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The Unofficial Guide to Amazon’s TOS

As an Amazon seller, knowing what you can and cannot do on the marketplace can be exhausting. Amazon’s Terms of Service can range from crystal clear to outright unintelligible, and sellers often resort to trial and error just to see how Amazon responds. 

Help is here though.

Divvied up into subsections for questions about Customer Reviews, Fulfillment, Seller Accounts, and more, EcomCrew’s Unofficial Guide to Amazon TOS answers all your burning questions about doing business on Amazon. It uncovers acceptable marketplace practices that Amazon doesn’t want you to know, and some you might have never heard of!

Products & Listings

Wondering why your innocent product was tagged as an “adult” item and what to do about it? Confused about all the rules and requirements about barcodes and labels? 

In this section, we tackle the most common TOS questions about the very meat and potatoes of an Amazon business—products and listings.

Can I include my URL on the product packaging?
As a general rule, Amazon does not want sellers to direct customers to websites outside of Amazon. Including a URL, especially one that leads to a seller’s e-commerce website from which a customer can buy, may be seen as a form of off-Amazon sales promotion that is against Amazon’s TOS. According to its Selling policies and seller code of conduct:

You may not attempt to circumvent the Amazon sales process or divert Amazon customers to another website. This means that you may not provide links or messages that prompt users to visit any external website or complete a transaction elsewhere.

However, this is a gray area since many Amazon sellers include their URLs on the packaging, and Amazon does not seem to have any problem with this.

Do my product photos have to be on white backgrounds?
No, except for the main product image.

Sellers are free to be creative in their product images, but Amazon does have product image requirements. One of these is that the main image has to be on a white background. There’s a practical reason for this: pure white blends in with the Amazon search and product detail pages.

However, as for consequences, Amazon does not seem to be policing this issue too strictly. Some sellers can get away with not using white backgrounds on main product images along with other things such as including props that may confuse buyers.

Can I sell products on Amazon without barcodes?
Yes, provided you get a GTIN exemption and you’re not using FBA. But most of you are selling via FBA so yes, you need some type of barcode. This is how Amazon scans your inventory into stock.

In order to know whether you need a barcode or not, you need to be familiar with the different types of barcodes used by Amazon sellers. These barcodes have different purposes.

The most common ones you see in most products are GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers). There are various types of GTINs:

Not all products sold on Amazon require GTINs. Some items don’t have barcodes, such as personalized or handmade products. Third-party sellers can request a GTIN exemption if the product falls under the eligible categories:

If your product is approved for GTIN exemption, it does not need a product ID to be sold on Amazon. However, if you want to sell through FBA, you will need a barcode even if the product is GTIN exempted. This time, the barcode will not be universally acknowledged. It’s only used by Amazon to identify your product. This barcode is called an FNSKU (Fulfilment Network Stock Keeping Unit). FNSKUs also ensure that the products you send to Amazon will not be commingled with those of another seller who is selling the same product.

Can I add HTML to Amazon Product Descriptions?
Amazon officially banned HTML tags in 2021. Even prior to this, a limited number of HTML tags would “work”, specifically <"b">, <"p"> and <"i"> tags in product descriptions. Some of these tags will still get through but typically Amazon will show the actual html tag and not apply the formatting i.e. a <"b"> tag will show up with the brackets and all. Any other more complex tags, i.e. colored text, will never get through. If you do try and use these tags, currently the penalty is only the tag being showed in its full glory and your listing won’t be suppressed.

Regardless, very few people actually read the product description so the value of placing these tags is pretty questionable. The best alternative is to add A+ Content, which is available for sellers who are registered with Amazon Brand Registry.

What things are prohibited on product packages and inserts?
The most common mistakes Amazon sellers make regarding product packages and inserts relate to reviews. Amazon is hyper sensitive to reviews, not the least of which is because of FTC scrutiny they’ve faced in terms of review legitimacy on Amazon.

Packages and inserts should not:

• Encourage customers to leave reviews in exchange for incentives

• Direct customers to write a positive review even if no incentive is offered

• Ask buyers to contact you directly, i.e., outside Amazon’s Buyer Seller Messaging Service

• Offer refunds for buyers who leave positive reviews

Generally, Amazon does not allow verbiage that will influence or impact the customer’s feedback. However, this does not mean you cannot encourage buyers to leave anyreview. As long as it is worded in a way that does not impose any conditions other than the buyer’s honest opinion and experience with the product.

