Observations on Amazon amidst COVID-19 - Vendor vs. Seller

COVID-19 has re-ignited the classic Amazon question for brands with access to both: Vendor Central (VC) or Seller Central (SC)?

As brands on Amazon struggled to restock inventory and keep up with increased demand, there was no universal experience. How brands were affected was largely determined by what Amazon defined as “essential”, though also influenced by which channel the brand sold in. As Amazon attempts to navigate strains on its fulfillment regime, the company has added another demand suppression lever: limiting the quantities of items SC brands can send in for restock. This includes SKUs in essential categories. We’ve also seen some essential category VC brands have purchase orders (POs) paused, as well as no POs for new products – something that we normally see during holiday periods.

Below is our white paper on how to think through the Vendor Central vs. Seller Central question.

Some highlights:

  • Neither platform is unequivocally "better". Check your margins!

  • Most features are now identical between the two platforms.

  • Some products (e.g. seasonal, heavy, dropship) work better on one platform.

Vendor Central vs. Seller Central

As always, please reach out if you have any questions!

Cartograph Leadership Team

Chris Moe and Jonathan Willbanks

Co-founders, Cartograph


Cartograph is an eCommerce focused agency that helps food brands sell their products on Amazon. Their mission is to help brands grow products that are better for people and the planet. They support brands with strategy, pricing, SEO, advertising, and operations and logistics. Cartograph is based in Austin, TX.

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