Amazon boasts over 95 million monthly unique visitors according to its website, making them a very desirable marketplace. Amazon features several different ways to get your product listed. One of the most common ways to start selling is through a Professional Seller account. Other popular methods include Amazon Vendor Express and Amazon Vendor Central. Let’s take a look at each of these account types:
As a Professional Seller (previously known at Pro Merchant) on Amazon, your business can reap many benefits. If you expect to sell more than 40 items per month, then the Professional Seller account is the choice for you. Rather than the Individual Seller $0.99 per item fee, there is a monthly fee of $39.99 plus additional shipping fees and referral fees for Professional Sellers.
There are a series of restricted categories that require approval before listing. Professional Sellers are able to sell in these restricted categories. Professional sellers are also eligible to compete for the Buy Box on product detail pages.
Professional accounts also have access to Amazon Seller Central platform tools.
- Amazon Seller Central allows you to control pricing and inventory for the highest sales margins of all seller options.
- You’ll have access to inventory and order reports and some customer data.
- You can use volume listing tools for managing bulk inventory. The listing tools allow you to utilize spreadsheets to manage listings. You can also upload modifications in bulk using spreadsheets.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is available to both individual and professional seller accounts.
- Sellers can leverage Fulfillment by Amazon to manage order fulfillment, storage, and customer service. Products that are FBA are qualified for Amazon Prime shipping.
- Products are labeled with “Fulfillment by Amazon” logo on the product detail page.
- Professional accounts can also use Amazon Sponsored Product promotions to increase visibility.
- FBA products can also use Multi-Channel Fulfillment to ship products to customers who have ordered through other sales channels such as your own website.
Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) is available to both individual and professional seller accounts.
- The seller stores and ships inventory themselves.
- Sellers have total control over pricing and inventory of their products.
- Sellers handle customer service themselves, including returns.
- Products may be eligible for the Prime shipping label through Amazon’s Seller-Fulfilled Prime program if they are accepted after application.
Amazon Vendor Express and Amazon Vendor Central make Amazon the full-time distributor of your products. With this wholesale method, you sell your products directly to Amazon and the distributor then handles shipping costs, merchandising, customer service, and customer returns.
Amazon Vendor Express is open to all businesses and does not require an annual fee. To start the process for Vendor Express, Amazon may request some free sample units to evaluate customer demand and create a product detail page. If Amazon establishes there is a demand for your product, then they will place purchase orders.
- Amazon controls the pricing of your products.
- Products are listed as ‘Sold by Amazon’.
- The products sold through Amazon Vendor Express are eligible for Prime and free shipping to customers over a standard order threshold.
- Shipping costs are covered to ship units to Amazon fulfillment centers or you can fulfill orders yourself with shipping costs covered by Amazon.
- Product listings are limited to 85 items.
Amazon Vendor Central is accessible by invitation only. Amazon buys and sells your inventory and controls shipping, pricing, and customer service. Through this wholesale service, sellers also can sell within Amazon Pantry, participate in Amazon Display Advertising and have access to Amazon Marketing Service and Amazon Vine, the product review network.
- Sellers can list an unlimited number of products of which all are eligible for Prime shipping.
- You can create A+ enhanced marketing content for product detail pages, which includes options for a comparison matrix, interactive product tour, and more.
- You’ll have access to marketing benefits such as Lightning Deals, Gold Box Deals, and Holiday Gift Guides.
- Access to detailed business analytics information with sales metrics, traffic, and geographic sales analysis.
- Amazon issues wholesale purchase orders once per week to ship in bulk to Amazon fulfillment centers.