What Is Amazon Business?
If you aren’t using Amazon Business, you might like to know that its popularity is growing and it’s currently free to sign up.
Amazon launched the business-to-business platform in 2015 and it hit $1 billion in sales a year later. It’s Amazon’s only business to grow that fast, according to John Bruno, the lead B2B e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research.
Amazon Business is available in eight countries including the U.S., Germany, U.K., Japan, France, Italy, Spain and India, and analysts are projecting that sales will be over $25 billion by 2021, says Bloomberg.
What Does Amazon Business Offer
The service is designed to capture your business dollars that may be spent at places like Office Depot, Sam’s Club, or an arts and crafts wholesaler.
Much like Amazon’s regular retail experience, you can get everything from cleaning and office supplies to books, camera bundles and computer equipment. But Amazon tries to sweeten the deal in several ways.
- Multi-User Account: Multiple people can use the account and you customize it, for example, to set spending limits, control payment options and select how orders are approved.
- Pricing: You get access to business-only pricing for a lot of items. You can also get discounts for ordering multiple units of some products.
- Exclusive Suppliers: Amazon claims there are participating sellers on the platform that only engage in B2B sales, which means you may not otherwise have access to them and what they offer.
- Shipping: Amazon Business offers free shipping on eligible orders over $25. To get free two-day shipping, you have to sign up for Amazon Business Prime, and there are different plans depending on how many people in your business will be using the account. The smallest plan, called Essentials is $179.00/ year for three people. And with Amazon Business Prime, you also can get free one-day shipping on select orders over $35 as well as Prime Early Access, which is a service that lets you see Lightning Deals 30 minutes earlier than non-Prime users.
- Pallet Shipping: Qualifying orders can be shipped on a pallet so you get one large, consolidated parcel.
- Ordering Aides: If you have a tax-exempt business, you can enroll in the Amazon Tax Exemption Program. You can add purchase numbers to your orders. And, there’s a Manage Suppliers feature so you can save and easily interact with preferred suppliers.
- Analytics: There’s a purchasing analytics dashboard so you track and monitor your spending and create reports. Shared payment methods can use corporate cards, arrange a line of credit and share payment methods. Tax Exemptions—
Should You Get Amazon Business?
Given that we are talking about Amazon, it’s surprising that Amazon Business is free. But since it is, and you could possibly save money and get access to supplies that might not otherwise be available, I didn’t see any reason not to sign up.
If you decide to create an account, you will come to a screen that asks for a business credit card to help verify your account faster. Don’t let that discourage you because it’s optional. I skipped that step and my account was still verified almost instantly.
Now, when it comes to Amazon Business Prime, I have a different attitude.
I see no reason for me to pay Amazon an annual fee to rush all of my orders in two days. I usually don’t really need things that fast, so free standard shipping works for me. And for those instances when I need something urgently, I will just pay a one-time express shipping fee. I’m pretty sure those cases won’t equal $179.
By paying extra to get two-day shipping, I think a person could easily give back the savings they’re there to earn. So, I vote NO, at least for me for right now.
But your needs may be different. You may plan to place a thousand little orders under 25 bucks that require you to pay shipping. If that’s the case, Amazon Business Prime is there. Just make sure you calculate it first.
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