Amazon Vendor vs. Vendor: Know the Distinction


amazon vendor vs seller

Amazon is an industry-defining web retail behemoth that consultants have in comparison with the 19th-century railroad, in that it has ushered in a radical revolution in life-style decisions and enterprise practices alike.

Amazon has additionally been described because the “modern public square.” Centuries in the past, shoppers would combine and mingle within the city sq. as distributors introduced their items.

Right now, Amazon lets numerous sellers from everywhere in the globe exhibit their merchandise to a seemingly infinite variety of customers, all mingling within the public house of the web.

Any retailer who desires to thrive (and even survive) in at the moment’s globalized, extremely networked enterprise world goes to significantly take into account providing their items on Amazon Market in some unspecified time in the future. 

Let’s take a fast take a look at how and why it has turn into so important for at the moment’s retailers.


Amazon Market: A quick historical past and 4 quick info

Whereas Amazon began as an internet retailer, in 1999, the positioning launched Amazon Auctions, an internet auctions service, and zShops, a fixed-price market enterprise. 

These would finally turn into Amazon Market, which Bezos and firm launched on the finish of 2000 as an open platform by means of which third-party distributors and sellers can straight connect with consumers.

Over the past 20 years, Amazon Market has spectacularly redefined “retail.” The Market has successfully closed the hole between main manufacturers and small companies, which may now straight compete with the large canine for the primary time in historical past.

These smaller enterprises not want to fret about having the time and assets required to arrange a bodily retailer or retail website and spend money on advertising and promoting. 

As an alternative, they’ll profit from the large quantity of site visitors that already flows by means of the Amazon ecosystem and the advertising and logistics providers the Market platform presents. consumers from everywhere in the world, who would possible by no means have in any other case heard of those “mom-n’-pop” outlets, can uncover (and buy) from small corporations.


4 quick info on the world’s largest market

Reality one: Along with facilitating purchases, the Market platform additionally features as a search engine. In response to RetailDive, 54% of US shoppers now flip to Amazon (not Google!) as their first level of reference to seek for and analysis merchandise.

Moreover, savvy customers can kind “Amazon: [search query]” proper into their browser’s handle bar and instantly search the database.

Reality two: Amazon Market now commandeers no less than 52.4% of all on-line retail spending in america.

Reality three: Amazon’s slice of the eCommerce pie is over twice the market share of Amazon’s subsequent 9 opponents mixed.

Reality 4: Even retailers who promote their merchandise by means of different web sites discover that as much as 90% of their gross sales originate on Amazon.


Wish to Get on The Amazon Market? Right here’s The place to Begin

Whereas becoming a member of Amazon Market is comparatively easy, it does require some research and enterprise savvy to take full benefit of what the platform has to supply.

Right here’s crucial resolution going through any retailer or maker trying to harness Amazon’s financial energy: what variety of vendor do you wish to be?

To this point, we’ve been utilizing phrases like “vendor” and “seller” fairly interchangeably, however now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of what these phrases imply. 

On Amazon Market, a vendor is a definite entity from a vendor, and it’s essential to know the distinction between the 2 if you’re signing up.

Deciding for those who’re promoting to or on Amazon (extra on that beneath) could have a big impression on your enterprise, from stock administration to delivery logistics to ROI.

We’ve put collectively a short primer on what every choice entails—maintain studying to be taught extra in regards to the professionals and cons of signing up as an Amazon vendor versus an Amazon vendor to make a better-informed resolution on your retail enterprise.


One Market, Two Completely different Methods to Promote

Whereas Amazon has performed with a few completely different fashions over time, at the moment, retailers have the choice of becoming a member of the Market as an Amazon vendor or an Amazon vendor.


What’s an Amazon vendor?

An Amazon vendor sells their items straight to Amazon, that means there’s no level of contact between vendor and client. 

Amazon itself is shopping for the merchandise and maintains possession of them, then facilitates and fulfills all orders. 

On the Amazon website, the seller’s merchandise will not be listed as offered by their enterprise however as a substitute labeled as “sold by Amazon.” 

