Amazon Business Prime - Why I became a member ...

What an entrepreneur sometimes receives for third-party invoices on Amazon can really only be described as accounting horror. Amazon Business has a weapon in its arsenal in the form of a filter.

The Amazon Business I had known the solution for business customers for a long time. However, I did not see any great benefit for myself, because the advantages that I have experienced so far have been rather secondary to me:

  • Purchase on account - I don't need it, I like to pay immediately by direct debit.
  • Display of net prices - Isn't that important to me, because I tend to work with gross prices for price comparisons.
  • Volume discounts - This will rarely happen to a lone fighter like me, as I don't need 100 Lightning cables at once.
  • Procurement analysis - Here too: As a self-employed person, I don't do any major analyzes. When I need a pen, I order one ... without any sophisticated Excel sheets with hip pie charts.

Among other things, I lacked the motivation to join Amazon Business, because I wasn't sure how the conversion of my "normal" Amazon account to an Amazon Business account would work in practice. I'm often a fan of the saying "Never change a running system". ;-)

Offer for my readers

Amazon is currently offering new Amazon business customers a 20% discount on their first purchase of up to € 100! For the corresponding voucher code, please look here at the test offer from Amazon Prime Business.

 

For entrepreneurs and the self-employed, Amazon Business offers some advantages - you have to decide for yourself which of them you really use.

For entrepreneurs and the self-employed, Amazon Business offers some advantages - you have to decide for yourself which of them you really use.

Cover letter from an Amazon employee

A good two weeks ago I surprisingly received an email from an Amazon employee who asked me if I would like to participate in Amazon Business. Since the mail came directly from a real employee by name (yes, there are not only robots!), I thought to myself, I'll write him something that bothers me as an entrepreneur at Amazon and ask if Amazon Business might have an answer.

What an entrepreneur sometimes receives for third-party invoices on Amazon can really only be described as accounting horror. Amazon Business has a weapon in its arsenal in the form of a filter.

What you as an entrepreneur sometimes receive for third-party invoices on Amazon can really only be described as accounting horror. Amazon Business has a weapon in its arsenal in the form of a filter.

What bothers me? Non-existent or unusable invoices!

My main problem with Amazon so far has been that I simply don't receive any invoices for many products or - if they arrive after a request - they don't make the tax advisor happy in any way, because important points of a correct invoice are simply missing.

Especially when I received small items such as power banks, charging cables or headphones from the Far East, the work was often too big for me and I switched to paying for such things from my private account so that I can save myself the monthly billing marathon. Of course, this means that I cannot deduct the products for tax purposes - a "bought" solution to the problem.

I described this fact to the Amazon employee. To be honest, I wasn't expecting a solution, because if Amazon could force the Chinese stalls to deliver invoices, it would have happened long ago in the "normal" Amazon.

As a business customer, you can filter out items for which you do not receive an invoice with a valid invoice including sales tax - great feature!

As a business customer, you can filter out items for which you do not receive an invoice with a valid invoice including sales tax - great feature!

"Downloadable VAT invoice" filter - the solution!

But the Amazon employee surprised me a few days later with an email in which he suggested a filter option in the Amazon search that is only available for Amazon Business customers. This magic filter is called: "Downloadable VAT invoice". This can be found in the left column, where you can filter the search results by manufacturer or other criteria.

If you tick this filter, only results will be listed for which you will receive a proper invoice with VAT as a PDF download after ordering in the Amazon customer account. This option immediately moved me to test Amazon Business.

For larger companies, there is also a sales tax policy that can be activated. This means that employees can only order products for which a sales tax invoice is available.

For larger companies, there is also a sales tax policy that can be activated. This means that employees can only order products for which a sales tax invoice is available.

Amazon Business Prime - Annual cost of premium service

Since I order a lot from Amazon, I will probably also book Amazon Business Prime. While the "normal" Amazon Prime costs 69 EUR gross, with Amazon Business Prime you have to pay at least 70 EUR net per year. "At least" because larger companies have the option of creating multiple users who can then initiate orders. Whoever comes with a maximum of 3 users pays "only" the 70 euros per year.

For my peace of mind and accounting, I will take on the 70 EUR. The possibility of getting reasonable, deductible invoices for the tax office should make up for the costs.

The annual cost of Amazon Business Prime depends on the number of user accounts the company plans to set up. More information here on Amazon.

The annual cost of Amazon Business Prime depends on the number of user accounts the company plans to set up. More info here at Amazon.

Original answer from the Amazon Business employee

To show you the exact wording of the customer advisor, I have quoted him here:

"Since many items on Amazon are sold by Martketplace dealers (third-party providers) and they are then responsible for invoicing, it is often a very difficult task to request the invoices individually from the dealers.

Mainly because many of the dealers are located abroad and therefore there is not even an obligation to create invoices, let alone to show the German sales tax.

If you want to save yourself the additional effort of invoice requests in the future, I would like to briefly introduce you to the "Downloadable VAT invoice" filter.

This filter setting is on the left side of the screen for every item search.

If you set the filter, you will only be shown articles that are either offered directly by Amazon or by retailers who have committed to deposit proper bills directly in your customer account.

