July 6th, 2021
Create a Seller Central Account
You’ve finally decided to take your business to the next level and get in on the Amazon action. But how do you actually create an Amazon Seller Central account? What do you need to get started? We are here to answer your burning questions about getting your account set up and poised to sell.
Seller Central vs. Vendor Central
First off, let’s discuss the differences between Seller Central and Vendor Central. One of the main differences between Vendor Central and Seller Central is exactly who will be selling your products to the Amazon customer. While Seller Central gives you more control over your business in terms of adjusting pricing and inventory levels, Vendor Central puts Amazon’s retail team in control of your inventory and pricing by allowing them to purchase your inventory and then resell your products to their customers.
With Seller Central, you sell directly to Amazon’s customers, and with Vendor Central you sell directly to Amazon, who then turns around and sells to the customer. While both platforms have their benefits, there are many differences between Seller Central and Vendor Central, so it’s important to understand exactly what opportunities and drawbacks each type of account offers.
Most sellers start out with a Seller Central account, not just because it is a great way to get started selling on Amazon, but also because Vendor Central is currently invite only. Even if you end up getting a Vendor Central invitation, some Amazon sellers still opt to sell on Seller Central, either by itself or in addition to Vendor Central. (Yes, you can sell on both platforms, if done correctly.) For many, selling across both platforms can maximize profit, while retaining more control over one's brand message, inventory, and other important metrics.
What You’ll Need to Open an Amazon Account
The Amazon Seller Central account registration process is pretty straightforward and can typically be finished in under an hour, however, if you want to streamline the process then we recommend having the following pieces of information available in advance.
It’s important to note that the rules for creating an Amazon account vary from country to country. Here we will focus on what you need to get registered on Amazon.com, the most well-known marketplace that is based in the US. You can stop the registration process halfway through and return to it later, but it’s much easier to collect the following pieces of information before you start the registration process to make sure you don’t run into a situation where you are scrambling to find the information that you need:
- Your legal business name, address, and contact information.
- An email address that can be used for this company account. This email account should be set up already, as you will start receiving important emails from Amazon almost immediately
- An internationally chargeable credit card with a valid billing address. (If the credit card number isn’t valid, Amazon will cancel your registration.)
- A phone number where you can be reached during this registration process (so have your phone nearby during registration).
- Your tax identity information (your Social Security number or your company’s Federal Tax ID number). To submit your tax identity information, the registration process will take a brief detour to a “1099-K Tax Document Interview,” where your tax information is submitted and verified. Amazon is required by the IRS to collect your tax ID information so the IRS can be notified of any possible taxable earnings you make through your Amazon account. Let’s be clear here - the actual responsibility of paying your taxes is strictly yours, but Amazon is required to report that you have been a revenue-collecting Amazon seller during the past tax year.
Once you’ve provided the information above, you’re all set to get registered as a seller on Amazon! As soon as you’ve been approved, Amazon will start sending you emails to help you to get started with listing your products.
All it takes is one product and you become a “Launched” seller, rather than just a “Registered, Not Launched” Seller. If you remain a “Registered, Not Launched” seller, Amazon will email you multiple times prompting you to list your products. While Amazon enjoys the $39.99 monthly fee it gets from you, Amazon is likely to make much more money from you on referral fees once you start selling products.
How Do I Set Up an Amazon Seller Central Account?
So you’ve decided to go with Amazon Seller Central. What’s next? What do you need to get your account up and running, and open for business? Next, we’ll break down the process, step-by-step, to make sure that you can start selling on Amazon as quickly as possible. After you’ve determined what you plan on selling on Amazon, you’ll need to go through the Amazon seller registration process.
Steps to Get Started with Your Seller Central Account Set Up
- Go to https://services.amazon.com.
- Do NOT click on the sign up button. Follow step #3 so you can choose between setting up an Individual or a Professional account.
(Note: If you click on the ‘Sign up’ button, you’ll be taken to the registration page for a professional seller. On the other hand, if you click on the ‘See pricing’ link you can choose between opting for an Individual or a Professional account)
- Go to the third box, on the right hand side, with the title ‘Make Money’. Click the link ‘see pricing’.
- Scroll down to view the differences between the Individual and the Professional plans. Then, select either the Individual or Professional seller account. (Scroll down to learn more about the Individual and Professional plans.)
- Once you’ve chosen the seller plan that is right for you, the following window will appear where you’ll be asked to enter in your email address and a password (of your choosing) for your seller account. Enter your email address and then select ‘Create a New Account’. When you’re done, click the ‘Next’ button.
- Next, you will be taken to a screen asking you to enter in a one-time password (OTP) that has been generated by Amazon. This OTP will be sent to the email address that you’ve entered on the previous screen. This is Amazon’s way of validating the email you entered. Once you’ve entered the OTP into the field, click on the ‘Create your Amazon account’ button.
- Following that you will be prompted to enter your ‘Business location’ and ‘Business type’.
