AMAZON VENDOR SERVICE

Amazon has many programs and solutions for selling online. For example, you may only want to sell media or books. Amazon Advantage Vendor Central would be your best choice. It is easy, straightforward, and effective. The way your book is presented is no different from a best seller. Still, you may want to weigh the pros and cons between Amazon Advantage, and a Seller Central account.

There are two prominent ways you can sell your products on Amazon; Amazon Seller Central or Amazon Vendor Central. In the former way, you sell as a third party, while in the latter as a first party. Bottom line is, your products are accessible for purchase on Amazon. There is a lot more information on Seller Central than there is on Vendor Central. So, the question is, which platform should you use?

In this article we shall

Compare the features of each &

Address the differences between Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Central.

From this article, you will understand the main considerations that each framework is based on. What are the contrasts between each? We will equally address that. Then you can pick the best fit for your item and brand. This is because we understand how crucial it is for you to pick the business model that works for you.

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What is Vendor Central in Amazon?

Vendor Central works directly with the brand or manufacturer. Amazon has to invite you for you to create an account. This is a major departure from traditional retail. You have a direct relationship with Amazon. You sell to them. Amazon then sells your products. They ship, store and forecast the price. Vendor Central has oversight over the whole process. You check purchase orders and provide product data from their hub.

You get special access to Amazon products like Amazon vine, subscribe and save. It is a premium service.

Vendor Central can be an appealing choice. It's a lot less demanding than Seller Central, yet it does in any case have difficulties. For example, to have details added to your item descriptions (A+ content), could cost you to the tune of $1500 per product detail page.

Amazon Vendor Central
Facts

  • Invite only
  • A+ content
  • Access to special programs such as vine subscribe and save
  • sell to Amazon
  • Amazon handles shipping and storage

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Become Vendor Icon

How do I become a vendor for Amazon?

You have to be invited. Still, there are ways to draw Amazon's attention and have an invitation extended to you.

If you are a known brand, odds are that you will receive an invitation. They take pride in having big brands on their platform. They would also like to have your items sold by Amazon. On the other hand, if your products are already selling really well on their FBA or FBM model, you may get invited. Generally, top sellers do get an invite.

Their buyer teams also attend trade shows searching for new products. Therefore, attending these trade shows would place you in their circles.

Once you accept the terms, they will create an account for you on Vendor Central hub where you will register. You will then gain access to your account. It is a plus if you are a good negotiator because at this point, your skill will come in handy. It is best that you don't accept their first request. It is equally important that you read the fine print, so you don’t get stunned by all the deductions later.

Difference between Vendor Central vs. Seller Central service

The essential distinction is that on Vendor Central you sell TO Amazon while on Seller Central you sell ON Amazon. Here are more differences;

Vendor Central

  • Invite only. Available to big brands, manufacturers and
    distributors
  • First party seller
  • You sell to Amazon
  • Your product has the advantage of enjoying consumer trust
    since its ‘Ships from and Sold by Amazon’
  • Amazon fulfills all products
  • Amazon controls the price, range and stock, which als makes
    your margins less
  • You get paid through your purchase order, and yet, payment
    is quite slow (60-90 days)
  • If you do want to access consumer data, you have to pay
  • Amazon controls your listings and inventory
  • You have access to vendor only programs and tools such as
    AMS, Vine, Subscribe & Save and A+ content. This means you
    benefit from Amazon’s marketing efforts but at a cost
  • Amazon is responsible for customer service and delivery
  • You pay a monthly flat rate ($39.99) for unlimited sales. Please
    note that this fee includes gift wrapping options.
  • You get minimal support.
  • You have to pay for Strategic Vendor Services
  • Amazon has to approve all your changes before they go live
    on their website. You have to wait!
  • Amazon can just discount your product and charge you the
    difference
  • You benefit from Amazon handling issues related to fraud

Seller Central

  • Available to anyone
  • Third party seller
  • You sell directly to the consumers
  • It takes longer to gain consumer confidence as the product
    appears as ‘Sold by X, shipped by Amazon’
  • You have two fulfillment options; Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)
    or Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
  • You control the price, range and stock, therefore higher profit
    margins
  • Even though you have to wait until your products are sold,
    payment is still fast (every 14 days)
  • Detailed analytics such as each of your products’ conversion
    rates, traffic and sales, customer feedback, guarantee and
    chargeback claims and performance notifications
  • You own your inventory and have full control over your listings
  • You can register on their Brand Registry and have access to
    enhanced brand content. This is a free service that allows you to
    enhance your product listings.
  • You are responsible for your customers unless you enroll on FBA
  • In addition to the monthly fees, there is additional selling fees
    per item.
  • Individuals do not pay monthly fees. They pay a flat fee of $0.99
    per item sold and additional selling fees
  • You have access to the Seller Support Service (free)
  • You have more control and flexibility on your listings. Any changes
    go live in 15 minutes!
  • You control your promotions
  • It's harder for you to challenge unscrupulous competitors who
    pose as potential customers

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Amazon Vendor Central v. Seller Central:What Are the Benefits?

Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. For Vendor Central the benefits are;

  • Consumer trust
  • Enhanced A+ content. This means that you are able to create HTML content. You can add photos with callouts, you can even use
    comparison charts, bullet points and videos.
  • Access to promotional programs such as vine, subscribe and save.
  • Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) program which gives you access to product display ads and to creating rich ads such as banners.
  • At a fee they can craft all your product pages and set up variation listings.
  • Less worries on this business model.
  • You can access such programs as Fresh, Prime Now and Pantry.
  • It is harder for your account to be discontinued for unexplained reasons.
  • At a flat fee, you can sell as much of your stock as you want.

On the other hand, here are the benefits of being on the Seller Central platform;

  • Anyone can apply.
  • If you join Brand Registry, you can have full control over your listings. You can also have better control and address copyright or trademark infringements.
  • You have access to rich analytics.
  • Fast payments.
  • You have access to a seller community that is ready to help each other on forums such as podcasts or Facebook.
  • You enjoy retail profit margins.
  • You set the price.
  • Direct to consumer sales.
  • You own your inventory.
  • By paying a bit more for FBA, Amazon stores, packs and ships for you.
  • You can enroll on the Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) program to sell your branded Amazon product on other platforms such as eBay or your own site (e.g. Shopify)

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