In this Webinar presented by Ludwig Marketing & Sales and Marketplace Seller Courses Lou Nicolaides and Shannon Roddy discuss the pros and cons of both Vendor Central and Seller Central for brands selling on the Amazon platform. If you’re considering selling on Amazon this webinar is an absolutely imperative to ensure making the right decision and avoiding challenges or mistakes that could be costly both to your brand and your business.
Shannon: Hello welcome to our third webinar. This is a special webinar series by Ludwig Marketing and Sales and Marketplace Seller Courses. Today we’re going to be talking about Vendor Central versus Seller Central. Pros, cons, benefits, drawbacks, the whole nine and really focusing on what’s going to fit your brand best. There’s no one size or one platforms perfect for any individual seller but are we’re going to do our best to give you the overview.
One disclaimer that I do have is really important. Most of our work is with Seller Central and so the experience with Vendor Central is a little more limited. We do have some experience with that as well. But I think that the key points are going to be really important for every seller no matter which platform you are selling on and definitely helps cut through some of the confusion or questions people have. So thank you guys for joining us and we can go ahead and get started.
Lou: So a few housekeeping issues here. We basically we’re going to record the webinar for today we want to try to make sure that you know you’re always armed with as much information as you have regarding issues regarding Amazon which is our hope and our commitment to you guys. So we’ll record it and we will also send you an email with the actual presentation as well so don’t worry about taking copious notes today. It’ll be there for you we’ll send in a PDF file straight away after the webinar is over.
Ludwig Marketing & Sales
So welcome everybody. So I’m Lou Nicolaides. I’m with the Ludwig Marketing and Sales and my background is in the consumer packaged goods area and done a lot of work and it’s migrated from traditional advertising and PR that I started in my early career really has migrated as the years have gone and the Internet proliferation of e-commerce more towards like in the digital space.
And one of the things that I love very much are specialty food brands. I’ve worked in chocolates, pet food, lots of different confection area and so forth. And so we have a passion for food and for a specialty brands and so forth. So we provide lots of e-commerce solutions at Ludwig Marketing and Sales and I have had the pleasure of working with Shannon on dozens of stores where we’ve cut our teeth a lot on and made a lot of mistakes as well as had a lot of great positive results from stores that we have built for our clients. Shannon.
Marketplace Seller Courses
Shannon: Yes so my name is Shannon for those of you who haven’t met me yet. I’ve worked with Amazon sellers for the last six years. Really got started by accident. A client of mine who needed some Amazon work done. I have been selling a product myself. And through that experience just learned so much and then over the last three years we’ve put together Marketplace Seller Courses to really which you really for me doubled then tripled my knowledge of Amazon and then also gives a really great resource which we’ll circle back to you and talk to you about at the end.
My background is in web design, ecommerce and SEO and all these things play huge role in optimizing your Amazon storefront. So we take all of that background and experience and we pool our collective talents together both the marketing side, copywriting side, graphic design, SEO and it’s a really incredible team that we have to be able to optimize storefronts and help people launch their products or fix complicated seller issues which we run into quite a bit.
So in addition I want to mention that if you have any questions we do have a chat bar so you can go ahead click the chat Q&A and we’ll get some of those questions at the end and answer any questions hopefully now if not following up after the webinar.
Lou: Today what we’re going to do is try to hit points that Shannon and I were putting together this Webinar that really are germane to both of the platforms.
We did a poll and we did a question a questionnaire and asked you for most of the people who are on here which platform they’re on and the majority of them are in Seller Central and it’s very interesting the kind of questions that we’ve gotten from people, from you guys about issues that relate to both platforms Seller Central versus vendor Central.
Positioning on Vendor Central
Lou: And so for today we’re going to talk a little bit about positioning, what that means. Both company and brand actually selling wholesale versus retail in the models that both platforms support. Shannon will dive a little bit more into optimizing listings. And we can look at the differences there as well as well as like pricing, profit and some of the financial issues there.
And then some of the other areas are fulfillment, inventory, a little bit of on marketing promotions and then also sort of how the customer interaction and communications happen on these platforms. So a lot of information that we want to share and basically from your positioning you know Vendor Central, first of all Vendor Central is an invite only type of thing.
What happens in a lot of cases is that Amazon will see successful sellers who had started selling with their pro accounts on Seller central and then invite them to become Vendor Central.