Enter your business location: This is the country where your business is located. We cannot stress enough how important providing accurate information here is. Amazon has an abundance of verification methods at their disposal, so don’t think for a moment that you can give false information and be granted access to Amazon’s platform!
Enter your business type: You’ll be able to choose your business entity from the following options (most fall into the ‘Privately-owned’ category):
- State-owned business
- Publicly-owned business
- Privately-owned business
- None, I am an individual
- Enter your full name: Make sure you enter your current legal first, middle, and last names. Once you fill out the information above, you can go ahead and click the ‘Agree and continue’ button.
- Enter your personal information: You’ll be asked to provide Amazon with a number of personal details. This includes a form of identification (either your passport number or your driver’s license). You may also be required to give them your phone number. This is purely for verification purposes. When everything has been entered, click on ‘Next’ at the bottom of the screen.
- Select your marketplace(s): After you’ve filled out the ‘Individual Information’ section, check the box below the marketplace(s). The “marketplace” refers to the geographic location or country that your Amazon store will be opened in (Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.mx, etc.). After choosing which marketplace you’d like to sell in, and then click ‘next’.
- Enter your billing information: Amazon also verifies a potential seller’s identity using their credit card to make sure their information is valid. Once you’ve chosen your marketplace(s), you’ll be asked to enter your credit card number and expiration date, as well as the name that appears on that card. Needless to say, the name provided in your Amazon Seller Central registration must match the credit card as well. When you’re done entering your credit card information, click the ‘Next’ button at the bottom of the page.
- Add your product(s) information and start your Amazon store: After you’ve given Amazon your credit card number and all the information affiliated with your registration has been validated, you’ll be asked a few questions about your Amazon store as well as the products that you plan on selling. To proceed with your Seller Central registration, you’ll need to answer the following questions:
- What is the name of your Amazon store?
- Do you have UPC codes for your product(s)?
- Are you the manufacturer and/or brand owner of the product(s) you’re selling?
- Do you have a registered trademark for your product(s)?
- Get your address validation: Once you’ve completed all of the previous steps in the verification process, you’ll then be asked to confirm the business address that you provided in the ‘Personal Information’ section. After clicking on the ‘Confirm’ button (double check to make sure that the address displayed is correct!), you will get a message telling you that you will receive a postcard at that address, along with a verification code.
Once you receive the postcard from Amazon (this should only take a few business days), enter the code provided into the ‘Enter code below’ field and click ‘Next’ to complete the verification process. Once you’re verified, you are officially an Amazon Seller and you are ready to get started selling on Amazon Seller Central!
- Set up 2-step verification to protect your account: To ensure that your account information stays protected, we typically recommend that sellers set up a 2-step verification on their account.
- Start selling! Once your identity and business information has been verified, all you need to do to get started is to log into https://sellercentral.amazon.com.
The Cost to Selling on Amazon
The great thing about becoming an Amazon seller is that it can be done on a budget. When you are setting up your Seller Central account you can choose between an Individual plan and pay $0.99 per item sold, or you can opt for the Professional plan where you pay $39.99 per month (each have additional seller fees that you will need to pay separate from the plan fee).
Here is a quick breakdown of the Individual and Professional plans:
The Individual plan might be right for you if:
- You sell fewer than 40 units a month
- You're still deciding what to sell
- You don't plan to advertise or use advanced selling tools
The Professional plan might be right for you if:
- You sell more than 40 units a month
- You want to advertise your products
- You want to qualify for top placement on product detail pages
- You want to use advanced selling tools, like APIs and reports
- You want to sell products in restricted categories
Note: Only Professional Sellers can apply to be allowed to list and sell in the dozen or so categories of products that are currently gated on Amazon. These categories include Automotive & Powersports, Collectible Books, Collectible Coins, Entertainment Collectibles, Fine Art, Gift Cards, Jewelry, Music & DVD, Major Appliances, Sports Collectibles, Streaming Media Players, Video, DVD, & Blu-ray, and Watches.
- You want to save time by creating listings in bulk
- You intend on running promotions such as free shipping
- You want to add multiple users to your account
In addition to these initial plan fees, there are also numerous other fees to be aware of:
Amazon Referral Fees
This is the fee that Amazon takes as commission for selling your product on its platform. The fee varies from category to category, but it typically ranges between 12-40%. Most products have a flat 15% referral fee.
If you opt to use Amazon’s FBA program, you’ll need to cover the shipping and handling costs for Amazon. This usually works out to approximately $3.00 for small items weighing no more than a pound. As the items get heavier or larger, the fees obviously rise as well.
Other Amazon Fees
You may also have long-term inventory storage fees (if you use Amazon FBA), media fees (if selling books, DVDs, etc.), and advertising costs.
Are you ready to get started selling on Amazon? Maybe you have a few more questions. Don’t worry, that is what we’re here for. We help businesses of all sizes run and maintain their Amazon stores. Let’s connect to see if our services would be of value to you.