Amazon is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, with 18 regionally unique operations and hundreds of millions of products for sale. Two-thirds of products sold on Amazon are from third-party sellers. Becoming a third-party seller requires having an amazon seller account. This post will cover Amazon Seller Central, why you should have an account, the information you’ll need, and how to sign up. Once we’ve done that, we’ll cover many commonly asked questions and offer resources we think will help grow your Amazon business.
What is Amazon Seller Central?
Amazon Seller Central is an e-commerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to sell their products on Amazon.com. It is designed to provide sellers with the tools and resources to list and manage their products, process orders, and handle customer inquiries. Unlike traditional retail arrangements, selling on Amazon using Seller Central means selling your products directly to Amazon’s customers. In exchange, Amazon takes a cut of all sales. (see Seller Central Costs and Fees)
To use Amazon Seller Central, sellers must first register and create an account. This process involves providing information about the products you want to sell and their business and personal information. Once the account is set up, you, as a seller, can use the platform to list your products, set prices, and manage inventory. You can also use the platform to track sales, view customer feedback, and respond to customer inquiries.
In addition to these core features, Amazon Seller Central offers various tools and resources to help sellers succeed on the platform. These include analytics and reporting tools, which allow sellers to track the performance of their products and get insights into how they can improve. Marketing tools are also available, which can help sellers promote their products and reach a wider audience. Finally, various support resources are available, including training materials and customer service, to help sellers navigate any challenges that may arise. Overall, Amazon Seller Central is an essential platform for anyone looking to sell their products on Amazon.
Benefits of Having an Amazon Seller Account
Amazon is one of the world’s largest online marketplaces. In addition to Amazon.com, there are 18 unique marketplaces worldwide catering to people of those regions, and across those marketplaces, over 350 million products are for sale. Check out this blog post from Jungle Scout on each marketplace’s details and unique traits. Here are a few of the most significant benefits of having an Amazon seller account and tapping into the massive customer base:
- Gain access to a substantial customer base. Amazon is the largest online marketplace in the world, with millions of active customers. Having an Amazon Seller Central account allows businesses to tap into this vast customer base and reach a much larger audience than they would be able to on their own.
- Remove the need to set up an online store and checkout process. Amazon’s platform handles all aspects of the sales process, from listing products to processing orders and customer inquiries. This makes it easier and more cost-effective for businesses to sell their products, as they don’t have to worry about building and maintaining their online store.
- Increased awareness and brand credibility. Customers trust Amazon, and having a seller account on the platform can help increase the credibility of a business. This can lead to more sales and a better overall brand image.
- Access to various sales and marketing tools at no extra cost. Amazon provides various tools and resources to help sellers succeed on the platform. These include analytics and reporting tools, marketing tools, and support resources such as training materials and customer service. Additionally, for those with trademarks, Amazon’s brand enforcement (called the Brand Registry) can help prevent unauthorized sellers of your product and further establish brand trust.
- Total Flexibility. Amazon’s platform allows businesses to list and sell a wide range of products and to choose their pricing and shipping options. This flexibility allows businesses to tailor their sales strategy to meet the needs of their customers. You can sell a single product or a thousand. The tools at your disposal are the same and work well in both cases.
- It’s relatively easy to get started. Setting up an Amazon seller account is relatively straightforward, and once the account is set up, it is easy for businesses to start selling their products. The next section will cover how to create an Amazon seller account.
Steps to Sign Up for an Amazon Seller Central Account
Starting selling on Amazon requires a few considerations and steps to get set up. The setup process isn’t long, and we’ll cover everything you should consider before signing up.
Do You Have a Business Already Started?
Some sellers wish to do everything in the name of a business entity, so think about whether your account will use your name and address or the name and address of your business. If you don’t have a business started already and would like to start one, we recommend checking out the streamlined creation process offered by ZenBusiness.
Are you Selling Your Unique Products or Reselling Other Brands?
The Amazon marketplace is built entirely of folks who created their brand and are selling and marketing products they’ve made, designed, or manufactured. Many sellers, however, choose to resell products they’ve purchased from other sources.
