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Amazon Individual vs Professional Seller Plans

One of the first big decisions you will need to make as a new Amazon FBA seller is the type of seller plan you will choose to use.

Currently, there are two types of Amazon FBA seller plans: individual and professional. This article defines and compares Amazon individual vs. professional seller plans, as well as the fees and other features of each.

If you’re interested in more information on how to sell on Amazon, check out our free resource: How to Sell on Amazon FBA for Beginners.

Amazon individual vs professional seller plans: what are the key differences?

The primary difference between individual and professional Amazon seller plans is your projected volume of sales. 

Typically, individual Amazon seller plans are for sellers who will likely sell 40 units (or less) of their product each month, while professional Amazon seller plans are for sellers who plan on selling more than 40 units per month.

 

 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start selling products on Amazon.

Are you going to sell more than 40 products per month?

If you answered “yes,” then you should probably consider signing up for the professional seller plan. Here’s why:

The professional seller plan on Amazon comes with a monthly subscription fee of $39.99. In contrast, the individual seller plan on Amazon does not have a monthly subscription fee.

However, individual sellers are required to pay a $0.99 fee for each of their sales transactions; the professional seller plan does not. Therefore, if an individual seller sells 41 products in a month, they will have to pay $40.59 (41 x $0.99) in seller fees.

On the other hand, professional sellers only pay the $39.99 subscription fee, regardless of the number of products they sell.

Note: these fee calculations exclude referral fees, special fees, and/or fulfillment fees which are the same for both individual and professional seller plans.

Do you want to sell in restricted categories?

Both Amazon individual and professional sellers can sell in 20 Amazon categories. Professional sellers, though, have access to an additional 10.

The 10 bonus categories include: Automotive Parts & Accessories; Business to Business (B2B) products; Collectibles Coins; Fashion Jewelry; Fine Jewelry; Fine Art; Grocery, Food & Gourmet; Industrial & Scientific; Professional Services; Sports Collectibles; Video, DVD, & Blu-ray; and Watches.

In addition, certain variations of products — such as Collectible Books — may require a professional seller account.

If you want to sell in any of these categories, you should consider an Amazon professional seller account.

Do you want to win the Buy Box?

 

One of the biggest advantages that Amazon professional sellers have over Amazon individual sellers is their eligibility to win the all-important ‘Buy Box’. (The Buy Box is the section of a product listing page that allows buyers to automatically add your product to their shopping cart.)

But, if you aren’t an Amazon professional seller — and even if you are the only seller on a listing — buyers will have to go through more steps in order to make a purchase.

According to Statista, 82% of all purchases happen through the Buy Box.

Do you want to advertise your products on Amazon?

Individual vs professional seller plans: sponsored ads

 

Another huge advantage that Amazon professional sellers have over individual sellers is the ability to create sponsored listings on Amazon.

Using Amazon’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Amazon professional sellers can spend money to boost their products to the top of Amazon’s search results. This often results in more sales and profits for the sellers.

Amazon individual sellers, however, cannot create advertisements for their products on Amazon.

Other Amazon professional seller features

In addition to the reduced cost when selling more than 40 products per month, and bonus categories that come with using an Amazon professional seller plan, here are some additional advantages Amazon professional sellers have over individual sellers:

  • Manage inventory through feeds, spreadsheets, and reports
  • Create promotions, gift services, and other special listing features
  • Calculate US sales and use taxes on your orders
  • Grant use permissions and account privileges to other users

Why become an Amazon individual seller?

The biggest question you need to ask yourself when choosing an Amazon seller account is how involved you want to be in your Amazon business.

The individual seller plan is good for people who want to get rid of a few extra items around the house. It’s also a good plan for those who want to give selling on Amazon a try before going all in and expanding their business to something like private label.

Finally, an individual seller account is a good way to gain access to Amazon’s seller dashboard and forums without committing to a $39.99 monthly payment.