What are warranty cards and are they allowed on Amazon?
A warranty card is a card included in products that serves as the written guarantee of a manufacturer to repair or replace the item within a specified period if the product does not function as described. But in reality, most sellers include these as an attempt to get the customer’s email address so they can market them off of Amazon.

Amazon does not prohibit warranty cards BUT directing people away from Amazon to your own website and then also collecting their email does run contrary to the Seller Code of Conduct, specifically: “You may not attempt to circumvent the Amazon sales process or divert Amazon customers to another website.”

Warranty cards like this are common practice by manufacturers who sell both on and off Amazon, including by some of the biggest brands in the world. Amazon would have a very difficult time policing every brand and making sure their inserts don’t steal Amazon customers. There have been some reports of sellers getting in trouble for egregious warranty cards but typically these have involved warranty cards that result in requesting an incentivized review.

Long story short, warranty cards that divert people to another website are technically forbidden but rarely come under scrutiny.

Can I sell a product already sold by another seller?
It depends. In general, if the brand or product is not restricted, third-party sellers may sell the same product under the same Amazon listing.

However, for restricted brands, you need prior approval. Some examples include Adidas, CeraVe, and Hallmark. The reason for this is simple—to ensure that only genuine products are sold on the site. To resell products from restricted brands, sellers should have direct approval from the manufacturer. They may present invoices from authorized distributors or the manufacturers themselves.

One of the ways to check if you can resell a particular product is to use the Amazon Seller App. You can even request approval directly from the app after you scan the product. Another way to check is to click “Sell on Amazon” on the product listing. If the brand is restricted, a pop-up will inform you that it is.

sellonamazon

Do product bundles need separate barcodes?
Yes. If you are bundling products, the bundle needs its own barcode even if the individual items already have their own barcode. The reason for this is bundles are sold as a unit and so have different dimensions and weights compared to the individual items. Sellers who create bundles are responsible for obtaining a product identifier for the bundle from GS1.
Why is my product tagged as an “adult” item when it’s not?
This happens because some words or phrases in your product listing may be flagged as “Adult” by Amazon’s bots. These words or phrases may be found in the title or description, and it doesn’t matter if your products actually fall under the Adult category. Unfortunately, there is no way of absolutely preventing this from happening, and there is no report that will show you which of your products are tagged as “Adult.”

What sellers can do is regularly check through searches if there are products that are inadvertently tagged as “Adult” and submit a case to Seller Support to remove the tag.

Is there a limit to how expensive I can sell my products?
As a general rule, sellers under Amazon’s Individual Selling Plan may not list products at a price higher than $10,000, and sellers using the Professional Selling Plan may not sell items higher than $300,000. The exception to this is collectible items, which may exceed the price ceiling.

Amazon does not expressly state that it will control the prices of products sold on the marketplace. On the contrary, the Amazon Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy states, “Sellers are responsible for setting their own prices on Amazon marketplaces.” Sellers can even reprice their products multiple times daily using automatic repricing tools.

However, Amazon adds that it constantly monitors the prices and compares them with “other prices available to our customers” and that if it finds pricing practices that “harm customer trust,” it can sanction sellers in any of the following ways:

•Removing the Buy Box;

•Removing the offer;

•Suspending the ship option; or

•Suspending or terminating seller privileges

There was a time when third-party sellers from the United States could not sell their products for lower prices on sites outside Amazon. Later, this so-called price parity policy has been silently removed by the company in 2019, about six years after it was eliminated for sellers in the European Union.

However, one of the practices considered to harm customer trust is setting a price that is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon. So in a way, Amazon still compares your prices to those on other platforms and may penalize you if you set the price too high.

In addition, Amazon also penalizes sellers who are involved in price gouging and who collude with other sellers to control prices.

Do all Amazon sellers need product liability insurance?
No. Only those who meet the threshold are mandated by Amazon to have product liability insurance. Once you hit that threshold you do though.

In 2021, the company announced changes to its product liability insurance requirements for Amazon.com sellers. Starting September 2021, sellers with gross sales revenue of $10,000 in any month are required to have insurance with at least a $1 million limit. In addition, the insurance policy must name Amazon as an insured party. Prior to this announcement, the threshold was $10,000 in sales revenue for three consecutive months. The threshold varies, depending on the Amazon marketplace involved. For example, the threshold for FBA sellers selling on Amazon Australia is AUD10,000 for three consecutive months, and for those selling on Amazon UK, it’s GBP4,000 for three consecutive months.

