Amazon 1P Insights into Negotiations, Trade Relationships & Opportunities

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Host and Guest

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Paul Sonneveld
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Martin Heubel
Strategy and Amazon Consultant

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Consulterce is a strategy consulting firm founded by Martin Heubel. He is a trusted advisor to global CPG and Household brands, helping them reliably improve their 1P vendor margins with Amazon.

Combining deep functional and industry expertise, Consulterce partners with organisations to develop market-leading strategies that profitably integrate Amazon into their wider sales channel mix. The goal: To address the modern challenges of brands navigating the Amazon marketplace with pioneering solutions that deliver measurable results.

Other service areas include C-Suite Workshops, Amazon Negotiation Trainings, and Sparring Support.

Podcast transcript


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Paul Sonneveld
Hi, welcome, and I'm your host, Paul Sonneveld. And today I'm joined by Martin Hubel from Consulterce. Today, we're going to go over the results of an Industry-wide survey conducted with over actually more than almost 601st party vendors. And the results are interesting because they gave us insights into the 1P supplier relationship with Amazon, the annual negotiation process, and the future priorities with the online retail giant. 

Now of course to help you do this, I have invited Martin along just to introduce him. Martin founded Consulterce to help B2C household and CPG brands reliably increase their 1P vendor profits with Amazon. Prior to starting his consulting practice, Martin had an extensive career with Amazon in Europe. Now Martin is a regular guest. So Martin, thank you again for being on the show today.

Martin Heubel
Thanks, Paul for having me back. It's a pleasure and I'm really looking forward to kind of discuss exactly what you were talking about, like all of the survey results, that Yeah. I've conducted with over 500 brands and 500 brand representatives of first-party vendors, and I think we're going to really Yeah. Get into the weeds of it and yeah, very much looking forward to it. So thanks, thanks for having me. 

Paul Sonneveld
I certainly, as I was promoting this episode, I think one of the angles I really took, which I think is really true in the sense that what an opportunity to kind of accelerate your own learnings, not by trial and error doing everything yourself, but you know, looking across the landscape and learning from 500 other vendors, simultaneously. So it is a very unique opportunity.

Before we dive into, you know, the slides and the charts and the insights, love to just get a bit of background. I mean, what prompted you to, conduct a survey and, what were the parameters of the survey?

Martin Heubel
Yeah, a hundred percent. Like, look for anyone who's obviously also tuning in and watching us today. I used to work for Amazon. I moved into the role of a self-employed consultant, roughly two years ago. And when you're venturing out of such a data-driven company as Amazon, for me, the challenge was oftentimes that I understood the dynamics and the vendor landscape. But of course, sometimes it's a little bit hard to quantify them and to really understand, okay, where's the industry heading? 

If you look at the macro and not at the micro level, and especially as a consultant that obviously are very kind of deep into the details of your client's business but what you also want to understand is whether this is kind of a skewed reality and you're working too much inside of a certain bubble or whether this actually represents the wider trends that are happening among brands, large, small, and medium-sized. 

And this was really the kind of key motivation for me to venture out and to simply ask the vendor representatives that were taking part in this survey around okay, What is your quality of the trade relationship with Amazon? What was the outcome of your most recent vendor negotiation, but then also to really understand each and everyone's individual priorities, in 2024 and beyond? 

So, what are the key big bets that now brands are placing with Amazon and order to foster not only their growth with the online giants, but also, of course, their profitability and profit margins? Because as we will see when we dive into it, this is a key priority in 2023 where profit margins are squeezed anyways. 

We don't necessarily have very much disrupted supply chains, of course, to a certain extent still, but of course there are more dynamics that come into play, such as less spending from customers and also a little bit more of a reserved kind of or muted view when it comes to growth ambitions. And, you read about these in the news all the time, but, what I really wanted to get an understanding of is, okay, is that actually what keeps business decision-makers and business leaders up at night? 

Paul Sonneveld
So Martin, give us a flavour of the types of vendors that are participating now. Where are they sort of based? More Europe, US, size, categories. Are you able to paint a picture for us?

