There are always two sides to a coin. Likewise, Amazon has two seller bases, Amazon seller central and vendor central. These 2 Selling Options on Amazon which has own features, interfaces, and dashboard. The brief difference in them is that in Amazon seller central; you sell your products to the Amazon users while in vendor central; you sell your products to the Amazon itself who further sells your products for you.
Now, let’s have a brief discussion on both so you may select what you should choose according to your business nature.
Amazon Seller Central
In Amazon seller central, you have your products sell to the Amazon customers directly. It is a web surface mainly used by brands and renowned merchants to sell and market their products directly to the customers. You are considered as a third-party seller or a marketplace in Amazon seller central.
As the Amazon seller, you have two options to fulfill your customers’ orders:
- You can let Amazon handle the selling of your products in the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.
- You can handle the shipping, customer service, returns, and individual order by yourself.
Many brands use Seller Central to manage the messaging of their products that are not sold via Vendor Central.
In the Vendor central, Amazon’s retail team buy your products and resell them to their customers. It is the web interface mainly used by the distributors and manufacturers. You are called a first-party seller if you sell via Vendor Central. You sell your products in a bulk to Amazon; acting as a supplier.
An invitation is the only way to get registered on the Vendor Central.
There is a brief comparison of Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central.
|Access||Open to any seller||Registration through invitation only|
|Price Control||Seller controls||Amazon controls|
|Sale||Sell to Amazon customers||Sell wholesale to Amazon|
|Marketing||Enhanced brand content||A+ content and access to Amazon marketing services|
|Payment||Quick payment terms||Fixed payment terms (slow payment)|
|Logistics||The seller controls the logistics by him/herself or uses Amazon FBA||Obey the Amazon’s logistics process|
|Analytics||Strong analytics for sale and marketing growth||Can’t view analytics|
|Messaging||Sellers handle the messaging and returns||Amazon handles messaging and returns|
|Fees||Traditional Amazon seller fees||Monthly $39.99 fee for unlimited sales|
|Advertising||Sponsored product ads
Headline search ads (brand owners only)
No product display ads
Sponsored product ads
Headline search ads
Product display ads
Now, you have learned about the main difference between Amazon seller central and vendor central. It is time to read more about the positive and negative sides of each central base so it would become clear for you to decide upon one thing.
Amazon Seller Central – Pros
1. Robust Analytics
As a seller, you can have a significant amount of consumer data at no charge. You can access customer data for several purposes. Though there is a limitation to not use the customers’ data but you can use data for a better understanding of the customers’ behavior.
2. Controlled Price
You can control the retail pricing that enables you to maintain the well-established retail pricing for other partners. Additionally, you can automatically match your competitors’ pricing to always stay in the competition.
3. Controlled Messaging
Most of the time, many manufacturers have limited control over other sellers or third-party sellers who list and sell their products without their consent. But in Amazon Seller Central, the sellers can control these unauthorized listings. They need to enroll in Amazon’s brand registry program.
4. Controlled Inventory
Being adaptable to customers’ needs is a very crucial yet significant step especially for small to medium-sized businesses. This is true if you sell a limited amount of products. Amazon seller central gives you complete control over inventory to adapt it to the marketing demands.
5. Enhanced Brand Content
This option is available to those who are registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry. It offers 5 templates of different combination possibilities for images and texts. There are fewer options as compared to Vendor Central.
Amazon Seller Central – Cons
1. Lower Sales
If a third-party seller lists and sells your products via FBA then a significant percentage of the sales will go to those sales. This will automatically lower your sales. Moreover, if you opt the Amazon’s Sponsored Product Ad Tool, then your ad will appear only if you are the seller (and not the third-party seller).
2. Fulfillment Costs
The shipment or fulfillment costs limit you to sell your low-priced products on Amazon. This definitely limits your chance to increase your sales in those products.
3. Not “Sold By Amazon”
Sellers in the Seller Central see fewer sales than the sellers in Vendor Central because “Sold by Amazon” endorsement for the vendors is a plus point to increase sales.
4. Sales & Marketing
A standalone storefront on Amazon needs to constantly manage the store by updations. This requires lots of effort to update product descriptions, marketing the products through various avenues, and adapting to consumer behavior.
In the Seller Central, you won’t receive any kind of support from a customer’s fraudulent. This mostly happens from the customers who claim to receive fake products. Though seller central partners can use FBA to handle most aspects but these are limited and you’ll have to compete with many dishonest competitors appear as customers.
Amazon Vendor Central – Pros
1. Sold By Amazon
The only way to enter on board in the Amazon vendor central is by invitation from the corporate team. Once they are registered in it, their products will be listed as “sold by Amazon” which automatically boosts the buyers’ trust, confidence, and seller’s credibility.
2. Marketing Tool
There are added marketing opportunities via Amazon Marketing Service (AMS) and are responsible for the supply chain at back-end like billing etc. In AMS, vendors get effective marketing tools to stand out in the competition and increase their conversion rate.
AMS gives vendors additional buyers for their products and brand. Vendors can also introduce their products directly alongside the competitors’ products.
3. Avoid Fees
There are traditional Amazon seller fees for referrals, fulfillment or having an account. On the contrary, vendors pay a $39.99 fee per month to sell unlimited products and go “Pro”. This also includes gift wrapping options and fulfillment by Amazon.
4. Simplified Business Model
The business model through Vendor Central is simple than through Amazon Seller Central as you fulfill purchase orders, do billing, and avoid chargebacks. As a vendor, you do business utilizing Amazon FBA and will be responsible for lost inventory, sales reconciliation, and taxation liabilities.
5. A+ Enhanced Marketing Content
In the Vendor Central, vendors get the option to create enhanced content through Amazon A+ detail pages. Sellers can also participate in the promotional programs like Amazon Vine, Subscribe & Save (Amazon’s subscription service).
It has 12 different templates to choose from and many customized options.
Amazon Vendor Central – Cons
1. Controlled Price
In the vendor Central, Amazon doesn’t strictly follow the Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) guidelines from the manufacturers. Amazon itself can also adjust the retail pricing based on the internal data.
2. Logistical Requirements
Amazon implements quite strict guidelines for filling the purchase orders. Vendors get significant chargebacks who struggle with maintaining their stock or quickly fulfilling orders.
Vendors cannot see the pricing as it is completely controlled by Amazon. If the price drops too low, the vendor could lose money as there are no minimum pricing policies.
4. Inventory Concerns
There are high stakes logistical concerns for Amazon vendors. New vendors may struggle to maintain the proper stock levels in the inventory and order fulfillment.
5. New Product Launches
It is quite difficult to launch products in the Vendor Central alone. Amazon is reluctant to purchase products having no history as the potentiality of the product is not known yet.
Complete Selling Process
This graphical process of selling products across two boards summarizes the whole article briefly. Now it’s your turn to decide which you are going to opt for.