior to submitting the application. Amazon doesn’t accept screenshots
Multiple seller accounts/applications: No matter how long or how difficult Amazon is with you on your seller application, never ever make another seller account or application. This is basically a permanent death wish for a seller. If Amazon finds out (and they will) that you are trying to start a new application because your current one is being rejected, you may be permanently banned from selling on Amazon forever.
Amazon takes this extremely seriously and I cannot state how important it is to avoid this. In the future, if you have successful brands or separate businesses, you can apply to have multiple seller accounts. At the beginning of your seller journey, do not ever attempt to have two accounts. It’s much easier to resolve the biggest problem you have with the first one in comparison to Amazon finding out you have two accounts.