I did exactly what I was told, but why? - Background checks are becoming stricter To enter Amazon and sell products, registration for an Amazon account must be completed first. As Amazon actively encourages new sellers to enter the market, detailed instructions, manuals, and video guides for signing up for an Amazon account are provided. Also, the registration process can be easily checked through YouTube or Google. Despite the friendly Amazon store guide, there is an area, where many sellers have difficulties, and it is Seller Identity Verification (SIV).
Quite often, sellers receive a notice of rejection from the Amazon headquarters during the SIV step. Amazon is reviewing the SIV process increasingly strict, and a video call (video meeting) process for seller identity verification has been introduced at the end of 2020. Around the second quarter of 2021, the process of sending mail from Amazon and entering the verification code written on the mail was also added. As the verification process is becoming more complex, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently encountered problems in the process and methods to solve them.
Which part can’t you see? – Passport verification Amazon’s most rigorous screening process in the SIV step is the seller’s passport authentication. Basically, a passport with at least 6 months of validity remaining in the name of the seller must be used in the input process of passport information. The passport holder must participate in a video meeting in the verification process through a video call.
Even after having followed these basic guidelines, there is a process that is frequently rejected by Amazon during the passport authentication step. This is the process of submitting a scanned passport. Obviously, there are frequent cases of rejection even after every detail is scanned and uploaded. Amazon doesn’t explain the reason behind this process. We would like to present some sample problem scenarios and solutions based on Kontatic’s account registration case.
01Even ‘Republic of Korea’ must be clear!
Since passports contain various information such as personal information and the signature of the holder, many sellers do not put much importance on this area. In addition, the area printed ‘Republic of Korea’ is the part where the passport is folded, so it often looks blurry when scanning/taking a photo. Since Amazon puts great importance on authenticating the passport holder’s nationality, a clear scan of the area is necessary. If the scanner does not support high-definition, then a clear photo taken by a high-definition camera is recommended.
02A copy of the photo is not allowed.
Amazon will not accept any upload of a screenshot of a passport or photo captured with a personal computer or mobile device. Therefore, an original scanned copy or camera photo must be submitted. If there was a rejection during the passport authentication process, then the file must be checked for its originality.
03Passport cases must be removed!
Since the information requested by Amazon is printed on the inside of the passport, passport cases are often overlooked. In principle, all passport cases must be removed during scan or authentication, according to the guidelines of Immigration. As Amazon abides by the principle of a professional organization for the legal authentication process, removing the case before a scan is recommended to exclude uncertain variables in the passport authentication process.
There seems to be no problem? – Validity of electronic signature in the Account Statement Another frequent rejection case at the Amazon account sign-up step is the problem with entering Payoneer account information. Payoneer is a virtual account that receives payment when sales occur on Amazon, and the company or subscriber name and company address must be the same. However, there are cases where a problem occurs even after uploading the information and entering the information correctly. It is the issue of the validity of the electronic signature of the Bank Account Statement (BAS). Let’s take a look at the images below.
[Notification of Problem in Validity of Payoneer’s Bank Account Statement (BAS) Electronic Signature](Source: Payoneer Bank Account Statement)
When downloading a BAS PDF from the Payoneer website, there are some cases when a warning message is displayed stating that the signature is incorrect. A PDF is created even after the warning message is ignored. However, if a PDF is uploaded, Amazon requests that the document be resent because the electronic signature is not valid. There are some confirmed cases where there are problems when using other PDF viewer programs such as Al PDF. If there is a display of a message indicating that the electronic signature is invalid, then the PDF viewer program must be checked. If the PDF is downloaded from the Chrome browser without a viewer program, then the message is not displayed.
A new background check process that recently emerged – The Postcard Verification Method The postcard verification process is a new seller identity verification procedure, with cases requiring it starting in 2021. This process is a procedure of verifying the seller’s identity through physical postcard. This is conducted after the video call. When this process is in progress, the postcard will arrive at the address entered during the sign-up step of the Amazon account. The Amazon subscription is finally complete after entering the verification code in the postcard. The details of this process are as follows.
[Sample Amazon SIV Code on the Postcard]* Mail with Amazon SIV code inscribed(Source: How to Sell on Amazon in the U.S. - The Ultimate Guide)
At this point, the postal verification process is not required for all sellers. According to Kontactic’s experience, there were sellers, who were and were not required to undergo this process, despite opening the store at the same time. There is uncertainty about whether or not this process will be conducted. However, postcard verification may be required, so sellers must enter an address to receive the postcard when signing up for an account.
If the postcard is sent from the mainland of the United States, it may take 5 to 8 days to receive it. In other words, the whole process from entering store information, video call, and postcard verification may take around 2 to 3 weeks until the actual store is completely opened. Therefore, early preparations are needed for sellers that want to expand their stores on Amazon.
Additional notice – IP address issues in the opening process of the store Amazon strictly manages IP addresses of seller accounts because it strictly prohibits a single seller from creating multiple accounts. In other words, Amazon will suspend a seller’s account if the seller logs in from multiple IPs. This tricky IP address management ‘starts from the moment an account is being created.’ Therefore, caution must be taken not to change the IP address or use multiple computers at the sign-up step. Public IP addresses are also subject to Amazon restrictions and should not be used.
After signing up an account, sellers can access and operate from other IPs through the user add function. But some functions, including the brand registry, must be accessed with this account. So, if a seller decides to expand on Amazon, then the seller needs to carefully select the IP address and PC of the person, who will be in charge of the actual operation, after opening the store.
Looking at the flow of Amazon’s recent policies, there is a trend of reinforcing the identity verification process, such as continuously adding new identity verification procedures. If a problem occurs during the account sign-up step, repeating the same process may delay the opening of the store or make Amazon subscription permanently impossible. So, sellers must prepare all the necessary documents during the account sign-up process and carefully read the precautions described above so that they can take their first step to a successful entry into the Amazon market.
Let’s prepare for both store opening in Amazon and efficient logistics management! Opening a store is an important process for sellers, so it requires a long time. As mentioned above, SIV alone requires about 3 weeks, so it is good to prepare in advance for efficient logistics management, which is an important step after opening the store.
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References 『Seller Identity Verification』, Amazon Global Selling
『How to Keep Your Amazon Seller Account From Suspension』, FOREST SHIPPING
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