Amazon Individual vs Professional Seller Plans: which one is right for you?

Ultimately, the plan you choose to use boils down to the reasons why you’re planning to sell on Amazon in the first place.

If you only want to get rid of a few items and make a little spare change, then select the individual seller plan. However, if you want to actually build a business and make a regular income selling on Amazon, signing up for the Amazon professional seller plan is the smarter option.

 

What made you decide to become either an individual or professional Amazon seller? Let us know in the comments below, along with any questions.

 

40 comments on “Amazon Individual vs Professional Seller Plans

  1. Hi,

    From researching and speaking to Amazon Seller Support representatives, I learned that I can sell on Amazon to buyers within the UK and Europe without a need for “VAT registration” since my turnover is less than £85,000.

    I am shown as eligible for the “VAT Services on Amazon”, a VAT compliance solution that allows you to manage your European VAT registration and filing obligations. From this, it appears that its purpose is to work with already existing VAT registration in a European country(ies). This being the case, it looks like it would be redundant to complete the registration process for “VAT Services on Amazon”.

    Am I right in making this assumption? I started the registration process of “VAT Services on Amazon” and have clicked the ‘Confirm’ and ‘Agree and Continue’ button on the “VAT Services on Amazon” page, and this has brought me to the Status Dashboard page https://sellercentral.amazon.co.uk/vat-registration/v2/index.html#/dashboard where it remains for me to click the ‘start’ buttons on the marketplaces for the listed EU countries and follow through to completion. If it is not required for me to complete this process, can I return to the beginning of the process or do I need to cancel the “VAT Services on Amazon”?

    I appreciate your feedback.

    Thanks

  2. I want to sign up for an individual account , until I try it out. Every time I try it takes me to the professional sign up , I’m going around in circles here.
    I have the amazon buying app. I don’t see there where I can sell.
    Any help would be much appreciated.

  3. Thank you for the information. What are the prohibited item categories as a individual seller. How long should I wait to sell after creating a amazon account. Is this same like ebay that all the time it’s getting suspended?

    1. Hi,

      You will most likely be gated in toys & games, automotive, cell phone & accessories, beauty, etc., but you will need to check your with account.

      You can begin selling as soon as your account is created.

  4. Hi & thank you for your responsiveness to questions, I’m impressed with your professionalism & commitment! I’m considering embarking with Amazon FBM as an individual account at this point (brand new retail arbitrager / want to get my bearings & my feet wet) and had a few questions –

    (1) It sounds like grocery is completely off-limits going the individual route, however I’ve been watching recent YT videos mentioning ‘getting ungated’ in h&b / ‘topical’ (and other categories as well) – I would imagine the same brand ‘gating’ restrictions apply to individual & professional sellers alike (and you’d just find that out on an item-by-item scanning basis), but the entire h&b category isn’t off limits to individual sellers?

    (2) As an individual seller, is $0.99 per item sold the ONLY cut that Amazon takes off sales? (I’ve heard total FBA fees – apart from a prof seller account – are ~33%)

    (3) I’ve also heard that Amazon will be making public the contact info of their sellers on Sep 1, 2020 (for many, this would be their home address & phone) – is this true / if so, it sounds like the best (if not cheapest) recourse is to get a PO Box & Google phone #?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Hi Jill,

      Yes, the same gating restrictions will apply to an individual vs pro account.

      For h&b, I am not 100% sure. They only way to figure out for your account is to try to list something in that category or scan an item in that category and see what your account says!

      You will pay a referral fee of 15% per item sold. You can see the fee breakdown here: https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/help.html?itemID=200336920

      Yes, you can use a PO Box as your business address on Amazon.

      Let us know if you have any more questions!

      Brian

    1. Hi Asim,

      There is not a limit. With an individual account, you will be charged an extra $0.99 per transaction. If you are going to be selling over 40 items per month, you should have the pro account since it costs $39.99 per month.

