When selling products on Amazon, there are two primary options available for businesses: Vendor Central and Seller Central. Both platforms have unique benefits and drawbacks, making it essential to understand their differences.
This article will look closer at Vendor Central vs Seller Central and provide insights to help businesses choose the right option for their Amazon marketplace strategy.
What is Amazon Vendor Central and Seller Central?
Vendor Central is a wholesale platform on Amazon, designed for manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers. It is a simplified business model that offers wholesale pricing to Amazon. With Vendor Central, Amazon acts as the retail partner of the Vendor, purchasing products directly from them and selling them on their platform.
Seller Central is a self-service platform designed for third-party Amazon sellers that want to sell products on the Amazon platform. The Seller account sell directly to Amazon customers and offers retail pricing. With Amazon Seller Central, businesses can create listings, set prices, and manage their inventory, shipping, and customer service.
What are the differences between Vendor Central and Seller Central?
Vendor Central and Seller Central are two different Amazon platforms businesses can use to sell their products. While they both provide access to Amazon’s vast customer base, there are some critical differences between the two that companies should consider when deciding which platform is right for them.
Vendor Central Account
Seller Central Account
|Invite-only-program||Open platform to any third-party sellers|
|Sell products directly to Amazon||Seller accounts sell directly to Amazon’s customers|
|Bulk fixed logistical options||The third-party seller manages inventory and ships products directly to the customer|
|Sell products in high volume||Challenge in scaling up to selling in larger volumes|
|Amazon provides pre-negotiated pricing|
|Have access to advanced marketing and expanded advertising opportunities||Limited access to Amazon tools|
|No access to customer feedback; Amazon handles customer service||The third-party seller handles customer service and has access to customer feedback|
|No control over inventory and pricing||Have more control over inventory and pricing|
|Does not create product listing||Seller to create product listing on Amazon|
|Traditional payment terms||Instant payment terms|
What are the Pros and Cons of Vendor Central?
Vendor Central is a valuable selling platform for vendors looking to increase sales on Amazon. However, a first-party seller or vendor must carefully consider the pros and cons and evaluate whether Vendor Central aligns with their business goals and resources. Here is the list of Amazon Vendor Central benefits and drawbacks:
Broader Customer Base
Businesses that sell their product directly to Amazon can reach a larger customer base, including Amazon Prime members.
A vendor or first-party seller can benefit from guaranteed sales volumes and pre-negotiated pricing, ensuring a steady stream of revenue.
Amazon Marketing Services
Amazon Vendors can access Amazon Marketing services, a suite of marketing tools to help vendors boost product visibility and drive sales.
Amazon Retail Analytics
An Amazon Vendor Central can also access Amazon Retail Analytics which provides in-depth insight into customer behavior, product performance, and more.
Dedicated Amazon Support
An Amazon vendor also has access to dedicated support from Amazon, ensuring any issues or concerns are addressed quickly and effectively.
Since Amazon is the retailer, Amazon Vendor Central will control retail prices, inventory, and promotions.
Lack of Brand Control
An Amazon Vendor will have limited control over their image and product positioning, as Amazon ultimately determines how products are presented on the platform.
Vendor Central fees can be significantly higher than those on Seller Central accounts, including an additional charge for shipping and handling.
What are the Amazon Seller Central Pros and Cons?
Amazon design the Seller Central platform to allow Amazon sellers to manage their marketplace accounts. Here are some of the Amazon Seller Central benefits and disadvantages of using Seller Central:
Inventory and Pricing Control
Amazon Sellers in Seller Central have more control over their product pricing and inventory levels, allowing them to tailor their strategy to their target audience.
Fees are significantly lower in Amazon Seller Central vs Vendor Central. The Professional seller accounts require you to pay a monthly subscription of $39.99, while the individual seller accounts will be charged $0.99 for every item sold, including referral fees.
A third-party Amazon seller have more control over their brand image and product positioning, allowing them to differentiate themselves from competitors.
A Seller central account has direct access to feedback and reviews, allowing them to respond to customer complaints and improve their products and services.
Limited access to Amazon Marketing Services
Compared to Vendor Central, Seller Central sellers have limited access to Amazon Marketing Services, which can limit their ability to boost product visibility and drive sales.
Seller Central sellers may not have access to dedicated Amazon support, making it challenging to resolve issues quickly.
Smaller Customer Base
Because Seller Central sellers are responsible for their marketing and promotional programs, they may have a smaller customer base than those on Vendor Central.
How to Become a Seller in Amazon Seller Central?
To become a Seller Central, here’s a step-by-step procedure to follow:
- Create an Amazon account on the Amazon homepage.
- Register as a seller. Go to Amazon Seller Central and click “Register now” to start the registration process.
- Choose your preferred selling plan that best suits your business: Individual or Professional seller accounts.
- Provide business information such as name, address, phone number, and tax identification number.
- Provide your credit card information and bank account to set up your account.
- Verify your identity by providing the code sent by Amazon to your registered email address and contact number.
- After setting up your seller account, create your product listings.
- Once the product listings are live, you can start selling on Amazon.
- Optimize your listing by adding high-quality images and detailed descriptions and titles.
- Fulfill orders promptly and provide excellent customer service.
How to Become a Vendor in Amazon Vendor Central?
To become a Vendor on Amazon Vendor Central, you must be invited by Amazon to join the Vendor Central program. Amazon Vendor Central account is an invite-only platform, which means that Amazon decides which businesses they want to work with and invites them to sell directly to Amazon.
Here is a list of ways to increase your chance of getting an Amazon invitation and becoming an Amazon Vendor:
- Strong and good brand reputation
- Must be a manufacturer or brand owner capable of producing their product.
- Should sell products in high demand and have a proven track record.
- Must offer competitive pricing or sell low-priced items.
What are the Factors to Consider when Choosing Between Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Central
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when choosing between Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller central. Selecting a better option depends on the Amazon seller’s unique business needs and goals. Before deciding, weigh each platform’s advantages and disadvantages and consider how they align with your business and marketing strategy.
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when deciding:
- Sales Volume
- Pricing and Inventory Control
- Brand Management
- Marketing and Advertising
- Customer Base
- Customer support
Amazon Vendor Central is a program allowing manufacturers and wholesalers to sell their products directly to Amazon, which then Amazon resells to customers. This program is suitable for businesses with a high volume of inventory and wants to offload some of the responsibilities of selling to Amazon.
On the other hand, Amazon Seller Central is a program that allows businesses to sell their products directly to customers on Amazon’s platform. This program suits companies wanting complete control over their pricing and inventory management.
When choosing between Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Central, businesses must carefully consider their individual needs and how each platform can help them achieve their business goals. Both platforms offer unique advantages that can help companies succeed in the online marketplace and maximize profits.
Making the right decision between Amazon Vendor Central and Seller Central can be challenging, but it is essential for driving success in the Amazon marketplace.
By understanding the differences between these two platforms, businesses can better choose the right option for their e-commerce strategy.
Frequently Ask Questions
What is Vendor Central?
Vendor Central is a simplified business model designed by Amazon for manufacturers and distributors.
What is the difference between Amazon Vendor Central and Seller Central?
The main difference between Vendor Central and Seller Central is that Vendor Central is a wholesale platform for manufacturers and distributors who sell their products directly to Amazon, while Seller Central is a self-service platform designed for third-party sellers of all sizes who sell products directly to customers on Amazon’s platform.
What are the pros and cons of Amazon Seller Central?
The main advantages of Amazon Seller Central include inventory and pricing control, lower fees, brand control, and customer interaction. On the other hand, some disadvantages include limited access to Amazon marketing services, customer service responsibility, and a smaller customer base.