When it comes to selling on Amazon, one of the most common questions asked is how often does Amazon FBA pay.
The short answer is that most Amazon sellers get paid every two weeks.
The long answer, as with most things related to being an Amazon seller, has a little more to it and depends on a variety of factors.
In this article, we’ll explore those factors and break down exactly when you can expect to see your hard-earned money in your bank account.
We’ll also cover common reasons why you might be seeing some delays in your Amazon seller payment schedule.
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What is an Amazon payout?
As an Amazon seller, your regular payout is the lifeblood of your growing business.
It’s when Amazon distributes all the net revenues owed to you after totaling up sales in Seller Central and deducting various expenses such as referral fees, shipping fees, storage fees, and advertising costs.
Whilst the actual number varies significantly depending on how much you make on Amazon, the process of how Amazon pay sellers is pretty similar across the board, so let’s explore it a little more.
How often does Amazon deposit?
The deposit cycle runs once every 14 days but you can opt to manually disburse a once-a-day deposit – more on that in a minute.
It’s a set 14 days since your last disbursement and therefore varies for each seller.
The first payment date as a new seller will depend on when you created your account, and when you make your first sale.
How does the Amazon seller payment schedule work?
The actual payment cycle for an Amazon seller account can be a topic of confusion for a lot of newer sellers.
You’re making sales and looking forward to receiving your first payout… but nothing comes through.
That’s because there is a system of delays built into the Amazon payout schedule to protect it from potential bad actors.
The good news is though, once you understand the schedule it will help you plan your cash flow with much more confidence.
Here is an infographic that breaks down each stage of the Amazon payments timeline:
Milestone 1: Make a sale
In the example image, you made a sale on June 1st.
You’re expecting these funds to be available to you pretty quickly, much like if you were selling on eBay, or through your brand’s own Shopify store.
There are a few more milestones to come through.
Milestone 2: Latest expected delivery date
Your next scheduled payment date may well be June 5th, and you could be forgiven for thinking this is the date your money will land in your business bank account.
But the next key milestone is the latest estimated delivery date.
In the above infographic, the example given is June 7th for this milestone.
Amazon releases these funds a full 7 days after this date.
Milestone 3: Proceeds available
7 days later on 14th June, our funds now move into our available balance, having been previously held in our “account level reserve”.
But it still may be a few days before Amazon release funds, because they only get released every 14 days.
Milestone 4: Your scheduled Amazon seller payout
The day has finally arrived!
In this scenario, your scheduled payment date would be June 19th (14 days after the previous payout of June 5th).
Because the funds from your June 1st sale have now cleared they will be included in this June 19th payout.
But before you get too excited, one more period of waiting to come…
Milestone 5: Your Transfer Clears
As Amazon does not send funds via same-day ACH transfers, and instead by standard ACH transfers, it can take 3-7 days for funds to clear in your account.
This means you may not receive cleared funds until as late as June 26th in our example.
So in reality, the sales you’re making today may not hit your bank for close to a month.
That can present some cash flow challenges for which we need to find solutions. Will explore those in more depth in a moment, but first let’s answer a common question asked by new sellers.
Can I use the ‘Request Transfer’ button to get paid early?
That beautiful little button shows up in your Seller Account and the word ‘early’ just screams out at you.
I can get my hands on this cash right now??
Well yes, and no…
This isn’t the secret hack that gets Amazon seller payouts faster.
The Request Transfer button will indeed bring the process forward, but it won’t give you access to any funds that are currently being held in your Account Level Reserve.
This means it will not transfer your full balance and it will instead begin the process of transferring all cleared funds as of today’s date to your bank account.
You will still need to wait for the ACH transfer delay of 3-7 days for the funds to hit your account, and the timeline will then reset meaning your next transfer will be pushed back to another 14 days later.
Can I request transfers every day?
Yes, you can request a transfer every 24 hours.
But in time you may well find it to be a sub-optimal practice for your overall efficiency as a business due to the extra manual time input.
You may hear in Facebook groups or forums about Amazon sellers having access to daily payouts, but this isn’t necessarily what it seems.
Firstly, it could be referring to the process mentioned above of requesting transfers every 24 hours so as to receive daily payouts.
This doesn’t remove the waiting period already discussed and just increases the regularity of payments.
