There are numerous reasons to choose the Amazon professional seller plan if you are an Amazon marketplace seller aka selling on Amazon.
Selling on Amazon may mean many things. We should distinguish between two separate things: selling on Amazon vs selling to Amazon before we get into the details on the Amazon seller accounts and why Pro plan is clearly the best choice.
Selling to Amazon
In this case, you are selling your products directly to Amazon, which then resells the products to shoppers. Vendor status is granted by invitation only. You are granting Amazon the ownership of your inventory. Amazon will then market and sell to shoppers on Amazon.
You must take note that if you choose to be a supplier to Amazon, you’re selling your products at wholesale rates. Granting Amazon, the full ownership of the products is letting them choose their own price and shipping options of the products. This selling option need not to use the Amazon FBA service or enroll into an Amazon seller plan.
Although becoming a supplier may mean you will be getting lesser rates for your items, it may benefit you by eliminating tasks such as marketing, advertising, and pricing.
Selling on Amazon
In this case, you have a third-party relationship with Amazon, selling their products to shoppers and receiving payment through Amazon. Sellers are responsible for listing, pricing, and marketing their products, and anyone can become a seller through the Amazon Seller registration process.
When you sign up for Amazon seller account, you will need to specify which seller plan you want. The plans are compared in the table below.
|Per item closing fee||$0.99||N/A|
|Use of feeds, spreadsheets, and other tools to facilitate multiple listing creation and updates||No||Yes|
|Access to order reports and order-related feeds||No||Yes|
|Earn top placement on product detail pages||No||Yes|
|Sell in 20+ open categories||Yes||Yes|
|Apply to sell in 10+ additional categories||No||Yes|
|Customized shipping rates||No||Yes|
Let us go through all the advantages of why you should upgrade your seller account from individual plan to professional plan.
1. Removing the $.99 Per Item closing Fee
Its just simple math that may prompt you to switch to a Pro selling account.
As you can see from above table, a Professional selling plan is going to cost you $39.99 per month. By subscribing, you qualify for a waiver of the $.99 fixed closing that you’re accustomed to paying.
Therefore, if you sell more than forty items each month, upgrading to a Pro plan is an obvious money saver.
40 orders x .99 = $39.60 in fixed closing fees
If you sell only seasonal items (or if your order volume is highly unpredictable), you might extend the math out for the entire year. Will your “busy season” be enough to offset the monthly fee? that is something you will have to crunch some numbers. But even if its not a slam dunk case, there are other distinct advantages discussed below that still make it a good deal.
Access to restricted product categories
Switching to pro account allows you to sell in at least 10 additional categories. Professional-only categories include:
Automotive & powersports B2B products Clothing & accessories Collectible coins Fine art Fine Jewelry Grocery and gourmet food Luggage & travel accessories Shoes, handbags & sunglasses Sports collectibles Video (DVD, etc.) Watches
Note: Amazon will still require you to submit an application to sell in such categories but without the pro plan, you have no way to sell anything in this category.
Better inventory, feedback and reviews management
Professional sellers also gain access to the Amazon Marketplace Web Service API, which can create countless efficiencies for your eCommerce business.
Amazon built the MWS platform to enable “…high levels of selling automation, which can help sellers grow their business.”
By tapping into the MWS API, you can put your inventory, order data and other Seller Central information to work for you.
Individual selling plan also limits your listing capabilities; whereas, Professional sellers can create bulk listings via spreadsheets and uploads. What might take an Individual merchant hours could take a Pro seller a few minutes.
Win the Buy Box
The Buy Box is the button on the product listing page that allows buyers to automatically add your product to their shopping cart.
According to Statista, 82% of all purchases happen through the Buy Box.
One of the biggest advantages that Amazon professional sellers have over Amazon individual sellers is their eligibility to win the all-important ‘Buy Box’.
But, if you aren’t an Amazon professional seller, and even if you are the only seller on a listing, buyers will have to go through more steps in order to make a purchase.
You can get the buy box and still be an individual seller if you participate in Amazon FBA (fullfilment by Amazon) program.
However, if you are successfully selling through FBA, than sooner or later you will scale up to selling more than 40 a month, and at that point, its better to sign up for pro account too and get access to all sorts of seller reports.
Advertise your products on Amazon
Amazon professional sellers can create sponsored listings on Amazon.
Using Amazon’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Amazon professional sellers can spend money to boost their products to the top of Amazon’s search results. This often results in more sales and profits for the sellers.
Amazon individual sellers, however, cannot create advertisements for their products on Amazon.
- Create promotions, gift services, and other special listing features
- Calculate US sales and use taxes on your orders
- Grant use permissions and account privileges to other users