4 Reasons to Upgrade to a Professional Amazon Seller Account
So, this whole "Amazon thing" is really starting to take off for your eCommerce startup.
Orders are now rolling in, which is super exciting. After only a few weeks of experimentation, you're already starting to see how the Amazon marketplace could become a serious revenue source.
By now, you've probably received several emails from the Amazon team, encouraging you to upgrade to a Professional seller account. Is it worth it? Should you upgrade?
While I can't answer these questions for your specific store, I can share a few good reasons that you should at least consider upgrading. Here they are:
1. Waiving of the $.99 "Per Item" Fee
Simple math is one of the most common catalysts for upgrading to a Pro selling account. As you've likely heard, a Professional selling plan is going to cost you $39.99 per month. By subscribing, you qualify for a waiver of the $.99 fixed closing that you're accustomed to paying.
Therefore, if you sell more than forty items each month, upgrading to a Pro plan is kind of a no-brainer:
40 orders x .99 = $39.60 in fixed closing fees
If you sell only seasonal items (or if your order volume is highly unpredictable), you might extend the math out for the entire year. Will your "busy season" be enough to offset the monthly fee? It's worth considering.
2. Access to Certain Selling Categories
As Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") points out here, "All sellers can list products in more than 20 categories. Professional Sellers can apply to sell in at least 10 additional categories." Which categories are you currently missing out on? Professional-only categories include:
- Automotive & powersports
- B2B products
- Clothing & accessories
- Collectible coins
- Fine art
- Luggage & travel
- Shoes, handbags & sunglasses
- Sports collectibles
- Video (DVD, etc.)
By upgrading to Pro status, you'll at least have the opportunity to participate in these categories (Note: Amazon will still require you to submit an application to sell in such categories. Click here to learn more about requesting category inclusion.)
3. Better Feedback Management
Professional sellers also gain access to the Amazon Marketplace Web Service API, which can create countless efficiencies for your eCommerce business. Amazon built the MWS platform to enable "...high levels of selling automation, which can help sellers grow their business." By tapping into the MWS API, you can put your inventory, order data and other Seller Central information to work for you. Pretty cool, huh?
Take, for example, Amazon feedback. Perhaps you've been trying to figure out why your competitors have so much of it. Here's a little secret - your competitors are probably using our FeedbackFive tool, which automates the solicitation, tracking and reporting of your Amazon seller reputation.
Merchants who use FeedbackFive tend to collect much better feedback (and more of it) than those who don't. And, FeedbackFive users are also better equipped to deal with the occasional negative rating (click here to learn more about our removal tools).
Here's the kicker - you can't use FeedbackFive unless you're an Amazon Professional seller. Why? Well, it goes back to Amazon MWS access. Amazon won't let you connect your seller account to FeedbackFive as an Individual seller. You must first upgrade to Pro-level seller status if you wish to enjoy the benefits of FeedbackFive.
4. Better Listing & Inventory Management
Feedback isn't the only thing that's impacted by your Amazon selling plan level. In fact, many other mission-critical aspects of your Amazon workflow can be streamlined simply by upgrading to Professional status. For example, the Individual selling plan limits your listing capabilities; whereas, Professional sellers can create bulk listings via spreadsheets and uploads. What might take an Individual merchant hours could take a Pro seller a few minutes.
In addition, third-party restocking platforms, such as our RestockPro tool, become a possibility when you're on the Professional selling plan.
RestockPro takes your inventory management to a whole new level by automating the following activities:
- Preparing and tracking inbound FBA shipments
- Printing SKU stickers and shipping labels
- Organizing your supplier information
- Building (and breaking) product bundles
- Restocking just-in-time
- Creating and submitting vendor purchase orders
- Forecasting and profit analysis
Sadly, unless you upgrade to Pro-level seller status, you'll be missing out on our power-packed RestockPro platform.
Time to Go Pro?
Only you can truly know if a Professional Amazon seller plan is right for your eCommerce business. Adding another $39.99 monthly expense can be daunting; however, as we've discussed in the article, the benefits can often outweigh the costs.
If you're thinking about upgrading to a Pro seller account, click here for more information.
Originally published on October 23, 2017, updated June 10, 2019
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.