Decide between an Individual and Professional Seller Account
An Amazon seller account comes in two flavors: individual and professional. Here’s a breakdown of each.
Individual Seller Account
Professional Seller Account
Every Amazon sale results in a referral fee being paid to Amazon. The minimum referral fee is $0.30 across most categories, and each category has its percentage based on the item’s price. For example, the Clothing and Accessories category has a flat 17% referral fee percentage ($0.17 for every $1.00). In comparison, Grocery and Gourment has a two-tier fee structure: 8% ($0.08 for every $1.00) if the sales price is $15.00 or less, and 15% ($0.15 for every $1.00) if the sales price is over $15.00.
Many categories have two-tiered referral fee rates, so keep that in mind when pricing your goods. A grocery item of $14.99 would have a referral fee that’s half the amount (8% or $1.20) if it was priced at $16.00 (15% or $2.40).
Amazon’s referral fee breakdown is located here.
Amazon breaks down its fulfillment fees by the fulfillment method: Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfillment by Seller (also called Fulfillment by Merchant or FBM). The FBA fulfillment method will be more expensive because Amazon and its infrastructure, logistics, and staff are doing the work. In contrast, FBM may save you money, though you’ll be responsible for packaging and shipping any items sold.
Fulfillment fees for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) start at $3.07 for small items during the off-peak season ($3.28 during peak holiday times) and climb from there. Oversized items are rated based on a base rate plus their weight, so keep that in mind if you plan on selling large, heavy products on Amazon.
Click here to see how Amazon’s fulfillment fees are broken down by size and time of year.
Determine Your Eligibility
Now that you have an idea of what to think about before opening your Seller Central account and determining what to sell, the next step is to confirm what’s required to become an Amazon seller.
Amazon requires the following information to be ready at application time:
- Business email address or Amazon customer account. Amazon will allow you to use your customer Amazon account to sign up, but we recommend having a separate email address. You’ll likely lose your customer account if anything should happen to your Seller Central account.
- Internationally chargeable credit card. You may be able to get away with a debit card that uses one of the major credit card networks like Visa, Mastercard, etc., according to this community forum post from 2015. Even if you’re operating as an individual seller, we recommend having a separate business credit card to keep your fee charges separate.
- Government ID. Amazon will make you jump through a few hoops to prove you are who you say you are. You’ll likely have to have proof of address that matches your government-issued ID (like a utility bill).
One thing we’ve seen happen with many sellers creating a new amazon seller account over the years is that information they submit to prove their identity often fails to meet the requirement. Amazon is incredibly strict about this process. Your documentation must match exactly and cannot even remotely look like it could have been faked. With that said, Amazon published a blog post in November 2022 that mentioned a new verification experience that’s supposed to be more straightforward.
- Tax information. Whether you’ve decided to start selling as an individual (or single-member LLC) or as an incorporated business, have your relevant personal or business tax details on hand.
- Business Information. If you’re opening an account as a business, you’ll need to ensure you have your business address and other relevant business details handy. This includes your business name and billing address.
In the United States, a single-member limited liability company (LLC) is considered an individual for tax purposes–income is passed through to the individual–so regardless if your LLC has an employer identification number (EIN), you’ll still be sharing your social security number (SSN).
- Phone number. A legitimate phone number is required in the event Amazon needs to get in touch with you. Virtual numbers and phone services like Google Voice will work fine.
- Bank account information. Amazon needs to know where to send your money. Have your bank’s name and account information ready. For the United States, this means your account number and routing number. For The EU, this means your bank identification code (or SWIFT number) and IBAN; for the U.K., this means your sort code and account number.
It’s also essential to ensure you’re residing in a country with which Amazon is legally allowed to do business, so make sure your country is on this list, too. If your country is not, you cannot legally sell on Amazon while residing there because of the United States export control and embargo laws prohibiting United States businesses from doing business in specific countries.
