Vendor Central vs. Seller Central: What’s Best for Your Brand?

So, your customers are shopping on Amazon… now what?

If you’re familiar with Amazon you’ve probably heard the terminology of Vendor Central, Seller Central, FBA, FBM, and other Amazon lingo. When you’re first introduced to the world of Amazon your mind is spinning with questions. What really are the differences between Vendor Central and Seller Central? And, more importantly, which one will serve your brand best?

There’s a lot to unpack here (Amazon shipping pun intended). So let’s start with defining each of these very different types of sales platforms.

VENDOR CENTRAL: 

By definition, opening an account on Vendor Central gives you the opportunity to become a vendor to Amazon. This means Amazon will buy your product at a wholesale price and then handle all sales, pricing, fulfillment, and customer service aspects of that product.

This selling method offers limited solutions depending on what your brand needs, but the bottom line is that selling via Vendor Central will save you time. If you need to move a lot of product or have several resellers that you don’t plan to renegotiate with, this could be a good option for you.

What’s the price?

Vendor Central may sound too good to be true – and typically, that’s because it is. With Vendor Central you’re waving goodbye to most, if not all, control over your brand and losing most of your profits. Here’s a condensed list of things you lose when switching to Vendor Central:

  • Pricing: Amazon will decide their own sale price for your products and won’t adhere to MAP
  • Product Data & Brand Experience: You can submit content and photos for your product, but Amazon will decide what information to include and may allow other sellers to contribute
  • Volume: Amazon decides how much & how often to order from you

In addition to these points, vendors have horrible margins. You’re selling wholesale to Amazon (usually 50% or less of the selling price) when you could be selling the same amount or more for double the value. It may cost you slightly in fees and some labor, but you’ll be making double per unit and set up to sell so much more. If none of the above points phase you then this could be the best choice for your brand! However, if you found yourself cringing at the losses accrued by Vendor Central – don’t worry! There’s another way.

SELLER CENTRAL:

Seller Central allows you to sell on the Amazon marketplace at retail prices. You can still take full advantage of Amazon’s Fulfillment Network and participate in Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Amazon will ship your product, take ownership of shipping-related customer service, and your products will have the coveted Prime Badge. Beyond FBA, you can also opt for Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) which could serve your brand better if your product is a unique size or requires special packing. The major difference in the Seller Central format is that you’ll keep the retail margins for yourself. Some benefits to this platform are as follows:

  • Full Control Over Pricing
  • Full Control Over Listing Data and Aesthetics
  • Sell as much product as you can
  • Control who is allowed to resell your products

Seller Central is ideal if you want to control your brand, and more importantly, own your profits. But, with great power comes great responsibility and Seller Central is no different! In order to own these profits and control your brand, you’ll need to take on more responsibilities as a seller. Tasks such as building out technical aspects of listings, figuring out additional fees, and other industry compliances will be on you to handle.

This is where our team here at Cart Logic can help. We specialize in Amazon Management and can help you decide between Vendor and Seller Central and then develop your Amazon strategy to ensure your business will thrive in either space. With our experts’ knowledge of this ever-changing landscape, you can worry less about technicalities and instead focus on growing and selling your brand.

Regardless of which platform you decide, your customers are shopping on Amazon and you want to secure those profits. You can either give Amazon control of your product (Vendor Central) or you can own your brand’s destiny and profits (Seller Central).

Cart Logic is here to make Amazon Management easier. Contact our team today and we’ll give you the edge your brand has been missing!

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