And I think the key, one of the key points that I want to make is really to understand that, yes its opening up new channels for potential purchases and sales overall but also with Vendor Central comes a different type of interaction that you’re having with the customer. And I think that’s a very important thing to keep in mind. How you want to be interacting because basically your products now as you know or if you don’t know, you can tell a company that is on Vendor Central, where at the top of the page on the Amazon page it’ll say ships and sold from Amazon and sometimes where this has like almost up a little bit of a positive and negative.
So on the positive side you get the assurity that Amazon the reliability that Amazon is sort of sponsoring this product as well. However you are also losing a little bit of interactivity as it comes to being able to work with the direct to the consumer directly. So on Vendor Central there you refer to as a first party seller and basically the idea with Vendor Central is that it’s going to be geared towards more of a distributor manufacturer business model.
When I say manufacturer the questions and that you want to really look at is do you want to sell to other retailers. Do you want to keep the interaction to just consumers? So that’s why we put the other bullet point for companies that are not necessarily interested in direct to consumer sales. And so these are again the question of how you want to be positioning both company and brand. And also in the last point here on leveraging Amazon’s marketing resources for brand exposure. So basically you know we’re talking about your different promotional opportunities that are available on Vendor Central versus Seller Central.
Shannon: You know there’s a special brand store page you can build on Vendor Central that that gives you.
Positioning on Seller Central
Lou: On Seller Central. These are referred to as third party sellers and really it’s the area that we enjoy working with because there’s a lot more control that you do have over the entire aspect of delighting a customer for gaining product reviews, fulfillment, and you can also do this via both prime as well as merchant fulfilled. So there’s a little bit control that way as well. But I look at it always it seems like if we get this question a lot is that how is your, is the integrity of your brand being positioned on Amazon?
Do you want to make sure that the brand experience is at the level that you want. So let’s say you’re talking about on our pricing point of view, are there pricing wars going on? Are people undercutting you or are you continuing to keep the integrity for your brand story there.
So there’s a lot of issues that will go into all of that and Shannon is going to dive a little bit into each one of them as we break down the webinar for today. But really when it comes to, what it really comes down to is that there is an upper level of control here on Seller Central that is unique to that platform versus Vendor Central.
Selling Wholesale vs. Retail
Shannon: Yeah, absolutely. So this is just kind of the basic model that Lou referenced. Again Vendor Central is a wholesale platform. Your company or your brand sells directly to Amazon they’re going to fulfill it with their warehouses which is FBA and it sells it under its own brand name to customers. So pretty straightforward. Seller Central again your company or brand is selling through the Amazon platform not to Amazon. You also do have the option to fulfil via Amazon’s warehouses so even if you’re not a Vendor Central you can still submit your products, send them in to FBA warehouses you can get the prime status that will get you customers or you can do what’s called merchant fulfilled which is that second option that you see where you are actually shipping the product directly to the customer.
Optimizing Your Listings on Vendor Central
Shannon: So the whole prime eligibility is available both for Vendor Central as well as for Seller Central. In terms of optimizing your listings on Vendor Central, there’s a lot that’s the same. The ability say for example to use keyword research and your title to write out product features and descriptions. There is what is called A-plus content and that’s specific to Vendor Central and there is a charge for that. It’s fairly expensive but different based on sellers or some of the terms are basically where it is in the process and that does allow both additional photos and content in the description below the fold. But it also allows you to basically add videos above the fold basically at the end of your photos. So if you have 4 photo or 5 photos that video actually can be at the top.
You do have a limited number of search terms. That’s about 60 characters whereas with Seller Central you’ve got about 250 or more. And one of the things to note is that it does require revisions for content. So there is an approval process that you can’t just make the changes yourself. Initially when you submit it will go through the process and get approved. But then any changes that you want to make, you’re not making those changes, you’re basically opening tickets and having Amazon Vendor Central reps make those changes for you and there are some cases where your change request doesn’t get approved. Typically it does as long as it follows their policy.
And then there’s a detail page control which I’ll break down as best as I can but there’s essentially three tiers and so tier one is in Seller Central, you have multiple sellers selling on the same listing that is the same detail page. Everybody if they had their own titles, their own product features, their own photos and description, Amazon can call from all of those. basically looking at it as multiple contributions to create the most optimal detail page and there’s a lot of detail that I won’t go into in terms of how it works but basically just because you’re the brand owner doesn’t necessarily mean that your contribution will be used instead of somebody else’s.
