The difference between Amazon vendor central and Amazon seller central

Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by

Amazon tops the list of the major e-commerce websites – With the largest customer base and global reach, as well as a shipping platform, you can sell your products on Amazon Seller Central or Amazon Vendor Central.

Thus, the question arises – what are the difference between Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Central?

Being a Seller versus a Vendor on Amazon is a vastly different experience. There are differences in the way each deals with sales, management, dashboards, etc.

What is Amazon Seller Central?

Amazon’s eCommerce-based web platform allows sellers to showcase and sell their products directly to Amazon customers. It allows sellers to act as third-party sellers to customers through Amazon seller central.

In addition, the key feature of this method of selling on Amazon is that the vendor sells directly to the customer without Amazon’s involvement in product selection.

Since you are selling products in bulk to Amazon, opting for this method of selling on Amazon limits your own branding. As a result, Amazon sells those products to customers under its own brand name.

With Seller Central on Amazon, sellers have much better control over their products, messaging, orders, and pricing.

Additionally, you can easily track the sales of your products and plan your marketing campaign accordingly. Now let’s look at the other side of the coin, which is Amazon Vendor Central…

What is Amazon Vendor Central?

A first-party selling platform for online sellers (especially manufacturers and distributors).

Sellers first sell their product on Amazon Marketplace, which then sells the product to their customers without having to worry about sales maintenance, taxes, or inventory management.

Vendor Central helps sellers concentrate on selling, which is the most important factor. Amazon takes care of the rest.

Amazon also seals its approval on the vendor’s products by stating that they “ship from and are sold by Amazon”.

Since the demand for Amazon products is always in bulk, and sellers do not have any control over the pricing, Amazon Vendors need to keep their stock updated constantly.

The Vendor Central of Amazon is an invite-only platform, and a normal seller can become a verified Amazon Vendor only if Amazon wants them to.

The Selling Process of Amazon Vendor Central can be broken into 4 simple steps:

1.      Firstly, you must submit wholesale pricing for all of your product listings.

2.      Afterwards, Amazon sends you a list of vendor central orders they want to purchase from you.

3.      After that, you can send the desired Vendor Central orders back to Amazon based on the quantity required.

4.      Lastly, Amazon will pay the amount you specified in step one.

Advantages of Amazon Seller Central

Better Control Over Products:

The biggest advantage of seller central on Amazon is that sellers have direct control over their products. As a seller, you can keep track of all product-related activities, such as shipping and returns.

You can provide efficient customer service by choosing Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). There is a program that provides fast delivery to customers (in 1 day or 2 days) wherever they are. The only thing you need to do is deliver your products to Amazon centers, and they will handle the rest.

All Seller Central orders from your end will arrive at the customer’s doorstep on time. If not, then the marketplace is fully responsible for any late deliveries or canceled orders.

Controlled Product Messaging:

The Seller Central on Amazon ensures that there is no product messaging, which means that you can only sell what you are supposed to. 

More often than not, sellers contact third-party sellers who deal with similar products and sell prior versions of the products.

A seller’s central account is registered in the Amazon registry program, which restricts unauthorized listings.

Control Over Product Price:

Amazon seller central gives sellers complete control over the pricing of their products. Because you are selling products to Amazon, you can easily adjust the price of your products based on your competitors.

Amazon seller central allows you to customize the cost of your products based on your needs and requirements. So, this feature is very much handy when speaking of making markets for newly launched products. 

And you can start selling them at a discounted price. But once it gets popular, you can easily start making serious bucks from it.

Easy Analytics Available:

Amazon gives its sellers access to consumer data, which can be helpful for analyzing demand for products. Additionally, Seller Central on Amazon offers this data free of charge to sellers registered under the program.

As a result of the above data, sellers can gain a much better understanding of product demand and can easily forecast future demands.

This price control can help Amazon sellers stay competitive during the holiday season, since it is available.

Disadvantages of Amazon Seller Central:

Poor Marketing Features:

As far as marketing capabilities are concerned, Amazon seller central’s biggest con is that sellers are restricted.

Amazon charges much higher commission rates for FBA. Additionally, the minimum fulfillment charges excluding Amazon commissions are around 2.41 dollars for non-media FBA products.

Low-priced items are not ideal to sell under Amazon seller central, since shipping and fulfillment charges can exceed the cost of the product.

Lesser Prevention Measures:

Selling without Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) can backfire if you’re not using the program. Additionally, handling all returns and product messages becomes really challenging and burdensome.

Comparatively, Lower Sales:

Comparing Seller Central vs Vendor Central, the seller central receives a much smaller percentage of sales. Amazon Sellers are not able to use the tag “sold by Amazon” under this program, which is desperately sought by customers.

Advantages of Amazon Vendor Central:

No Hidden Charges or Additional Fees:

When comparing Amazon seller central with vendor central, vendor central is comparatively simpler.

A monthly fee of 39.99 USD is charged to sellers by Amazon Vendor Central. The number of products you sell is not a determining factor.

