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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

Amazon Professional vs. Individual Seller Account Plans

Deciding between Amazon's Individual and Professional seller accounts is essential, with the former being fee-free per month, ideal for low-volume sales and newcomers.


However, once monthly sales exceed 40 items or you seek advanced features like access to restricted categories, the Buy Box, or product advertising, the Professional account becomes cost-effective despite its monthly fee.


This account suits high-volume sellers and those aiming to scale on Amazon.

Review your sales and future ambitions to choose whether the professional or individual seller account suits your business.


Understanding Amazon's Seller Types

Choosing the right seller account on Amazon is crucial for your business strategy, whether you're a new seller or looking to scale up.


Let's break down the essentials of Individual and Professional seller accounts to guide you in selecting the best fit for your selling goals on Amazon.


Defining Individual and Professional Sellers

Individual Sellers on Amazon are typically those who sell fewer than 40 items per month. They don’t have to pay a monthly subscription fee.


An Individual Seller Account is best suited if you're testing the waters of Amazon Marketplace or have a limited quantity of items to offer.


Professional Sellers, in contrast, intend to sell more than 40 products monthly and are likely interested in a broader set of selling tools and features.


Opting for a Professional Seller Account involves a monthly subscription fee but provides a wide array of features tailored to larger-scale operations and business growth on the platform.


Individual Seller Account vs. Professional Seller Account Summary


  • Individual Seller Account:

  • No monthly subscription fee.

  • $0.99 per item fee when a product sells.

  • Basic selling tools.

  • Limited to certain categories of goods.

  • Cannot win the Buy Box.

  • No access to Amazon advertising.


  • Professional Seller Account:

  • $39.99 per month subscription fee.

  • No per-item fee for sales.

  • More comprehensive selling tools.

  • Ability to sell in restricted categories.

  • Eligibility to win the Buy Box.

  • Access to Amazon advertising and promotional tools.


When deciding whether to become an Amazon individual seller or an Amazon professional seller, reflect on your monthly sales volume and whether you require advanced selling tools.


If you're aiming for more than 40 sales a month, interested in restricted categories, or want to compete for the Buy Box and advertise, the Professional Account may be the right choice to help you scale and reach more customers.


On the other hand, if you're selling casually or in smaller quantities, the pay-per-sale structure of the Individual Account could be more economical and suitable for your current needs.


Registration Requirements and Setup

When you decide to start selling on Amazon, choosing the right seller account is crucial.

Whether you're a budding entrepreneur or established business, the setup and requirements vary significantly between Individual and Professional seller plans.


Creating an Amazon Seller Account

To begin your journey as an Amazon seller, you’ll first need to create an Amazon Seller account. This process is straightforward:


  1. Go to Amazon Seller Central and click on the 'Register now' button.

  2. Provide your email address and select a password for your new account.


Next, Amazon will guide you through steps that involve entering your legal business name, address, and phone number. Be prepared to provide a credit card with a valid billing address, along with your tax identification information.


Requirements for Professional and Individual Sellers

Individual Seller Accounts are often the starting point for new sellers. If your plan is to sell fewer than 40 products a month and you don't need access to advanced selling tools, this might be your best option. Here's what you need to know:


  • No monthly subscription fee — instead, you pay $0.99 per item sold.

  • Access to top product categories, though some remain restricted.


Professional Seller Accounts are designed for volume sellers and those looking to grow their business on Amazon. This plan is ideal if you plan to exceed 40 sales per month. The requirements and benefits are quite different:


  • A monthly subscription fee of $39.99, but the $0.99 per item fee is waived.

  • The ability to apply for selling in gated categories.

  • Eligibility for winning the Buy Box, which can significantly increase sales.

  • Advanced selling tools such as bulk listing and inventory management.

  • Access to Amazon's advertising and promotional tools to reach a larger audience.


Costs and Fees Comparison

When choosing between Amazon's Individual and Professional selling plans, your anticipated sales volume and the flexibility you desire in terms of features will influence the costs you'll incur. Below is a detailed comparison of the associated fees for both plans.


Overview of Fees for Individual and Professional Plans

Individual Sellers: There is no monthly subscription fee for sellers on the individual plan. Instead, you pay a $0.99 per-item fee when an item sells. This is on top of the standard referral fee, which varies by category.


