By John Lincoln
Amazon is the undisputed king of the online marketplace.
And it’s no surprise most sellers have taken notice.
But when making the decision to sell on Amazon, vendors must do their homework to find out which of Amazon’s selling options is right for them.
This guide focuses specifically on Vendor Express, and why it could work for your brand.
Traditional Amazon Selling
Typically, sellers choose on of the following options with Amazon:
- Amazon Seller Central: The most common option for new sellers. Seller are charged a pay-as-you-go price, either per item or as a flat monthly fee. Sellers set their own prices and handle shipping and customer service (unless enrolled in Fulfillment by Amazon). Anyone can join, and It offers the most control but requires the most day-to-day involvement.
- Amazon Vendor Central: Using Vendor Central, vendors sell their products directly to Amazon. It’s by invite only, and typically only those that sell at a high volume are invited to join. Amazon orders items wholesale from the seller and ships items from their warehouses and handles all aspects of customer service.
While each come with pro’s and con’s, many find themselves wavering between the two.
Until Amazon’s Vendor Express came along.
What is Vendor Express?
Vendor Express is a sort of stepping stone between Seller Central and Vendor Central.
It functions very closely to Vendor Central.
Like Vendor Central, Vendor Express offers sellers a way to wholesale their products to Amazon without requiring an invitation first.
Also similar to Central, you will not be in control of the pricing of your items.
But it also comes with its differences.
The first is that Vendor Central is by invite only, whereas anyone can sign up to use Vendor Express.
Also, Vendor Express users are eligible to sign up for direct fulfillment by Amazon, which gives them the option to ship directly to buyers rather than to the Amazon warehouse.
Those using Vendor Central do not have this option.
Vendors should also keep in mind that Amazon may require a sample first when signing up for Vendor Express.
Basically, Amazon will require a free shipment of your product, which they will sell. If it sells and Amazon is happy with it, they will continue to place bigger bulk orders with you.
However, Amazon will not pay vendors or return the product if it doesn’t sell.
Vendors are exempt from the trial period if they sign up for Central.
Also of note is that while Vendor Central offers access to personalized support services, Vender Express users are limited.
Vendor Express Advantages
Vendor Express offers many advantages, including the following:
- It’s free to join; no invitation needed. It offers many of the same features of Vendor Central having to wait for an invitation.
- Amazon handles the customer service. Amazon handles all shipping, customer complaints, returns and refunds. Not only does it spare you a headache, but it frees up your time to focus on production.