In a previous post, we looked at Amazon Vendor Central vs Amazon Seller Central. In this post, we’re going to discuss Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Vendor Express to help you discover which is the best fit for you.
Update 21.03.18: Last week, Amazon announced that they will be shutting down Vendor Express. Any business that was using Vendor Express will now have to sell their products themselves as a third- party seller on Amazon or find another option. One of these other options would be selling to an online retailer at wholesale pricing who will manage the Amazon sales channel for them. So this program shutting down should be a good thing for FBA sellers and may present some new opportunities for wholesale sourcing.
Details of Amazon Vendor Central
If you’ve sold even one thing on Amazon, then you know Seller Central is a vital part of the operation. It’s where the brains and heart live and where you make all the magic happen. It’s also for third-party or individual sellers, giving you a couple different payment options depending on the volume of your sales.
Vendor Central, on the other hand, is better suited for manufacturers and distributors (aka first-party sellers) who act as suppliers to Amazon directly. You either make your own stuff or get it wholesale from a manufacturer, sell it in bulk to Amazon, they sell it at a higher price to individuals and then pay you some of the profits. But to get in on this option, you have to get an invitation from Amazon — there’s (currently?) no option to sign up for it.
Along with the obvious benefits (guaranteed sales from Amazon, potentially bigger volume of sales, access to cool perks and programs), there are a couple of downsides. Actually, we can only really think of two: you don’t really get to choose how much each item sells for individually because Amazon will set that price, and receiving payment isn’t instantaneous the way it would be with Seller Central. But hey, it’s pretty cool to name Amazon (!!) as one of your buyers, no?
Details of Amazon Vendor Express
If you think of Vendor Express not so much as a different product from Vendor Central, but rather a streamlined version of the same thing, you’ll have a better idea of how it works going forward. It operates in much the same way, with a few differences. For instance:
- You don’t have to pay anything for your products to be stored and handled.
- You can opt to take part in drop-shipping on Amazon (i.e. direct fulfilment) if you think it’ll help enhance your business.
- Once your item sells (via Amazon), then you’ll start getting bulk orders for it. Essentially, you start off by giving Amazon ‘taster’ (read: free) products that they turn around and sell themselves. If this turns out to be viable, then they’ll place a bigger bulk order.
- You don’t have to wait for an invitation to sign up for it, as it’s open to all sellers.
- One of its biggest selling features is its high turnover, which makes it perfect for hot or fast-selling items (and not unique, niche or off-season products).
- Your payment schedule is on the longest side of reimbursement at 90 days, compared with 60-90 for Vendor Central (and two weeks for Seller Central).
- Amazon is in sole control over how much each item is sold for.
- You’re capped at being able to list 85 items, while Vendor Central has no limit.
- You don’t get access to things like Amazon Vine or advertising.
If you’re dead-set on waiting for your invitation for Vendor Central and haven’t received it yet, or decided Vendor Express just isn’t the best fit for you, then one thing you still have to make decisions about is how to price your wares. For that, nobody does it better than RepricerExpress. And you want to know one of the reasons why it’s the best? Because we start you off with your 15 days totally free once you sign up.