Professional Sellers: You'll pay a $39.99 monthly subscription fee, regardless of how many items you sell. This plan does not include the per-item fee of $0.99, but the referral fee applies here as well.


Breaking Down Subscription and Referral Fees

  • Subscription Fee:

  • Individual: $0/month

  • Professional: $39.99/month


  • Referral Fee: Charged as a percentage of each sale, typically ranging from 6% to 45% depending on the product category, with most categories falling between 8% and 15%.


Understanding Fulfillment and Additional Fees

If you're using Amazon's fulfillment services (FBA), both Individual and Professional accounts incur fulfillment fees. These fees cover the cost of storing your products in Amazon's warehouses, packing, shipping, customer service, and returns management. They are based on the size and weight of the product.


Additionally, sellers may face:


  • Inventory Fees: If your inventory has been stored at an Amazon fulfillment center for a long time.

  • Shipping Fees: If you're fulfilling orders yourself, you'll be responsible for the shipping fee to the customer. With FBA, Amazon charges you shipping fees based on the size and weight but manages the process.


Amazon offers a fee calculator to estimate these costs in relation to your products. It's essential to weigh these fees against your expected sales volume and if the benefits of being on a Professional plan align with your business goals.


Sales and Listings Management

When running an Amazon business, efficiently handling your inventory and orders is crucial to your success, as is creating effective product listings. Whether you choose the Individual Seller Plan or the Professional Seller Plan, your approach to these aspects will vary significantly.


Handling Inventory and Order Management

Individual Seller Plan: If you’re just starting or expecting to manage a smaller volume of sales, the Individual Seller Plan may suit your needs.


Under this plan, inventory management is straightforward. You list products, manage orders, and handle sales on a per-item basis, which is manageable for sellers with lower sales volume.


Professional Seller Plan: As your business grows, the Professional Seller Plan offers more robust inventory and order management tools.


This is ideal if you're planning to exceed 40 sales per month. You are given the tools to efficiently manage your inventory with systems that support higher volume sales, including bulk listing capabilities and more sophisticated order management options.


Creating and Managing Product Listings

Individual Seller Plan: Creating listings manually one at a time is how you'll manage your products. This approach is time-consuming but simple for those with a limited number of SKUs.


  • Manual Listing: Create listings one by one as you introduce new products.


Professional Seller Plan: Choose this plan to create listings in bulk. This feature is particularly valuable if you have a large inventory or are looking to scale your business quickly. Bulk uploads save time and ensure consistency across your product listings.


  • Bulk Listing: Utilize templates to upload numerous listings at once, a huge time-saver.

  • Advanced Tools: Access tools for categorization and variation, which can improve the buyer's shopping experience.


Whether you're leaning towards being an Individual Seller or going professional, understanding how each plan affects your ability to manage sales and listings is key to making the right decision for your Amazon business.


Advertising and Promotion

When selling on Amazon, your ability to advertise and run promotions can significantly impact your sales performance. Whether you're eyeing to enhance product visibility or leverage seasonal campaigns, understanding the nuances between Professional and Individual Seller plans is essential in utilizing Amazon’s marketing tools effectively.


Leveraging Amazon Advertising Options

If you're planning to use Amazon's advertising features, the Professional Seller plan is your gateway. With this plan, you gain access to:


  • Sponsored Products: These are PPC (pay-per-click) ads that let your products appear above or within search results and product detail pages.

  • Sponsored Brands: Ideal for brand owners, allowing you to showcase your brand and multiple products through customizable ads.

  • Sponsored Display: Reach a broader audience both on and off Amazon with display ads based on shopping behaviors.


By contrast, as an Individual Seller, these advertising options are not available to you. This could be a limiting factor if your goal is to drive higher product visibility and sales.


Making the Most of Promotional Tools

Professional Sellers can utilize a range of promotional tools to attract and retain customers:


  • A+ Content: Enhance your product listings with rich text and images to tell your brand's story compellingly.

  • Promotions: You can create special offers such as percentage discounts, buy one get one free, and more to encourage purchases.


On the other hand, Individual Sellers do not have access to these promotional tools. This means you won’t be able to utilize advanced listing content or run the same breadth of promotions, potentially impacting your competitiveness on the platform.


Tools and Resources for Sellers

When operating on Amazon, the tools and resources at your disposal can significantly impact your store's efficiency and success. Your choice between an Individual or Professional seller account will determine which tools you can access and leverage for your business.