Everybody sort of looked at as equal you know based on their seller experience. however if you’re able to get a brand registry as the brain owner, that allows you to control the detail page meaning if I submit an optimized title, product features, maybe a new photo or set of photos that I have or the description, that will override everybody else’s contribution and I can control the detail page as the brand owner. That’s really important obviously for brands on Amazon.
For vendors Central, It does a Vendor Central contribution to the same detail page, vendor Central will actually override brand registry and we will get into the challenge of this a little bit later. What’s important to note is that you have these three different levels of hierarchy and just because you have brand registry does not mean that you control the detail page. So specifically for people moving from Vendor Central to Seller Central, there’s a little bit of challenge there which we’ll touch base on a little more later. Lou, do you want to talk about the Seller Central?
Optimizing Your Listings on Seller Central
Lou: Yeah and Amazon has just recently created a beautiful branding format called an enhanced brand content. maybe you’re familiar with that it was launched I believe Shannon like around January of this year which allows brands to really do more of a deep dive and move beyond the product description content that are the text based content that you see as you scroll down the page.
So now you’re its template driven. You can basically you can only allow yourself to do that through brand registry, must be on brand registry to be able to take advantage of enhanced brand content and job you know enhanced brand content represents a new step forward that basically rivals the eight plus other pages that Vendor Central used.
So now you can move beyond using text and graphics to tell your brand stories and it’s free. But you know usually with the Amazons you know when they’re in and in their ways then they want to grow we don’t know whether or not it will continue to be a free service. But definitely, you know this is something that you want to take advantage of that moves way beyond, it does create higher conversions. They’re showing an 8 to 15 percent increase in conversion rate. Winning the buy box as well as Page conversions so we are you know we’re seeing a lot of good things about enhanced brand content and in our scope of work that we offer, you know our clients we give them the choice of doing enhanced brand content versus regular content.
And so also they’re claiming 30 percent improvement in their social interactions for listings of products that do have enhanced brand content versus those that don’t. So what’s happening is that Amazon is actually indexing companies that have enhanced brand content on their you know, on their product pages and in and ranking those first.
And so basically in terms of optimizing your listings is a huge area. You know Seller central is going to give you much more control than a given product listing pages and with full SEO search which is in the in the listings we talked a lot about that on one of our last webinars as well as more flexibility really in being able to position you know your brand and your company the right way.
Shannon: Yeah. The benefits to Seller Central is if you have a brand registry and you make an update, that update is going to reflect typically in 15 minutes to 24 hours so you don’t have to wait, it is not a submission or approval process. You control the detail page and as long as it is in line with Amazon policy that’s going to go through. So definitely an ability to do that. They’re a lot more flexibility in terms of your control of your detail pages.
Seller Central vs. Vendor Central Selling Fees
Shannon: So let’s look at some of the nitty gritty and we’re going to look at some really key aspects of Seller-Central versus Vendor Central. And again these are important points but well those are important, I do want to mention that the idea at some point like any relationship whether it’s a wholesale relationship or what I have, there are basically situations that is making or breaking. And so the key is to keep an eye out for things where you go yeah that’s going to work actually no is a deal breaker for me.
And that’s going to be really helpful making your decision about which platform to sell on as well as which one is going to be right for you to stay at. I mean if it feels right for you.
So the first point is just selling fees. If you’re doing Vendor Central, other stuff. So it’s looked at as a typical wholesale. You know for example 50 percent MSRP. And so basically they are going to send you POs and then you fulfill those POs and send them to their warehouses. With Seller Central very very different. Your typical referral fee is 15 percent and that’s basically for your ability to use the platform.
So you can sell directly through Amazon platform mergers fulfilled and basically typically just pay a 15 percent referral fee. There’s a $39 you know Seller Central professional monthly fee they have to pay. There can be costs of advertising fees. But the only other fee in addition to that would be if you use FBA warehouses in order to get the prime eligibility which is highly encouraged because of increased sales that you’ll see for that.
So there are situations where you can see that the final price after all of your shipping costs in FBA, after the pic and pack fees your pricing could wind up being about the same. But to start at the base, you look at about 50 percent wholesale versus 15 percent referral fees if you are doing merchant fulfilled.
Seller Central vs. Vendor Central Profit
So as far as profit, you know again, you’re able to negotiate some margins in the Amazon but you’re also doing with much slimmer profit margins because of that wholesale model. For Seller Central, the beauty of it is that you get to set the price you want. That can in some senses, in some cases you price yourself out of the market or you have to more closely monitor your price. But the benefit is if your product it’s your inventory and you maintain control and you can change the price at any time. You don’t have to worry about Amazon doing that.