Martin Heubel
Yeah, a hundred percent. So, very interestingly, a lot of the brands that were participating come from the major two regions that Amazon operates in North American participants accounted for roughly well, 52.7% of overall respondents. But of course, there's also shared responsibility of a lot of business leaders. So they are not only looking after the North American business, but also for example, to the European business. 

So, the percentage has sold that up to a hundred percent because some have mutual responsibilities. 72.6% of the survey respondents also had responsibilities for the European markets, whereas then 15% roughly came from and were responsible for the Asia Pacific region, whereas 12.9% for the Latin America, and roughly 9% for the Middle East and Africa.

So really kind of a wide spectrum. Of course, it is very much consolidated based also on how Amazon is a key priority for brands when you look at the individual regions. So again, north America and European markets, certainly spearheading from a survey participant's point of view, the overall polls. The seniority was also quite interesting. So we had more than 21% of C-suite and mid-level, decision-makers, that were participating in the overall survey. And over 45% were senior managers. Which obviously also gives us a good overview of okay, where are they headed? 

And then we look at the overall size of the brands than almost 40% of all of the survey participants, reported annual Amazon sales between zero and 10 million. 36% reported 10 to 50 million. And over a little bit, over 10% of survey respondents reported annual Amazon sales between the range of 50 and a hundred million US dollars. So certainly quite, a good representation.

The remaining gap is indeed, almost 14%, from brands that were making over a hundred million US dollars in annual sales volume, coming from Amazon. So I think yeah, we get certainly the kind of free presentation that I was hoping for. From small to mid-size brands, but also the kind of large multinationals that are of course becoming more and more a key priority of Amazon in this vendor model as well.

Paul Sonneveld
Well, it's, I can't wait to get into the insights. Before we dive into that, I just want to remind everyone that we are going to have a couple of minutes at the end for q and a live Q and A as we always do. So, feel free to pop your questions in the LinkedIn comment sections and they'll surface right in front of us and we'll try and do our best to cover them. 

So, yeah. Back to you Martin. You've been in this space for a long time. What were the key takeaways for you? What do you find most interesting and intriguing in terms of the data and the insights you were getting back?

Martin Heubel
Yeah, sure. I mean, I would suggest let's just dive into it. We brought the slides of the results, with us so we can kind of take a first look at it and I think the key kind of theme that we see in the industry when we talk to decision-makers all the time is of course, this constant question around, shall I only sell via vendor central or shall I maybe also have a seller central account, or, sell may be only on seller central going forward. 

So the question is really 1P, 3P or hybrid. And the question in this survey was also asking around exactly set. And interestingly, we have a little bit over half of the brands that are vendors not selling through Seller Central at all. So they don't actually have their own seller central account and they also don't use a third-party distributor or logistics provider actively at least, in order to sell through Seller Central. Of course, they may have other sellers that are third-party sellers and are actually competing with them for the buy box. But this is certainly not intended and not an active decision. 

And this is certainly very interesting because of course when you're on LinkedIn when you're looking into certain forums and groups where of course also decision-makers, in the vendor space are coming together. Then this is a constant top-of-mind discussion point around, okay, shall I go and branch out from vendor Central or not?

Roughly a third of all brand participants indicated that they were a vendor, but they also own the third-party seller central account. And we will talk about the motivations in a second, but this is certainly interesting because here the brands really decide itself that they want to become active. They want to kind of expand their resources, and expand their capabilities to not only sell via vendor but simultaneously also via seller central. 

And then a smaller fraction indicated that they are a vendor that is represented also by a third-party logistics provider or distributor via Seller Central. So, these were 13.1%. So here you really see, okay, the vendor says, we do not really want to have the hassle of opening our own seller central account. We just deploy very actively, a third-party solution provider for us that is actually selling on behalf of us, next to our vendor central account on Amazon. 

And then a small fraction of 2.7% said that they're a vendor that uses both a third-party logistics provider or distributor, and they also have their own third-party account. Here you have the full-blown setup. But it's interesting because we of course need to a little bit understand the motivations behind that. And thankfully we get a good overview when we look at this following chart, and we look at the primary challenges that are really encountered by first-party brands when trading with Amazon day in and day out. 

