As your Amazon business starts to grow, you might be thinking about adding a second store front.
I’m sure you’ve heard or read stories about sellers who’ve had their Amazon accounts suspended or shut down for apparently no reason.
You’re probably thinking it would be in your best interest to have a second store front, just in case. That way, if anything happens, you’ll have a back up ready to go.
Or if you decide to sell your business, having a second storefront allows you to keep selling and growing your business.
Hold on there partner. There are some things you should know before you take that step of setting up an additional account.
AMAZON SELLER SUPPORT
Operating and maintaining multiple Seller Central accounts is prohibited. If you have a legitimate business need for a second account, you can apply for an exception to this policy – Amazon Seller Central
It’s not that Amazon doesn’t want you to open a second storefront; it's that they don’t want one seller to gain a competitive advantage over another.
Opening your account the right way is about following the rules Amazon has put in place.
Not adhering to the rules may make you money for a while, but if you’re caught, you risk losing not only your seller account, but Amazon can hold your money indefinitely.
Legitimate Business Reasons for Opening a Second Amazon Storefront
Here are 5 “legitimate business reasons” for you to use when you’re looking to open a second store front.
- Different Owners: You have a group of partners or corporate stockholders and each of them want to open their own storefront. Remember that each account has to have its own EIN and bank account.
- Different Sale Items: You want to start selling clothing in addition to tools and hardware, but you don’t want to confuse your branding.
- Two Businesses, One Household: A member of your household has their own business and wants to open a storefront for it. (Think Youtuber who wants to branch out.)
- Going Out On Your Own: You want to open a private seller account that is separate from the one you work on for your employer. You will need to disclose this to Amazon in your request since the same IP address will show up when you log on at home.
- Company Reorganization: You are reorganizing your company and moving from one type of entity to another. For example, your Partnership agreement is changing to an LLC or S-Corp. (Note that you can hire a registered agent such as LegalZoom or Northwest Registered Agent in the case of an LLC who would help you maintain your LLC status in your state.) Or you may be adding an entity under your umbrella of companies that will not sell the same items as the present storefront.
5 Mistakes Amazon Sellers Make When Opening a Second Amazon Storefront
Opening a second storefont just because . . .
There has to be a justifiable business-related reason as to why you want to open another account.
In order to be approved to open a second storefront, you need the following:
- You must provide an explanation of the legitimate business need for a second account.
- You must have an account in good standing with excellent Customer Metrics.
- You must have a separate email address, credit card, and bank account for the new Amazon store.
- You must not intend to sell the same products in both accounts.
Amazon will respond to your request within 2-3 business days.
By-passing Amazon’s approval process
Every request for opening an additional seller account goes through Seller Performance. The requests are reviewed by investigators as to the validity of the request. The request must be approved in an email from an investigator within Seller Performance.
Once you are approved, be sure to keep this email handy because Amazon may occasionally ask you why you have multiple storefronts. Presenting this email will keep you out of harms way.
Attempting to Outsmart Amazon’s Detection Algorithm
Amazon employs advanced algorithms to catch sellers with multiple accounts. Most sellers are caught by bots flagging their account for suspicious overlaps of items like bank accounts, credit cards, or IP addresses.
Not Separating Everything
The key to getting your request approved to open another storefront is separation.
Amazon won’t allow you to run more than one storefront using the same bank, credit card, or email address.
Before you more forward, create separate accounts for your new storefront.
This includes separate:
- Financials including credit cards
- IP Address
- Email Accounts
- Phone Number
- Shipping/Billing Address
Basically, the more you can show Amazon that this is an entirely different and separate storefront the better.
Sub-Par Account Performance
The key to getting your second storefront approved quickly is to keep your current seller account performing well.
This includes keeping an eye on your Seller Performance Notifications:
- Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate less than 25%
- Late Shipment Rate less than 4%
- Contact Response Time below 24 hours
- Order Defect Rate less than 1%
How to Open a Second Amazon Storefront
The actual process to apply for a second storefront is pretty straightforward. You can apply for an exception to Amazon’s policy from the bottom of any page in your seller account. Click “Contact Seller Support,” select your account, then select “Other Account Issues.”
Make sure you already have the needed items in place before you submit your information. Wait for Amazon to approve you before opening your second account.
Note: Once your second storefront is approved, it will fall under new policies, meaning Amazon will retain all funds in reserve until 7 days after expected delivery. The second storefront won’t be “Buy Box” eligible for a period of time determined by Amazon.