The Registration Process
Now that you have everything you need to sign up, begin the process here. Follow the prompts as they’re given and upload any relevant documentation or details they require. This is also where you’ll create your separate Amazon account; ensure you’re not logged in to Amazon.com already to ensure you’re not accidentally using the wrong account.
Start Selling on Amazon
With your seller account created, you’re ready to start selling and listing products. Amazon sellers often get overwhelmed at this point because there’s so much one can do once they’re approved.
We recommend ensuring you know what you want to sell if you haven’t done so already. Feel free to go back to that article section if you need to think about it more.
Restricted Product Categories
Amazon has a list of categories that have some restrictions on them. Some of these categories are outright disallowed. You must understand this list and the restrictions placed on these product categories. Failing to abide by these rules can lead to account suspension.
Remember, you must have a professional seller account to sell in restricted product categories.
Product Categories Needing Approval
Additionally, some product categories cannot be automatically sold by new sellers. You must request approval before doing so. These categories include jewelry, music, collectibles, stamps, and more. If you are a producer of items in one of these categories, the approval process will involve submitting information demonstrating that fact. If you are not a producer, you’ll need to provide information that shows you legally obtained and have permission to resell these products. If you don’t have this information, you may need to return later once you’ve had a positive selling history to get approval to sell in these categories.
As with restricted categories, a professional account is required to apply to sell in these categories.
Some services will help you get approvals in these categories for a fee. These services are against Amazon’s terms of service and involve creating fake documentation. If caught, it will lead to account suspension.
Creating Quality Product Listings
Creating a high-quality product listing is paramount if you’re bringing your products to market (as is often the case in the private label business model) on Amazon (or an existing product that is not sold on Amazon). On the surface, you’ll need the following information at a minimum to create a product listing:
- Product identifier (GTIN, UPC, ISBN, EAN). All products require an identifier. If you do not have one, you can request an exemption.
- Product SKU. This allows you to track your unique products in Seller Central and relevant inventory.
- Offer details, such as pricing, condition, availability, and shipping. Every product must have a price. You must also describe the condition of the item. Items like books, in addition to being sold new, are often sold as used if they’re pre-owned. You must also describe how the item will be shipped and if it’s immediately available or will be available on a future date (new releases).
- Product details and keywords, images, and search terms. Within the listing, you must describe the product’s name, brand, and category and provide a detailed description of what the item is, what it does, how it works, and why someone should buy it. Your listing must also include high-quality images that demonstrate the product. Include all the relevant keywords and search terms one should use to find your products.
If that seems like a lot, it’s because it is. The key to a successful product listing is including significant levels of detail, high-quality images, and keywords that match what one would search for when looking for a product like yours. We highly recommend looking at third-party tools for listing creation to help expedite the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled a list of common questions we’ve seen asked when creating a seller account and starting a successful amazon business.
Is selling on Amazon free?
A free seller account is possible, but it comes with a catch. An individual seller account has no monthly fee but costs $0.99 per unit sold, plus other fees. Additionally, you’ll likely miss out on other critical features like the buy box. We believe there’s very little reason to have an individual seller account.
Should I use the same account as the one I use on Amazon.com as a customer?
We do not recommend it. While you can technically do so, if your seller account is suspended, you’ll also lose your customer account, including all of your purchase history and any credit on your account, as well as your Amazon Prime Video account, if you have one.
Do I need an LLC for Amazon FBA?
Not necessarily. You can open a seller account and run a successful amazon business without an LLC. We like the idea of an LLC as a means to keep your information private where at all possible. Amazon will still know who you are, but your customers won’t necessarily know your name and home address. We like ZenBusiness for starting an LLC in your state.
How much money do I need to start selling on Amazon?
Starting selling on Amazon doesn’t take much money, but you’ll find the pace at which your business grows will be bound by the investment to start. When I started selling on Amazon, I spent $20 on my first round of products. That summer, I was selling $10,000 per month (about $2500 profit) of just one product at its peak.
How long does it take to set up an Amazon seller account?
