As a new online seller, you've done all the groundwork. You can run a quick check here. Inventory check. Pricing check. Marketing plan check. Account-opening check? You find yourself hitting a snag because your account has been rejected by a marketplace. It can mean crucial time lost, not to mention untold frustration.
Here is a quick primer on issues to watch out for what might have gone wrong.
When setting up an online seller account your GST Number, TIN and email ID has to be unique. If for some reason these details have been used previously while opening another account, your account will be rejected.
The following should be accurate in submission:
Submit a copy of valid original PAN card and GST Certificate registered in the company's or partnership's name. In case of sole proprietorship, the seller’s individual PAN card is acceptable.
Provide a copy of your Aadhaar card, telephone bill, electricity bill, bank statement, etc. not older than 3 months as proof of address. You can submit these to justify your warehouse location too.
To confirm your bank details. In case of a sole proprietorship, a cancelled personal account cheque can be given. For a company, the cheque provided must bear the company seal and authorised signature.
To sell on Amazon, you will need to complete the brand registry stage. For this, a trademark certificate must be provided. However, with a GTIN or EAN/UPC exemption you can list products for 3 months without brand registry after which you have to renew the exempt or opt for the brand registry. Also, note that your application on the government site should show up as “Cleared” otherwise it may not be considered for listing.
Submitted documents are accompanied by a form stating the details therein. If the information is incomplete, incorrect or mismatched your account will not be approved. For eg. typos or wrong addresses, blank fields.Unclear or illegible copies of documents will also result in rejection.
Even though a marketplace may open the account when the images do not follow the guidelines as provided by the marketplace, they will not allow you to list your products without proper images with all valid angles, high resolution, background colour, aspect ratios among other things. A lot of these issues can be avoided with good product photography.
For Health and Beauty category, purchase invoices from the source or supplier brand need to be available and may additionally require the Nutrition and Healthcare license. For food category, FSSAI certificate and Food & Drug License is usually required to be able to list and sell the products. Any category or products within a category may move to a restricted status and at that time your products may be delisted or made inactive till you comply with the additional information or changes required.
Some marketplaces even do a physical check of your products for quality standards in the absence of which your products may not see the light of day on that marketplace. However such standards are not common with horizontal marketplaces.
If a marketplace cannot find your GST details on state government websites, your account application may be declined. In this case you have to update your status with sales tax authorities and then submit your GST certificate again.
Since this is a lot to deal with, there are specialised companies like Browntape, that help you get onboard with marketplaces and handle your ecommerce.
If you have had trouble while setting up your seller account on an online marketplace share your story with us in the comments section. We’d love to know how you overcame your difficulties.
Piyush is the Editor-in-Cheif of IndianOnlineSeller.com. Piyush has many years of experience in Ecommerce, has had experience with marketplaces in Europe, USA and India since 2007, both selling domestically and dealing with imports and exports.