And you see it at the very top right I mean, 30% of participants indicated that a lack of communication is really the challenge when working with Amazon, and we see that all the time. It's becoming harder and harder, especially if you are a smaller 11-brand selling on Amazon to have direct contact with a vendor manager. They may only reach out to you when they want deal funding, or they want to negotiate the annual trading terms with you.

And this certainly is also difficult for a lot of brands that are coming from the classic retail space where they know that retailers are typically taking the role of a strategic partner to develop the category and the business together. And then here comes Amazon and says, okay, we want to automate most of those processes and we kind of reduce our communication to you to a minimum and maybe sometimes only the case system. or if you're lucky enough and you have a subscription to the Amazon Vendor Service, you have a contact person there to actually dive into all of that. 

Pricing strategy and competition for 24.7% of all vendor participants, in the survey indicated that this was certainly their first and foremost challenge. And this also kind of indicates a little bit of this or refers back to this move of vendors moving and branching out to 3P in the hope of expanding and reducing. Of course also their risk of becoming too dependent on the vendor central model, especially in correlation to 0.1. 

We must obviously keep in mind that if you get less and less resources deployed by Amazon and on top of that you have a strategic misalignment when it comes to your distribution setup and Amazon as a price follower, then those are two critical challenges that may prompt a lot of brands to leave or at least to diversify away from their vendor central setting.

But again, right? I mean, we need to always take care that the business case is very thoroughly developed. But it certainly, the service results certainly indicate that. Yeah, two of those and the first two challenges are primary drivers on why you would like to move away. 

Financial disputes, so chargebacks, shortages, co-op deductions, we all know those. Roughly 20% of all survey participants said that, yeah, this is one of their primary challenges. And again, it correlates a little bit to the first point. If you have a lack of communication and you don't get prioritized as a brand, of course, it becomes harder to also get your financial disputes resolved because if you are left with only the case system in Vendor Central, we all know that it can be quite a lengthy and dreadful process to get that done.

And then two more points that were quite interesting, inventory management and forecasting, but also advertising and marketing. So especially on the inventory management and forecasting point, we all know that vendors are very much dependent on this forecast in vendor central. It may not always capture the most accurate kind of reality that we live in because if you schedule a promotion, short term or if you're also kind of reducing promotions short term because ASINs become ineligible because of profitability, reasons to participate in certain promotional events such as Prime Day or Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Then of course, that also creates a lot of volatility and a lot of brands and decision-makers perceive that they can own their forecast a little bit better and their inventory management better if they branch out to a third-party seller central account simply because then either they own their inventory management entirely, or they can at least decide how much of inventory they would like to sell or send via FBA to Amazon in their warehouses, at least in certain, in a certain framework. So yeah, those are the kind of primary challenges that to a certain extent of course also correlate with the notion of brands branching out and looking to expand from a vendor set up only with Amazon. 

I think bringing and giving a little bit more context to this. Of course, I think this is a trend that we are going to see fostering even further, particularly for smaller brands that don't have a dedicated vendor manager resource, associated and linked to their account. Because it becomes increasingly harder to manage your vendor business if you do not have a buyer sitting on the other side of the fence. And if you then negotiate only against an algorithm, you may very well as a smaller brand at least say, okay, I can deploy my resources that I have more effectively and efficiently, if I move towards a self-service model, which is intrinsic to the seller central.

Paul Sonneveld
I guess this is the first time you've done this, right? Because I'd love to see how this is going to evolve over time. Certainly, there's a lot of heat in relation to some of these topics. At the start of this conversation, you were talking about Vendors in different geographies. I don't know if you've done this analysis or you've sliced it this way, but do you see differences in terms of geographies and priorities and the challenges encountered by Amazon vendors?

Martin Heubel
Yeah. So certainly I looked at the individual regions. Let's just keep in mind that the sample size of the participant number of 574 is relatively small, right? So, I wouldn't say that it's necessarily representative of the entire vendor landscape. I think that is a little bit of an overstatement. And when we slice it down into the individual geographies, obviously the sample size reduces a little bit more. 

So take it with a pinch of salt. When I say that in general, there were no significant deviations between especially the North American and European kind of regions where most participants were coming from. We see at least in the mid-tail here that of course, financial disputes correlated a lot to the vendor side. And that is simply because if you have a larger business with Amazon and you have issues of let's say only 1 or 2% of overall financial disputes with Amazon, then of course the absolute US dollar or Euro amount is also higher.

