Amazon has expanded into Europe, opening up five markets that eCommerce businesses can tap. Amazon Vendor Central is open by invitation only, but anyone is free to join Vendor Express, which has some features that are similar to Vendor Central. Vendors with an Amazon North America account can enter the European market to sell on the Amazon marketplaces in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the UK. The steps to joining Vendor Express are simple, and being a member offers several advantages:
- Access Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) and other tools for selling. AMS opens access to Sponsored Products and other ads, content optimization options, and sales reports. *
- Sell your products to the hundreds of millions of online shoppers who search on Amazon.
- Get a better chance to win the buy-box and ride on the Amazon name since your product listings will be marked as “Sold by Amazon”.
- Sell to Amazon and let them take care of merchandising, order handling, shipping, returns and 24/7 customer service. **
- Get free shipping for your products to Amazon from your warehouse.
- Store your products for free at Amazon’s warehouses.
- Offer your products to customers with free shipping for above minimum orders and free 2-day shipping for Prime customers.
* Vendor Express does not grant regular access to A+ content, and does not offer the premium analytics that is available on Vendor Central.
** Fulfillment options include FBA, where Amazon takes care of inventory and shipping cost, and Direct Fulfillment (drop-ship), where Amazon sends you a prepaid and pre-filled form for shipping directly to customers. You must choose one or the other, and will not have the freedom to switch back and forth.
Before registering to Vendor Express, you should be aware of a few things:
- You can submit a selling price offer (more or less the MSRP), but the pricing of your products will be automated and controlled by Amazon.
- Purchase orders from Amazon will also be automated, which can result in issues with out-of-stock items when estimates are inaccurate.
- You will not be able to negotiate the terms of your contract with Amazon.
- You will not be able to use a manufacturer badge for comments on customer reviews.
Join the European Marketplace
To enter the European Marketplace as a vendor, you will need a Vendor Express account. As soon as you sign up, you can start selling your products to Amazon. Note that you cannot use a Vendor Central account for Vendor Express If you already have a personal Amazon account, you can sign in with this same email address and password. Amazon recommends, however, that you set up a separate account for Vendor Express:
- On the Vendor Express homepage, click “Sign Up” in the upper right hand corner.
- Type in the name of your business, your business email address, physical address and phone number. Add your VAT ID and complete bank account information – bank, branch, account name, IBAN and SWIFT/BIC, etc.
- Add the products that you want to sell to Amazon.
- Accept the Vendor Express Terms and Conditions.
- Wait for a request from Amazon for free sample units and send them to Amazon. ***
- Wait for your first purchase order from Amazon and send them the products.
*** When you enter into a vendor arrangement with Amazon, the company will require you to send them a number of free sample units. Amazon uses these product samples to test how well your product sells on the marketplace. Once they determine that there is a demand for your product, they will make their first purchase order form you and will likely order in bulk moving forward.
Products Eligible for Sale
Amazon is always adding new departments and categories to their marketplace. Currently, vendors can sell the products on this extensive list. Note that there is quite a list of products that are restricted to Vendor Express members on the Amazon UK marketplace. You can view and download the list here.