Selling on Amazon means choosing between two plans when setting up a seller account: Individual or Professional. So, what’s the best plan for you to choose?
This is a key decision you’ll have to make when creating your Amazon seller account, and both have their advantages and disadvantages depending on what kind of seller you intend to be.
This guide will show you the differences between Individual and Professional Amazon seller plans and help you choose the best option. Looking for even more tips to start selling on Amazon? We’ve got plenty of tips and tricks to help you out.
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What’s the difference between Individual and Professional plans on Amazon?
The main difference between the two Amazon seller plans is actually quite simple.
Choose the Professional plan if you plan to sell more than 40 products a month. If you’re selling less than 40 a month, choose the Individual plan. Easy, right?
Hold up. There are a few more features to consider before you make the jump, especially if you’re starting out. Check out this table of the main features Amazon offers in each plan.
|$39.99 monthly subscription fee
|$0.99 per-item fee when an item sells
|Create new product pages in the Amazon catalog
|Manage inventory using feeds, spreadsheets and reports
|Manage orders using order reports and order-related feeds
|Use Amazon Marketplace Web Service to upload feeds, receive reports and perform other API functions
|Amazon-set shipping rates for all products
|Seller-set shipping rates for non-Media products
|Promotions, gift services and other special listing features
|Eligibility for listing placement in the Featured Offer
|Utilise Amazon Business feature to crate pricing and offers unique to business customers
|Ability to calculate US sales and taxes on your orders
|Access user permissions/grant access rights to other users
|Ability to claim certifications
Clearly, the Professional plan gives you access to plenty of tools and features to boost your Amazon product sales, from organising your inventory to using ads to promote your product. But this comes with a price, of course.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each plan.
Why should I use a Professional seller plan?
For those that know exactly the product(s) they will sell on Amazon and are looking at a large number of monthly sales, then the Professional plan is a no-brainer. This is the seller account type for those wanting to profit significantly from their sales and eventually kick off their business.
At $39.99 per month, the subscription fee is nothing to sneeze at, especially when adding up all the other costs Amazon demands (such as FBA fees). But you’ll also get access to several sought-after features.
First, you’ll get to sell in restricted categories. This puts you ahead of many sellers on Amazon without a Professional plan. It includes the following:
- Automotive Parts & Accessories
- Business to Business (B2B) products
- Collectibles Coins
- Fashion Jewelry
- Fine Jewelry
- Fine Art
- Grocery, Food & Gourmet
- Industrial & Scientific
- Professional Services
- Sports Collectibles
- Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
Second, professional sellers can use sponsored listings and Amazon’s pay-per-click advertising feature to boost their products and get them to the first page of search results. If your product is upfront for all potential customers to see, it will likely soar.
Finally, those on the professional plan get access to the Buyer Box. This is a big one. The Buyer Box allows customers to add a product to their shopping cart instead of going through several pages to make a purchase. If a product is easier to purchase by clicking a single button, it will always have the upper hand compared to any other listing. As Jungle Scout points out, 82% of all purchases happen through the Buy Box.
The Amazon Professional seller plan also gives you multiple user accounts, promotions, inventory management and more, giving it more than an edge over the Individual. But those looking to get it must know how to make the most of its features to make it worthwhile.
Why should I use an Individual seller plan?
The Individual Amazon seller plan sounds barebones in comparison. Still, it could be precisely what you need if you only need to sell a few bits and pieces or start your business and look to test a few different products.
Instead of a monthly subscription, the Individual account pays sellers $0.99 per item sold. Even if the buyer can’t sell anything, they still won’t be charged by Amazon. However, if they sell 50 items, they will have to pay $49.5 in seller fees.
The seller fee is small, mainly if you sell high-value products in small volumes. Using the Individual account is a great way to test the waters before moving up to the big leagues of the Professional account. If something you sell continues gaining a lot of traction and you want to boost those sales even further, you can change to a Professional account.
This way, it saves you money instead of going all-in on the Professional plan right off the bat. As said previously, there are a few fees you’ll have to deal with when selling on Amazon, including the FBA fee.
What is Amazon FBA?
Plan on using Amazon FBA to get your products to your customer? That’s great, but what is it?
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) lets businesses have Amazon handle the storage, ordering, packing, delivery and customer service of their products. It’s an incredible service for both beginner and veteran sellers on Amazon, as it takes the legwork out of managing your inventory.
Sellers don’t have to use Amazon FBA. They can choose whether they prefer in-house fulfillment, where you store, pack and ship inventory yourself, or third-party fulfillment, where an ecommerce service does all the heavy lifting instead. For most, however, FBA is a no-brainer. Nothing is stopping you from using multiple fulfillment options, mind you.
The main benefits FBA offers are the storage of products (in its 150 million square feet fulfillment centres), fast and free shipping, access to millions of Prime customers, FBA customer support and even product returns and refunds.
This doesn’t come for free, of course. FBA comes in types of fees:
- Fulfillment fees: Charged per unit sold and include picking and packing your orders, shipping and handling, customer service and product returns.
- Inventory fees: Charged monthly based on the volume of inventory being held.
When you make a sale, a fulfillment fee will be taken out. This can vary depending on the category your product falls under, along with its size and weight. For example, a product may sell for $19.99, but the FBA fees are $11.15. This means you’ll only get $8.84 for that product purchase, and this doesn’t take into account the monthly inventory fee and other packaging payments.