For those who meet the requirements, you can secure your insurance through the IP Accelerator.

Can I sell just any product on Amazon?
No. There are products that may not be sold on Amazon. Some are pretty straightforward (like a house and lot), while others require more study. Amazon does provide examples of prohibited listings, but this list is not exhaustive.

There are also brands that cannot be resold without permission from the manufacturer (see discussion under “Can I sell a product already sold by another seller?”). In addition, Amazon has a list of restricted products that are either absolutely prohibited or require prior approval from the company before they may be sold.

Amazon has an overview of categories, which indicate which ones need prior approval and what conditions the products may be sold. Certain categories require sellers to apply to sell such as Jewelry, Music, and Video, DVD & Blu-ray.

Take note that there are also products that may be sold on Amazon but cannot be sold through FBA for safety reasons.

Can I avoid sales taxes on Amazon?
Kind of. Thanks to Marketplace Facilitator Legislation, sales tax collection and remittance obligations for nearly allstates have been shifted from Amazon third-party sellers to Amazon itself in many states. This means Amazon collects and remits sales tax.

Furthermore, some states have zero sales tax, both statewide and local. These include Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Delaware. Alaska, on the other hand, also has no statewide sales tax but have local sales taxes.

There are a lot of murky areas that continue to exist in terms of state taxation though. For instance, municipal taxes, business operating taxes (such as Washington State’s B&O tax), and more. Most sellers, for better or worse, choose to ignore these taxes (that’s not an endorsement for what you should do regarding these murky areas, just a synopsis of the current environment).

Reviews

A whole section dedicated to customer reviews will answer all your burning questions about how to get customer reviews without raising Amazon’s alarms so to give you listing the competitive edge they need.

Can I pay for reviews?
No. Amazon expressly prohibits this as this may mislead potential buyers. Reviews should be voluntary and unbiased. Any kind of payment, including the following are not allowed in exchange for reviews:

•Payment (whether in the form of money or gift cards)

•Bonus products

Entry to a prize draw or competition

Discounts on future purchases

Extra products

Other gifts

Amazon is also aware of review brokers and have shut many of them down.

Can my friends and family review my product?
No. It’s a black hat tactic that may get you in trouble. Ideally, all reviews should be unbiased and honest. However, there is a chance that Amazon may not be able to detect these reviews when used sparingly, but it’s best to avoid it. There are a lot of legitimate, TOS-compliant ways to get reviews on Amazon.
Can I or my friends and family upvote positive reviews?
No, but Amazon does not monitor this closely. Upvoting positive reviews is a way of influencing the customer’s buying decision. It makes positive reviews more visible while at the same time burying negative reviews.

However, sellers are not prohibited from encouraging buyers to leave a review as long as it is not precondition.

Can I encourage customers to leave positive reviews?
No. Amazon prohibits sellers from encouraging customers to leave only positive reviews. This includes things like:

•Offering incentives

•Asking customers to leave a review only when they end up liking the product

•Diverting buyers who have a negative experience to leave a review elsewhere

•Offering a refund or other incentives to a reviewer who left a bad review in exchange for changing or removing the review

However, sellers are not prohibited from encouraging buyers to leave a review as long as it is not precondition.

Product Descriptions & Marketing

Can you include your awesome Amazon’s Choice badge in the main photo? Can you gate your brand so no one else can sell your products?

A section on Product Descriptions & Marketing will help you navigate the dos and don’ts of promoting your product on the Amazon marketplace.

Can I Include badges/Icons/etc. in my main gallery image?
Officially you cannot include any badges in your main gallery image (i.e.BEST SELLER) and your main gallery image must be only of the product on a white background. Amazon is very sensitive if you use any of their trademarks or imagery (i.e. the Amazon logo, the Best Seller badge, etc.)

In reality, many sellers include badges in their main gallery image. Amazon’s system is pretty good at detecting these superfluous badges though and will often block the image from being displayed in the first place. Currently, if you do upload an image that is not compliant, the only punishment is that image being removed.

Can I include my packaging in my main gallery image?
Officially, Amazon says “Boxes, bags, or cases should not appear in the image unless they are an important product feature”. Of course, any seller can argue their packaging is an important feature so it’s currently free-game to include your packaging in your main gallery image.
Can I use my competitor's brand names in backend keywords?
No. Amazon does not allow sellers to include brand names to their list of backend keywords. Brand names are prohibited backend keywords and may result in your ASIN being suppresse. You may also end up risking your selling account health.
Can I sell my products for less on my website?
Yes, but be aware that Amazon is a customer-centric company and wants to offer only the best deals to its buyers.

