Vendor vs. Seller Central: Which Type of Amazon Seller Are You?


No matter how you feel about Amazon, it’s hard to deny they’ve effectively changed the eCommerce landscape. If you’re not already selling on Amazon, there’s a high probability  competitors are selling your products through this channel. In order to control your pricing and make profits off of your products, you should start selling on Amazon. As the saying goes: if you can’t beat’em, join’em. From there, you’ll need to consider which selling interface is best for your business.

There are two types of sellers on Amazon - those who are more focused on product (Vendor Central), and those more focused on brand (Seller Central). To determine which is a better fit for your business, let’s dive into each.

Vendor Central

Vendor Central is the best place for those who wish to purchase (any) products and sell them at a higher price. With Vendor Central, you’re selling to Amazon, not on Amazon. You set a price, which Amazon either accepts or rejects. If your price is accepted, Amazon sends you purchase orders which you fulfill by sending the products directly to Amazon. You pay Amazon an 8% co-op fee and let them handle optimization and marketing.

It’s important to note that Vendor Central is invitation only; if this sounds like a good option for you, you’ll want to start on Vendor Express. Anyone can sign up for Vendor Express, and once you’re processing enough orders, Amazon will bump you up to Vendor Central.

Who It’s Good For: If you manufacture in-house and sell to manufacturers who sell to retailers, Vendor Central might be the best fit for you. Marketing and branding aren’t as important to you - you create a good and want to profit from it. Additionally, Vendor Central might be the best fit for a business that has warehouse employees to do shipping and logistics, but maybe doesn’t have dedicated staff for marketing and analytics.

Seller Central

Seller Central allows you to be more creative with your marketing, optimization, and strategy. You can control keywords in advertisements, add videos to your listing, and you’ll have access to a more premium type of advertising on Amazon.

Who It’s Good For: If you want the opportunity to make more analytical decisions, and/or have in-house marketers, Seller Central might be your best bet with Amazon. Depending on your cash flow structure, Seller Central might make more sense as you are paid every two weeks, as opposed to every 59 days with Vendor Central. You have the ability to choose the amount of inventory you send to Amazon and can manage your capital yourself.

Optimizing Amazon Profitability with Stitch Labs

Whether there is a clear best fit for your business or you find it advantageous to sell through both interfaces (controlling some listings while automating others), Stitch Labs can help you manage your inventory and optimize your business operations. Stitch’s detailed reporting allows you to see how you’re growing your business on Amazon and provides granular insight into your best selling products, stock counts, and revenue. Once your products are listed in Stitch, it’s easy to automatically push them to Amazon or Amazon International. Stitch simplifies your efforts on Amazon by providing you with the automation and transparency you need to feel confident that selling on Amazon - whether through Vendor Central or Seller Central - is helping you effectively scale your business.

View to my recent webinar on How to Win at Amazon Selling for more tips on getting started and remaining profitable on Amazon.

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