Selling an FBA Business - NOT AS EASY AS YOU MIGHT THINK!

Hi guys and gals...

This post is for those who eventually wish to sell their FBA business, as many of us eventually aspire to do.

As FBA sellers grow their brands and businesses, they typically look to expand to other Amazon marketplaces particularly the UK and EU. This is slowly becoming the norm as Amazon's presence in these geographical areas begins to catch up with their US counterparts, and the markets become more and more linked.

For those who already sell on Amazon UK etc, you'll know your UK/EU accounts are linked to your US and can be accessed from a signing into the one account.

Now Amazon US 'generally' prohibits the transfer of accounts, with the word 'generally' being the get-out clause for many. However, now that sellers also sell within other marketplaces, you'll find that Amazon policy terms differ between marketplaces in regards to transfer of accounts, as you would expect to suit the local legalities.

So if you have only Amazon US, then for the time being you're probably okay, BUT if you want to expand in the future or have already expanded, then you should probably READ ON!

The most problematic marketplace is the UK, which is the central EU account for most sellers. The UK Amazon policy EXCLUDES the word 'generally' and simple prohibits transfer.

You can still apply to change business entity (which is the same as transferring ownership), however, it is for those who dare!!

Firstly, you cannot talk to the seller verification team and whilst they have a direct email address, the email actually goes to an intermediary seller support staff member, which comes with all the usual problems.

Secondly, the moment you request a change of entity, your account is immediately suspended. The Seller Verification Department in the UK is very small, back logged, and the process is anywhere between 3-6 months, in which time your business looses income and the sale of your FBA account becomes unachievable.

Finally, there is no guideline as to what you can and cannot do. Amazon's UK policy prohibits transfer, yet they allow you to apply by email which in turn results in immediate suspension. Applying, could simply result in closing of your account.

To add to this, as your USA and UK accounts are linked, any change of entity on one account whether the US or the UK immediately highlights legal entity issues between the two jurisdictions as having two business entities on one account obviously does not work for tax and other legal reasons. This places ALL of your marketplace accounts at risk.

What are your experiences in transferring the ownership of a UK seller account?
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