Before, Amazon required third-party sellers to at least match the best offer within the marketplace. However, after government agencies started looking into the company’s practices more, it silently removed the provision. So currently, there is no rule against offering your products for less on your own website, but Amazon does check your offers and compares them to those in other platforms like Walmart and Target, and you may lose the Buy Box if you sell your products at significantly higher prices.

Is Brand Gating Possible on Amazon so no one else can sell my product?
Technically yes, but in reality almost no brand will ever be granted Brand Gating (yes, even if your item has been subject to piggybackers and even counterfeiters on it on it). It’s in Amazon’s interest to have as many sellers as possible competing for the Buy Box for particular products.

For items that have been subject to an extreme amount of counterfeiting it may be possible for them to get Brand Gating but this is normally reserved for the most well-known brands (i.e. Apple, Nike, etc). If you do apply Amazon specialists will examine your company’s current strategy for preventing counterfeiters (e.g., being enrolled in Amazon Transparency Program and having sent out cease-and-desist letters to counterfeiters)

Can I buy Editorial Recommendations for my product?
Yes. Recently, basically buying editorial recommendations has become big business in the Amazon seller community.

There are agencies that are connected with well-known publishers who can get your product placements in the editorial recommendations section. They will typically charge you with either a one-time charge or a commission based on the sales made through editorial recommendations. Prices range vastly, but generally are $500 or more per placement and often some percentage of sales occurring from the editorial recommendation as well.

Keep in mind, though, that often fixed fees are paid for editorial recommendations placement and not always guaranteed. There’s also been reports in seller communities of opaque charging of commissions.

Off-Amazon Marketing

Whether you are a new or a seasoned seller, there is no exception to being confused about what Amazon allows you to do when promoting your products outside of Amazon.com.

Our Off-Amazon Marketing section will show you exactly how to market your products on social media or your own content site without being threatened with an account suspension.

Can I give away my products?
Yes, as long as you do it within Amazon. Sellers can create product giveaways under the Promotions dashboard in Seller Central.

However, in recent years, product giveaway services that deliberately try to transact off Amazon (i.e., by mailing checks for the full purchase amount to customers as opposed to giving them discounts or refunds on Amazon). Essentially, Amazon discounts the ‘SEO Juice’ you get when using heavy promotions so sellers tried to avoid seeing these discounts by giving off-Amazon discounts. In 2021, Amazon officially banned off-Amazon discounts and said it was deemed a way of manipulating search results.

Can I use 2-step URLS?
No. As of 2021, Amazon, in the same announcement that effectively killed rebate services, clarified its position on manipulative URLs that artificially boost product search rankings. These include 2-step URLs, super URLs, “funnels”, “treasure hunts”, and “search-find-buy”. This has historically been a gray area for sellers, although most were aware that these would be viewed as potential TOS violations.

Use of these URLs often leaves a pretty big footprint, so it would seem to be a bad idea for sellers to continue using them.

Can an Amazon seller earn affiliate commission from their products?
Amazon’s Selling Code of Conduct does not forbid this but Amazon Associates code of conduct does. In other words, if you use an affiliate link to sell your own product and Amazon catches you, your Seller Central account will not be in jeopardy but your Amazon Associates account could be.
Can I use affiliate links to promote my product off Amazon?
Yes. Amazon affiliate links can be shared on social media and other off-Amazon channels. However, whether you are allowed to post affiliate links on various platforms will depend on the platform’s standing policies on affiliate links. For instance, Twitter requires users to be verified (blue check mark) before they can post affiliate links on their profiles.

Insofar as Amazon is concerned, sharing Amazon affiliate links in social networks is not permitted if you are an Amazon associate and not the owner of the account sharing the link. Amazon also discourages sellers from asking their audience to buy through the link in order to support their businesses, which they say is not allowed under the program.

Lastly, since affiliate links are considered advertising, your audience must be informed that you would receive an income if they make a purchase through one of your affiliate links.

Customer Communication

Amazon shoppers are Amazon’s customers, not yours. BUT there are clever ways to contact your customers without breaking TOS. 

This section answers the biggest questions about communicating with your customers and which customer info you have at your disposal.

Can I ask my customer for a review?
Yes. There are two popular white-hat ways to request reviews from customers on Amazon. There are several white-hat ways to ask customers for reviews, such as reminding them to leave a review (not a specifically a positive review) in packaging inserts, requesting reviews from previous customers, and using the Request a Review Button.

