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Funding Options for Amazon FBA Sellers in 2020

Amazon is offering funding options to those FBA sellers with good-seller metrics to provide them with a glimpse of hope during these uncertain and difficult times.

We’ve got a list of several sources that you can tap into. Although not every option may be ideal for your situation, we are sure that you can find one on this list that suits your needs.


FBA Funding Options – Before you Begin

Consider getting funding only when you have steady revenue. Doing otherwise could land you in debt and ruin your business when you can’t pay back the loan. Don’t wait too long, or you might miss out on opportunities for growth.

To prepare for a loan application, make sure that you know why exactly you are borrowing money, what is it for, and how soon you need it and can pay it back.

This way, you can create a business plan to understand costs and goals so that you will have a much easier time paying it back.

You should also know your credit score and risk level – lenders will check this anyway.

Look at your cash flow as well and review your finances so you know what amount it makes sense to borrow.


Amazon FBA Seller Funding

Here are several options that you can look into for funding your Amazon FBA business in 2020:


Amazon Loan

If you’ve been selling on Amazon for at least a year and you have decent metrics, you may be eligible for  a direct short-term loan from Amazon. You could get an offer for an amount from $1,000 to $750,000 and with payment terms as long as 12 months. Everything depends on your seller account, of course. Amazon doesn’t say what interest rates they give, but sellers who have availed of these loans say 6% to 16%.

Note that these loans are only offered to select markets. Moreover, these loans can be used for Amazon alone, for purchasing new inventory. If you need capital to diversify your online store, this is not a good option for you.

If you apply for an Amazon loan, you can expect to pay the interest and repayments straight out of your marketplace earnings.


Bank Loan

Traditional lending services may not be accustomed to loaning to Amazon sellers. They often require collateral and wouldn’t know how to deal with an online business. They also often deal with businesses loaning amounts in excess of $100, 000, which may me much more than you need. If this option is right for you, there are several bank loans that come with low-interest rates.

Traditional loansrequirecollateral with a value that is equal to or greater than the loan value given. A Merchandise Cash Advance is one of the fastest ways to get funding – as fast as a few hours after applying.


Lines of Credit

You can easily get credit quickly if you can show that you have been in business for at least one year with at an average annual business revenue of at least $50,000. A business line of credit is like a credit card where you have a flexible revolving credit line that you can use to purchase things or withdraw for cash as needed.

Unlike an Amazon loan, you can use this money for anything you need, not just online inventory. Lines of credit are available in amounts of as little as $5,000 to as much as $5 million. Make sure to ask the loaner what their monthly or annual fees are as well as the interest they charge on the funds you withdraw, and the repayment terms.

The greatest thing about lines of credit is that you only repay what you actually withdraw, so you are borrowing only the exact amount that you need. Plus, it’s always readily available whenever you need it.


Business Credit Cards

Interest rates on credit cards are very high. If you are sure that you can pay off your credit card balance every month, then using a business credit card is a simple and fast way to fund your Amazon FBA business. This also works best if you need smaller amounts of money over a longer period since there’s a borrowing limit.


Merchant Cash Advances

You can use a merchant cash advance (MCA) to get almost immediate funding for your Amazon FBA business, even if you don’t have collateral. You can also apply and be qualified online with little and sometimes no paperwork, so it’s very convenient. MCA lenders don’t consider your credit score alone as the factor for approval, so you could have a chance even if your credit score isn’t that good.

Because it’s easier to obtain, beware of higher interest rates – it’s an unregulated industry. Always ask about the fees you will have to pay since they can vary widely from one company to another. Mostly, the you  lump sum that you borrow is based on your credit card sales, and you repay the loan with an added fixed fee plus a percentage of your sales. Loan amounts from $2,500 to $250,000 are common.


Peer-to-Peer Loans

Peer-to-peer lending starts with a profile on a P2P website, which investors then review to consider you for funding. You usually need to include information about your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, but these are not the only factors that investors consider. You need to explain clearly why you need a loan to get a better chance of being awarded one because investors want to feel secure in lending you money.

If you’re awarded a loan, you can review it before accepting the terms and rates. Note that approval and funding times can last up to a few weeks because investors are bidding on your business. You must also abide by the P2P website’s rules and pay their fees because they will oversee the application process, underwriting and repayment of the loan.


Business Term Loan

Many banks and credit unions offer term loans, which is a good idea if you need a bigger amount of money – up to $5 million. The loan amount will depend, of course, on your annual revenue and credit history. Like other loans, there will likely be interest plus fees to pay in fixed monthly repayments over standard periods of 5 to 20 years. Note that it’s wise to apply through an online direct lender who requires less stringent eligibility.


Personal Loan

If you’re just getting started as an Amazon FBA seller, a personal loan is most likely your best bet. You can get from $2,000 to $50,000, which is often enough to get going. You need a good personal credit score and a decent income statement to apply for personal loans. Annual percentage rates typically range from 5% to 36%.

Be prepared to pay similar or bigger interest and fees in monthly installments over usually from 2 to 7 years.


Personal Savings

Traditional business owners would never recommend using personal savings to invest in a business, but it may be your only good option if other avenues fail. If you have enough savings to support inventory purchasing, then you could easily make it back quickly as long as you are selling at a good rate.

The best advantage is that you won’t need any kind of qualification like credit checks or paperwork.

SellersFunding

SellersFunding is a tool that uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to qualify your Amazon FBA store. They look at your performance metrics over at least 6 months of selling at a level of at least $30,000.

In 5 minutes, you can know if you qualify or not, and if you can get the amount you want, which takes just 1 or 2 days.  

The greatest thing about this option is that you can take out another loan as soon as you pay back 50% of your current loan. Be careful, however, of you can get deep into debt very quickly. Interest rates for SellersFunding range from 15% to 24% annually, but there are no hidden fees or pre-payment penalties.

You guarantee the loan personally through your seller account with your credit score and the overall health of your business for support.


BitX Funding

BitX Funding is a digital lending marketplace. Similar to P2P lending, BitX matches business owners with non-bank lenders. This is a great option for sellers whose assets and potential for growth are not recognized by traditional lenders.


Factoring

Factoring is usually your last option when other financing options aren’t available. It’s a cash flow management tool that basically sells your accounts receivable to a financing company for fast cash.

What you get is usually from 75% to 80% of the actual cash value, depending on the age and quality of the receivables, among other factors. The way it works is you get the invoice amount minus the amount the company kept in reserve and their fee when the receivable is paid off.

Factoring is quick cash with no collateral or credit score, which means higher costs of up to a 4% fee for receivables plus 2% above the prime rate interest on cash advances. This means an annual interest payment of over 30%, so be very careful since you cannot control when your clients will pay their invoices.


Final Thoughts

Getting a loan as an FBA seller on Amazon doesn’t have to be difficult. You do have to be cautious, however, since some options can be devastating depending on your specific personal and business circumstances. If you need additional capital, simply consider which option can give you what you need when you need it for the least amount in interest and fees. As mentioned above, always have a plan and know what you need to get qualified for the loan that you are targeting.

Recommended: How to Apply for the Amazon Small Business Relief Fund

Julia ValdezFunding Options for Amazon FBA Sellers in 2020
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