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To be clear: I am not to be considered legal counsel on this matter. Should you have an issue, please consult an attorney.
I am frequently asked:
Do you need to have a manufacturer or authorized distributor invoice to sell something on amazon.com?
If you don’t have an invoice, you can still resell goods and the goods are not fake. The only time an invoice would come into play is if there is evidence the goods you are selling are counterfeit. The party making the claim would need to prove that the goods you are selling are fake.
However, Amazon.com runs a controlled market. They are not bound by a system of due process when determining your eligibility to sell products. They can do whatever they want. They can stop you from selling for any reason or no reason. They can place additional restrictions on you. If you sell on Amazon or any other marketplace, you need to understand that you are at their mercy. They can remove your privileges without any due process or reasoning.
Amazon wants to prevent the sale of counterfeit merchandise and preemptively “gates” certain products. Simply put, Amazon is looking that you didn’t go out and make fake stuff. They want to see that you are getting product from a legitimate supplier, with a good reputation, and knowledge of the wholesale market.
Wholesaler Invoices (read more about Palletfly’s official ungating service here)
Many suppliers will be able to get you approved on Amazon for gated products or brands. In turn, you can make plenty of money. Nonetheless, getting ungated does not mean that Amazon will not decide to ban you from the listing later.
Brand Authorization Letter
Amazon may, at times, request a letter directly from the brand for you to resell the product in question. That means they will rejects any invoice you submit to them. In this case, you would need to appeal to the supplier you are purchasing from to see if they can obtain such a letter with your information on it. For those situations, many suppliers will not be able to provide you further documentation.
Amazon may, at times, request a letter directly from the brand for you permitting you to sell the brand’s product. Remember, it’s Amazon—they don’t have to be fair. That means they will reject any invoice you submit to them. If that happens, you would need your supplier to obtain an authorization letter from the brand that states that you’re allowed to sell. Most suppliers will not be able to provide you with such documentation.
This is especially true for smaller orders. Even a $100,000 order may be considered small to most large brands. Most of your suppliers will be purchasing product the two or three steps removed from the brand. There are layers of distributors and wholesalers involved. Brands do this to keep costs down. They use large distribution companies to house and sell their goods instead of doing it themselves. All this means is that there would be no way for you to get an authorized distributor invoice or letter without purchasing $100,000’s worth of goods.
Brand Complaints / Amazon Listing Restriction
Amazon may remove you from a listing claiming that your goods are fake or that the brand does not allow you to sell their products. This can happen even after you’ve been approved for gated products, if you were never gated, or even if you purchased directly from the brand. In this scenario, you are at Amazon’s mercy. This is one of the largest risks when reselling brand name products on Amazon’s platform. (I would advise you to consult with an attorney prior to opening your Amazon store.)
Not being able to supply an invoice that Amazon will approve is not a crime.
You can safely assume that any reputable source selling branded goods is selling you genuine goods. If you choose to buy only from sources that can provide you with authorized distributor invoices or brand approval letters, you will find yourself dealing with very few vendors, very high pricing, limited selection, or having to invest heavily into a single product. Most of the large distributors have no interest or need to work with individual Amazon sellers.
Furthermore, even if a supplier does have an invoice that is coming straight from the brand, they may not want to release it. No supplier is required to hand over documents to you with their sources or any other information regarding where the goods came from.
MANY Brands don’t like Amazon Sellers
There are many brands that go out of their way to try to have the selling privileges of Amazon sellers revoked by claiming their products are fake. The reason is simple: Amazon sellers cause price wars that lead to erosion of product value and brand image. Brands will stop at nothing to protect their company and will try hard to prevent wholesalers from selling their products to Amazon sellers.
There is no way for you to ever be 100% safe when selling on Amazon.
Selling branded products on Amazon is risky. Having an invoice directly from the brand owner may not be enough to avoid losing your seller privileges Even if you are the brand owner, you can still have other issues. As with ANY other business, there is always a risk.
Best of luck finding those good products to sell. Keep in mind, not having an invoice is not a crime!
Jack Sasson / Palletfly.com
Palletfly.com only provides Amazon comparison information and other projections to help you do research quicker. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AND IS NOT BASED ON RELIABLE INFORMATION. Palletfly.com is not responsible for any information provided or inaccuracies. Using such information is at your own risk. Palletfly.com makes no representations regarding your eligibility or ability to sell or resell products on the Amazon marketplace or anywhere else. Please make sure to do your own research prior to purchasing any products on Palletfly.com. Palletfly.com is not affiliated with Amazon.com.
Pallet Fly is an innovative platform that is geared towards streamlining and optimizing the supply chain experience in product distribution. Our website was founded with one goal in mind: Bring innovation to supply chain. With the many evolving marketplaces that have sprouted through the internet, there comes a great change in how consumer products changes hands. From Amazon to Walmart, brick-and-mortar to Ecommerce, all consumer shopping has taken a large drift from what was knows as traditional retail several years ago. The evolution of how products are sourced on a wholesale level has taken far longer to progress.
We want to help you save time, increase profits, and save you countless hours of frustration.
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