At one point, Amazon spent $1.2 billion fighting fraudulent e-commerce companies.
Being one of the biggest e-commerce marketplace in the world, Amazon takes seller fraud extremely seriously. One of the many ways that Amazon does this is by verifying a seller’s identity. This reduces fraud and helps Amazon stay compliant with many global consumer laws.
Here’s what to know about Amazon seller identity verification and how it may affect you.
Why Amazon Verifies a Seller’s Identity
Amazon seller identity verification protects both you and your consumers. The Amazon seller verification process proves that you’re a real person selling goods on Amazon. If you’re selling under a business name, Amazon will confirm the legitimacy of your company.
This verification also benefits sellers. It ensures you’re not committing crimes, such as selling counterfeit products. This will keep scammers off the platform and drive more customers to your store.
In many cases, Amazon’s verification is also compliant under certain jurisdictions. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) passed the INFORM Consumers Act, which requires marketplaces to verify seller information before listing their products for sale.
These laws require e-commerce stores to make certain business information available, such as your business name, contact information, and registration number.
Documents Needed to Verify Seller Identity
Amazon mentions the required verification documents and other tips to get approved. Below, we summarized the documents you should prepare for Amazon seller identity verification.
The first document you’ll need for Amazon seller identity verification is an ID issued by the country of your nationality or residence. Even if you’re applying as a business, this ID is required. You’ll only need to provide the ID for the company’s main owner.
Two examples of a national ID include a passport and a driver’s license. These documents must be in any of the following languages:
If your government ID isn’t in any of these languages, you must get the document translated in any of these languages, with a notarized signature included.
Statements or Bills
Sellers can submit the following bills for Amazon seller identity verification:
- Bank statements
- Utility bills
- Credit card statements
If you’re signing up under a business name, it’s best to submit statements or bills under the business’ name.
Your bill or statement must be based in the country of your nationality or current residency. The bank or institution must have issued the bills or statements within the past 90 days. You don’t have to show any currency amount, but this information will need to be visible:
- Date of birth
The bill or statement must be in the same languages mentioned previously. If not, you must get the document translated and include a copy of a notarized signature.
To send your application, you need to send the documents in one of these file types:
You can’t password-protect the document, and you can’t include special characters in the file name.
What to Expect During the Submission Process
You can start this process when creating your Amazon seller account.
To upload your documents for Amazon seller identity verification, sign into Amazon Seller Central and go to the Seller Identity Verification Page. Select the country where you or your business is based and complete the rest of the form.
After you submit the form, it can take around three business days for Amazon to review your application. Amazon will email you with approval or if your application was rejected.
What Happens If You’re Rejected?
Amazon will reject your application if they can’t verify the information in your documents. Sometimes, your Amazon seller identity verification rejection is final; you can’t appeal a rejection and won’t be able to reapply.
This usually happens when there are issues with the exact documents you submitted. In this case, it’s best to contact Seller Central’s customer support for more information.
However, if the problem is minor, such as missed information, you can resubmit your application. Amazon will tell you the problem and your next steps.
What Happens If You Don’t Verify Your Account?
Let’s say you’ve been an Amazon seller for years and have been recently asked to verify your account. You’ll have a time limit to complete your Amazon seller identity verification, usually one month.
If you don’t complete your application in that time period, Amazon will hold your funds. The marketplace may also restrict actions on your end, such as adding and editing products.
What If Your Information on Seller Central Is Outdated?
If you submitted your Amazon seller identity verification information a long time ago, there’s a chance your documents may be outdated. You could face compliance issues with your local jurisdiction, depending on which information is outdated. This information includes:
- Using a personal bank account instead of a business one
- Old phone number
- Change of address
If any of this data is outdated or incorrect, you can simply change it in Seller Central.
While Amazon may be able to catch this problem, it’s best that sellers keep their information updated before experiencing any threats to your Seller Central account.
Amazon Seller Identity Verification Problems
The Amazon seller identity verification process complies with many consumer protection laws in different jurisdictions and helps to prevent fraud. However, Amazon doesn’t have a perfect seller identity process.
Here are some issues that still put sellers at risk.
It can take several days (and multiple applications) for Amazon seller identity verification documents to be reviewed. Rekognition is a possible solution to this issue.
Amazon Rekognition is a type of technology that scans your face via video. The app scans your government-issued ID and compares it to a video. If the images match, then you can start selling on Amazon.
As of now, this technology is optional. While it can expedite the verification process, it comes with potential surveillance concerns. This brings us to our next section.
There are privacy concerns with completing Amazon seller identity verification and the updated Rekognition.
Since you’re uploading sensitive documents, it’s difficult to know how Amazon uses this information, how it’s stored, and if you can revoke that data. Rekognition has the same issues.
Still Room for Fraud
Even though Amazon seller identity verification is improving, fraud still happens. A common example is when fraudsters take over old listings and sell a fake or counterfeit product.
One of the most famous stories is called the China Scam. In 2022, Amazon disrupted a major counterfeit scam from Chinese companies.
Amazon collaborated with Chinese law enforcement to find the fraudsters, and the investigation uncovered 240,000 counterfeit items. Many of the items were rip-off from designer brands and had fake logos.
How did these companies create Amazon accounts? They stole identities and business licenses to create fake Amazon listings.
Even though Amazon identity verification is inconvenient, it’s a necessary step to prevent another massive counterfeit operation like the China Scam from happening again.
Amazon Seller Identity Verification: Get Help From the Professionals
Because of incidents like the China Scam, there’s a strict Amazon seller identity verification process. This benefits consumers to ensure they don’t receive fake and counterfeit products. It also promotes healthy competition in a fair marketplace, among reputable sellers.
Still, Amazon identification can seem intimidating to new sellers. If you’re a new company, having the right support can help you grow.
AMZ Advisers does more than create a revenue-boosting e-commerce strategy for you. We ensure your Amazon profile and all products you sell are compliant. This ensures you don’t run into any issues down the line, maintaining a profitable and growing business.
Click here to learn more information about our services.
Stephanie Jensen has been writing e-commerce content for seven years, and her copy has helped numerous stores rank on Amazon. Follow her on LinkedIn for more insight into freelance writing and creating high-quality content.
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and long-time lover of the art of words on paper and the stage. She has an entrepreneurial heart and spends most of her time doing marketing and management, freelance content writing, volunteer work, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.