So of course, the higher it is, the more it becomes a priority. And this correlated particularly with this financial dispute point here, but also with the communication with Amazon. Because again, if you have higher financial disputes and a lack of communication with Amazon, then those two form the primary kind of concern. And you saw that not necessarily region by region, but particularly when you compare it to the vendor size that those participants came from. That the priorities here shifted significantly. But not to the extent that you can really say it's statistically always significant, which is why I left it out in this overview.  

Paul Sonneveld
Yeah, sure. I'm just going back to a webinar that you and I did many months ago about how to get ready for the negotiation cycle in 2023. I think we did it towards the end of Q4 last year. What are survey participants telling you around the negotiation cycle at the moment? You know, how they're tracking, what insights did you glean from how this year is progressing? You know, with all the additional pressures that exist this year, perhaps versus prior years. You know, what, what did you see? 

Martin Heubel
Yeah, absolutely. I think when it comes to annual vendor negotiations, especially in 2023, a lot of vendors were caught by surprise about the level of firmness, or some would call it even aggressiveness, that they were perceiving at least from their vendor managers because Amazon didn't necessarily back down from a lot of their Ads that they initially placed.

And this is deviated a little bit from the previous years where a lot of brands were, of course, understanding that Amazon may anchor a little bit higher, but then still over iterations of the negotiation comes down. And this is called, of course, also the strategy that a lot of brands deployed by surprise or kind of disabled it entirely.

So it's certainly interesting when you look also at the survey results and when we take a look at the initial ones. Because the perceptions of most first-party brands, about the annual then negotiations this year, were quite interesting to uncover like almost a third of participating vendor representatives, that AVNs were very challenging and time-consuming.

18% said they were unsuccessful or even unresolved, or even sometimes not finished at all, or they were not able to complete them successfully. Again, 18% as well said, they were difficult, but ultimately successful, whereas only 17% said they were fairly smooth with some challenges, and 12% said they were partnership-oriented and collaborative. Only 4% a little bit lower than 4% said AVNs were very straightforward and efficient. And this really gives you a good glance into how hard and how difficult it was for a lot of business leaders this year to find the mutual grounds when both parties, vendors, and Amazon at the same time are prioritizing their bottom line.

So wanting to improve their profit margins. Whereas in the years before, you either had a very clear focus on Amazon to growth and expansion, such as in the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and then afterwards also prioritization of Amazon of availability because there were so many supply chain disruptions that vendors could freely choose who they would like to allocate the inventory to.

Now, these times certainly have changed because now we've seen that Amazon is coming back and completely reprioritizing its retail business away from growth towards profitability. And I mean, if you zoom out, I also shared this the other day on LinkedIn in a post, and you look at Amazon's operating margin as a business as a whole.
So not only looking at retail or AWS or Ads in particular, you see that 1.8% of operating margin in the last year. I think it was in the fourth quarter is of course concerning not only to shareholders but also to Andy Jesse as the CEO of Amazon itself. 

So of course, this kind of sudden shift from growth to profitability is somewhat derived from also the need to kind of recover profit margins for shareholders in order to get the stock price up again. But it is also something that we will or will accompany us over the next couple of quarters. I only foresee this profitability focus of Amazon to really seize to exist in early to mid-2024.

When we look however at the next slide and this could be interesting for the audience as well. What was the actual impact of trade negotiations on the first-party vendor margins? 36% said there was no change in the margin at all. Again, almost 36% said there was a decrease in their margin, whereas 21% said there was an increase in their margin. Roughly 7% said they either don't know or they don't prefer to say, which is obviously completely fine. But I think this really also gives us a limb 

Paul Sonneveld
Certainly an increase in margin. 

Martin Heubel
Maybe who knows a hundred percent. So you actually see that? Yeah. If only 20% of brands are benefiting from annual vendor negotiations in 2023, it's clear that those negotiations and trade discussions primarily serve one object and one object only to improve the profit margin of Amazon. And that is a little bit of a challenge, right? Because it does not necessarily motivate a lot of brands to kind of expedite the process of negotiations when the majority of them say that we are actually seeing either no change. 

