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Vendor Central vs. Seller Central: Which one should I choose for my business?

Information gathering

Amazon obtains information about what customers want in a particu­lar department, primarily by first acting as a merchant or marketpla­ce operator and documenting its sales. This is how Amazon determi­nes a product’s demand…

Value added

... and can offer the products or services for which there is a suffi­cient margin. Due to the fact that there are so many stages in the value chain at Amazon, from manu­facturing to product presentation and delivery to customer contact, it always has the possibility to inter­pose its own products. 


Amazon is convinced that proces­ses can always be optimised. In the warehouses, workers are al­ready being exchanged for robots because the latter work flawlessly and are more cost effective. Another emblematic example: Amazon is a leader in the field of grid computing, whereby the available computing capacity of all connected computers is made available worldwide. 

Customer service

Whether it is in a product’s searchability, availability, delivery, exch­ange or return, Amazon has de­fined the new standard in terms of customer service. These necessary investments have paid off, which is partly why Amazon requires that its competitors follow suit.  

For the long haul

Optimisation and customer service expenses do not have to bear fruit immediately. When compared to the speed of the modern corpo­rate world, Amazon operates at a rate comparable to the biblical times. From the outside, Amazon appears to suffer from suicidal in­vestments and catastrophic quar­terly statements; masked behind those apparent tunnel vision disasters; however, is actually quite often Amazon‘s hidden, greater ten-year plan for marketplace do­minance. 

No mercy

  Owing to its sheer size, unbea­table performance and expansi­on, Amazon is not dependent on others—and likes to remind them of that fact. It is thus an ecosystem, which is flourishing and constantly occupying more of the biosphere for itself.   Just as in nature, the “whatever for” question is a rather metaphysi­cal one, to which there is no satis­factory answer. It must be enough to understand the natural laws of the system without being distrac­ted from the original question. For only those who understand it can assert themselves within the sys­tem. In the face of this unprece­dented expansion, sellers need to think about how they will find and defend their niche in the Amazon system.   One of the central questions for many sellers when trading online via Amazon is to understand what the advantages and benefits of Amazon Vendor Central and Amazon Seller Central are. When does it make sense for my company to switch from Seller Central to Vendor Central and what are the benefits?   In the following article we want to present the advantages and disadvantages of both options, provide an overview of both areas and help you to make an informed decision.  

What is Seller Central?

Amazon Seller Central allows "third parties" (third-party seller) to use Amazon as a marketplace, to list products there and to sell them independently. They have full control over their product listing and price. In addition, retailers also have the option of using Amazon (FBA, Fulfillment by Amazon) for shipping. Amazon will take of the storage, packaging and shipping. The goods, however, belong to the dealer at all times and are only available in Amazon's warehouses until they are sold and processed.  

What is Vendor Central?

A retailer that sells via Amazon Vendor Central is called a first-party retailer. Products are handled like a supplier and sold on Amazon in large quantities. After the sale Amazon becomes the owner of the goods and takes over the responsibility for marketing, sales and price. This means that the retailer becomes dependent on Amazon. Vendor Central is invitation-only and is primarily intended for major manufacturers and well-known brands.  

The tree biggest advantages: Why Amazon Vendor Central?

Customer satisfaction?

Many customers trust a first-party seller more than a third-party retailer. “Sold by Amazon” gives you the trust that third party suppliers lack and the certainty that the ordered goods will arrive.  

Marketing opportunities

When vendors sell through Vendor Central, they have the opportunity to participate in different marketing programs such as Subscribe & Save or Amazon Vine.    

A+ Content

Retailers who sell through Vendor Central have the possibility to create A+ content on their product page. A+ Content is an extension to the basic product description and offers the possibility to explain further features and advantages of the product and to supplement additional product photos.  

The tree biggest disadvantages: Why not Amazon Vendor Central?

Sales statistics

Seller Central offers you the opportunity to plan and analyse past and future demand accurately. Merchants who want to order similar analyses from Vendor Central must pay for this service.   

Customer service

With the Vendor Central program, customers can not be contacted. In this case, it is not possible to receive or control a customer’s feedback regarding the satisfaction of the delivery. In addition, it can not gather any demographic customer data. The service is completely in Amazon’s hands. If there are any issues with the shipping or quality control, the retailer doesn’t have the possibility of contacting the customer or taking care of the issue personally. Consumers who aren’t satisfied with Amazon’s service may gain a negative impression of the retailer.     

Inflexible pricing

Vendor Central is inflexible regarding pricing. The sale of the goods to Amazon also entails the transfer of control over pricing. Amazon chooses the price that seems most reasonable. This does not always have to be in line with the retailer's own price expectation.  

Amazon Vendor vs. Seller Central

  Download here the Whitepaper "Canute and the Amazons".