Amazon Vendor Central vs. Amazon Seller Central

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Etail’s CEO Michael Anderson that was published by Business.com.

Sales on Amazon this holiday season are expected to reach $38.8 billion according to digital agency NetElixir. Their projection includes sales from Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central.

While these two programs may seem similar, they are actually very different.

  • Vendor Central involves selling products to Amazon.
  • Seller Central involves selling products on Amazon.

Many brands and small business owners don’t know which program to use. Nor are they aware of the long-term implications and benefits of choosing one program over the other. This article lays out the differences between Vendor Central and Seller Central. You’ll learn the strengths and weaknesses of each program so, hopefully, you can maximize Q4 sales and profit, while protecting the future of your brand or business.

Amazon Vendor Central vs. Amazon Seller Central

There are two ways to get your products seen and sold on Amazon. One requires forming a first-party (1P) relationship with Amazon. The other requires forming a third-party (3P) relationship with Amazon.

In a 1P relationship, brands and businesses sell products directly to Amazon at wholesale prices. Then Amazon sells them to customers at retail prices. Brands and businesses act as the vendor or wholesaler. Amazon acts as the seller or retailer. Vendor Central is the program Amazon uses to manage its 1P relationships. It is an invitation-only program. However, certain steps can be taken to obtain an invitation, such as connecting with an Amazon Vendor Manager on LinkedIn or at industry trade shows, or hiring an e-commerce consultant who has an existing relationship with Amazon.

In a 3P relationship, brands and businesses use Amazon to sell products to customers at retail prices. Amazon acts as the selling platform. Brands and businesses act as the retailer, either directly or through authorized resellers. Seller Central is the program Amazon uses to manage its 3P relationships. This program is open to anyone – brands, businesses and resellers. Certain product categories, such as automotive, clothing and grocery, require pre-approval.

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