Depending on the seller's preferences and expertise, everyone uses a different strategy to sell their products on Amazon. That's why the vast majority of third-party companies choose to earn their profits on Amazon through third-party sellers, availing themselves of Fuldered by Amazon (FBA) or fulfilling their orders in sales that are made through Amazon's marketplace. Although some companies have decided to join Amazon's vendor program that sells all of their products directly to Amazon instead of the usual way, to consumers.
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Thanks to Amazon's Vendor Central, the products can be available for Amazon to order, and in this way, Amazon assumes ownership of these products once the orders are processed on behalf of consumers. Seller Central, on the other hand, allows you the freedom to control virtually every facet of your business. Amazon's supplier program makes Amazon a direct supplier while allowing Amazon to handle all facets of sales, pricing, and distribution.
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What do I need to become an Amazon seller?
Unfortunately for sellers who are currently interested in joining Amazon's supplier program, there is no way to sign up. Currently, the program is by invitation only, and the Amazon supplier team will be contacting you if you are interested in joining the program as a potential supplier for Amazon.
While it is true that some sellers have been successful in being able to communicate with Amazon about their interest in becoming a supplier or even managed to communicate with Amazon's supplier managers on social networks such as LinkedIn, it is highly unlikely that these methods are feasible. That's why the most reliable option to get Amazon's attention is to get down to business and build a successful brand that enjoys a high volume of sales on and off Amazon.
If Amazon notices that your brand is generating enough traffic, is well-reviewed, and consistently gets a high volume of sales, they will almost certainly contact you on their own so that you can become a supplier organically. To achieve your goal, focus your energies and attention on creating great products and developing your metrics with product reviews from your consumers.
Maybe it will sound familiar. Years ago, we could apply using Vendor Express, but the service is no more available, so they have to invite you. The phone call or email will come from the Amazon Retail department. A Category Manager or a Vendor Manager will make the call.
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How does a Vendor account work?
Once you have been one of the lucky ones to receive an invitation from Amazon's program, become one of their suppliers and have agreed to terms with the company. You will then have full access to Vendor Central on Amazon. You can then configure the products you have ready for Amazon to place purchase orders using the “Items” tab.
Once you have added what you need for your product description. That is, all the prices and details you have available for Amazon to purchase, you can start waiting for purchase orders, usually placed once a week. These orders are usually automated by Amazon's systems and are usually based on factors such as current demand and sales history for those items. Once received, Amazon will ship the items that Amazon has requested directly to the requested warehouses.
Amazon is known for having strict metrics when it comes to ordering fulfillment. If there is a delay or problems with stock on purchase orders this can result in chargebacks, which as a consequence brings a penalty to suppliers who do not fill their orders correctly. This is why you should make sure to update items to be temporarily or permanently out of stock as soon as possible so that you can ensure that Amazon does not add these products to your purchase order.
Typically, Amazon suppliers are paid once every 90 or 60 days, depending on the payment plan they have with Amazon.
Is becoming an Amazon Vendor really in my best interest?
If you happen to have already received an invitation to become one of Amazon's suppliers and you are thinking about what decision to make as to which business model will benefit you the most, you should keep in mind that you should do your research very well.
Generally, the decision to stick with Amazon Seller Central or to pass on Amazon Vendor Central will come down to thinking about the specifics of your business model and your level of involvement as a brand owner. If you are the type of person who likes to have everything under control over your business such as pricing and inventory, most likely being an Amazon vendor is not for you. Since being a supplier you will have to cede too much autonomy to Amazon.
On the other side of the coin, if you are a distributor, manufacturer, or wholesaler who is already well established and equipped to supply large business-to-business orders, Amazon's supplier program may be right for you. If you decide on this option, don't forget to check out FeedbackWhiz's supplier services, as this can help you manage your account and keep your brand strong in a more optimal way.
About the author
I work as an independent eCommerce and Amazon consultant.
Estrella Damm, Intersport, Bella Aurora, Lladró, Textura Interiors, Nice Things Palomas, Castañer, Due-Home and many other clients.
Lecturer & Teacher
I teach and have been a speaker at: Meet Magento, Prestashop, Prestashop Day, SEMRush, Cambra de Comerç Barcelona, ClinicSEO, Ecommbeers, Ecommbrunch, Ecommercetour.com, Ecommfest, EOI, ESIC-ICEMD, Foxize, Generalitat de Catalunya, Inesdi, Quondos and The Valley. In addition, I have done in-company trainings for brands such as Orange and Adidas.