Well, the short answer to the title question is no. In the first place, Amazon creates distinctions in its vendor program as it does among its Sellers. Secondly, any business can register for Amazon Vendor Express. Thus, contrary to Vendor Central, you don’t need a graven invitation. You just need to ask if making Amazon a retailer instead of a marketplace is the right move.
Amazon is a Marketplace or a Retailer: You Choose
A business can see Amazon as a marketplace or as a retailer. By far, the most common kind of business on Amazon is the Amazon Seller. These companies own their inventory until the products sell and use Amazon simply as a marketplace to reach customers. Amazon reportedly has 2 million registered sellers. However, Sellers include not just full-time brands and retailers but individuals with a relatively casual side-business. Why so many Sellers? First, Amazon offers a relatively low-cost channel to reach many potential customers. Secondly, as opposed to Amazon Vendor, Sellers have a lot more control over their pricing and to enjoy higher margins. So, why would businesses choose Vendor Express?
Vendor Express Lets Anyone Wholesale to Amazon
The answer is similar to why brands do business with big retailers like Walmart. For instance, since Amazon buys from the Vendor before retailing, it takes a higher stake in marketing the product. So, while vendors sell at wholesale and expect lower sales margins, access to Amazon Marketing Services and advertising can help lead to more orders. Thus, Vendor Express assumes an exchange of lower pricing for high margin.
Vendor Express vs Vendor Central
When Amazon invites a Seller to join Vendor Central, they’re saying it has big enough market traction to sell well in volume. That doesn’t mean that brands that don’t get the tap can’t also do well as a B2B wholesaler. Thus, a relatively small company can use Vendor Express to scale operations for wholesale or to test an online marketplace channel. The fact that Amazon limits Vendor Express companies to selling 85 items shows size and market recognition count. Vendor Central invitees face no such limitations.
Whether you become a Vendor or Seller, you need to manage your Amazon channel as part of your overall business.
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