  5. Hi there

    I have the same question as Scott (above, but looks like he hasn’t returned to answer Brian’s question). On top of that, I also can’t find anything on Amazon regarding FBM or trade-in book programs (electronic devices and such, yes, but not books/textbooks). Could it be possible they recently did away with it? Thanks!

    1. Hi Barbara,

      You are also having issues signing into your old account? You can still sell books via FBM, no problem.

      Regarding the trade-in program, I am not sure if they did away with it for books. I see what you mean, I only see for electronic devices.

      But if you would like to sell your books using FBM, you absolutely still can.

      Brian

  6. Do I need a TAX ID (EIN) if I open a professional account? I am an individual looking to start a business on Amazon, but I don’t know how much I will be selling at this point and don’t have a TAX ID.

  7. Hi
    When you mentioned selling less than 40 products Per month may I check if you actually mean units ?? If it is 40 different products than as an individual account would suffice. Appreciate your clarification. Thanks

  8. Nice article.
    I’m considering dropping down to an Individual plan for a while. At this time, I only have media products, don’t have much left in FBA (most are FBM), and biz is slow. It’s been seven years since I was briefly on the Individual plan, and cannot find the answer nor remember this: Which, if *any* reports will I have access to once I flip to Indiv? Amazon’s statements of “Manage inventory using feeds, spreadsheets, and reports – and – Manage orders using order reports and order-related feeds” are pretty vague. I won’t need to upload listings or shipment using spreadsheets, but what will I be able to see?
    Many thanks.
    D

    1. Hi Denise,

      Thanks for the question!

      You will not be able to see any of the available reporting tools. The best way to see exactly is to just downgrade and see what was taken away. You can always upgrade if you really need the reporting tools.

  9. If i start as an individual seller can i upgrate to business seller along the way? (in 4 to 8 months or even after 1 or 2 years?)

    1. Hi Pit,

      Thanks for the question!

      Yes, you can. You are able to upgrade and downgrade your seller account whenever you want.

  10. Hi can you start an individual account as a COMPANY? The idea is to start it now but wont be selling for a few months so once ready then will switch to business account.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for the question!

      You are able to start under an individual account and then upgrade to a professional seller account whenever you want.

  11. Hi- I used to sell my old textbooks on amazon with no challenge. It has been a few years and now a few more to post. My seller account has been closed and none of the buttons work to re-establish a FBM plan. I’ve emailed several times, but getting no response. I’m trying to register but the button doesn’t work. Any ideas?

  12. Hi, I’m a starter in Asia. Do I have to sign up with a company located in the US if I choose professional seller plan to sell in North America? Thanks.

    1. Hi Zoltan,

      You can only run PPC campaigns under a professional selling account. That is because you are not ‘Buy Box Eligible’ as an individual seller. Your offer needs to be in the buy box for your ad to show. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Karin! Yes, you can. You will just be charged an additional 99 cents per order as an individual seller. If you upgrade to a pro account, it costs $39.99 per month. An individual account is fine if you are selling less than 40 items per month.

  13. I am actually switching my account from Professional to Individual because I now have less time to devote to my Amazon business. I was so happy when it was suggested by Amazon that I down grade without loosing my amazon business entirely. That was a great relief.

  14. Hi Dave, Thanks for the post. Question – If I’d like to sell bulk product and get an Amazon Professional seller account – however, at the moment am a few months out from that point (getting samples, supplier needs a few months to make it and then shipper to send it overseas) – can I start on an Individual account – for the purpose of accessing Amazon Seller Central’s info regarding where to ship to, as in which distribution centers, as that’s information I’m curious about?

    1. Hey Puja,

      Great question. Yes, I believe so. Although, I’ve heard the system in Seller Central that lets you switch from individual to professional can be a little buggy at times. You might check with seller support before getting started there.

      It’s been a long time, but I think I started as individual and switched to pro after about a month.

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