In this case you would automatically have a printable or downloadable invoice at your disposal with every order. "

You can see that Amazon is aware of the problem, but I honestly think it's a shame that this option has not yet made it into the normal Amazon for private customers, because that alone would be enough for me and I wouldn't have to book Amazon Business Prime . But maybe that is the reason why there is this option in the private customer Amazon "not yet" gives ;-)

What happens after I switch my Amazon account to Business?

So far, I have not been able to determine any disadvantages from converting my existing Amazon account to an Amazon business account. You just have to remember that you also have the Amazon Business Home Page if you want to order something, otherwise you won't have the filter for the bills.

Note: The change has only had no effect on me, as I started relatively early. Please read the "Update" in the next paragraph so that you can see what is currently happening to your account when you switch to Amazon Business.

Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music and Kindle Unlimited are no longer available!

Two readers asked me whether services like Amazon Prime Video and Kindle Unlimited continue to work when you book Amazon Business. This is obviously the case: After switching my account to an Amazon Business account, nothing in the other services has changed for me. You can continue to use Prime Video, Amazon Music and Kindle Unlimited as normal.

Update 12.03.2020: I have just received two comments from readers who have consulted the Amazon support hotline. According to their statement, the account has been changed to "Amazon Business" since March 2020. With immediate effect, the additional services, such as Prime Video, will no longer apply during the changeover and you have to open a second (private) Amazon account, which you can then use Amazon Prime with the additional services. That means additional costs of almost 70 euros per year.

Offer for my readers

Amazon is currently offering new Amazon business customers a 20% discount on their first purchase of up to € 100! For the corresponding voucher code, please look here at the test offer from Amazon Prime Business.

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13 comments

  1. Jochen says:

    Hallo,
    good article.
    We have had very good experiences with Amazon Business. Purchase on account is very important for a government agency or larger company. I buy 5 items on Amazon from 5 different retailers. But I only get one invoice from Amazon. This speeds up internal invoice processing extremely. The two of us bought almost 500 items in December. In addition, 30 days payment term and a very good overview and documentation. I can also activate various employees for purchasing.
    A big win for us.

  2. Carsten says:

    Thanks for the helpful article, I feel the same way. I need a "clean" bill. With Amazon Prime you have "Prime Video". With Business Prime, that feature is no longer applicable, right?

    Or I'll get on Apple TV for 5 euros a month ...

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Hello Carsten! No, I still have Prime Video. That doesn't seem to go away. And Apple TV + is not an alternative to Netflix or Prime Video. They still have too little content so that it can only be understood as an "addition". ;-)

      • Felix says:

        One more question, and I hope you’re still reading it: Are there any other advantages of normal Prime compared to Prime Business?

        If Prime Video were to be retained, I would switch to Prime Business immediately ... the rest of the way, like Prime Music, is really nice to have but not earth-shattering.

        • Sir Apfelot says:

          Hello Felix! Of course I read the comments. : D And no, nothing is left out. I also have Prime Video and Kindle Unlimited and neither is affected by the switch to Amazon Business and has continued to work without complaint. I add that again at the top of the post.

          • Felix says:

            Perfect thank you! :) Then nothing stands in the way of a change, then I will borrow that today. With Prime Video, I think the offer only has advantages for me :)

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            I felt the same way. I am annoyed that I did not change earlier. : D

          • Smile says:

            Are you sure that only Prime Business was enough for Prime Video? Because for me it shows that I now also have the normal Prime in parallel to Prime Business. So not that you then pay twice and thus still have advantages, so to speak? In any case, Prime Video no longer works with Prime Business for me.

          • Sir Apfelot says:

            On another news site I read: "Other Prime benefits such as Amazon Prime Music (Free) or Amazon Prime Video are not included in the package and cannot be booked as an option. For private customers, Amazon Prime now costs 69 euros a year ( previously 49 euros a year), together with all the advantages such as music and video streaming. "

            However, this cannot be true, because I have Amazon Business AND can still use my Prime Video. I leave it up to you whether you trust the other website or my experience more. ;-)

            And yes, I think I pay an annual fee for Amazon Business. But I would not classify that as a "double" payment, since I am paying the amount for Amazon Business and its advantages.

  3. Stellan says:

    We also only have one Amazon Business account and "no" you can unfortunately no longer use services such as video and music - at least from now on. This was also confirmed by an Amazon employee who said that Amazon has now abolished this (here the Amazon hotline 0800/3638469).

  4. Mike says:

    Well, and unfortunately it is now the case that Prime Video and others are no longer available.
    I switched to Business Prime yesterday and now Prime Video is gone and can no longer be booked. You now have to book Amazon Prime with a private account in order to be able to watch Prime Video.
    Unfortunately, this is still communicated differently on the Amazon pages. According to support, the final changeover took place at the beginning of March. I talked to them for a good 30 minutes.
    "I" now have to decide for "myself" whether the laziness of manually searching for corresponding products with a correct invoice is worth an extra 69 euros.

    • Sir Apfelot says:

      Thanks for the hint. I'll quickly add this to the article so that future readers will know.

    • Felix says:

      I can unfortunately confirm. We are now using Prime Video through our son's Prime Student subscription. But if this should expire at some point and the normal price is due, then we would rather switch back from Prime Business to normal Prime. I hope that is possible ..

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