Ever thought about having a Unified Account? Not sure selling internationally on Amazon is the right choice for you? One way to rid yourself of these nagging questions is to read our Q&A on Amazon Global Marketplaces.
With the launch of its marketplace in Sweden, Amazon now has an online selling venue in 18 countries across the globe. But selling internationally on Amazon isn’t getting any easier for third-party merchants. And the official Amazon Global Selling guide doesn’t address some of sellers’ most ardent questions.
That’s why we put together this Q&A on Amazon Global marketplaces which includes questions from 10 top sellers.
In this blog post, we talk about branching out on Amazon, fees, types of global accounts, as well as the perks and pitfalls of having a Linked or Unified account.
Amazon Global Marketplaces Q&A
1. Do I need to open a new account for every venue I plan to list on?
Thanks to the Unified Account program, you only need one Amazon account to sell in the Americas and one to sell across Europe.
You’ll use the same login credentials to sign into any included venue.
If the venues you want aren’t part of the Unified Account program, you need to open a separate account for each venue.
Alternatively, you can use a Linked account. This enables you to access all 18 of Amazon’s venues with a single sign-on and a single subscription fee.
Whereas a Unified account lets you copy listings across American/European regions, a Linked account enables you to list across oceans and continents.
2. How do I know if I have a Unified or a Linked Account?
Unified and Linked accounts are only available on the Professional selling plan.
There are several ways to check if your Amazon account is a Unified Account (UA).
If you click on the flag icon at the top right corner of your Seller Central homepage and it reveals a drop-down list of 4-6 flags, then it’s a UA.
Your subscription fee is also an indicator of whether you have a UA. With a UA, you pay Amazon one set of fees for access to American venues (US $39.99, CDN $29.99, MXN $600 or R$19.00) and another for access to European venues (£25.00 or €39.99).
If you have a Linked Account, it’s a single fee of US$39.99 to list on all Amazon venues.
Another tell-tale sign is the fact that the BIL tool (Build International Listings) will typically only let you manage only European or American listings. If you have a linked account, then the BIL tool will enable you to list across the Atlantic, on the other UA area (Europe/Americas), and to synchronize your prices between Europe to America and vice-versa.
Amazon enables you to create international listings with a UA. It doesn’t do it for you. You still need to make sure the product has already been listed on the target venue’s catalog and the source venue’s listing is active.
Also, bear in mind that used items with a Condition Note can’t be listed with the BIL tool.
3. Do I need a separate Amazon account for every American venue?
Opening an America Unified Account account on any of the 4 available venues (USA, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil) enables you to list your products on them all. You list in the local currency, pay the fees charged by the venue where a sale takes place, and you receive payment in your local currency via ACCS.
4. Do I need a separate Amazon account for every European venue?
You can use a single European account to list on all 6 venues that take part in the Amazon Europe Marketplace Account program. That’s DE, UK, FR, IT, ES, and NL. You’ll need a bank account in the USA or in one of 18 European countries to set it up.
To our knowledge, Amazon Sweden is not yet part of the program. And the Amazon Seller University tutorial below doesn’t yet feature Amazon Netherlands. But the basics of managing a UA and merging listings with the BIL tool are there.
5. What if I have an old European or American account?
Nowadays, all newly issued European and American seller accounts are issued as UA.
But back in the day, sellers opened and operated one account for every venue they sold on. Amazon has ‘grandfathered’ these older accounts into the UA program with account modifications, but sellers can’t merge them or consolidate inventory across countries.
How does this work? Say, for instance, that a seller opened three European accounts in 2010, which are still active today, and which operate separately as ‘grandfathered’ accounts with these display names:
- Bookfinder1 on Amazon.de rakes in 10,000 sales per year with a feedback score of 97%.
- Bookminder2 on Amazon.co.uk comes second with 5,000 yearly sales at 98% positive feedback.
- Bookbinder3 on Amazon.fr sells 3,000 products per year with 95% positive ratings.
The seller can carry on using all 3 grandfathered accounts on the venues they were created. And if they want, they can also now use each one of them to sell across Europe. But only on the condition that they don’t run more than 2 accounts on the same venue at the same time without Amazon’s permission.
