Amazon Seller Central vs Vendor Central (2019 Updates)

Amazon Showdown - VendorCentral vs SellerCentral

What is the best way for an Amazon Vendor to migrate towards a SellerCentral account?

Vendor Central:

  • Wholesales product directly to Amazon
  • Amazon negotiates terms every year
  • Amazon is in controls the retail price
  • Amazon handles returns
  • X COMPANY is used to this traditional way of selling and not worrying about being a retailer

Seller Central:

  • X COMPANY becomes a retailer
    • Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): Orders are placed through Amazon, and it is up to X COMPANY to pick, pack, and ship product to the end customer. This option, due to lead times the Prime badge would NOT be present on the detail page. Possible that X COMPANY will be filling onesie twosie orders all day long
    • Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA): X COMPANY sends product in to Amazon’s fulfilment centers, Amazon then does the pick, pack, and shipping – all the while there is a Prime badge on the detail page. This option utilizes Amazon’s far superior shipping rates, but does come with additional fees/costs (storage, pick, packing, shipping)
      Utilizing Amazon’s fulfilment gives INCREDIBLE shipping rates and saves on having to hire an additional staff member. Instead, we will get the Prime badge and only have to send large quantities every 2 weeks rather than onesie twosies every single day or hour.

Amazon 3PL Warehouse Fee's

Month

Standard-size

Oversize

January - September

$0.69 per cubic foot

$0.48 per cubic foot

October - December

$2.40 per cubic foot

$1.20 per cubic foot

In short, a winery doesn’t open a tasting room because they think it will be fun, they do it because it finally gives them an opportunity to charge the same price for their wine as their retail partners. Amazon is now your tasting room!

“What is the difference and which is better for my business?”

This question is frequently asked by our clients

Given the eCommerce landscape VendorCentral and SellerCentral are two different platforms for selling through Amazon.com

If properly managed then Customers can barely tell the difference, but there are also differences between the two platforms which will help determine if you should sell through VendorCentral, SellerCentral, or both!

As a public company, Amazon reports sales of products they sell to end customers, these are always products sold through the VendorCentral platform.

Although both SellerCentral and VendorCentral will connect your product with Amazon customers, the major difference is that SellerCentral provides the underlying merchant tools to create a sale, and require you to get the item to the customer.

SellerCentral follows a marketplace model, where many “sellers” upload their “offers” for any SKUs they want and the winning offer usually gets the “BuyBox”. SellerCentral makes selling directly to customers flexible because you can set your own price, use your own shipping rates, at your shipping speed.

SellerCentral has additional services which can be utilized, like logistics resources which can get your items to end customers when a customer places an order.

VendorCentral follows a wholesale model where you sell in bulk to Amazon, which in turn offers your product and displays “Ships and Sold by Amazon.com” to customers at retail prices which they control.

VendorCentral is also known as In-Network offering, or first party retailer.

SellerCentral is also known as 3rd Party because the majority of merchants are 3rd party distributors.

If you plan to sell your product on Amazon, you can start instantly on SellerCentral. You will need an invite from Amazon before you can sell on VendorCentral.

It’s important to understand the features of both platforms including the advantage and the disadvantages of each before launching your products.

In order to help you determine which is most suitable for you between SellerCentral and VendorCentral, here is a comparison of some of the features of both platforms:

Features of SellerCentral:

  • Flexible logistical options
  • Quick payment terms
  • Brand/Merchant controls retail pricing
  • Sell directly to Amazon’s customers
  • AMS Platform
  • Complex sales process
  • Enhanced Brand Content

Features of VendorCentral:

  • Invite only
  • Sell in Bulk to Amazon
  • Fixed logistical options
  • Traditional payment terms, 60 or 90 day terms.
  • Amazon controls Retail Pricing, following marketplace competition
  • Multiple advertising/promotional options
  • Traditional distribution sales process
  • Unlimited A+ content
  • Ability to Merge brand listings created by 3p providers

Although VendorCentral interface allows you to leverage on Amazon’s powerful marketing tools such as Amazon Marketing Services and A+ content, SellerCentral gives you more control over your selling prices.

The bottom line, however, is that the positioning of your company in the market would determine which of the platforms will be more suitable for you.


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