Amazon Lending business loans review
Short-term loans up to $750,000 exclusively for Amazon sellers.
Want to expand your Amazon product line but struggling to secure financing? Amazon Lending is an exclusive program offering short-term loans to help sellers cover the costs of restocking or purchasing new inventory. But not just anyone can apply: You’ll need to wait for Amazon to send you an offer.
First, do I qualify?
Amazon Lending is by invitation only, and eligibility requirements aren’t easy to find online.
Amazon says the best way for a seller to receive an offer is to:
- Maintain good customer metrics.
- Have increasing sales.
Customer metrics include anything from cancellation and order defect rates, to policy violations, to how fast you respond to customers. In online forums, Amazon sellers who’ve received offers report that they got their first one around their one-year selling anniversary.
What is Amazon Lending?
Started in 2011, Amazon Lending is an invitation-only program that offers short-term loans to Amazon sellers. Sellers can borrow anywhere from $1,000 to $750,000 with terms of up to 1 year, depending on their accounts. Unlike other short-term business loans, you’re limited to using your funds to purchase inventory specifically for sale on Amazon.
That’s about as specific as Amazon gets with the details. It doesn’t provide information to the public about eligibility requirements, minimum loan terms or interest rates.
From what we’ve gleaned through online forums, former borrowers cite terms as short as three months and APRs that range from 3% to 16.9%. Applying sounds as easy clicking an offer from your seller dashboard and waiting for a decision. Because your personal details and customer and sales metrics are already with Amazon, there’s little to do on your end.
How long it takes to hear back about your loan varies across borrowers: Some say they received a decision in minutes, while others waited up to two weeks. Once approved, however, you could get your funds as quickly as the same day.
Repayments are automatically withdrawn from your Amazon seller account each month. If you fail to repay your loan, Amazon recoups its losses by confiscating your inventory stored at its fulfillment centers or withholding payments owed to you from your seller account.
What makes Amazon Lending unique?
Unlike most short-term business lenders that allow anyone to apply, Amazon Lending invites select sellers to apply for its loans. If you prequalify, you’ll receive a message in your Amazon account with an offer based on your Amazon sales and metrics.
Amazon determines if you’re a good fit for the program before extending an offer, resulting in financing that’s often faster than through a traditional lender. But it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed approval. Several borrowers say they received offers Amazon ultimately turned them down for.
However, some approved customers say they received a decision in minutes, with their funds disbursed on the same day. This is fast turnaround compared to online lenders that can take a few days to get you your funds.
What are the benefits of Amazon Lending?
- Easy application. With so much of your info already with Amazon, after you’re extended an offer, you’re clicks away from an approval decision.
- Wide range of loan amounts. Depending on how well your Amazon business is doing, you could borrow as little as $1,000 or up to $750,000 to restock inventory.
- Based on metrics and sales. While Amazon doesn’t disclose eligibility requirements, it bases offers on customer metrics and sales. Your credit score might not play as large a role as it would with a traditional lender.
- Fast turnaround. Former borrowers say they were approved for a loan in as little as an hour and received their funds the same day.
What to watch out for
- Invitation only. Amazon Lending extends loans to businesses it believes will succeed with extra inventory. If your business doesn’t sell enough or have the best customer reviews, you might not receive an offer.
- Restricted uses. Use the proceeds of your loan to purchase inventory or expand your Amazon business only.
- Automatic payments. Amazon deducts payments from your seller account every month. If you don’t have enough to cover them, it can withhold payments or seize your inventory to repay your outstanding balance.
- Short terms. Amazon Lending is designed to cover short-term cashflow problems, with former borrowers stating they had between three and 12 months to pay back what they borrowed.
- Limited information available. Amazon Lending doesn’t divulge terms, rates or eligibility requirements to the general public about its loan offers.
Compare more business loan providers
What are my alternatives to Amazon Lending?
Amazon Lending isn’t for everyone. If you’re wary about becoming too dependent on Amazon or simply need a loan to expand your business in another direction, you have options.
|Loan type||Loan amount||Best for|
|Business term loan||$5,000 to $5 million||Larger expenses, like expanding your warehouse or buying equipment.|
|Business line of credit||$5,000 to $5 million||Access to working capital to cover the costs of purchasing inventory and other daily expenses.||Read more|
|Merchant cash advance||$2,500 to $250,000||Business owners who need access to working capital but don’t have the best credit.||Read more|
|Personal loan||$1,000 to $100,000||Startups or newer businesses that need small amounts to cover everyday expenses and fulfill orders.||Read more|
What do other customers say about Amazon Lending?
Not much. Amazon is tight-lipped about its loan program, which means there aren’t many customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot or the Better Business Bureau.
However, Amazon forum sellers paint a decent picture of what to expect: Many borrowers cite low rates, fast approval and quick turnaround. They sound happy overall, offering complaints that revolve around the way Amazon deducts payments — monthly from your seller account. Some say this can strain a small business’s finances, warning future borrowers to take that into account before agreeing to a loan.
How does the application process work?
You can’t apply to Amazon Lending directly, but you can position yourself for an offer by building your business, developing good customer relationships and increasing sales.
Amazon looks at sales volume and other metrics to find businesses that are a good fit for the program. Many borrowers mention getting their first offer from Amazon Lending a year after setting up their Amazon shop.
I got the loan from Amazon Lending. Now what?
Once you’re approved for financing, Amazon deposits your funds into your Amazon seller account. From here, your payments are deducted automatically every month for the term of your loan.
Many former borrowers say they set up biweekly payments for easier repayments. Amazon doesn’t appear to charge prepayment penalties, meaning you can save on interest by repaying your loan early. If you fail to repay your loan, Amazon may seize your inventory or future sales to cover the outstanding balance.
Because payments are automatic, keep a close eye on your seller account and loan balance. If you notice anything off or have questions, reach out to Amazon Lending as soon as possible.
Amazon Lending is an exclusive short-term loan program offered to sellers that already do business through the Amazon Marketplace. The wide range of funding available can help you secure inventory when your cash flow has taken a hit.
However, it’s by invitation only structure. And a lack of transparency around rates and terms makes it difficult to nail down what you might qualify for.
Before jumping into a loan with Amazon, compare your business financing options to get the most competitive deal you’re eligible for.