So, should you stop using your grandfathered accounts and opt for a single unified account instead, to make logging in and listing easier?
It depends. If your grandfathered account is successful and you take pride in your selling history, feedback score, and reputation, there’s no reason to deactivate it.
It’s probably best to keep your oldest and most successful grandfathered accounts running as usual. So, for instance, the seller above might want to use the first account on all 6 European venues. Or they might keep the first two as they are, and use the third one on Amazon France, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.
6. Can I access the European marketplace with my American unified account?
A Unified Account only gives you access to your local region (Americas or Europe).
If you have 2 UAs, you’re free to use the same display name, the same login credentials, and the same bank account for both sets of unified accounts. But for all intents and purposes, they are two distinct sets of unified accounts.
If you want to access both unified marketplaces using a single sign-in and interface, you must link your Unified Accounts.
Go to Seller Central > Settings > Global Accounts > Linked Accounts > Add additional accounts, then log in with your second set of credentials, and select the accounts in question from the Linked Accounts page.
7. Do I need to register my brand on every venue?
You can only access Brand Registry on the venues where you’ve signed up for it, however, Unified Accounts are the only exception.
If you were approved for Brand Registry on a European venue and you have a Unified Account, you are automatically approved on all other European venues. The same goes for American accounts.
But bear in mind that when you list your item across all the venues in a Unified Account, the key attributes must match if you want your Brand Registry analytics to include them. And you won’t be able to use the BIL tool unless the product is already added to that marketplace catalog.
So, Brand owners are expected to add their products themselves to every new venue with matching key attributes. One way to create new listings in bulk is to use the Active Listings report from your current venue and add the data to the new venue, assuming translations and images are ready.
If you want to use a single, Global SKU, the price must match across all venues and Amazon will pool all your available units from every venue onto your listing.
Otherwise, if you want to list and price each country’s inventory pool separately, you must use marketplace-specific SKUs.
8. How do I stop listing on a specific venue?
There are two ways to stop listing on Amazon. But neither of these will absolve you from your obligation to pay selling fees if you opted for a Professional selling plan.
So, if you want to keep your selling privileges on a venue you signed up for as a professional seller, but don’t want to list there, try this:
- Deactivate individual listings manually.
- Suspend all listings on the venue until further notice.
The first option is time-consuming and prone to error. The second is much quicker, and it only involves changing your listing status from active to inactive.
Click ‘Going on Holiday’ as seen in the video below (at 2:03) to access Holiday Settings. Then choose the venue(s) you no longer want to list on.
But if you list any of your products manually, you should double-check your inventory page in Seller Central. All quantities should be null and/or listings inactive.
9. How do I stop paying subscription fees on an Amazon venue?
If you’re a Professional seller and you’re worried that Amazon may charge you monthly selling fees on a marketplace you no longer want to be active on or never intended to sell on, the easiest way to resolve the issue is to revert to the Individual selling plan on that account.
Go to Settings > Account Info > Your Services > Manage > Downgrade to the Individual plan.
10. Can I close my account on a particular marketplace?
Yes, you can choose which marketplace account to close, unless it’s a Unified or Linked Account.
If you permanently close a Unified account, you will lose access to all the venues included in the program. In other words…:
- closed American Unified account will be taken down from .com, .ca, .com.mx, and com.br.
- closing a European Unified account will delete your account from .co.uk, .de, .fr, .es, .it, .nl, .se.
- closing a Linked account effectively wipes your entire selling activity off Amazon.
Once Amazon closes an account, it can’t be reinstated. Should you ever decide to start listing on that venue again, you’ll need to register with Amazon and start from scratch. If you want to go ahead and ask Amazon to close your account for you, then you must:
- Wait until 90 days have passed since your last sale on the venue (in case you get A-to-Z claims).
- Withdraw your remaining balance by asking for final disbursement.
- Remove or dispose of any FBA inventory.
- Carry on issuing refunds and tending to customer queries
- Use the Contact Us page to access the Close Your Account section, and submit your request.
Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed.
The post Amazon Global Marketplaces – Q&A on Selling Internationally on Amazon appeared first on SellerEngine.