One thing that I do want to mention now and ill little recap this at the end But while Amazon does have a place for you to input your MAP your Minimum advertised pricing through vendor center platform, that does not mean that they’re going to entirely respect that or abide by that. They use pricing algorithms so that if there’s other sellers selling that product and they go below that, Amazon is likely, their algorithm is likely going to be priced below that. And that’s important for a couple of reasons but mainly because Amazon is such a prominent platform and people look to Amazon to see what those pricing, prices are set at. So something again to consider and we’ll follow up with later slides
Getting Paid on Seller Central vs. Vendor Central
Getting paid. The benefits for Vendor Central obviously they are paid based on purchase orders, and so they’re going to order large quantities of products at a time that can be a really good benefit. I know companies that use that use Vendor Central for this and it works well for them because of their model. On the other downside you’re looking at a 60 to 90 day net payment and that can be challenging for cash flow based on you know your current capital reserves or cash flow.
So with Seller Central, there’s a couple options but one of them is you’re typically going to receive payment every two weeks So whatever sales have accumulated in that period, it minuses or deducts any fees for your advertising, it also deducts any fees for FBA fulfillment. But beyond that it’s basically just going to pay out to your bank account every two weeks the remainder.
The other thing that new accounts, new Seller Central accounts are rolling out with is a pay me now button and I have a couple of clients that have this option but it hasn’t been ruled out. Basically it allows you to short circuit that two week waiting period and basically allow you to get paid more quickly. though the last note on this is there are times when if you have any seller account health issues where you have higher rate of returns, you had trouble getting products out on time that sort of thing, Amazon can withhold a percentage of your of your funds to make sure that any potential returns or negative complaints or feedback are actually able to be dealt with out of that. So it’s important to note that your seller account health actually plays into your ability to get fully paid on a timely basis.
Lou: So one important thing I really want everybody to make sure they get is the fact that you know again because a Vendor Central is an invite only type of thing, there they’re tracking sales. So the real considerations as a brand as a growing brand for you guys is that you know although Vendor Central can expand you know the potential sales in a lot of ways. Again you need to look at your cash flow situation to see if that expansion is worth sacrificing getting paid and your cash flow situation. So maybe again you need to think about in terms of the brand from a brand point of view.
Yes. You know its wider reach reaching a lot more people. Amazon is like you know ships and sold from Amazon. So they’re getting you introduced to more places which may be very compelling. But then on the opposite side of that is that going to be I’ll leave that question with you to sort of think about is that a sustainable model that is going to work. Because once you open the flood gates, are your you know and loose some of the control that you may have over pricing and different things like that, is that worth it for again. You know I talk about the integrity of your brand.
Seller Central vs. Vendor Central Inventory
Yeah. So the next thing is inventory. On the Vendor Central side once they purchase it they’re in charge of inventory. It basically becomes their inventory. And if they’re able to do with it what they want essentially. Right of first purchase. There’s no low inventory notices and it’s really up to them to choose when you order more inventory, which inventories to order and how much it. With Seller Central on the other hand, you have complete control over your inventory. You can say I’ve got 150,000 of these in stock ready to be fulfilled emerging or I want to send in a thousand to FBA and you can do that with FBA, they do have some storage limit so you’ve got your regular storage limits and then you have over storage size storage limit.
So if you have products that are greater than 18 inches is their minimum or match for normal sized products, you do have caps on that. But once you’re able to show that you can sell through those you can request that your inventory caps be increased. And actually one of the brands I worked with very closely, we’ve done three or four times over the last two or three months and we basically had to double and triple quadruple in terms of our space that we have available in terms of the inventory.
So really important to keep in mind that it does require much more attention to detail and the responsibility on you and your team to make sure the order is fulfilled, to make sure that customers are to handle to make sure that pricing is correct and everything’s optimized and up to date and that everything is being handled to maintain your seller account health. That is much more important.
And so you can also look at the decision in terms of flexibility. If you’re a larger operation if you have capacity for that or a smaller operation you don’t, either way it’s going to be deciding what’s best for your brand. But the inventory even if you send it in to FBA, it’s still in your inventory through Seller Central and you can recall that inventory at any time this is the obviously return shipping charges plus an additional fee but it’s not that it had customers and clients that you have for various reasons and the benefit is you control the inventory and it’s yours until you know it’s sold to the customer.