Through the Request Review Button, sellers can ask customers for reviews through Seller Central. This is a button that you can hit one time per order within a 5-30 day window after the delivery date. Here are some details about what orders you can use this button on and what exactly happens when it's pressed:

•Must be used on orders within 4-30 days of an order being delivered

•Product rating request and seller feedback request will be sent in the same email

•Message cannot be customized

•Using it does not disallow you from requesting a review separately

•You can manually click this button within your Manage Orders page within Seller Central, but there are chrome extensions that allow you to automate this process.

Keep in mind that asking for reviews outside of Amazon’s provided channels and/or sending custom messages specifically asking for good reviews are against ToS and could threaten you with an account suspension.

Can I email my customer privately?
No, it is not possible to email customers as Amazon does not reveal the customer’s email to you.

However, you can message customers but only in specific instances. According to Amazon’s Communication Guidelines, sellers may send Permitted Messages to customers, which it defines as those communications necessary to complete an order or to respond to a customer service inquiry. These instances include:

•Confirming order details; i.e., asking your customers a specific order-related question prior to shipment;

•Courtesy refunds or replacements;

•Coordinating large or heavy shipments

•Communicating problems with shipping;

•Sending your customers an invoice for their order

As of a September 2022 update, Amazon will roll out a new email messaging feature that enables sellers to email repeat, recent, and high-spend customers—even those who are not among your Brand Followers.

What customer information can you access?
Not a lot. As of April 2021, third-party sellers no longer have access to customer information like names and addresses for tax reasons, unless they explicitly need such information (Amazon usually gave this information to sellers through the Amazon-Fulfilled Shipments Report.

Furthermore, since communicating with your customers outside of allowed Amazon channels is prohibited, sellers cannot see the customers’ proper email addresses, rather, Amazon disguises both customer and seller emails to prevent off-Amazon communication.

The amount of Amazon customer data accessible to sellers has been shrinking, while Amazon itself has been scrutinized over its use of marketplace data to gain an unfair advantage over third-party sellers.

Sending Items Into Amazon

Handling your Amazon shipments is no easy task, and Amazon’s TOS don’t exactly make it easier. 

This section tackles all your questions about shipping, whether it be with Amazon FBA or FBM.

Can I delete shipments to FCs I don’t want to send into?
Kind of.

You can cancel already-created FBA shipments by clicking on the Delete shipments and charges at the bottom of the workflow page. Amazon does not want you picking and choosing shipments though (i.e. sending them to the nearest FC to you). It’s also self-defeating to some degree as if your inventory isn’t evenly-distributed it will result in your inventory being tied up in FC transfers for longer. If you do this frequently, Amazon will give you a warning and threaten to suspend your FBA privileges.

Can one Seller account have multiple fulfillment options?
Yes. Over a third of Amazon sellers use a combination of FBA and FBM fulfillment methods, and it is particularly advantageous for sellers who have a large variety of products and want to gain the perks of both methods.

While FBA is still the most convenient option for sellers, FBM has had a resurgence because of Amazon’s strict restock limitations and the global shipping disruptions, especially when you need a lot of inventory for peak shopping seasons.

Is there a product limit for every Seller account?
Yes. Amazon FBA sellers are subject to quantity limits, which are basically limitations on how many units of your products you can send into an Amazon fulfillment center.

As of February 2022, Amazon has imposed restock limitations for each storage-level type: standard-size storage, oversize storage, etc. This means that each storage type has a maximum amount of inventory storage space available.

Note: There is no minimum requirement of inventory when using FBA, but as earlier stated, there is a maximum which sellers will do well to keep tabs on.

Can I sell the same product both under regular FBA and under Small and Light Program?
Yes. You can have an FBA Small and Light offer and an offer in the standard FBA program on the same product. If you want to have offers in both programs, note that fulfillment through FBA Small and Light and through standard FBA require different processes.

Amazon Seller Accounts

Can you actually sell an Amazon Seller Central Account? How about running multiple seller accounts?

These top questions and more are answered in our dedicated section about Amazon’s TOS for Seller Accounts.

Can I have multiple accounts?
Officially, Amazon requires sellers to have only one account linked to one set of credentials, and they have historically taken action against sellers who open multiple accounts (or open new ones after getting suspended).

