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What’s the Difference Between Amazon 1p vs. 3p?

Written by
Vanessa Hung
January 25, 2024

Navigating between Amazon's 1p and 3p can seem like a daunting task. Did you know that choosing the right selling platform on Amazon can significantly impact your success? This article will demystify the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of Amazon's first-party (1p) and third-party (3p) relationships.

Let's dive into this world to help you make an informed decision!

Amazon 1p vs. 3p

Amazon 1p refers to the first-party relationship where businesses sell their products directly to Amazon, while Amazon 3p involves third-party sellers who use the Amazon marketplace as a platform for selling their products independently.

First-Party (1p) Relationship With Amazon

In a first-party (1p) relationship with Amazon, manufacturers or brand owners sell their products directly to Amazon who then retails the items. This strategy essentially makes the seller a wholesale supplier for Amazon. The model allows sellers to benefit from complete control over their inventory as well as gaining full exposure on one of the world's largest ecommerce sites. However, it does mean that pricing and marketing decisions become entirely under Amazon's discretion once they purchase your goods.

Third-Party (3p) Relationship With Amazon

Amazon's 3p model allows businesses to become independent sellers on its massive marketplace. Unlike the first-party method, this model gives you greater control over your brand and how it is presented to customers. You create an Amazon seller account, list your products, and decide on pricing.

High-volume items, unique or niche products all find a place in this selling format. The fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program is another vital feature of this relationship where Amazon handles shipping for orders from their warehouses. With the 3p model, inherent challenges like direct competition with other third-party sellers exist, but understanding the Buy Box algorithm can help enhance sales significantly.

Pros and Cons of Amazon 1p and 3p

When comparing Amazon 1p and 3p, it's important to consider the pros and cons of each option.

Pros of Amazon 1p

Being a first-party seller on Amazon has significant benefits. Here are some of the key pros you can expect:

Cons of Amazon 1p

Amazon 1p has some drawbacks that you should consider:

Pros of Amazon 3p

Amazon 3p offers several advantages for sellers:

Cons of Amazon 3p

Amazon 3p has its drawbacks that sellers should consider:

Choosing the Right Business Model: Amazon 1p vs 3p vs Other Options

Choosingthe right business model for selling on Amazon depends on various factors suchas the nature of the product, scale of the business, desired level of control,and capital at hand. Here's a comparison of Amazon 1p, 3p, and other optionsfor selling products on Amazon platform:

Amazon 1p

Amazon 3p

Other options:

In other words, evaluating each business model carefully and matching it with your business needs will give you the best shot at succeeding on Amazon.


While Amazon 1p offers control over your brand and access to high-volume products, Amazon 3p provides opportunities for independent sellers with unique or niche items. Ultimately, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each option and consider your own marketing strategy before making a decision.

 FAQs About Amazon's 1p and 3p Selling Models

1. How does Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm work for 1p versus 3p sellers?

The Buy Box algorithm favors competitive pricing, seller performance, and fulfillment method. Although 3p sellers often compete for the Buy Box, as a 1p seller, Amazon controls the pricing and sales tactics, which affects how often products appear in the Buy Box.

2. What types of fees can 3p sellers expect to encounter on Amazon's marketplace?

3p sellers typically pay a monthly subscription fee, referral fees on each sale, and fulfillment fees if they use Amazon's FBA service. These fees vary based on product categories and fulfillment choices.

3. How do returns and customer service responsibilities differ between Amazon 1p and 3p sellers?

In the 1p model, Amazon handles customer service and returns. In the 3p model, sellers are responsible for customer service, although Amazon can provide this service for FBA users, whereas FBM sellers handle customer interactions directly.

4. Can sellers use both 1p and 3p models simultaneously on Amazon?

Yes, sellers can operate both 1p and 3p models simultaneously, which can diversify their sales strategy and broaden market exposure, but it requires careful management to avoid channel conflict and maintain brand consistency.

5. How can 3p sellers protect their brand and prevent counterfeit listings on Amazon?

3p sellers can enroll in Amazon Brand Registry, which provides tools to protect their brand, control their listings, and remove counterfeit goods, enhancing brand integrity and customer trust.

6. Are there any exclusive promotional tools or programs available only to 1p or 3p sellers on Amazon?

1p sellers have access to Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) and additional promotional programs offered by Amazon. In contrast, 3p sellers can use Amazon's Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and other advertising solutions to promote their products.

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