Amazon Vendor Central. All You Need to Know

 

Dear Amazon sellers, welcome to our detailed Vendor Central guide, which is going to reveal all the peculiarities of this platform.

There will be several parts in it:

  1. General introduction to Vendor Central
  2. Advantages of becoming a vendor
  3. What Is Vendor Central Direct Fulfillment?
  4. Who can get an invitation to Amazon Vendor Central

 

So, let’s start with an answer to the question: “What is Amazon Vendor Central?”. Have you ever sold at least one thing on Amazon? If yes, you already know what Seller Central is. This is the place where the transaction happens - this is the heart of Amazon business connected with individual businesses and third-parties. You are also offered various payment options that usually depend on the sales volume.

On the other hand, Vendor Central is the best suit for manufacturers/suppliers or distributors. Though, all of them act like third-party sellers as well. The main difference is that they are wholesalers.

It is an invite-only platform, so:

  1. Amazon sends you their bulk order;
  2. You send them the ordered inventory;
  3. They pay you for their bulk order.

 

After this, Amazon will sell these products to customers as their own without any other third-parties involved in the process. Therefore, it is a great way to get products to Amazon without working with customers directly. Sounds much simpler than Seller Central, however, becoming an Amazon vendor is challenging as well. For example, there are usually low prices, harsh contract terms, and even some additional costs and Amazon Vendor Central fees you need to pay!

If you want to become a vendor by invite and use Vendor Central, you can either produce a product or get it from a manufacturer and sell it to Amazon by a higher price to make the profit.

The only problem is that you need an invitation from Amazon to become a vendor, and there is no opportunity to get it right now, as they already have lots of wholesalers on site. We can’t state that things will go further this way, maybe this is a current situation and they will change something soon.

All in all, Vendor Central is a kind of hub for vendors while Seller Central is the interface for sellers where they can manage their whole business. Vendor Central gives manufacturers an opportunity to check orders, manage ads and provide product data.

 

Advantages of Becoming a Vendor

Let’s briefly look at  some obvious advantages of becoming a vendor:

  • Guaranteed great sales on the Amazon marketplaces.
  • Higher sales volumes than for individual sellers.
  • Access to programs for vendors which are unavailable for ordinary sellers.

Still, there are downsides as well. For instance, you can’t actually choose what amount of product to sell, as Amazon sets the quantity and the price for it. What’s more, you can’t receive your money right away as it happens in usual Seller Central, so vendors need to wait some days.

Nevertheless, having Amazon among other clients is a wonderful choice, isn’t it? ;) And other advantages of Vendor Central on Amazon look attractive too.

One more advantage is fees.

Vendors don’t need to pay fees for every product sold as sellers do, they pay just a flat fee of $39.99 once a month, which includes gift packaging options and fulfillment by Amazon.

 

By the way, we have compared Vendor Central to Seller Central in this article, so check it out to learn more.

 

What Is Vendor Central Direct Fulfillment?

Amazon can store your products in their warehouses and use Vendor Central direct fulfillment as well. It means that you store their products in your location and send them to Amazon’s customers when they place orders. Long story short, this is a usual dropshipping scheme, familiar to all eCommerce players. Earlier, it was called ‘Dropship Central’. This program is open to all vendors and each manufacturer can sign up for it from Vendor Central. After some checks, Amazon gives you their approval (in some cases they can not give it to vendors) and you are allowed to receive orders via Direct Fulfillment.

If you do that great, Amazon will work with you further, if not, they can take away your access to Direct Fulfillment.

However, don’t confuse Direct Fulfillment with acting like a drop-shipper. You can ship product on Amazon’s behalf, not on your own.

 

Who Can Get an Invitation to Vendor Central?

Though there are millions of different products on Amazon, they are constantly searching for new vendors. New products are being created and listed all the time, new brands are becoming popular. Here is a short list of who is usually invited to the program:

  • Brands with strong demand.
  • Sellers with exceptional quality of products.
  • Exhibitors from fairs and shows.

Amazon has a special recruitment team which is responsible for that. They ordinary send you an email saying that Amazon is interested in some specific products. After you agree to become their vendor, they supply you with the instructions on how to use Vendor Central and how to be TOS compliant. After successful negotiations, they will create a Vendor Central account for you and provide you with a detailed guide. Next, you will create your listings and set the prices for them.

 

What is Amazon Vendor Central for?

Let’s imagine that you have already received an invitation to Vendor Central, what options would you get with it?

Here are the most essential features (still, there are more of them):

  • Orders: receiving them and providing shipment information.
  • Products with their information: images, costs, and other data.
  • Merchandising and marketing (Amazon Vine and A+ Content programs).
  • Payment data: invoices, remittances.
  • Ads Console where you can manage your promo campaigns.
  • Analytical reports telling you how well your business works.

We should also note that Amazon usually orders from vendors approximately once a week. The most popular day is Monday. If your items suit the consumers’ needs the most, be ready to process Amazon’s orders more often.

Vendors also know that Amazon prefers ordering small parties more often to purchase a huge amount of stock once a half a year.

We hope that this Amazon Vendor Central tutorial was helpful. In any case, if Amazon chooses you to become one of their vendors, they will provide you with more detailed instructions.