Amazon Seller Central vs Vendor Central: Which is Right for You?

June 17, 2024

Amazon Seller Central vs Vendor Central: Which is Right for You?

Amazon, the world’s largest online marketplace, offers two primary platforms for businesses to sell their products: Seller Central and Vendor Central. Choosing the right platform can significantly impact your sales strategy, customer relationships, and overall business growth. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the differences between Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central, helping you determine which is the best fit for your business.

Understanding Seller Central and Vendor Central

Amazon Seller Central is a platform where businesses sell their products directly to consumers on Amazon. Sellers maintain control over their pricing, inventory, and fulfillment processes. This model is known as third-party (3P) selling.

Amazon Vendor Central is an invite-only platform where businesses sell their products directly to Amazon, which then sells the products to consumers. This model is known as first-party (1P) selling, and it effectively makes you a supplier to Amazon.

Key Differences

  1. Control and Autonomy

Seller Central: Provides full control over pricing, inventory management, and product listings. You have the option to select either Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM).

Vendor Central: Amazon controls pricing, product listings, and fulfillment. You supply your products to Amazon at wholesale rates, and Amazon handles everything else.

  1. Pricing and Payments

Seller Central: You set your own prices and are paid bi-weekly based on your sales. You also bear the costs of storage, shipping, and Amazon fees.

Vendor Central: Amazon sets the retail prices and pays you a wholesale rate. Payments are often on a net 30, 60, or 90-day basis, and you don’t directly incur shipping or storage costs.

pricing and payments
  1. Marketing and Promotions

Seller Central: You have access to various marketing tools, such as Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Lightning Deals. You control your advertising spend and campaigns.

Vendor Central: You can participate in Amazon’s marketing programs, but the control and flexibility are limited compared to Seller Central. Amazon handles most promotional activities.

  1. Customer Relationship

Seller Central: You have direct access to customer feedback and can manage customer service directly. This allows for better control over customer satisfaction and brand perception.

Vendor Central: Amazon manages customer service, which can streamline the process but also limits your interaction with end customers.

Pros and Cons

Seller Central


  • Full Control Over Pricing and Inventory: You decide your product prices, manage inventory levels, and have the flexibility to adjust pricing strategies to respond to market demands.
  • Access to Customer Data and Feedback: Direct access to customer reviews and feedback allows for immediate improvements to products and services.
  • Flexible Fulfillment Options (FBA or FBM): Choose between Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), where Amazon handles storage and shipping, or Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM), where you control logistics.
  • Enhanced Marketing Tools and Advertising Control: Utilize Amazon’s robust advertising platform to run targeted campaigns, promotions, and deals.
  • Brand Building Opportunities: Create a customized storefront and leverage the Amazon Brand Registry to protect your brand and enhance product listings.
  • Higher Profit Margins: By selling directly to consumers, you can often achieve higher profit margins compared to wholesale pricing.


  • Responsibility for Shipping, Storage, and Customer Service: Managing logistics and customer service can be resource-intensive and requires robust operational capabilities.
shipping, storage and customer service
  • More Hands-On Management Required: Success on Seller Central requires active management of listings, inventory, and customer interactions.
  • Exposure to Competition and Price Wars: The open marketplace nature of Seller Central means you’re competing directly with other sellers, often leading to price wars.
  • Amazon Fees: Fees for FBA, referral fees, and other costs can add up, impacting profitability if not carefully managed.
  • Complexity in Scaling: As your business grows, managing larger volumes of orders and inventory can become increasingly complex.

Vendor Central


  • Simplified Operations: Amazon handles logistics, storage, shipping, and customer service, reducing your operational burden.
  • Potential for Higher Sales Volume: Selling directly to Amazon can lead to significant purchase orders, especially for high-demand products.
  • Enhanced Credibility and Trust: Products sold directly by Amazon are often perceived as more trustworthy by consumers, potentially increasing sales.
  • Leverage Amazon’s Marketing Initiatives: Benefit from Amazon’s marketing efforts, including participation in major sales events like Prime Day.
  • Reduced Fulfillment Responsibility: By offloading fulfillment responsibilities to Amazon, you can focus on other aspects of your business, such as product development and marketing.
  • Access to Retail Analytics: Gain insights from Amazon’s retail analytics to understand product performance and market trends.


  • Limited Control Over Pricing and Inventory: Amazon sets the retail price, and you have less flexibility in managing inventory levels.
limited control over pricing and inventory
  • Longer Payment Terms: Payments from Amazon are often on net 30, 60, or 90-day terms, which can impact cash flow.
  • Less Direct Interaction with Customers: With Amazon managing customer service, you have limited opportunities to build direct relationships with your customers.
  • Potential for Lower Profit Margins: Selling at wholesale prices to Amazon typically results in lower profit margins compared to direct sales.
  • Dependence on Amazon Purchase Orders: Your sales volume is dependent on Amazon’s purchase orders, which can be unpredictable.
  • Risk of Chargebacks and Fees: Vendor agreements often include chargebacks and fees for various issues, such as late shipments or non-compliance with packaging requirements.

Which is Right for You?

The choice between Seller Central and Vendor Central depends on your business goals, resources, and preferences.

Choose Seller Central if: You want more control over your pricing, inventory, and customer relationships. It’s ideal for businesses that prefer a hands-on approach and have the resources to manage their operations. This platform is particularly suitable for smaller businesses and startups looking to build their brand and achieve higher profit margins.

Choose Vendor Central if: You prefer to offload the logistics and customer service responsibilities to Amazon and are comfortable with wholesale pricing and longer payment terms. It’s suitable for businesses looking to scale quickly with less operational complexity and those with established brands that can benefit from Amazon’s retail power and marketing initiatives.


Both Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central offer unique advantages and challenges. By understanding the key differences and evaluating your business needs, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and maximizes your potential in Amazon’s marketplace.

Whether you choose to take the reins with Seller Central or let Amazon handle the heavy lifting with Vendor Central, the potential for growth and success on Amazon is substantial. Carefully consider your business model, resources, and long-term objectives to choose the platform that will best support your journey.

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