However, as of April 2020, sellers are now allowed to open multiple accounts if they have legitimate business reasons without securing prior approval from Amazon, provided that all your current accounts are in good standing. As to what a ‘legitimate business need’ is, Amazon has not been crystal clear where it draws the line, some of the most common cases involve sellers who have multiple brands under one company or are running multiple ecommerce companies. Amazon generally allows you to open another account as long as the reason is not that your primary account is suspended or threatened with suspension.

Note: You do not need a separate company to open a separate Amazon account, but you do need a separate bank account, a separate chargeable credit card, and a separate email address. Your multiple accounts also should not sell the same products.

What happens if my account gets suspended?
A suspended Amazon account means that Amazon is withholding your selling privileges. While this usually happens when your account violates Amazon terms and conditions, sellers in good faith sometimes get caught up in one of Amazon’s rounds of account suspensions.

Account suspension means that your product listings will not be visible to customers for the time being and your account itself will be unserviceable, until such suspension is lifted or properly appealed.

The process of having your account unsuspended will depend on the type of account suspension, of which there are essentially three:

•You failed one of Amazon’s operational metrics—You must write Amazon and identify 2 to 3 steps you will take to correct it. Amazon is never going to check to see if you're actually implementing your plan. All they care about is that you never exceed that metric again

•You violated Amazon terms of service or engaged in illegal activity—Amazon tends to be quite unforgiving for this type of violation. Sellers who have been ‘permanently’ banned over this kind of activity have little chance of getting reinstated and resort to opening entirely new Amazon accounts.

•There was a misunderstanding on Amazon’s end—If there is a legitimate mistake by Amazon and you still have the option to appeal, you'll likely get your account back after submitting the necessary paperwork (such as commercial invoices, shipping receipts, etc.) to prove they are not wrong. Be prepared to give lots of paperwork. Amazon values paperwork ahead of your pleas.

Can I sell my Seller Central account?
Officially, outright selling an Amazon seller account is not acceptable according to ToS, as this has historically been used as a black-hat tactic by rogue sellers to evade the security checks conducted by Amazon when signing up as a new seller. Bad actors also often resort to buying secondhand Amazon accounts to take advantage of established brand history, good ratings and performance indicators, and verified US business information.

Unofficially, however, you can sell your FBA account as an asset to your existing business. One method is an Account Takeover, where you change information like tax info and password to that of your buyer, or a more laborious Listing Takeover, where product pages are transferred to the buyer’s account. There are numerous brokerage services that connect Amazon sellers to potential buyers. Note: Buyers in good faith look to buy your business, not your Amazon account.

Bottomline: You cannot sell an Seller Central account, but you can sell an Amazon FBA business, which might include account management, following the proper steps.

Do I need to have business insurance to sell on Amazon?
Yes. According to Amazon’s Commercial Liability Insurance Policy, it requires business insurance for Professional Sellers with gross proceeds of over $10,000 during any month from sales on its platform. According to the Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement, the minimum requirements are $1 million per-occurrence and $1 million aggregate limits of commercial general liability insurance and product liability insurance.

Your policies must name Amazon and its assignees as additional insureds. Sellers may need to mail a certificate of insurance to Amazon to prove they carry this coverage.

Amazon has also recently rolled out the Insurance Accelerator Program, which, similar to its IP Accelerator, helps merchants obtain insurance from pre-vetted insurance providers (available only in a select number of countries)

Do I need to have a Business in the U.S. to Sell on Amazon.com?
No, you do not need to have a U.S. based business to sell on Amazon. Foreign sellers from many countries can sell on Amazon with their foreign entities (i.e. a Canadian business or a Chinese business).
Do you need a Business (LLC, Corporation, etc) to sell on Amazon??
No. It is not required to have an official business to sell on Amazon. You can start selling immediately under your name as sole proprietor.

However, setting up an limited liability company (such as an LLC in America or Corporation in Canada)is generally a good idea because it helps you safeguard your personal assets from potential liabilities as an Amazon seller in case of lawsuits. Bigger sellers will certainly have LLCs already set up.

What happens to inactive Seller accounts?
If your Amazon seller account has been inactive for some time (some sellers receive email notifications after not making a sale in the last 90 days), Amazon will likely deactivate your account. This means that your listings will be deleted and your current Amazon balance will be put on hold. Account deactivation may be appealed to Amazon within 90 days from effectivity. Sellers may write an appeal letter to Amazon or conduct their own investigation first if they believe there was a mistake on Amazon’s part regarding the deactivation.

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