If you are already selling products through Amazon’s Seller Central you may have heard about their Vendor Central offering. However, if you have done some research around what this is and how to join, you will have discovered that this offering from Amazon is strictly invite only! So, how can you get an invite to join Amazon Vendor Central and what else is there to know about this invite-only offering?
How can I get an invite to join Amazon Vendor Central?
This is a tricky question to answer and there is no way to “get” an invite. Amazon is only interested in doing business with brands and manufacturers it knows is going to make them money through a partnership with them, this is why their Vendor offering is exclusive in comparison to Seller Central, there is more opportunity for Amazon to make money from a Vendor than a Seller.
However, there are some things that may influence their decision.
- Exhibiting at Trade Fairs where Amazon scouts notice your business
- Demonstrating that you are a brand focused business through Amazon Marketplace as a Seller with your own branded products
- Being a brand where Amazon can see evidence of strong demand
They need to see the potential to make a profit, demonstrate that and you are on your way to an invite.
What is the difference between Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central?
Amazon Seller Central is open to everyone and presents no real barriers to entry aside monthly selling fees and associated costs.
Professional selling plan: This plan is right for you if you will be selling over 35 items a month. The professional selling plan carries a flat fee of £25 per month and no per-item fee.
Individual selling plan: This plan is for those that will sell less than 35 items per month and there is a 75p fee for each item sold.
Given this, Amazon Seller Central is often the most common and suitable way for businesses to sell.
Amazon Vendor Central is very different however, aside from the fact that it is by invitation only as a Vendor, you’re entering into an agreement with Amazon to fulfil their purchase orders so they can sell you stock directly to the consumer.
Another key difference is how delivery is handled. In Seller Central you are in full control of fulfilment which includes choosing courier and pricing structure. Vendor Central takes that largely out of your hands. Your job is to fulfil Amazon’s purchase orders, rather than the individual orders to consumers.
Vendor Central also offers more benefits to boost sales, such as the ability to create high quality content which will rank your products better. These product pages are known as A+ Detail Pages.
There are also more advertising options available to vendors. The Vendor version of AMS includes hyper-targeted keyword based ad-campaigns to drive traffic directly to product pages. Through Amazon Advertising Console, Vendors have access to a variety of advertising opportunities using a Pay Per Click (PPC) model. PPC is an advertising format where you incur a fee (often a nominal amount) every time someone clicks on your ad.
When do Amazon Vendors get Paid?
Amazon pays Vendors under one of three different sets of terms. These are:
- 30 Days (with a 2% discount in Amazon’s favour)
- 60 Days
- 90 Days
With most Vendors on the longer two payment terms, cash flow can be problematic, so working with a specialist Amazon Vendor agency that can help streamline your operations to avoid supply chain issues.
This is a reason why Amazon Vendor Central is better suited to those that already sell in bulk/wholesale as these are more traditional style payment terms that these types of businesses will be used to.
Does Amazon Vendor Central have an API?
Unfortunately not, at this time Amazon Vendor Central does not have an API. This means that working with large amounts of data can be tricky. Vendors can access Vendor Central via the website, which offers manual data input and basic bulk data import/export using CSV files. This means it would benefit you to brush up on your spreadsheet skills in order to find ways to make processes simpler.
Alternatively, there are other technologies that Vendor Central is compatible with, and some work-arounds, but as a beginner you’ll most likely need agency support to implement this.
Often, it’s most efficient and cost effective to hire an agency to handle one, or all aspects of your relationship between you as a Vendor, and Amazon. A Vendor Central Agency like Arthia, can help with a unique mix of consultancy and management services across different areas relating to Amazon Vendor Central.