Distributors are charged one month-to-month flat-fee to take part in this system and will not be topic to another charges. Turning into a vendor is at the moment an invite-only choice.

What’s an Amazon vendor?

Versus turning into an Amazon vendor, no invitation is required to turn into a vendor on Amazon Market; anybody can enroll, even when they don’t have a registered enterprise entity. 

Additionally, not like distributors, Amazon sellers supply their merchandise on to consumers—their items are listed on the positioning as “sold by [business name].” 

That is the important distinction: distributors promote their items to Amazon, whereas sellers promote their items on Amazon. 

This additionally implies that sellers have much more selections to make by way of how they’re going to handle their stock and fulfill orders. Extra on that in a second.

Amazon Vendor vs. Amazon Vendor, at a look

Right here’s a point-by-point rundown of how these two kinds of Amazon Market retailers evaluate.


Distributors pay a flat month-to-month subscription payment, at the moment set at $39.99, for whole gross sales.

Sellers, then again, can select completely different promoting plans at varied value factors after which are topic to charges on prime of that. In response to Amazon, an particular person plan (for these promoting lower than 40 items a month) at the moment prices 99 cents per unit offered, plus charges. A skilled plan (for these promoting over 40 items a month) prices $39.99 a month, plus charges.

Right here’s a listing of the charges sellers are topic to:

  • Referral charges, which Amazon says are often between 8% and 15%
  • Achievement charges, the quantity of which is determined by whether or not you ship your merchandise your self or use Amazon’s success service (FBA)
  • Lengthy-term storage charges (this solely applies to relevant sellers)
  • Elective service charges, together with prices for add-ons like promoting or premium account options

Distributors don’t management the promoting value of their items on the Market—Amazon does.

Sellers set their costs on the positioning.



Distributors primarily haven’t any logistics to fret about. They only should comply with Amazon’s procedures for getting their items to an Amazon facility—Amazon takes care of the remaining.

Sellers have extra management over logistics. They’ll select to meet orders themselves, that means they continue to be answerable for storage, stock administration, and delivery (and are additionally responsible for all these prices). 

Sellers even have the choice, as famous above, of letting Amazon deal with these duties for them by paying additional for the FBA service.


Customer support:

Distributors don’t present any customer support. In reality, they haven’t any contact with shoppers in any respect. Amazon handles all queries and returns.

Sellers, then again, are accountable for dealing with returns and straight responding to any questions or considerations that potential consumers might have.


Advertising and marketing:

Distributors relinquish advertising management to Amazon, which makes use of its in-house advertising and A+ content material providers.

Sellers will pay additional for the Enhanced Model Content material program to get a further increase in visibility.



Distributors do not need entry to any gross sales analytics.

Sellers have entry to Amazon’s treasure trove of fine-grained analytics.


Amazon Vendor vs. Vendor: Which is Proper for Me?

Whilst you can’t resolve to right away enroll as a vendor with out an invite from Amazon, it’s good to check each fashions and weigh up their respective ROIs simply in case that invitation does come. Right here’s a fast rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of every choice.


Amazon Distributors: The Benefits

It’s a complete lot much less work

Distributors can get their merchandise offered with out coping with pricing, advertising, storage, or success, making this a great choice for companies with small groups or people who don’t have that sort of capability.

It could be extra reasonably priced

Distributors aren’t topic to the identical charges sellers are, leading to a decrease overhead.

Extra correct stock and gross sales forecasting

As a result of Amazon makes common bulk purchases from distributors, it’s far less complicated to undertaking how a lot stock you’ll want subsequent quarter and what number of gross sales you’ll make. 

Additionally, Amazon presents distributors entry to stock forecasting instruments unavailable to sellers. There’s stability in predictability!


As a result of Amazon is promoting your items, they may also be packaged with Amazon-only perks, just like the subscribe-and-save program. 

These perks make for a smoother shopping for expertise and should translate into elevated demand for the seller’s product.


Amazon Distributors: The Downsides

Unpredictable revenue margins

Distributors don’t get to set an MSRP—Amazon is completely answerable for pricing. Distributors have reported dropping cash as a consequence of this construction: Amazon can set the worth of their merchandise too low for them to see a revenue margin. 

