How Do I Take Over My Amazon FBA Account?
Want to sell your Amazon FBA account? Read on to learn how to transfer ownership easily.
October 20, 2021
How To Transfer Ownership of Your Amazon FBA Account in 2021
While Amazon FBA is one of the best e-commerce options out there, transferring ownership of your store can be a bit complicated. Is it possible? YES. Is it easy? Not always, the first time around anyway.
Amazon’s official policy is that Seller Central accounts cannot be transferred. This is true...but it doesn’t mean that there is no way to transfer the business itself.
There are two primary methods to transferring ownership of an Amazon FBA store after it has been sold. These include Amazon FBA Migration and a Listing Transfer. The former is relatively simple, though it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to complete the process. The latter is more complicated and definitely should be considered the last resort. A Listing Transfer will take 2-3 months and requires more work on the part of both the buyer and seller.
Migrating Your Amazon FBA Account
Since FBA Migration is the preferred mode of transfer of ownership, let’s start here. We’ll walk through this process step by step.
1. Buyer and Seller Communicate With Amazon
Communication with Amazon is key in the FBA account transfer process. Both the seller and the buyer will need to send formal, written communication to Amazon letting them know of the upcoming account changes.
The seller needs to inform Amazon that their account information will be changing, including email address, name, contact info, EIN number, payment information, authentication details, and SSN.
If the buyer already owns a storefront, they will send in a letter to Amazon informing them that they will be opening a new Amazon account. If they do not already own a Seller Central account, there is no need to inform Amazon.
2. Change the Account Information
At this point, the seller must insert all the buyer’s information into their Amazon account. This process will go faster if the buyer already has a bank account and legal entity in place that is both not currently linked with any Amazon accounts.
This should include:
- Contact information (email address, phone number, etc.)
- Financial information (credit card information, bank account information)
- Tax information (EIN and SSN, business name)
- Authentication details (authenticator app or secondary phone number/email)
3. Give the Buyer All Other Assets
While these changes are taking place, the seller needs to ensure all other credentials are sent to the buyer.
This might include (but is not limited to):
- Social media accounts
- Memberships to online services
- Marketing lists
- Email services
Hopefully, you already have a well-organized list of any and all services you use for your business, as well as the login information. Note that you may want to change this login and account information prior to giving over the account details in order to safeguard your personal information. The buyer should modify these details as soon as possible.
4. Trial Run
At this stage in the game, the buyer has everything they need to get started. Depending on your contract with them, you may not be required to give the buyer a “trial run” period, but we highly suggest it.
A trial period is a period during which the buyer leaves all the account details exactly as you had them, in order to verify that the profits are within an acceptable margin of what you advertised. The buyer must leave all account settings exactly as you had them.
This process protects you as the seller - as it ensures that the buyer can’t come back later and claim you sold them a faulty store. Your contract could specify anywhere from 2 weeks to 1 month where the buyer evaluates if the business is as it should be.
5. Finalize the Transfer
Once both the seller and the buyer have confirmed that they are pleased with the transfer, the seller can acquire their funds. At this point, the original account number should have none of their details on any of the assets.
Transferring Your Listings
Transferring listings is definitely a more complicated way to go about transferring your Amazon FBA account, but sometimes it has to be done. This should be an absolute last resort for those who are unable to migrate their seller central account using the above process.
1. The Buyer Creates a New Amazon Account
Prior to transferring listings, the buyer will need to create a Seller Central account. If they already have an account, they will need to contact Amazon and let them know they are creating a secondary account.
2. Seller Organizes Their Current Account
At this stage, the seller should be organizing all the details necessary to hand over to the buyer. Eventually, this will continue assets such as branding, advertisement settings, and shipping settings - but for now, will focus on inventory.
The seller needs to forecast how much inventory should be necessary over the transfer period to make sure the store doesn’t run out of products during the transfer process. They should keep up to a month’s inventory on hand, and reorder stock if necessary.
3. Both Parties Handle Inventory Transfer
Once the seller has enough inventory and a forecast for what will be necessary over the coming weeks, the inventory transfer process begins.
The buyer will need to obtain a 3PL (Third Party Logistics Service). This company will assist them in receiving and storing inventory from the seller. The seller should then send over a sufficient quantity of inventory to avoid running out in the near future but should keep enough on hand within their own inventory for the next few weeks. Until the listing transfer is complete, both seller and buyer need inventory.
4. Handle the Brand
This is where the official brand begins to get handed off to the buyer. First, the buyer will need to apply for their Amazon Brand Registry Account. At this point, the seller should utilize the buyer’s Store ID to give them permissions for their brand.
Note: the buyer will also need all marketing elements pertaining to the brand. Logos, graphics, and any other digital elements.
5. Duplicate the Listings
Listings will now be copied from the FBA sellers account to the buyer’s account. This will include the actual listings with their unique ASIN numbers, and all reviews and sale data that comes with it.
6. Duplicate PPC Settings
It is critical that PPC settings remain identical during the transfer period for the buyer and seller. This will ensure that the seller is acquiring the business exactly as it was when they agreed to purchase, and can verify the account activity with the current advertisement settings in place.
7. Streamline Shipping
Once listings have been copied over, the seller will send over all shipping details to the buyer. This will help the buyer relabel the products accordingly and should include all shipping information and the seller’s original account info.
8. Relabel Products
This is where the 3PL comes into play. Now that the shipping details have been switched over from seller to buyer from their existing account, the buyer can relabel products accordingly with the help of their 3PL and have all inventory sent to the appropriate Amazon storage facility.
9. Activate the New Account & Trial Run
Now that the listings have successfully been transferred, the buyer can activate their account (up until this point it is not active) and complete a trial run. As we mentioned when running through the migration process, the trial run is there to protect both buyer and seller in the process.
10. Finalize the Sale
Assuming all has gone well, the sale can now be finalized! The Amazon sellers should give the buyer any remaining product, and they can now receive final compensation for the sale.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service offered by Amazon that allows any business or individual to sell on the Amazon.com marketplace without having to store products in their own inventory. It stores, picks, packs, ships, and provides customer service for these products.
As you can see, transferring FBA inventory one by one of the same account is far more complicated than the process of migrating your professional seller account in Amazon. Depending on where the transaction of your Amazon seller central business takes place, you may actually acquire some help with the transfer process from the listing company. This isn’t always the case, though.
Before you consider selling an Amazon business store, there are a few other questions to make sure you can answer correctly.
- Have I handled my business entirely legally?
- Are all my business documents organized correctly?
- Am I making enough profit monthly to sell?
If the answer to all three of these questions is not a resounding “yes,” you may want to reconsider selling your store at the moment. Buyers are looking for well-run, well-organized, profitable stores to invest in. If yours isn’t that...it will become evident as they gain access to your storefront. Work hard on getting your business in top shape before you think about selling it!
Once you’re ready to do so, the process of selling and transferring your FBA account is not too complicated. Save this page for the future when you’re ready to make that move!
David Zaleski is an entrepreneur, Amazon seller, and the founder of EcomHub. He's been operating in the eCommerce space since the age of 14 years old. At the age of 18, he started his own Amazon business with just $4,800 in start-up capital.See more posts from this author