The time it takes to set up a seller account will depend on how quickly your information can be verified. Filling out the application can take only a few minutes, but if the uploaded documentation isn’t clear or is missing information, it can add time to the process.
How much do beginner Amazon sellers make?
Beginner amazon sellers can easily make a few dollars to a few thousand dollars. It comes down to how much capital you have on hand and whether your product is both profitable and in demand.
Will I make more money with a professional account?
A professional account will open more opportunities to sell on Amazon. The biggest of them all is having access to the buy box. You may also find more lucrative opportunities in categories that require approval to sell in, too.
Should I start with an individual seller account and upgrade later?
You definitely can. If your launch is going to take time, there’s no sense in paying a monthly seller fee if you’re not selling anything. You can upgrade your individual Amazon seller account when you’re ready to launch your business or products.
Will I be selling products to Amazon directly?
No. Selling on Amazon through Seller Central adds you to the population of third-party sellers on the Amazon marketplace. These are recognized by the “Sold by ___” and “Shipped by Amazon” remarks on a listing.
Can I have an Amazon seller account in multiple countries?
Yes. Amazon allows sellers to have a seller account in multiple countries and continents. Various rules apply. Click here for more information.
Can I have more than one Amazon seller account?
It depends. Having more than one seller account requires jumping through a few hoops with seller support to ensure they don’t flag you as a possible source of abuse on the platform. If you have multiple unique businesses selling unique products, you’ll have a good shot at having more than one seller account.
Having more than one seller account requires you to have entirely separate entities. This means separate business names, addresses, email addresses, and bank account information. When we say they must be separate, we mean it.
Those who’ve had the most success in opening a separate Amazon seller account have done so because they:
- had different business entities with different owners
- applied using a different IP address
- had separate financial information (bank account, credit card)
- used separate email addresses
- used separate phone numbers
- had different business addresses
- used unique EINs for each business (not LLC pass-throughs)
- ensured each account sold separate products
Which Countries are allowed to create an Amazon seller account?
Amazon maintains a list of accepted countries here.
Creating an Amazon seller central account is ready with all the necessary documentation. This process can provide numerous benefits for those looking to start a business or grow their existing one. Selling your products on the Amazon marketplace means opening up your business to the largest audience in the world without having to do copious amounts of marketing or set up an entire online store and manage logistics. Having a successful amazon business means having an income stream where the complexities of selling on the Internet are removed almost entirely so you can get back to doing what you do best.
We’ve compiled a list of tools and services we think will be helpful once you’re up and running on Amazon.
Jungle Scout is the ultimate tool for Amazon sellers. It helps you find profitable products, track your competitors, and optimize your listings for success. With Jungle Scout, you can be confident in your product research and strategy, giving you the competitive edge you need to grow your business.
Online and Retail Arbitrage is one of the most popular forms of selling on Amazon. SourceMogul helps you find high-margin, profitable products from thousands of sources, tracks their prices, and takes the guesswork out of product sourcing.
Having a complete picture of the products you’re selling on Amazon, including those you’re still researching. RevSeller is a Google Chrome extension that displays all the information you need and nothing you don’t: margin, sales rank, category information, FBA fees, and more.
Prices change on Amazon, even dozens or hundreds of times per day. Ensuring your products are priced competitively is paramount and a requirement for keeping the top spot and the buy box. Aura is the smartest repricer for Amazon sellers.
Forming an LLC is tedious and requires filling out forms and filing with your state. If you don’t do it right, it can lead to hundreds of dollars and weeks of wasted time. ZenBusiness is an expert in new business creation in all 50 states. We recommend letting the professionals handle the work so you can return to building your business.
Selling on Amazon is only one part of running a successful amazon business. The other part is keeping track of your finances and expenses. Quickbooks helps takes care of the boring money stuff through expense tracking, payroll if you have staff, taxes, and more. Save 30% on your first six months.
As a small business, ensure you’re not spending money on bank fees. Novo is our favorite bank account for small businesses because they charge no such thing. Novo has a robust app and integrations with all the popular services, and it comes with thousands of dollars in free perks that are vital for small business success.
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