Amazon Vendor Express – A Basic Guide

By September 6, 2017Amazon
Amazon Vendor Express

Part of what has made Amazon so successful is its ability to sell a vast array of products. From books to exercise equipment, people can buy almost anything through Amazon, making it a viable one-stop shop. Amazon’s expansive collection is partly due to the fact vendors and businesses can sign up for an Amazon Vendor Express account to sell their goods.

You can learn more about the basics of Vendor Express by watching this Amazon video, but essentially, Amazon allows you to post products you are allowed to sell directly on its website. It is a fast, efficient way to get the word out about your goods whereas trying to get items sold in a physical store could take months or even years. Amazon makes it easy, so see what it is all about to see if you can start benefiting.

What Is Amazon Vendor Express?

There are three basic platforms vendors can sell their products through Amazon: Amazon Vendor Central, Amazon Seller Central and Amazon Vendor Express. Business owners need to receive an invitation to utilize Vendor Central, and it is largely a hands-off enterprise. Seller Central requires a monthly fee and a percentage of monthly sales. It also requires a lot of input. Finally, Vendor Express finds a happy medium between the two other options. It comes with some of the same benefits of Vendor Central, but entrepreneurs can simply sign up instead of waiting to get invited.

To get started, you need to decide what items you want to sell. You will need to submit an image, a little bit of product information and either an EAN or UPC. You need to send a few samples to Amazon so that they can be examined and tested. Once approved, they will go up on the site. From there, people can start purchasing your items, and you get paid within 60 days. Your products can even be part of Amazon Prime perks, such as free shipping. This enhances the likelihood of someone finding and buying your goods. With more avenues for people to find your products, you can watch your revenue grow.

What Are the Advantages?

With Vendor Express, you sell your items directly to Amazon. Amazon pays you with bulk orders, and then you do not have to worry about anything else. Amazon takes care of selling the product, and your items will be listed as “Sold by Amazon.” This denotation instills confidence in consumers because they know exactly what they are working with.

Since your products are already with Amazon, they get shipped immediately. You do not have to wait days getting everything together, which is why your items can be part of Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping policy.

You also see an increase in revenue because Amazon buys products through Vendor Express in bulk. First, there will be a trial period where Amazon sees how well your items do. If they sell well, then Amazon buys in bulk. This is the company’s policy for every business it works with through Vendor Express.

One of the most valuable benefits of using Vendor Express is that you have access to Amazon’s marketing services. These services allow you to see detailed sales reports, so you get more detailed information about who is buying your merchandise. It also allows you to create advertisements that are later displayed on the website. You are provided with a more robust sales strategy to see greater success.

What Are the Disadvantages?

With all this being said, the service does have a few drawbacks. For starters, Amazon does require a trial period. That means the entrepreneur has to provide Amazon with a sampling of the company’s products. The business does not get paid, and this transaction is viewed as more of a donation to see if the items can be profitable on Amazon. Amazon does not provide compensation in the event the items do sell, and the money earned is viewed as a deposit. Naturally, this can be a bit off-putting for some business owners, but it is important to view this as an investment.

In the event Amazon does start selling your products, you can expect deferred payment once they sell. Amazon has up to 60 days to pay a vendor for a sale, and this can create issues for business owners who are used to a faster turnaround.

Finally, at the end of the day, Amazon controls the price of the product sold. When you sign up for an account, you are able to submit your own price to Amazon for what you feel the items should be sold for. Amazon may use this price, but it may use its own. Additionally, Amazon may change the price based on the trial period. Products may not sell at first, so Amazon has to lower the price to see any profits. If Amazon comes to you stating that it wants to sell items at a lower price than you initially indicated, then you may be able to counter-offer. Negotiation is on the table.

What Products Can Be Sold Through Vendor Express?

Before getting started, it is important to see if your inventory can even be sold through the service. Most items are accepted, so you generally do not have too much to worry about. Here is a list of products Amazon accepts through Vendor Express.

  • Arts and crafts supplies
  • Apparel accessories, such as gloves, belts, ear muffs, neckties and more
  • Baby supplies, including strollers
  • Appliance accessories for coffee makers, bread machines, microwaves and more
  • Bedding, bath linens and related accessories
  • Beauty products
  • Car electronics
  • Cameras or other video and photo equipment
  • Various electronics
  • Automotive tools and equipment
  • GPS navigation devices
  • Cell phones and various mobile device accessories
  • Kitchen tools and tableware
  • Groceries
  • Home décor
  • Health and diet products
  • Handbag and wallets
  • Home improvement products, including home security systems
  • Luggage and suitcases
  • Kitchen and bath fixtures
  • Lighting fixtures, bulbs and accessories
  • School and office supplies
  • Pest control supplies and other lawn products
  • Sporting goods
  • Watches
  • Toys, games, puzzles and action figures
  • Sunglasses
  • Portable audio equipment
  • Pet supplies, including food

There are plenty of other products Amazon accepts. If you have a question about anything, then you should definitely reach out to Amazon if you are unsure if one of your items falls into one of the above-mentioned categories.

What Cannot Be Sold Through Vendor Express?

Amazon accepts quite a lot, but there are some items that simply cannot be sold via Vendor Express. The following list includes those items.

  • Used items
  • Wine
  • Liquids in excess of five gallons
  • Health supplements
  • “Adult” products
  • Hazmat items
  • Books, computer software and DVDs
  • Bulky items, which are products with dimensions over 108 inches
  • Heavy items, which are products that weigh more than 150 pounds
  • Products that need to be held in a controlled temperature room, which would include caramels and chocolates
  • Products with a selling price to Amazon greater than $500

How Should You Manage Your Vendor Express Account?

Once you have set up your Amazon Vendor Express account, you will want to check in on your operational metrics at least once a day. You need to be able to respond to any issues in a timely manner, which requires daily diligence. You will also want to assess marketing campaigns daily to measure success.

Once a week, you want to check in on the sales and inventory reports. These reports provide you with valuable information related to how many units have sold this month and how many returns have taken place. Checking weekly also allows you to review the purchase orders to see if Amazon is running low on any of your products. You can get ahead of the game by restocking regularly and ensuring Amazon never runs out of your items in its warehouses.

You also want to check the product pages themselves once a week. Examine the customer reviews. Hopefully, they will be positive, but if there are any negative reviews, then you need to respond in an appropriate and timely manner. Responding maturely will help greatly with customer service.

Once a month, you should review all the marketing and promotions you currently have running for your inventory. You may want to consider adding something such as a lightning deal or special coupons. You also want to conduct a product page audit monthly. You should optimize the content on the page for search engines, and make sure everything appears clearly on mobile devices. Conducting an SEO analysis helps you locate problems areas so that you can do even better going forward.

How Do You Get Started With Vendor Express?

It is simple enough to get set up. You first have to create an Amazon account, and from there, you will be guided through the process. Many entrepreneurs have had great success selling through an Amazon Vendor Express account, and you can be next. It is important to be aware of the risks, but as long as you go into the venture with the right mindset, you can sell your products to a completely new audience and see great profits.

When working with Amazon to sell products, it’s always good to have a full understanding and how to leverage the tools provided to your advantage. If you don’t have a strategy for Amazon or haven’t explored all of your marketing options with Vendor Express, perhaps it’s time to talk to some professionals. The team at OperationROI has been working with Amazon sellers for years. Contact us today at 1-888-277-5429 or by filling out our contact form to learn more.

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