Pro-Merchant versus Individual Seller status on Amazon…

By Sharon Fussell, May 30, 2014


In last week’s ezine we discussed how to sell books profitably on Amazon using certain tactics to ensure you optimise your success at making profits selling low-value books.

Pro-Merchant versus Individual Seller status on Amazon...

You may recall that I mentioned that it is quite challenging to make profits from 1p books, unless you are a Pro-Merchant Seller, no matter what weight or size the book.

To ensure you increase the chances of profiting from low-value sales, you may have thought about subscribing to Pro-Merchant Seller status, but perhaps you were put off by the cost: just over £28 per 30 days. You will only recoup this outlay if you sell 40 items per month.

However, I note Amazon are currently offering a three-month free Pro Merchant Seller subscription worth over £25 (plus VAT) per month.

When I first started selling on Amazon, I took advantage of this free offer and it did make a difference: it demonstrated how I could earn more money without doing more work.

This is because Amazon charges 75p (plus VAT) plus a higher commission rate per item for Individual Seller status.

So what other advantages are there to becoming a Pro-Merchant Seller?

Pro-Merchant versus Individual Seller

Amazon have two methods of selling as a Merchant Seller…

If you want to start small, with no upfront fees and grow your business organically to suit your circumstances, or even just sell a few of your own books or items around the house, choose this option:

Sell a little, basic.

  • Fulfilment by Amazon enabled.
  • Sell in 20 product categories.
  • £0.75 + per-item seller fees (VAT exclusive).

However, if you have lots of items to sell, or you have already been selling items on a regular basis, or want to grow your venture, you can apply or upgrade to:

Sell a lot, Pro.

  • Fulfilment by Amazon enabled.
  • Sell in 25 product categories.
  • £25 per month subscription (cancel anytime) + per-item seller fees (VAT exclusive).
  • Load and track inventory in bulk.
  • Eligible for featured seller status.
  • Eligible for Jumpstart: pay-per-use Amazon-compatible product catalogue service.

Using the ‘Pro’ service you can, if you wish, convert your current listing to use Amazon’s FBA programme (Fulfilled by Amazon).

This means that you send your products to Amazon, they store it and post orders on your behalf.

To use FBA you will have to subscribe to Pro Merchant status. However, for many sellers, FBA is a step too far – or perhaps an aspiration for the future.

If you are happy to remain as a Merchant Seller and you sell 40 items per month or more, then subscribing to Pro-Merchant status is a must for you.

You will also be able to add products to Amazon’s catalogue. This can be invaluable if you have products that you wish to sell, but are not in the Amazon catalogue.

Apply a SKU to your product during the listing process: this means you can apply a code that relates to the storage place of the item, so you will easily identify and retrieve your products when a sale is made.

The real difference between the two selling methods is volume of sales. If you sell less than 40 items every 30 days and have no desire to increase this activity, Pro-Merchant status is not for you.

However, it is still worth applying for the free three-month subscription, as you will make more money for the sales you do make.

Just remember to cancel the subscription before Amazon implements the charge.

If you have listed any new products using a SKU, it will be lost when you cancel, so make sure you ask Amazon not to delete your listings, otherwise you will have to re-list them all again.


What do you think?

You must be logged in to post a comment.