According to several news announcements released over the last 2 weeks, there has been a halt to many Amazon wholesale orders from vendors who previously sold through Vendor Express. Amazon has since made public its plans to close this platform.
According to one Forbes report, purchase orders that normally show up to wholesale vendors via email each Monday did not appear on March 4, 2019. Instead, sellers received this unexpected email:
“Please be informed that at this time, we are not placing any purchase orders on your products. To preserve the customer experience, the featured offer will be disabled when the product is out of stock. We will notify you if we choose to place any purchase orders.”
On March 7, 2019, Bloomberg addressed the panic this latest move has induced among businesses that hinge their core profit structure on Amazon wholesale orders that come through Vendor Express. Amazon — without warning — closed the door with this statement:
“We regularly review our selling partner relationships and may make changes when we see an opportunity to provide customers with improved selection, value and convenience.”
Those selling wholesale on Amazon via Vendor Express are being pointed to Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program instead. The reason? Profits.
Bloomberg reports, “In recent years, Amazon has increasingly prioritized its marketplace. More than half of all products sold on Amazon in 2018 came from marketplace merchants, and revenue providing services to those merchants is growing at double the pace of revenue from the online store.”
From a business standpoint, it makes more sense for Amazon to charge those who sell on Amazon FBA for storage and other fees than to absorb them itself by purchasing from people selling wholesale on Amazon.
CNBC.com reported closure dates announcing that Amazon will stop issuing purchase orders entirely as of May 21, 2019, and the Vendor Express program on Amazon will officially close January 2, 2020.
Vendor Express Closure Announcement Not Entirely Unexpected
While the withholding of purchase orders did seem to appear abruptly, the closing of Vendor Express by Amazon has been discussed online for over a year. YouTube videos, social media threads, news articles, and more all predicted the demise of Vendor Express … a platform that some say was an experiment from its inception.
What Does This Mean for Those Selling on Amazon FBA?
In all likelihood, there will be a great deal more competition. Those who used to sell directly to Amazon via Vendor Express will need an outlet to move their inventory to. That could mean using Amazon FBA.
As an FBA seller, you’ll want to watch closely for changes in your niches.
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- Do you see more competitors coming into your space?
- What shape are their listings in?
- Are they ranking for keywords you’re not shown for?
- Do you see features or benefits in their copy that you don’t include?
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Learning a new platform, understanding the differences between Vendor Express and Seller Central, and getting up to speed quickly will be a challenge for those making the move, however.
If you have a successful track record selling through Amazon FBA and want to help others (while earning some additional revenue at the same time), you can opt to become an Amazon wholesale consultant or an Amazon FBA consultant.
Become a Paid Amazon FBA Consultant
Your expertise can be the lifeline that terminated Vendor Express sellers are scrambling to find. Jim Cockrum of CES offers a course that trains Amazon FBA sellers to be consultants and make a potentially significant income doing so.
- Use coupon code PBCbasic to save $100 on the Basic offer — or —
- Use coupon code PBCaction for the Action offer and pay only $127/mo. for 3 months (instead of $157/month) plus 3 months of free Facebook group access ($47/month afterwards).
Becoming a consultant doesn’t mean you have to stop selling (unless your new side hustle turns into an ultra-profitable, fulltime gig). Most FBA sellers who choose to include consulting as a service happily continue selling their own products.
Offer Amazon Wholesale Consulting Services
If you are currently an Amazon wholesale seller, this is a prime opportunity for you as well. Through courses including The Wholesale Formula and Proven Wholesale Sourcing, you can approach brand owners (whether or not they have been booted from Vendor Express) with your ability to add new listings, optimize them, promote them, and increase sales in-house or via the use of subcontractors.
What Previous Amazon Wholesale / Vendor Express Companies Can Do
If you were a Vendor Express seller who is now looking for a way to sell on Amazon through the FBA platform, here are my recommendations:
- Read/Listen — Pay attention to prominent blogs and podcasts that share Amazon FBA information. This is a great post to get you started with creating and optimizing the listings you create. You might also check out:
- Learn — Take courses on how to write and optimize your listings on the Amazon FBA marketplace to ensure they do well for you right from the start. Check out the Amazon Product Description Boot Camp video training and save 20% with coupon BOOTBLOG.
- Outsource — Hire a professional to create your listings for you. We can help!
- Partner — Many Amazon wholesale pros are available to join forces. They sell your wholesale products on Amazon and, in return, these sellers create, optimize, promote the listings on and off of Amazon, and monitor listings for no charge.
- Sell on Your Own Site — If you choose to, you can sell on your own website or in combination with Amazon FBA sales.
Amazon is world-famous for making sudden moves that have potentially horrifying results for sellers. However, while the closing of Vendor Express is a significant occurrence, it is one that former Vendor Central sellers absolutely can survive while continuing to prosper.
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