Additionally, this includes charges for Fulfillment by Amazon and gift-wrapping.

Efficient Selling with Fewer Distractions:

As a result of Amazon Vendor Central, sellers can concentrate on selling rather than dealing with other concerns. It is not the responsibility of an Amazon vendor to reconcile sales, check inventory, or handle taxation issues.

Seal of Approval:

When a vendor sells on Amazon, they receive a tagline stating that their products are shipped from and sold by Amazon. The Amazon vendors mention this on each of their product pages.

By converting your visitors into customers, this will boost the conversion rate by creating confidence among the customers.

Better Targeted Advertising Campaign:

A powerful advertising tool is available to Amazon vendors through Vendor Central, Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). By targeting their campaigns, they can successfully boost their sales.

It cannot be denied that the seller central has access to the AMS as well. But only a few basic features are available for them as compared to vendor central that can have access to the complete feature all at once.

An Amazon Vendor must meet ANY one of the following criteria in order to take advantage of display advertising. He must be one of these:

  • Hardliners vendor
  • Soft line’s vendor
  • Media vendor
  • Books vendor
  • Consumables (non-Pantry/Fresh) vendor

Disadvantages of Amazon Vendor Central:

Rigid Logistics Guidelines:

In order to ensure that Amazon Vendors follow these logistics guidelines, Amazon has very rigid guidelines. So, you have to keep your inventory stocked at all times as there are bulk demands from Amazon in a very limited time frame. So, you need to keep this in mind.

Registrants under Vendor Central are liable to serious chargebacks if they fail to deliver requested products before the deadline.

With such conditions, it becomes very difficult for new sellers to survive.

No Control Over Pricing:

The vendor has no control over the pricing of products, since Amazon can adjust the price at any time.

Moreover, it doesn’t follow the guidelines for Minimum Advertised Products (MAP) when it comes to Vendor Central. As a result, sometimes prices are lowered, causing a loss of money.

Invite Only Platform:

Vendor Central is an invite-only platform and is available for limited sellers. So the sellers need to cover and fulfill many criteria before they can enroll in this program.

Moreover, it’s not in the hands of a seller to start selling as a registered Amazon vendor. But instead, Amazon’s recruitment team is spread worldwide and keeps a keen eye on sellers performing well. And have the potential to rise up as a successful Amazon Vendor. 

A confirmation mail is sent to such sellers asking whether they want to transform their selling to the next level. If yes, they grant the tag of official Vendor Central.

New Products Not Allowed:

As Amazon gives the tag “Shipped by Amazon” to Vendor’s products, they do not take any chances.

Since the potential success of new products cannot be predicted in advance, new products are very unpredictable. Therefore, Amazon restricts vendors from selling new products on the site.

Thus, it will be difficult for vendors to launch new products.

Until now, we have discussed the pros and cons of Amazon vendor central and Amazon seller central. Now let’s see which is best for online sellers.

Amazon Seller Central vs Vendor Central:

Payments:

The seller who sells under Seller Central receives payment much faster than the seller selling under Vendor Central. The payments for seller central are generally dispersed within 2 weeks (14 days). As opposed to vendor central, which takes around 90 days.

Selling Patterns:

With Vendor Central, you sell directly to Amazon, and Amazon then sells directly to customers. On the other hand, Seller central is a third-party selling platform where you sell directly to customers.

Inventory Control:

When selling under Seller Central, you have better inventory control than with Vendor Central. Amazon manages your inventory when selling under Vendor Central.

Pricing Control:

Sellers under Amazon seller central have more control over the pricing of their products compared to vendors where Amazon determines the price.

Freedom to sell:

There are no exceptions to Amazon seller central’s invitation to sellers worldwide. Vendor Central is an invitation-only platform, and you can only sell their once Amazon invites you.

A+ Content:

Vendor Central allows A+ content, whereas Seller Central does not.

New Product Launch:

Amazon seller central allows sellers to launch new products, while Amazon vendor central restricts sellers from selling new products. You can only sell registered products that are doing well.

Amazon Marketing Services (AMS):

In Vendor Central, Amazon Marketing Services offer additional features that make it much easier for Vendors to benefit from them. For example, a targeted advertising campaign that seller central doesn’t offer.

Ideal Business Model:

The vendor central business model differs from seller central in that you should only focus on selling and billing, Amazon will handle the rest.

Messaging & Returns:

The seller is responsible for handling messaging and returns in Seller Central. The case of Vendor Central is handled by Amazon itself.

Selling Fees:

Sellers registered under Amazon seller central only pay the basic traditional fees because they are part of an Amazon seller central program. However, vendors do not have to worry about overselling since they only have to pay $39.99 per month for an unlimited number of products.

Having established a reputation as an Amazon seller, you may be wondering what platform is ideal for selling based on the various services available. It is an everlasting debate between Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central, since each has their own pros and cons. If you want to run an online business, you should decide which one works best for you.

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