Amazon Seller Account Types: Individual vs Professional
You’ve brainstormed your products, kindled some brilliant ideas, and you’re ready to sell them on Amazon. But if you’re considering selling your products with one of the world’s largest retailers, you might have wondered what account type you need, or if you need Amazon FBA insurance—and what investment an account will require.
There are different Amazon seller account types depending on your sales volume and type.
You can opt to sell as an Individual, a Professional, or—if you manufacture products directly and sell them wholesale to Amazon—as a vendor. For most sellers, the decision is between an Individual or Professional plan.
To help you make the best choice for your Amazon business, we’ll explore the features and benefits of Amazon Professional seller vs Individual accounts.
Individual Seller Accounts
The Individual selling plan on Amazon offers an excellent option for those who aren’t willing to commit but want to try out the selling process. With an Individual account, you pay an Amazon seller fee of $0.99 each time you sell an item (plus any applicable referral fees), rather than paying a monthly subscription. This means you pay nothing unless an item sells.
If you have a low sales volume, this option can help you to save costs. As your sales volume increases, however, your costs can add up quickly with each sale. At this point, you may save more money by opting for the monthly rate the Professional selling plan offers.
Still, an Individual Amazon account offers plenty of benefits for sellers who are newer to the process, or who have a relatively low sales volume. These include:
- Basic listing and order management
- The ability to set up a single product page at a time
- The option to change your products’ status to active or inactive, based on your availability
- Access to a seller account dashboard to manage your orders and inventory
- The ability to print shipping labels and packing slips on your seller account dashboard
However, it’s important to note that as an Individual seller, you lack access to certain features available to Professional sellers. Most notably, these include:
- You can’t customize your shipping rates. Instead, these are determined by Amazon.
- You cannot calculate taxes on your orders automatically.
- As a seller, your products aren’t eligible for featured listing placement.
- You won’t have access to Amazon Business features, which allow you to offer discounts and special offers to your Amazon customers.
Regardless, if you’re just starting out on Amazon, an Individual seller account can be a fantastic way to learn more about being an Amazon seller and what it entails. You can also learn more about Amazon FBA taxes in our latest blog article.
Professional Seller Accounts
If you’re ready to move beyond hobby selling or occasional selling, or your sales volume is already blooming, a Professional seller account could be the ideal option for you.
The biggest difference here is that you must pay an up-front monthly subscription fee of $39.99, rather than only paying when an item sells. If you are selling a high number of items, however, this option can quickly save you money.
A Professional seller account also comes with numerous additional tools and opportunities to help you maximize your profits. These features include:
- Access to a bulk listings tool, where you can upload many products at once via spreadsheet
- Advanced business management tools, including feeds, spreadsheets, and reports
- Access to automated pricing and Amazon Marketplace Web Services (Amazon MWS)
- Eligibility for top placement on detail pages, as well as special listing features
- The ability to customize your shipping rates and services (except for media products)
- U.S. sales and use taxes calculation available for your orders
There are still some caveats for sellers to consider. As a Professional seller, you may still have to pay additional Amazon seller fees, including referral fees, FBA fulfillment, and promotion fees. If you have a lower sales volume in a certain month, you will still have to pay the monthly subscription fee.
However, for sellers whose business is quickly growing, a Professional account offers many advantages—as well as the ability to grant access to other employees, colleagues, and contractors you may hire as you scale up.
Which Type of Seller Account Is Right for You?
The difference between Amazon Individual and Professional selling plans often comes down to whether you’re a hobby seller or a business owner. But your ideal option may also differ depending on if you’re just starting out, or have already committed to selling.
So, how do you know which option is right for you?
The rule of thumb for accounts comes down to your transaction level.
If you sell 40 items or more per month as an Individual seller, then your $0.99 per-item fee will add up to the cost of the monthly subscription rate. At that point, you’re losing out on accessing all the additional tools and opportunities available for Professional sellers.
What if you just plan to sell for a short time or for holiday seasons, but don’t hit 40 items every month? Or you want to try out the different seller level options but aren’t sure you’ll stick with the business long-term? The good news is that you have some flexibility:
- Switch between plans – You can upgrade from an Individual to Professional account, and vice versa, without having to set up a brand new account.
- Switch every month – Sellers can change plans from month to month without committing to a full year or quarter. But be sure to do so before your billing month ends. You can switch plans for subsequent months, but you won’t be prorated the subscription cost for the current month if you downgrade.
If this is your first try at online selling and you have a pile of products and padded envelopes in your garage, then set up an Individual plan and go for it. Monitor your sales to see if you’re near the monthly 40-item threshold.
Are you already familiar with ecommerce and ready to invest? Setting up a Professional account is a much smaller commitment than establishing a lone wolf online store with no built-in customer base or infrastructure.
Find the Next Step in Your Seller Journey with Forum Brands
Some entrepreneurs explore the waters by selling with an Individual account before moving to Professional without having a long-term plan for their business. But if your FBA business is stable and you’re ready to move on to the next stage, another option is to turn your business into cash.
Sell your Amazon FBA to Forum Brands and make your biggest profit yet. We understand the value of your business and can provide the capital for your next venture—or adventure.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking an exit option or want to scale your small business, Forum Brands can help.
Amazon Seller Central. What is the Individual selling plan? https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/help.html?itemID=200399460&language=en-US&ref=efph_200399460_cont_64491
Amazon Seller Central. Selling on Amazon fees guide. https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/help-page.html?itemID=6F7CN3EQS7MEGCN&language=en_US&ref=efph_6F7CN3EQS7MEGCN_bred_G67WTAUHB9TQ9M6U
Amazon Seller Central. Selling plan comparison. https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/64491?language=en-US
Amazon Seller Central. Downgrade or upgrade and tax calculation service. https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/external/help.html?itemID=202101950&language=en-US&ref=efph_202101950_relt_200399460