Is Amazon Putting an End to Small Business on Vendor Central?

The long-predicted purge of small companies from Amazon's Vendor Central might be right around the corner.

Jennifer Haskell

Amazon putting an end to small business on Vendor Central has been a cause for within the Amazon community for two years, and merchants are ready to create a contingency plan. Though there is no official word as to whether this change will take place, it could mean catastrophe for the unprepared vendor.

The so called “one vendor” rumor gained traction back in March when copious sellers awoke to a cessation in their purchase orders typically issued from Vendor Central. The idea of “one vendor” circulated the forums in response to the fear that Amazon would merge it’s three platforms into one. This temporary interruption created a panic, especially for smaller businesses that rely heavily on the platform for revenue. Multitudes in the Amazon community speculated that the Amazon Hybrid Model (the method vendors use to sell on both Vendor Central and Seller Central) was coming to an abrupt close. Though purchase orders did resume later that same week with Amazon stating the cessation was part of a counterfeit control effort, few vendors were reassured. Now, with rumors rising once again, alarmed vendors seek to ascertain whether something more prominent may be approaching on the horizon.

According to Bloomberg, Amazon is looking to cut down on the cost of managing accounts and focus on large wholesale vendors, which could spell “trouble” for smaller sellers. Though no Hinge Global clients have been affected, we think the possible change should be taken seriously.

Hinge Global account managers started issuing warnings to select clients back in March to help prepare for possible developments. We believe the best defense is a robust offense, and considering the credible - though unverified - developments, we have created contingency plans to equip each client with the necessary tools should changes occur. Experts anticipate this modification will primarily affect smaller businesses that may have more difficulty adapting to new selling strategies.

According to the Bloomberg article, sellers with annual sales under $10 million appear to be at the highest risk. Fortunately, vendors already using the hybrid model benefit from a preexisting understanding of the alternative platform. Thus, the transition will come as a greater hardship to those vendors without any Seller Central experience, especially if they are compelled to adjust their strategy without warning. However, in an effort to mitigate the possible impact to affected sellers, Amazon has created over 50 news tools back in March to help small businesses.

If you believe your business could be affected by these changes, you should check out this article outlining the steps to switch from Vendor Central to Seller Central. The biggest concern many vendors express is the fact that Amazon doesn’t tend to give a lot of warning when they make big changes, though there is nothing stopping people from being prepared.  

Whether you choose to stay on Vendor Central up until the predicted switch or want to get ahead of the game by making the change preemptively, Hinge is always here to help you along the way.

Looking for advice on how to manage the rapidly changing Amazon landscape? Reach out to our Amazon experts here.

← Back to Blog

Hinge is a marketplace performance agency
helping brands thrive in an age where change is
certain and fortune favors the bold.

Contact Us
download our fact sheet