Amazon – Seller Central vs. Vendor Central

To sell on Amazon you can either use seller central or vendor central account. Now, if you are complete beginner to the selling platform of Amazon, you might be confused between these two options. There’s a world of difference between the two and each account is meant for different purpose. The vendors and sellers have different Amazon ads available. As a prospective seller you must understand the difference between the two and choose best option for your business.

What is Seller Central?

Seller central is the platform used by brands and merchants to sell their products on Amazon as third party sellers. Meaning, the sellers sell their products directly to Amazon customers.

Anyone can become a third part seller on Amazon by signing up for the seller central account. A seller manages his inventory and updates all the listings and his store on Amazon. Whenever a customer places an order a seller has an option to use FBA (fulfilment by Amazon). With this option a seller may use Amazon’s services to handle the shipping, returns and customer services for the products sold. Alternatively a seller has all the freedom to take care of everything from shipping to returns and cancellations all by himself.

A seller has more control over his products in terms of prices, listings on Amazon, and inventory than the vendors have.

Advertising options in Seller central

Sellers are able to create Ads for their products within the seller central account itself using Amazon seller tools. Two types of Ads are available to sellers; Sponsored Product Ads & Headline Search Ads.

  • Sponsored Product Ads - Are optimized with keyword bidding and appear to the right and above the organic search results in Amazon. These are the most popular ad type.
  • Headline Search Ads – These appear at the top of Amazon search results. They are accompanied with ad copy and are optimized with keywords. These are also know as Banner Ads.
What is Vendor Central?

Vendor central is the platform used by the manufacturers where they sell their product as the first party sellers. Meaning the vendors don’t sell directly to the customers. Rather vendor sell their products in bulk to Amazon.

Unlike seller central, opening a vendor central account is not easy. To become a vendor the only available option is to invite and application only. You cannot straight away sign up for vendor central like seller central. Vendors sell their products in bulk to Amazon, which then acts as the full time distributor of products under its own brand name of Amazon. The Amazon takes care of the inventory, shipping, returns and customer service for vendors. The products are labelled as ‘shipped from and fulfilled by Amazon’. Vendors have little control over their products when compared to seller central as Amazon puts standard pricing on vendor’s products which makes individual sales less profitable. Only large brands that manufacture and can sell in bulk are invited to be Amazon sellers.

Advertising options for Vendor Central

Vendors cannot create the Ads within the vendor central itself but they can take advantage of AMS (Amazon Marketing Services). To use AMS a vendor must open an account in AMS. All three types of ads are available to vendors. The above explained sponsored product Ads and Headline Search Ads are same for Vendors.

Additionally Product Display Ads are only available to vendor central.

  • Product Display Ads – These ads appear on the relevant product pages chosen. They are targeted at keyword, product and interest level.

You can choose between vendor central and seller central depending upon your needs and ability. Each has their own pros and cons. Further, you can use Amazon’s ads and the external Amazon ppc tools to boost your product sales.


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