Seller Central vs. Vendor Central Marketing
For marketing, as we mentioned Vendor Central has what it called A-plus content and that’s things like your premium advertising there’s videos available, They’ve got special coupon pages that are available but a lot of this has extra costs to it. That’s all of it has a lot of extra cost to it. And again everything has to go through their approval process so you’re submitting requests and Amazon is approving it.
With Seller Central you’ve got a ton of opportunity both viewed promotions to submit lightning deals to be able to do Advertising campaigns and that much more closely controls your ability to expand your reach. For example if you’ve got a product and it’s got a wide variety of first year that you can use it for, Vendor Central, Amazon they themselves may not go after all those keywords and search terms but with Seller Central, if you have that campaign and you’re running it you can have all the manual campaigns that you want, all of the search terms as long as you pay for it.
You have ability to go after it. And obviously you’re going to stick with what’s converting but the ability to market directly to customers is really a huge opportunity. You have some limitation terms of templates and advertising opportunities because you don’t have access to everything the vendor Central has. But again there really are plenty of opportunities that most of sellers have through Seller Central through promotions Like I said through Amazon campaigns and then to things like lightning deals.
Customer Communication on Seller Central vs. Vendor Central
This is a big one. I feel I think Lou and I both very passionate about this. We love brands that really care about their customers and does not say that if you Seller Central wholesale that you don’t in any way shape or form. But we love the ability to get those extra touches for our customers and to make it a personalized experience and to do that through branding. And one of the ways you can do that is through direct contact with the customers in Seller Central.
So in Amazon, Vendor Central, they’re going to handle basically all customer interaction. All the shipment, any complaints and stuff they’re basically dealing with that you don’t have the ability to do that directly. I mentioned this later as well but I do want to point out that you also don’t have the ability to communicate directly with other seller so when you have sellers who are selling a product I know there was a question about that and sign up, well get to it.
You have to have another account to do that. You can’t do it through Vendor Central portal so you do need a Seller Central account to be able to get in touch with other sellers that they’re doing things like violating the MAP or selling unauthorized products that sort of thing. With Seller Central we basically look at every account as the opportunity for branding experience. So everything from the seller bio, the seller logo, seller storefront which is a little different but it’s not as robust as the Vendor Central but you do have a storefront, custom you’re out to you that display the products you sell. And specifically we use Feedback Genius to create a really neat branding experience for all the customers.
So every time a customer orders product they get a personalized email them. It has a company logo that has a very personalized message to them about the product or how they use it. If it’s a food product we’re giving them recipes that ways they can use it. If its consumer product, we are giving them how to videos. So a really neat way to engage with customers. And then when they have questions or there’s any customer inquiries or even complaints you get to handle those directly. And we know from Southwest did a study years ago something like 85 percent of people who have a negative experience if they come back to you and you handle that well, you can actually win that customer for life. So negative experience is just an opportunity to be able to win a lifelong customer. You can’t do that on Vendor Central but you can do that on Seller Central because you are able to communicate directly to the customer.
The downside of that is it can be difficult to manage. Working with a company that basically went viral last Black Friday. We had about 21000 orders the last three weeks. And I can tell you customers service emails where nonstop and seemed like they kept coming so it was a lot to handle. We had a great teams to do it, we all jumped in and we were able to make that work. We were able to retain that branding, we were able to retain control and that kind of thing where if you’re just selling touch based on the inventory, If you’re just selling through vendor Central and you sell out, you’re done you’re just out of stock. If you’re going to through sellers Central and you run out of the FDA inventory, you can switch to merchants fulfilled and you themselves and you can still fill in for if you have anywhere else so huge huge differentiation in terms of the inventory as well.
Seller Central vs. Vendor Central Summary
Here’s kind of the wrap up and then I’ll go into the offer for you guys Seller Central versus vendor Central. So again number one I think is really important communication with sellers and customers. So again if you’re doing distribution enforcement , one of my clients this morning we had some seller from Taiwan jump in on the product listing we had to go contact him, that was done through Seller Central. Communication with customers. Obviously very important.
