Selling on Amazon: Professional vs. Individual Sellers

Selling on Amazon: Professional vs. Individual Sellers

Congratulations!  You’re ready to sell on Amazon. When you first get started, you may feel overwhelmed with some of the logistics. Luckily, Amazon provides a wealth of resources to guide you through the selling and shipping process; Seller Central.  All of the information you need is available on

Once you are registered, you must specify what type of seller you will be: a Professional seller or an Individual seller. There are some clear perks if you decide to start out with a Professional account.

Professional sellers tend to list a large quantity of products and ship frequently while Individual sellers only have a handful of products and may not be active for long term.

A good example of an individual seller would be a person who found some unopened DVDs they received as a gift a few years ago, and figured there may be some collectors searching for them online.  Or, think of a college graduate trying to liquidate their excessive textbook collection when moving into their new small apartment.


Here are five critical differences between selecting a Professional Seller and an Individual Seller account:

  1. Monthly fee: Professional sellers pay a $39.99 monthly fee for their accounts to stay active; Individual sellers don’t have to pay a hosting fee.
  2. Shipping ratesProfessional sellers set their own shipping rates.
  3. Listing feesAn Individual Seller avoids the monthly fee but must pay a per-item $0.99 fee on each sale in additional to the usual Amazon referral fees. The Professional account does not charge this fee.  This is something to keep in mind if you plant to list over forty items.
  4. Listing new productsOnly Professional Sellers can create listings for products that are “new” on Amazon, while Individual sellers can only add their offers to pre-existing listings.
  5. Gated categoriesThere are gated categories on Amazon: Clothing, Shoes, Jewelry/Watches, Beauty, Collectibles, Automotive, and Video.  Only Professional Sellers can apply to to list their items in these categories.


The registration process in Amazon is quite simple. Have these pieces of information ready beforehand, and your account will be ready to go in no time.

  • Your legal business name, address, and contact information
  • An email address
  • A valid credit card
  • A phone number to contact
  • Tax identity information (your Social Security number or your company’s Federal Tax ID number).


Complete all necessary information for your profile.  Fill out information in the “About Seller” and “Policies” sections of your profile so your customers are prepared when they communicate with you. Check the Tax Preferences link with your tax preferences to make sure you getting the best deal.

Seller Central is not only where you will initiate your account, but it will be the motherboard for your seller activity.  From here, you can access inventory, shipping requests, returns, and communicate with customers.  You can also leave feedback on forums with Amazon.

If you have enough items to sell, becoming a professional seller allows you to access Amazon with more flexibility.  You can better manage your inventory by uploading feeds, receiving reports, and performing other API functions on the Amazon Marketplace site.

While individual accounts do have the option to upgrade, professional accounts are a better option to start off with if you are confident that you will be a long-time user.

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