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Amazon Seller Central vs. Vendor Central: Selling Options on Amazon

amazon seller central

Amazon Seller Central vs. Vendor Central: Selling Options on Amazon

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:

  1. You can let Amazon handle the selling of your products in the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.
  2. 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.

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.

Comparison

There is a brief comparison of Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central.

Seller Central
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

amazon seller central
Courtesy: Tinuiti Blogs

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.

5. Support

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.

3. Margins

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.

amazon seller central
Courtesy: Future Works Pvt. Ltd.

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