Deciding to become a seller on Amazon can be one of the biggest decision made for your business. Although the decision may not be as easy as yes or no, there are a few things to consider. Amazon offers two platforms for sellers to enroll in, Seller Central and Vendor Central. These two platforms allow the seller to operate in different ways, each built with different features that can help build your brand. We are going to walk through the major differences and help you decide what platform is the best for you.
1. How to enroll in each Platform
The major difference in enrolling into each platform is that Seller central accounts can be created by any business or individual who applies and is approved. On seller central, you are considered a 3rd party seller as you may sell items owned by other brands if approved. Vendor Central on the other hand is “Invite Only” this means that Amazon will need to contact you to become a seller on this platform. These platforms are available around the world, and are always available to enroll or request access. Once enrolled, you will be able to begin exploring and utilizing the features available.
2. How is pricing determined?
On Seller Central, you are in control of the price of each of your products. As a third party seller you are able to create your listings as well as decide the selling price. This allows you to adjust the selling price according to the market and the price of other similar items in the marketplace. Staying competitive is important, so depending on the item being sold, this may be the most likely option for you. If you are invited to sell on Vendor Central, pricing is handled differently. First, you will negotiate the selling price with Amazon and once they purchase your item from you, they will control the pricing. This means that once the item is listed the only way you can offer price changes is by Coupons or Promotions. The selling price is decided by Amazon and may fluctuate if they chose.
3. Associated Fees with both Platforms
As you begin your business on either platform, one of the biggest things you need to consider is the profitability of your items, as well as the fees that are associated with each. Each platform provides different features and for that, fees will be applied. On Seller Central, you will pay monthly subscription fees or a per unit fee. Amazon charges 15% of sales as a commission as well. Fulfillment fees are also added in, if you chose to have your items fulfilled by Amazon. Lastly, advertising is decided by the seller, so your budget is set by you. On Vendor Central, because Amazon is purchasing the items from you, you are charged a % of the following: Market Development Fund, Freight, Damage, Access to Analytics and Marketing (AMS). These fees can be intimidating, but based off the profitability of your product you will be able to position your items accordingly.
4. Other Available Features
On Seller Central, you can use Amazon Brand Registry to lock down your Trademark, Copyright and avoid unwanted listings of your products. This allows you to limit counterfeits and patent violators so that consumers are buying the true genuine item as expected. Once you are brand registered, you also are introduced to the option of A+ Content and Brand Store Creation. These features further enhance your brand on site. On Vendor Central, the same options can be available, with paid options to enhance the features.
Seller Central gives you much more freedom and control of your account, but there are a few more steps necessary to protect your brand and build your presence on Amazon. Vendor Central puts your brand more in the control of Amazon, but allows your brand to be protected by Amazon as well. Once you decide where to sell, or you’re invited to sell you can sell on both platforms which gives you the best of both platforms. Depending on fulfillment and logistics, the decision is yours!