Enforcing MAP. Absolutely huge. And with the Vendor Central you are not guaranteed that Amazon will abide by your MAP pricing even if it’s in some sort of cause or agreement. Amazon’s goal is not to provide ultimate deference to manufacturers or retailers for map. Their goal is to get the customers the best lowest price possible. So you have to think it’s not bad, it’s just that that’s their motive to be the most consistent customer centric company in the world and one of the ways they believe in doing that is by getting the product to customers quickly and at the lowest price available. You just have to understand that that’s they’re bent on it, that’s their angle and that’s what they’re going to do. They’ll go a below map without even questioning it.
And we know quite a bit of people who have pulled back from Vendor Central because of that. Again we mentioned inventory control and FDA. So with Seller Central, you really have control of your inventory your inventory even if you use fulfilment by Amazon warehouses to be prime eligible. So huge benefit there for Seller Central.
And then as far as content video opportunities once enhanced brand content rolled out that became a huge opportunity to be able to create a-plus seller like content that would really only increase conversion rates in the same way a Vendor Central sellers were doing it. But you can do it for free. Again we know that for a limited time. That’s that’s it was it was not targeted for that. And at some point I actually think it made a lot of sense if they kept it free because it won’t hurt more people to use it. They get an increasing percentage of sales that additional 15 percent increase they typically stand on a conversion rate.
As far as video. You’re not into the video at the top unless you’re Selling Vendor Central or you have a specific business development rep. one of the companies I work with again we invite only we were able to get that and they were able to add videos to us. That’s a very specific situation and not Open to a lot of sellers but there is a company called AMZ product video. And we’ve got links in the research page, we can send out with the e-mail when we send out the PowerPoint slides. They have a system of their former Amazon I.T. guys and they basically have a contract with Amazon to provide exclusive content. So it’s called underrrelated shorts and it’s above your reviews. So it’s not on the fold but it does provide a way for you to add video to your detail page and for one of the products we sell, we just put in the product feature, scroll down to view our video and then we link that video in our feedback to ECMO when we welcome customers. So there is a little bit of opportunity to do video there. It’s not at the top. It’s near the bottom.
But in summation, the migration trends that we’ve seen have being sellers going from Vendor Central to Seller Central and the main deal breakers have been price control and inventory control. Nobody will care about your product like you and so you just have to keep that in mind. Even though both Vendor Central and Seller Central can use FBA, there is a great element that there’s a greater control of your product and you have situations where they sent, customers and clients specifically in a few companies, they sent in products to Vendor Central, it wasn’t handled properly, it arrived to the customer broken, it was damaged and they weren’t able to do damage control because it had emails to customers. There was no way to contact them and it just resulted in negative reviews.
So that does tend to be a challenge and I can say going back to brand registry and Vendor Central hierarchy that if you’re going from Seller Central to Vendor Central which some sellers do but very few, It’s much easier because you just move from you know tear two of detail page control to full detail page control.
We have had several sellers contact us they were stuck on Vendor Central, help us get abc, we want to get back to Seller Central, retain pricing and retain control. The challenge is much greater because all the optimization has to be requested through Vendor Central. Even if you have brand registry you can’t override it. So as long as that listing is live and you don’t update UPC codes or do new packaging that will create new, all the changes have to be done through Vendor Central.
So it’s basically ten times more of a nightmare to migrate from Vendor Central to Seller Central from that direction. But it can be done. We’ve worked with several sellers who have done that successfully.
Marketplace Seller Courses
So I just want to give you a quick pitch from Marketplace Seller Courses, like I said we created this course two years ago, it’s a phenomenal resource, its created off everything I’ve learned for the last 6 years on Amazon which is a lot. The benefit is you have ongoing access so once you sign up for the course as long as the Course is live online you have access to all the updates all the information that will continue to add into that make more it more valuable and as Amazon updates you can continue to do that and have that access to those resources.
Everything from automating product to seller feedback. A lot of customers have questions about merging duplicates or stopping counterfeiters, copyright violation, keyword research, listing analysis. It’s what do you do when you’re stuck and you don’t know what to do. Marketplace are a great resource that you have and not only are all the videos resource links available online but there’s also a Q and A discussion question section there. And of course you can ask that question so we’ll set up the link in a minute. But if you’ve go to [inaudible] that will take you to that package. It gives you a $100 discount that coupon code is good through Monday if you’d like to check it out and just tell that acupuncture is good. Monday I should I check it out? And again as always there’s a 30 day money back guarantee so you know people will get great value out of it so you can buy with all confidence knowing that if you have any issues, you don’t feel like you get a full experience, you can just email us, you get a full refund.
