Post updated March 27, 2018.
Earlier this month Amazon has announced that it is shutting down Vendor Express. The company said it will stop issuing purchase orders as of May 21, 2018 and you will no longer be able to add, edit or market your products on Vendor Express. On January 2, 2019 Vendor Express will completely shut down and become permanently unavailable. Anyone selling on Vendor Express will be transferred to Seller Central.
If you are new to Amazon then it may seem a little confusing, not least in the set up of your account. Do you need a Seller account or a Vendor account? Can you even get a Vendor account? Well, we’re here to help clear up any issues and questions that you may have! Below is a guide to each of the different accounts and who is eligible for each.
Seller Central is an entry level account and is the best place to start for almost all sellers. It provides a quick and simple way to get your products listed on Amazon without any over-complication.
Within Seller Central you have two options, Pro or Basic. By default, the account will be Basic and as such there will be selling costs associated with each sale. When one of your products sells you will pay the Amazon referral fee (typically 15% but this can vary) and also the £0.75 per-item fee. If you only plan to sell a few items on Amazon each month then a Basic account will be fine.
If you plan to sell more than 35 items a month then upgrading to a Pro account will be the best bet. With a Pro account you pay a £25 per month subscription fee, however, there is then no £0.75 per-item fee for each product sold.
With a Seller Central account you have access to basic Sponsored Products PPC advertising (and also Headline Search Ads if you are enrolled in Brand Registry).
If you are unsure of how your Amazon sales will go, then it is best to start off with a Basic account and you can always upgrade to the Pro account at any time should you need to.
Seller Central is good for retaining margin on your products as you specify the price at which the product should be sold. The payment terms are also more favourable compared with Vendor Central or Vendor Express, with payments received every week or two.
You can sign up for a Seller Central Amazon account here > https://services.amazon.co.uk/services/sell-online/how-it-works.html.
Vendor Central is used for manufacturers or distributors who are selling sufficient volume on Amazon, or for brands that Amazon is keen to add to their profile. When using Vendor Central, you sell your products in bulk to Amazon who then handles all elements of pricing, shipping, customer service and returns.
Being a Vendor Central user opens up the option of utilising AMS (Amazon Marketing Services). This is Amazon’s more comprehensive advertising platform and allows users to run Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads and Product Display Ads as well as creating a brand store to target ads to.
The clear tell-tale sign that a company is selling through a Vendor platform is that the listing will have the phrase “ships and sold by amazon.co.uk”.
Payments for Vendor accounts is much slower than Seller Central, with typical terms of around 60 days.
Registration on Vendor Central is by invite only. So, unless Amazon specifically gets in contact with you regarding a Vendor Central account, this option isn’t available to you.
Vendor Express is available to smaller-scale brand-owning manufacturers and distributors and functions in much the same way as Vendor Central. The key element to Vendor Express, however, is that unlike Vendor Central it is not an invite-only platform.
If you have your brand protected and products trademarked then you should be eligible for a Vendor Express account. As with Vendor Central, you will sell your products in bulk to Amazon who will then control pricing, shipping, customer service and returns. Vendor Express is free to join, so unlike Seller Central Pro there will be no monthly fees to worry about. A disadvantage of both Vendor models, however, is that Amazon will squeeze you down on price so you will sacrifice some margin compared with Seller Central.
Once again, as with Vendor Central, a Vendor Express account opens up the possibilities of AMS advertising campaigns.
You can register for a Vendor Express account here > https://vendorexpress.amazon.eu.
If you have any questions regarding your Amazon account, whether that be a Seller, Vendor Central or Vendor Express then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Marketplace AMP. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)1284 774809.