Vendor Central is an invite-only platform for sellers who manufacture a product and sell it TO Amazon instead of selling it ON Amazon. You are a full-time distributor of your products aka a first-party seller. Amazon ends up taking care of everything after receiving the inventory.
One of the main differences between Vendor Central and Seller Central is how it reaches the consumer. When selling in Seller Central you are dealing with the shipping, pricing, customer service, returns and so on. You are dealing with the customer directly but with Vendor Central you send your items to Amazon and they deal with everything else for you, making it easier for Vendors without all the hassle that comes with being a third-party seller.
Vendor Central is only open to those that get invited by Amazon. You can’t join or apply, they have to send out a message to you stating they want you to be a vendor. According to Web Retailer, Amazon sends out invited to brands or businesses including:
- Existing brands with strong demand from Amazon shoppers
- Marketplace sellers who are doing exceptionally well with their own products
- Exhibitors at trade shows and fairs with attractive products
Also, if Amazon offers you to become a vendor you can either accept it or decline the offer. Amazon doesn’t allow any negotiations.
There are pros and cons that come with selling in Vendor Central.
- Vendors deal with Amazon and Amazon only
- Vendors don’t have to worry about dealing with customers.
- Avoiding Fees
- Since you are providing the products you do not have to worry about FBA fees or any other storage fees.
- Amazon Pays You
- Being a vendor means Amazon cuts you a piece of the cake for every sale.
- “Sold By Amazon”
- Since you are partnered with Amazon, you have a better chance of making sales faster because when people see the “sold by Amazon” badge, they are more likely to buy the product, not knowing Amazon got it from a vendor.
- If a product is priced cheaply, you might not see as much profit as you were expecting.
- Since Amazon is such a huge company they can be very demanding, which makes sense because they have 300 million users. So, if it is harder for people who are not well established to keep up with such a high demand of products each week or whatever amount is mentioned in the contract.
Seller Central is for third-party sellers. There are people who come to sell their products on Amazon. How is this different from Vendor Central? Third-party sellers:
- Pay Amazon for storage or fulfillment
- Pay a monthly fee for a subscription for being a individual seller or professional seller
- Communicate with the customers themselves
- Deal with shipping, pricing, customer service, returns etc.
- Keep track of their own inventory
- Have to pay for ads to be featured on the first page or become qualified for the buy box
Anyone can be a part of Seller Central if they find the right product to sell, can afford to pay the monthly fee and are able to keep their account in good standing. Below are some pros that come along with Seller Central:
- You are able to control your own prices
- You have flexibility on how your products are advertised
- Participate in FBA allowing Amazon to take care of shipping
- No invite needed
- No high demands since you keep track of all inventory
- You have to spend money on advertising
- You have to compete with millions of other sellers
- If you don’t use FBA you won’t be considered for Prime
- Dealing with customers can be difficult
- Since you run everything, if you mess anything up it will be on you and will affect your accounts health
- Monthly fees (you pay Amazon)
Seller Central is talked about a lot and is the most familiar aspect of selling on Amazon, but Vendor Central can be just as important. Vendor Central can help your brand exposure by being one of the items that Amazon wants, but the only downside to that is that it is invite-only. If you want to be a vendor for Amazon, you need to catch their attention. As mentioned above if you are doing very well selling on Amazon, that is a plus to be qualified, also, you forget that you can even attend the same events as Amazon and hope you woo them enough to be considered. Good luck!