It could also be referring to next-day payouts which are very rare and only available to sellers who have been active on Amazon for a very long time and had this feature grandfathered into their account.
Next-day payouts used to be the standard but was phased out a long time ago in a bid to protect Amazon from fraudulent activity.
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What is an Amazon Unavailable Balance (or Account Level Reserve)?
The unavailable balance in your account (now called “account level reserve”) is the money set aside by Amazon to cover any returns, claims or chargebacks.
This is Amazon’s way of combatting any fraudulent behaviour and preventing sellers from scamming the platform.
Prior to the account level reserve being put in place, immoral sellers could sell a large volume of goods with a long shipping time and have the balance cleared in their account before anyone suspected any wrongdoing.
This was soon fixed with the now common Amazon account level reserve.
The extra wait caused by this unavailable balance can be a frustrating one, so let’s look at why they happen, and then to conclude – provide some cash flow solutions to help get you paid faster.
Why do unavailable balances happen?
Unavailable balances build-up for a number of reasons, so let’s look at the main ones.
1. Order delivery schedule
As detailed earlier, sales proceeds won’t clear into your available funds until seven days after the latest estimated delivery date, and will instead go into your next payout date.
2. A-to-Z Claims or Chargebacks
An A-to-Z claim is a type of chargeback that can be filed by an Amazon buyer against a seller.
This type of claim can be used when a buyer has not received their order, has received the wrong order, or the order was damaged or defective on arrival.
3. Account performance
If your Seller Central account health is facing some issues due to poor seller performance or customer feedback then Amazon may withhold money from being sent to your bank account whilst the issues are restored.
You can check on any such issues on your account health page inside Seller Central.
4. Account review
If your seller account sees any sudden spike in sales it may force a manual review by Amazon as they may want to ensure you can fulfil all orders before transferring any funds.
How to improve cashflow with an unavailable balance
Waiting for that next payment period to come around can be a frustrating time in your Amazon business.
You need to get paid so you can order stock and make more sales!
Here are a few things you can do to overcome these issues.
1. Utilise 0% business credit card offers
Amazon sellers can utilise 0% business credit card offers to improve their cash flow.
This is because it allows them to borrow money interest-free for a set period of time.
This can be helpful for businesses who are looking to invest in new stock or equipment, or who need to cover a short-term cash flow shortfall.
2. Apply for a business loan
Business loans can be a helpful way to improve your cash flow as an Amazon seller.
This type of loan allows you to borrow money for a set period of time at a fixed interest rate.
To apply for a business loan, you’ll need to provide some information about your business, including your turnover, profit, business plan, and will likely need to undergo a credit check.
3. Secure a business line of credit
A business line of credit can help Amazon sellers improve their cash flow by giving them access to quick and easy capital in their bank account.
This type of credit line is very flexible as you only draw down capital when needed and it can be used for a variety of purposes, such as paying for inventory or covering other business expenses.
4. Negotiate improved payment terms with suppliers
Many businesses struggle with cash flow issues.
This is often because suppliers are demanding payment before the business has had a chance to sell its products.
However, there are things you can do to negotiate improved payment terms with your suppliers.
One of the best ways to improve your payment terms is to offer to pay a bit more for the products if the supplier agrees to extended payment terms.
The slight hit in margin will be more than offset by the improved cash flow.
Once your cash flow situation becomes more manageable, then you can always re-negotiate the prices back down.
If you’re having trouble getting your suppliers to agree to better payment terms, try negotiating a longer-term contract.
This will show the supplier that you’re serious about doing business with them and that you’re not going anywhere.
5. Register with an instant advance partner
Services like SellersFunding can provide advances of up to 90% of the money owed by Amazon before it clears into your available balance.
Like other forms of lending, there will be small fees to pay, but cash flow issues may mean this becomes a net positive for your business and allows you to grow faster.
Mastering the Amazon seller payment schedule
By understanding how and when Amazon seller payments will hit your bank account you can plan ahead and avoid cash flow issues.
The key thing to remember is that there is an in-built delay in the Amazon seller payment schedule that means for a sale you make today, you won’t see the proceeds for 3-4 weeks.
Remember, there are a variety of ways to improve your cash flow, so don’t be afraid to try a few different things until you find something that works for you!
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