Amazon has quietly launched Amazon Lending, which it hopes will encourage merchants to place more inventories into the Amazon Marketplace.
Speaking April 30 at the ChannelAdvisor Catalyst conference, Sebastian Gunningham, vice president of seller services at Amazon, said Amazon Lending had been an initiative available only to marketplace sellers by invite only, and was recently taken out of Beta.
“We’ve seen success in a seller’s ability of obtain more inventory in correlation to the amount of inventory that can be sold through the marketplace,” Gunningham said. “It’s about getting more inventory in the marketplace.”
ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo said that based on Amazon’s invites to join, several of his clients initially thought Amazon Lending was some sort of scam. Amazon offered instant credit to sellers with an interest rate between 9% and 12%, and let sellers pay the four-month or six-month loans back out of their proceeds. Sellers can also pay back their loans early with no pre-payment penalties.
Gunningham said there are a few issues with taxes that are being worked out. Also, there are many states which Amazon is not authorized to loan money yet, Gunningham said.