Utilizing Amazon's Seller Tools

As an Amazon seller, the Seller Dashboard is your operational hub. For Professional account holders, this dashboard offers advanced tools like bulk listing and inventory management, which are essential when managing larger volumes of products.


As a Professional seller, you would also gain access to Buy Box eligibility, which can lead to increased sales by making your listings more prominent.


Restricted category access is another advantage for Professional sellers. Certain categories are only available to you with a Professional plan, and if you plan to sell items in these areas, upgrading is necessary.


Third-Party Tools: Jungle Scout, Inventory Lab, and More

In addition to Amazon’s native tools, there's a vast array of third-party software that can amplify your store's potential.


  • Jungle Scout – This tool provides comprehensive data analytics, helping you identify lucrative products and track competitor sales.

  • Inventory Lab – Inventory Lab simplifies the inventory management and accounting process, giving you insights into your profit margins and inventory turnover.

  • Scoutify – A mobile app that lets you scan items to find real-time pricing and inventory data when sourcing products.

  • Repricers – Automated tools that help you stay competitive by adjusting your product prices based on market changes and competitor pricing.


Integrating these tools can help both Individual and Professional sellers, but Professional sellers often find more value in them due to the higher volume of transactions and complexity of their operations.


Remember, if you’re planning to sell more than 40 items a month or expand into niche categories, your need for these advanced tools will grow.


Advertising options are also comprehensive for Professional accounts, enabling you to grow and scale your business more effectively. Consider your business needs carefully to choose the right type of Amazon seller account and the tools that will best support your venture.


Amazon Fulfillment Options and Strategies

When deciding between an Individual or Professional seller plan on Amazon, you should understand how each plan relates to various fulfillment strategies. Your choice affects how you manage inventory, shipping, and customer service.


Exploring Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you store your products in Amazon's fulfillment centers. Here, Amazon takes on the heavy lifting of storage, packing, and shipping. As an FBA seller:


  • Amazon handles delivery: Your products are eligible for Amazon Prime and other Prime benefits, which can be a significant advantage.

  • Returns are covered: Amazon manages customer service and returns for FBA orders.

  • Scalability: FBA is designed to scale with your business, providing access to Amazon’s vast fulfillment network.


Choosing Between FBA and Own Logistics

As a seller, you may weigh the options between FBA and arranging your own logistics. Here’s what to consider:


  • Cost: FBA comes with fees, which may be higher than handling logistics yourself, particularly if you're selling large or slow-moving items.

  • Control: Managing your own logistics means more control over inventory and shipping, which may lead to better margins.

  • Time and resources: Do you have the time and resources to handle fulfillment? If not, FBA offers a time-saving solution.


Whether you are an Amazon individual seller with fewer sales per month or a Professional seller looking to scale, choosing the right fulfillment option is crucial for optimizing your business operations and meeting customer expectations.


Conclusion

When deciding whether to choose an Individual or Professional seller plan on Amazon, assess your selling goals and volume. If you're selling fewer than 40 items per month and avoiding restricted categories, an Individual plan may be your fit, avoiding a monthly fee.


For higher volumes, Professional accounts eliminate the per-item fee, making sense financially past the 40-item threshold.


Consider if winning the Buy Box or using Amazon's advertising tools is in your strategy, both of which favor Professional sellers. Ultimately, your choice hinges on your business size, growth trajectory, and the specific features you need to succeed on Amazon.


If you want to streamline your business, consider our services. Contact us today, and let us help you in making your business fulfillment easier!


FAQs on Amazon Professional vs. Individual Seller Account Plans


1. Can I switch from Amazon professional to individual?

Yes, you can switch from an Amazon Professional seller account to an Individual seller account by adjusting your account settings in the Seller Central.


2. Can I register as an individual on Amazon?

Absolutely, you can register as an Individual seller on Amazon when you sign up for a seller account, opting for the no monthly fee plan with per-item selling fees.


3. Is it worth selling on Amazon as an individual?

Selling as an individual on Amazon can be worth it if you plan to sell fewer than 40 items per month, don't need advanced selling tools, and want to avoid a monthly subscription fee.


4. Can you cancel Amazon professional seller account?

Yes, you can cancel your Amazon Professional seller account at any time through the Account Settings in Seller Central, reverting to an Individual account or closing it completely.

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