So it’s really helpful to you to use it if you’re an Amazon seller. This is absolutely one of the best investments you make to help you increase.
Q&A Regarding Vendor Central vs. Seller Central
Shannon: So Lou should we go over some of the Q and A that we have.
Lou: Yeah just if we can. We just have a few more minutes left. Some really good questions. And the first one is can we do both Seller central and Vendor Central.
Shannon: You can. I know a couple sellers who have done that again it really depends on balancing both of the tensions. So we addressed all of the tensions for the pros and cons of both platforms. And so in certain cases may be a handful of products that Vendor Central do really well there is very little customer issues or it’s a pretty straight forward product there or in large quantities you’re getting a good profit margin. But you also have other products that Amazon is not interested in purchasing from you directly at a wholesale price. You can use a seller’s central model to list those products and sell those separately. It’s all your brand name. Obviously Vendor Central will be shipped and sold by Amazon but for your products you have to do have the ability to do that. even if you have the same detail page for example like I mentioned in the sellout situation, if you have a product that sold through Vendor Central, Vendor Central can sell out and you can list your inventory on that detail page to through Seller Central and continue selling it. But obviously you if you’re selling it and Amazon selling at same price they’re going to win the buy box because just as Amazon.
Lou: Shannon Scott is asking are there general times that companies go with vendors central versus sellers central like maybe the first two years they use X and then once established they use y. Any thoughts on that.
Shannon: I don’t think so. I mean I think once you look at the pros and cons you’re going to decide which one is best for you. There’s a lot of outsourcing that you can do for Seller Central. You can automate quite a bit. So things like sending in your inventory to FBA, when a product is fulfilled by Amazon, they can handle the customer service on that. You can opt into customer service but if you use strictly FBA model, you don’t have to do any customer service. You can let Amazon do it. You don’t have to you know necessarily contact customers or you know with feedback genius emails you know to that sort of thing. You can let it run on its own but it’s pretty close to, if not better profit margins for Seller Central.
Shannon: So I would say typically you’re going to the ideal situation is to take the one of the best for you or right for you. And obviously at some point if you feel like that change based on the pros and cons you change it. But I’ve never seen a situation where it’s like a this size company we do seller Central and you get this size and then we do Vendor Central that the big boys do. We have Companies that are committed to doing Seller Central period because simply they can’t afford to have all the other platforms Look at Amazon say hey you’re undercutting map and then bed, bath and beyond and Wal-Mart and all these other guys that say hey we’re dropping our prices too because Amazon is doing it. And they can’t afford to have that kind of you know brand price war going on. So I would say the that’s ideal situation is pick one solution and stick with that one.
Lou: Last question, Mark is asking we’re currently doing Vendor Central moving to a hybrid of doing both. And he says my Amazon contact said that if the Amazon retail buying from us that we can include the same ASIN’s in both vendor as well as seller. Do you know if this is the case or any way around?
Shannon: Yeah that’s absolutely the case and that’s kind of the situation that I mentioned where if you get into a sellout situation where Amazon selling a product and you’re selling that same product through Seller Central but if they have inventory and they’re selling at the same price they are going to win the buy box so it doesn’t do you any good to list that on Seller Central because you’re not going to sell unless they run in which case you are going to win the buy box.
But if you even if you’re using it your FBA inventory is just going to sit there until Amazon runs out of stock. And if they don’t they just sit there and that’s. So there’s very few cases where the hybrid model will be necessary. But that’s a good example. Absolutely can do it. Once you create a detail page you can list on it both in both on Vendor Central and seller Central and it’s not an issue.
Thanks for Joining Us!
Lou: Thank you so much everybody for joining us today. I hope that at some level we’ve shed some light on this issue with Seller Central and vendor Central. We’re available to talk to you guys at any time about your specific situation.
Definitely e-mail, us book a strategy call and know there’s no charge for that. Let us learn about what your specific goals are and how we might be able to help you and then also to Shannon marketing seller courses this is an awesome resources for those that are looking to launch their products on Amazon you know like what we do what’s best for my brand. So we can help you in any of those areas then just please reach out to us and again thank you so much everybody for your time. We appreciate that and good luck selling on Amazon.
Shannon: Thank you so much. I will go ahead and put the link in here for the webinar so if you guys want to check that out, that should take you directly to the webinar with the coupon. Thank you guys again so much and this video will be uploaded shortly and then we’ll go ahead and send out the PowerPoint and you can really reach out to us for any questions from there