Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Amazon third-party Seller?

An Amazon third-party is any person, brand or business that sells the products at retail on the Amazon platform. These sellers purchase products from manufacturers or distributors at wholesale and make money by selling at retail prices. Third-party sellers can choose to fulfill their orders through Fulfillment by Amazon or ship their orders out from their location to customers. 3rd party sellers use the Seller Central interface to manage their Amazon products.

What is an Amazon professional seller account?

An Amazon professional seller account is for individuals or businesses who plan to sell high volumes of product on Amazon. An individual selling plan has $.99 per order fee per transaction and has limitations on the full features of Seller Central. A professional seller account costs $39.99 per month and waves this order fee. It also gives sellers access to data feeds for uploading inventory files, advertising campaigns and additional reports.

What is fulfillment by Amazon?

Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA is one fulfillment method that 3rd party sellers can use to get their product to customers. Amazon has established distribution centers across the country to reach their customers faster. Using FBA requires sellers to ship their inventory to a distribution center where it is processed and added into stock on Amazon. Amazon handles all shipping to customers and customer returns. In exchange, Amazon takes a referral fee (as it does for all transactions) as well as handling and shipping fees.

Who can use fulfillment by Amazon?

Fulfillment by Amazon is open to all 3rd party sellers. The seller can choose to use FBA when creating their first listing. Amazon may choose to limit the amount of inventory you can send to an FBA center or suspend your ability to send more shipments if the product does not move fast enough. Amazon charges long term storage fees to sellers whose inventory remains at distribution centers for prolonged periods without being sold.

What is an Amazon Vendor?

An Amazon Vendor is any brand or business that wholesales their products to Amazon. Amazon then sells the products on their platform to bring in revenue. Vendor’s utilize the Vendor Central interface to receive purchase orders from Amazon, manage their product catalog, create advertising or marketing campaigns with Amazon Marketing Services or review their performance with Amazon Retail Analytics.

How do I become an Amazon Vendor?

The Amazon vendor program is by invitation only. Each category on Amazon has a category lead buyer who is responsible for managing relationships with vendors in their respective category. These lead buyers invite brands to be vendors if the products are selling well on Amazon, or they believe the products will sell well. Brands can also request an invitation from category leads to the Amazon Vendor program, however there is no guarantee that you will receive an invitation.

What is the difference between Seller Central and Vendor Central?

Amazon Seller Central is the interface utilized by 3rd party sellers on Amazon while Vendor Central is the interface used by 1st party sellers to Amazon. Seller central allows 3rd party sellers to manage their inventory, review orders, create advertising campaigns and promotions, review financial accounts and their selling performance. Vendor Central does not have as much control over inventory management as Seller Central, but does have other unique features such as Amazon Marketing Services.

What is Amazon Marketing Services?

Amazon Marketing Services is the advertising platform available to Amazon Vendors. AMS provides vendors with different advertising options than those available to Amazon sellers. Vendors can use AMS to place advertisements on competitors’ listings, place banner ads at the top of search results pages or place sponsored ads in the search results. AMS also allows vendors to create a landing page for their brand to drive customers to.

What is Amazon Vendor Express?

Amazon Vendor Express is an opt-in program available to businesses that have not received invitations to become Vendors on Amazon or 3rd party sellers looking to transition to wholesale. The program has a trial period where Amazon will your inventory to consumers. If the product performs well, you will start receiving purchase orders from Amazon for additional units.

What is the Amazon Associates program?

The Amazon Associates program is the affiliate marketing program of Amazon. Marketers promote Amazon products on their blog, website or traffic source and earn commissions. The typical commission is 4%-8% however there are category specific commissions as well. The Amazon Associates program can also be a great way for sellers to market their product and earn additional revenue.

Who can be an Amazon Associate?

An individual can become an Amazon Associate program. The program has a 100-day trial period to test how much traffic your website, blog or videos will bring to Amazon. At the end of the period, Amazon can choose to accept you as an associate or may reject you from the program. The reason for rejection is typically related to not creating enough content or traffic to drive customers to Amazon.

How does Amazon rank products?

Amazon uses an algorithm to rank listings in search results. The algorithm considers numerous different criteria to determine a products quality and relevance to the keyword search. In our experience, the main factors that determine a products rankings are number of sales, quality of product reviews, product conversion rates based on the page visits, product relevancy, price point and seller account health. Other factors play into the product ranking and Amazon is constantly adjusting the algorithm to provide more relevant, higher quality products to their customers.

What are Sponsored Ads on Amazon?

Amazon sponsored ads is the cost-per-click advertising available to third-party sellers on Amazon. Sponsored ads allow a seller to run advertisements for the product based on keywords that customers search. The seller then pays every time a customer clicks on their advertisement. Sellers can run automatic or manually targeted campaigns, and can select how their advertisements will match to search results. Sellers bid for keywords and Amazon gives priority ad placement to the highest bidding sellers.

What are gated categories or restricted categories on Amazon?

Amazon restricts product sales in certain categories like health and beauty and grocery for example. The goal of restricting categories is to protect customers from sellers who have no established history on from selling a product that could potentially hurt someone.

How do I become ungated for a category?

A seller must request approval from Amazon and meet certain requirements to be ungated to sell in a category. Each product category has different criteria that need to be met prior to receiving Amazon’s approval. The criteria can relate to your account health or age on Amazon, or could be outside documentation and tests for hazardous or potentially hazardous materials.

How do I get product reviews for Amazon?

Amazon sellers can get reviews for their products and listings by offering discounted promotion codes out in exchange for an honest review. This is currently not against Amazon’s Terms of Service; however, it is important that each seller requires a reviewer to indicate that they received the product at a discount. Amazon may also restrict family members or close friends from leaving reviews on your products to avoid a conflict of interest. Vendors can get reviews for their products as well. Please check out our post on how vendors can get Amazon reviews.

Can I sell other brands on Amazon?

It is possible to sell brands on Amazon. This is typically known as reselling or retail arbitrating products. Amazon has created additional restrictions around selling the products of certain larger brands to protect against knock-offs and counterfeit products. Sellers selling certain brands may now be required to pay a fee of up $2500 to continue selling the brand.

What is Amazon Brand Registry?

Amazon brand registry is available to third-party sellers using the Seller Central interface to register their brand with Amazon. Brand registry gives sells a couple different advantages. It essentially lets Amazon know that you own the brand and will help you in cases where any other seller attempts to highjack your listings. It also allows you to create products without EAN or UPC codes which can be great for sellers with large numbers of SKUs.

Can I sell internationally with Amazon?

Amazon currently has 14 sites internationally that are available for sellers to sell on. The international sites cover Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Sellers can elect to expand into different markets to grow their online presence. Amazon has FBA in these various countries to help sellers fulfill their orders abroad.