We all like saving money, right? This Amazon Business review looks at a FREE service from Amazon that offers lots of perks. It’s also open to the smallest of businesses, so if you work for yourself in any way, you could well be eligible.
When you’re in business, less expenditure means a larger bottom line. One popular option that claims to help you save money is Amazon Business.
It’s an Amazon service that offers exclusive discounts to businesses. It’s much like how businesses can sign up with Costco to get a discount on the items they need to run their operations.
But is Amazon Business really worth your time? Does it make sense for freelancers and micro-businesses, or is it only for bigger companies? Here, we take a look at Amazon Business in-depth.
What is Amazon Business?
Amazon Business helps businesses access savings and other perks when purchasing the products they need.
Amazon Business offers a range of benefits that help businesses with their purchasing. Here are some of the perks: (Note that some benefits vary from country to country).
- Tax-exempt purchasing for certain organizations.
- The ability to purchase products that certain suppliers only offer to businesses.
- Multi-user accounts.
- Purchasing-system integration.
- Free accounts.
- Pallet shipping.
- An Amazon Business American Express credit card.
- Detailed invoices.
Amazon Business also provides several specific ways to save money:
- “Business-only” prices on products.
- Discounts based on quantity ordered / multi-unit price breaks.
- Price comparison systems: you can view multiple offers from different sellers on a single page.
- Any order $25 or more qualifies for free shipping.
Another massive perk of this system is the purchasing analytics. Within your account, you can tabulate exactly how much you’re spending on different items, and easily view all data.
Finally, we noticed whilst completing this Amazon Business review that there are sometimes discount offers available when you first sign up.
You can also sign up for a paid Business Prime account. The “Essentials” package allows for up to three users and costs $179 per year in the US. Most notably, you get free one-day shipping through Business Prime. Using the Amazon Business Prime American Express card also give five percent back or 90 days interest-free.
Amazon Business seems like a great offering, especially for large businesses with big purchasing needs. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be for freelancers and micro-businesses?
Can Freelancers and Micro-Businesses Sign Up for Amazon Business?
The main page of Amazon Business does advertise that the service is “for every type of business.” It also outlines that it serves every size of organization.
And as we mentioned above, business accounts are free, unlike signing up with a service through a big box retailer like Costco or Sam’s Club. That can be a huge benefit if you’re a sole proprietor operating on a shoestring budget.
To see what it’s like to sign up with the service as a sole proprietor, I initiated a free account.
The process starts by having you designate your work-related email. To verify the email, it sends a verification code via email and then wants you to set up a password. It’s a painless process.
After that, you have the option to convert your existing Amazon account, so that your personal order history and information can be shown in your new business account. Since I’ve never used an Amazon account to purchase anything business-related, I selected the option to create a separate business account. The system asks you to select a different email that is associated with the account, so I also put in another separate personal email.
When setting up an account, the system asks you to list your business name, phone number and address. After that, you can optionally enter business credit card details.
Many of us who operate independently don’t have a business credit card, so it’s good you can skip this step. After that, you get a message stating that the system is verifying your business info. That process can take up to 72 hours, according to the “manage your business registration” link.
A confirmation email arrived about two hours later, requesting verification that I am indeed a legitimate business. It gave the options of proving my sole proprietor status by submitting one of the following official documents:
- Employee Identification Number (EIN) verification document from the IRS.
- A business license.
- Any pertinent state documents that contain the state seal.
Amazon also requested a document confirming my employment with the organization listed, ideally on company letterhead.
(Note that the documents requested above were for a US account. if you’re joining Amazon Business in the UK or elsewhere, the exact document you need will vary).
Completing the process from this Amazon Business review proves is that even as a sole proprietor freelancer, I’m eligible for Amazon Business. So Amazon Business really is open to all sizes of businesses. The system does not require a corporate credit card, and I was able to enter my home address and personal emails into the system.
All of this is backed up by Amazon’s documentation, which states:
Whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a procurement executive in a large multinational firm, Amazon Business has the products and services to serve your online shopping needs.
Should Freelancers and Small Businesses Sign Up for Amazon Business?
Whether a service like this is worth it depends on the type of business you run. As a freelance writer who mostly writes digital content, I personally don’t have many physical items going back and forth for my business. I do almost everything electronically, so even my use of printer paper is minimal.
Furthermore, my overheads are currently low. My largest expenses each year are my domain and hosting fees for my website. As such, I don’t see much personal need to use Amazon business.
However, the situation would be entirely different if I were in a more “old school” editorial field or had more traditional means of marketing my business. For instance, I could send out paper sales letters as part of my business. If I needed to stock up on stationery, ordering these items using Amazon’s exclusive business discounts could make sense.
Other independent and freelance workers tend to have more physical items they need. A few situations where the service might make sense include:
- You’re a freelance photographer. It could make sense to source your replacement camera equipment through the discounts on Amazon Business. If you physically develop photos, you might also be able to find discount supplies for that through Amazon Business.
- You have a micro pet sitting business from your own home. As such, you frequently need to stock up on pet supplies like pet stain carpet cleaner or poop bags. Buying these items at a discount through Amazon Business could be handy.
- You run a small cupcake boutique. It’s nothing large, and you mainly fulfil orders for friends and family. However, you still need utensils and ingredients. It might be worth it to see what prices you can find through Amazon Business.
In short, if you have physical supplies you need to source, Amazon Business could be worth it for you. The larger the amount, the most sense it makes to use an account like this. There are additional savings for bulk orders, and the analytics part of the account can help you manage your expenses.
There’s also absolutely no harm in signing up to see what’s on offer – because it’s free!
Is Amazon Business Worth It?
Setting up a basic account with Amazon Business is free and easy, so you don’t have too much to lose aside from a few minutes of your life.
If you purchase goods for your business, it doesn’t hurt to check through this service to see if the discounts outweigh what you pay normally.
Michelle Lovrine Honeyager is a freelance writer who has written features for a number of consumer and industry print magazines, as well as stories for niche websites, digital lifestyle magazines and general news sites.