The Amazon marketplace is available to all Amazon members, but Amazon has different subscription levels for individuals and business customers.
Every Amazon user can add their offers to most products within the Amazon catalogue. To add an offer, a seller stipulates a condition, a quantity, and a price. The product is then displayed under the ‘new and used’ page for 60 days, after which the offer will expire.
For volume sellers, Amazon provides a Professional Seller tier with a monthly subscription. Benefits of being a Professional seller include:
- Discounted fees. Professional sellers do not pay a per-item fee.
- Buy Box eligibility. Only Professional sellers have access to the Buy Box.
- Create inventory items in bulk. Professional Sellers can add products to the Amazon catalogue in bulk.
- Set Postage. Professional sellers can define postage rates for their offers based on either item weight or cost.
- More categories. Some categories can only be accessed by Professional sellers
Payments between buyer and seller go via Amazon with no direct contact between the counterparties. By being a central counterparty to all marketplace transactions, Amazon protects both buyers and seller against fraud and chargebacks and offers a pain free way for purchasing products. Amazon pays sellers for their sales (minus Amazon fees) on a 14-day cycle.
While not charging an upfront listing fee, Amazon takes a hefty percentage of the item’s sale price. Professional Amazon sellers pay a fee of 15% (with a lower rate for some categories) of the product’s sale price + postage.