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Amazon Seller Central Guide: 2023


Amazon sells more than 40 million different products, and their inventory continues to grow every year. Since 1999, third-party sellers account for 58% of Amazon sales. This just goes to show the commitment that Amazon has for their sellers. With this dedication, you should stay informed of the latest rules and regulations regarding Amazon FBA. So your business stays compliant from start to finish.

1. Before You Start Selling

What is Amazon Seller Central?

Consider Amazon Seller Central to be your go-to resource for selling on Amazon. It’s a portal to your Amazon business and a one-stop shop for managing your selling account, adding product information, updating inventory, managing payments, and finding helpful content to help you navigate your business. It is also where you list all of your products. More on that later.

2. How to Register for Amazon Central Seller

Choose the best plan for your business

Amazon Seller Central offers two selling plans to choose: Individual or Professional. Each with its own set of features and pricing options. Think of them as your standard and premium subscriptions. Individual plan sellers pay $0.99 per sale. Contrary to the Professional plan, where sellers pay $39.99 per month regardless of how many items they sell. If you sell more than 40 items per month, the Professional plan is a good choice. Don’t be concerned about making the wrong decision—you can change your plan at any time that best suits your selling strategy.

The Individual plan might be right if:

  1. You plan to sell fewer than 40 items a month.
  2. You want to keep up-front costs low.
  3. You don’t need advanced selling tools or add-on programs.
  4. You’re still deciding what to sell.

The Professional plan might be right if:

  1. You plan to sell more than 40 items a month.
  2. You want access to advanced selling tools.
  3. You’d like to apply for add-on programs like Amazon Business, Launchpad, or Handmade.
  4. You’re an established ecommerce seller.

How much does it cost to sell on Amazon?

There are a few different types of selling fees you might pay. Depending on your selling plan and the types of products you sell:

Subscription fees:

These are the fees you pay for your selling strategy, and they vary depending on which plan you select: individual or professional.

Selling fees:

These fees are charged per item sold, and they include referral fees (which are a percentage of the selling price and vary depending on the product’s category), and variable closing fees (which apply only to media categories).

Shipping fees:

When you fulfill orders yourself, Amazon shipping rates apply. Shipping rates charges are based on the product category and shipping service selected by the buyer.

FBA fees:

For products that Amazon fulfills for sellers (known as Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA), there are
fees for order fulfillment, storage, and optional services.

What you’ll need to get started

To complete your registration, make sure you have access to your bank account number and routing number, a chargeable credit card, a government issued national ID, tax information, and phone number.

3. How to List Products

To begin, You must first create a product listing before you can sell it on Amazon. Either by matching an existing listing (if the same product is already being sold on Amazon). Or create a new listing (if you are the first or only seller).

Most products require a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), such as a UPC, ISBN, or EAN. These product IDs are used by Amazon to identify the exact item you’re selling. You won’t need to provide a product ID if you match a listing since it already exists. If you’re adding a new product to Amazon, you may need to purchase a UPC code or request an exemption.

In addition to a product ID, here’s some of the important information that goes into each product listing:

  • SKU
  • Product title
  • Product description and bullet points
  • Product images
  • Search terms and relevant keywords

4. How to Deliver Products

Fulfillment options v. Self-fulfillment options

Sellers have two options for getting their products to customers: they can do it themselves, maintaining their own inventory and shipping products to customers (merchant-fulfillment). Or they can have Amazon take care of packaging, labeling, and shipping products through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

Fulfilling your own orders & benefits

Merchant-fulfilled simply means that you store and ship products directly to customers. Amazon charges shipping rates based on the product category and shipping service selected by the customer, then passes the amount on to you in the form of a shipping credit.

Set shipping rates apply to all products sold with an Individual plan, so it’s critical to determine whether you can still price items profitably. Amazon’s Buy Shipping tool can help you save money on shipping labels through Amazon’s trusted network of shipping partners, ship and confirm your orders, and track your shipments.

How FBA works & benefits

Amazon has over 175 fulfillment centers. With FBA, you get to store your product on those same shelves. You also get Amazon’s customer service and returns, as well as other benefits (such as automatic Prime eligibility and Free Super Saver Shipping) that allow you to scale your business quickly. Here’s the simple process:

  1. Ship your inventory to Amazon. It will be scanned and made available for sale.
  2. With each order, Amazon packages and ships the product directly to the customer.
  3. Amazon collects payment from the customer and pays you available funds every two weeks.
  4. Amazon’s customer service team handles questions, returns, and refunds.

5. After The Sale

Performance metrics

Amazon sellers must adhere to high standards, providing customers with a seamless, shopping experience. As a seller, keep an eye on the following key metrics:

  1. Order defect rate (a measure of a seller’s customer service standards): < 1%
  2. Pre-fulfillment cancel rate (initiated by the seller before shipment): < 2.5%
  3. Late shipment rate (orders that ship after the expected date): < 4%

You can keep tabs on your performance and make sure you’re meeting your targets in Seller Central.

Customer reviews

Customer product reviews are an essential part of the Amazon shopping experience, and they benefit both customers and sellers. Ensure that you know the right and wrong ways to get more product reviews while avoiding policy violations.

Opportunities for growth are all around you–but here are a few things to try in your first 90 days as an Amazon seller:

  1. Keep an eye on your account health in Seller Central.
  2. Use Fulfillment by Amazon or Seller Fulfilled Prime.
  3. Advertise your listings or offer deals and coupons.
  4. Enroll in Brand Registry and create enhanced brand content.
  5. Expand your selection by listing more products.
  6. Use the Automate Pricing Tool in Seller Central.

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