Amazon Payouts: Tips to make unavailable balances work better

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    As an Amazon seller, you know the basics of Amazon payout schedule and have likely experienced an unavailable balance at some point. Simply put, Amazon pays you every 14 days or longer. But have you ever wondered why there’s a 14 day delay — or why you might have to wait longer than two weeks for payment?

    To help you answer these questions (and more), we put together the definitive guide on all things Amazon payments. Read on to learn more about Amazon’s payment terms, when and how you’ll actually get paid, how you can initiate early payments, what your cash flow options are, and more.

    When you have a better understanding of Amazon payouts and unavailable balances, you can take more control over your income — and your business’ growth. In this article, you’re going to learn about Amazon Payouts and Unavailable Balances.

    What are Amazon’s Payment Terms?

    In most situations, Amazon pays Professional Sellers every two weeks, with each payment including 14 days of orders (less Amazon’s fees) that were delivered at least 7 days ago. The actual dates of each payout typically depend on when you signed up as a seller. Said differently, Amazon does not necessarily initiate payments on the 1st and 15th of each month, like some marketplaces do.

    When all is said and done, proceeds are paid out 7 days after the latest estimated delivery date — Amazon values customer satisfaction and holding your payout for 7 days allows the buyer to assess their order and confirm that it’s in the promised/expected condition.

    If a customer is dissatisfied and wants to make a return within that seven-day window, it will be processed from the funds that Amazon has on hold. Here’s a sample timeline from Amazon about the payout schedule:

    Amazon Payout
    Image source:

    All this to say, some sellers have to wait more than 14 days for payment. Here are a few reasons why:

    • If orders are delivered within 7 days of your payout date, the balance will roll over into the next payment period
    • Actual transfers can take 3-5 business days to post to your account
    • Amazon might hold back all or part of your payment for more than 14 days as an “unavailable balance” (more on this below).

    How do Amazon Payment Transfers Work — and When Will You Get Your Funds?

    When all is said and done, you might not get your payouts for 17-19 business days after making a sale. Let’s break it down:

    Amazon uses only one method of payment: ACH transfers to your bank account. Because these are not Same Day ACH transfers, you can expect to see your funds in your bank account within five business days. Whether it’s the next day or the fifth day really depends on the bank you use and the type of account you have.

    According to Amazon, “Transfers can take 3-5 business days to complete. The current amount displayed is an estimate and may vary from the amount transferred based on new activity in your seller account, including: product sales, fees, refunds, chargebacks, and A-to-z Guarantee Claims.”

    This 3-5 business days is in addition to the 14 day payout cycle, hence why you could end up waiting nearly 20 days for payment.

    Regardless of how long payment takes to post, you’ll see a deposit labeled in one of two ways (or you might see two individual deposits):

    • “Amazon Payments, Inc.” covers transactions where buyers agree to pay on or before the shipment of goods
    • “Amazon Services LLC” includes transactions where buyers agree to pay after shipment

    What is the Request Transfer Button?

    Some sellers have a Request Transfer button in their account — if you are eligible for this feature, you’ll see the button in your Amazon dashboard.

    The Request Transfer button is designed to initiate a payment transfer before your regularly scheduled payout date. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting paid early. Instead, you are initiating a transfer of the current available payout (i.e. of orders delivered 7-10 days ago that are available on the day you hit the button). The whole amount you see in your account essentially shows you what you WILL have available — in other words, it includes the funds for all orders, not just those marked delivered.

    Once you initiate a Request Transfer, the normal payment period closes and a new two-week cycle begins. So, you are effectively pushing out the date of full payment to get a portion of it early.

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