Additional, Amazon can select to change pricing at any time, making it more durable to foretell margins.

The price of maintaining 

Amazon has a excessive bar of success expectations, and its total enterprise mannequin is determined by the products it presents at all times being accessible and able to ship at a second’s discover. 

For smaller enterprises or retailers that supply merchandise troublesome to fabricate, Amazon’s fast-paced demand could be difficult to maintain up with.

A fickle buyer

There’s additionally no assure that Amazon will maintain shopping for from any given vendor, and competitors on the Market is fierce. 

Amazon additionally might draw back from buying new, untested merchandise since there’s not but any demonstrable demand for them, that means there’s much less incentive for distributors to maintain innovating.


Amazon sellers: The Benefits

Entry to Amazon Vendor Central interface

Whereas distributors have entry to particular stock management and projection instruments which are unavailable to sellers, sellers do nonetheless have quite a lot of monitoring and reporting instruments at their disposal by way of the Vendor Central dashboard, together with in depth and real-time analytics.

Model-building potential

Because of the mind-boggling thousands and thousands of month-to-month guests that movement by means of Amazon, profitable sellers can obtain extraordinary positive aspects in title recognition. 

Individuals looking Amazon are additionally very prone to have “transactional intent” of their searches. Whereas it’s true that many individuals use Amazon for product analysis, simply the mere undeniable fact that they’re on {the marketplace} is a robust sign that they’re trying to spend cash.

Constructing connections

As a result of sellers are accountable for their customer support, they’ll construct direct human connections with their consumers as they subject queries by means of Amazon’s messaging platform and fulfill orders and returns.

Higher management

Sellers can set their costs and regulate them at their discretion.

Entry to Achievement by Amazon

Sellers who’re unable or unwilling to tackle the burden of stock logistics can avail themselves of the Achievement by Amazon (FBA) service. 

There’s additionally a spread of third-party instruments that may help sellers in making essentially the most out of FBA. 

SkuVault, as an example, presents Amazon FBA Stock Administration software program that helps sellers monitor stock in real-time, forestall errors in high quality management at Amazon warehouses, and simply and shortly generate buy orders and FBA shipments. 

All of those advantages equate to sellers get their merchandise to consumers much more shortly and with larger visibility. 


Amazon sellers: The Downsides

Logistics complications

Distributors have all logistics taken care of for them by Amazon, whereas sellers who select to not pay for FBA have to fret about storage, stock administration, and delivery. 

If sellers don’t have these logistics on lockdown, they’ll face out-of-stocks or delayed shipments. 

That, in flip, can translate right into a decrease Amazon Vendor Efficiency Score, which may kill an Amazon Market retailer.

These sellers selecting to not go the FBA route might wish to look into merchandise like SkuVault’s Warehouse Administration software program and eCommerce stock administration options, which assist optimize effectivity on this area, holding these efficiency rankings up.

Charges, charges, charges! 

Sellers face many charges that distributors don’t should cope with. Despite the fact that sellers can set their costs, these charges can nonetheless critically impression their revenue margins. 

You might wish to try Amazon’s gross sales margin calculator to see if all these charges will probably be price it in the long term.

Lack of Amazon branding

Distributors revenue massively from their merchandise tagged as “sold by Amazon.” The Amazon title comes with built-in client confidence, so new sellers, specifically, can face a steep uphill battle in competing with that title recognition.

Selecting whether or not to take part within the Amazon vendor or Amazon vendor program could have a big impression on your enterprise operations and your backside line. 

However whichever choice you resolve is best for you, take into consideration wanting into the superior third-party stock administration and monitoring instruments, corresponding to these supplied by SkuVault, so as to add worth to your Amazon Market expertise.

Subsequent Steps

We perceive attempting to course of all the things concerned with promoting on Amazon is like consuming from a firehouse. Some of the helpful investments you may make in your eCommerce enterprise is a strong Stock Administration System (IMS) on the middle of your success technique.

We’d love to indicate you a stay demo of how SkuVault will help you are taking management of your stock administration and develop your enterprise. Attain out to our group for a stay demo at the moment.