So actually, we are just wasting our resources in plain English, or we are seeing actually a detrimental impact on our bottom line. And this is certainly something that we need to kind of take into consideration also when we look at our strategies going forward because the next slide shows us a little bit on how this impact of these trade negotiations unfolded when we measure it by the lengths of the negotiations that survey participants indicated. 

And you actually see that there's not necessarily a clear and firm indication that there is a good correlation between the length of the negotiation and the negotiation outcome. And this is certainly something that vendors should take note of because a lot of business decision leaders sometimes say, let's just drag on a little bit with the negotiation, have more iterations, because surely our vendor manager eventually will give in. 

And based on these results, we can actually see that this is not necessarily the case. Because an increase in margin was more likely if you kind of prioritize the annual vendor negotiation process. But the longer it dragged on, we actually see that the increase in margin, as a result of the AVN was not necessarily, yeah, a result. So if you negotiate between six and 12 months, only 12.5% of vendor participants in this survey said that they were actually increasing their margin. However, 37.5% said there was no change in the margin, and the majority here, over 40%, said, okay, there was actually a decrease in their margins. This is not too much difference than if you just spent your time negotiating on one to three months.

Other than that the cohort of no change in margin is deliberately smaller. So the sweet spot really seems to be in prioritizing certainly your vendor negotiations and trying to kind of get them done as quickly as possible. But again, that's also not a guarantee that you will get this result because the distribution between all of those results in the individual time buckets is certainly varied.

So there's no clear correlation between the length of the negotiation and the outcome. But it seems based on those insights, certainly that at least if you're prioritizing it, you are having the advantage of not binding all of the resources towards these trade discussions. Whereas if you are dragging them on for longer, your teams have to negotiate more. They have to kind of reiterate their discussion points and arguments much more than, if you prioritize it and the result of the longer negotiation does not necessarily equal or guarantee also a better result for your company. 

Paul Sonneveld
Very interesting. It sounds like between the three and six months, you've got a fair chance of no margin change. Certainly, if you pass the six months mark and realign your expectations, I guess is the, 

Martin Heubel

Paul Sonneveld
Some of the takeaways here.

Martin Heubel
Because then I think you also reach the part where there are often gridlock negotiations happening, right? So, no side is able to move back or forth, and then you need to have those senior relationship escalation meetings where you bring in your leadership teams and Amazon also brings in their superiors whether it is a senior sales director or whether it is a category leader. 

I think the key takeaway here is that you really must ensure that whenever you negotiate with Amazon, you can skip at some point, at least your vendor manager. And you can only skip him or her if you have at least a loose relationship and know who their manager is. So either the head of vendor management, the category leader of this category or the senior sales director. 

If you don't know those names and you don't have their contact details at all, this should form your first priority. Because then you can expedite negotiations much faster than if you're entirely reliant on your vendor manager that sometimes is not even incentivized to expedite and to facilitate the negotiation progress with you. 

Paul Sonneveld
That's a very interesting insight there. Escalate up and down the organization. 

Martin Heubel
Escalation is certainly the key to success, right? I mean, Amazon is not unique in that sense. It's also with other retailers. You need to have this escalation path and the challenge with Amazon. However, is that they're not necessarily willing to give you those details right away. They want vendor managers to own the business relationship. So it is on you as a brand to really facilitate that and to also ensure that outside of the negotiation process. 

And now is a good time because most AVNs have concluded that you now kind of request those contacts, maybe have kind of strategy meeting with them, or you at least request that they take some time to kind of really the business together with you, even if that just means that they have a 30-minute catch up with you, throughout the year. But, certainly ask for it and also be persistent because you may not get an answer from your vendor manager or a response to this request straight away. 

Paul Sonneveld
Sure, yeah. It creates work on their side as well. Right. Now they have to have to prep their line manager and give them all the facts.

Martin Heubel

Paul Sonneveld
So, I guess closing out the more formal part here before we open up to the audience and then open for comments. Based on what you've seen in terms of the results coming back, what are some of the key takeaways for vendors? Particularly as we're about to sort of go into q3, q4. Is there anything here that you say, look, it should really change your thinking or go in a certain direction or make sure you take some of these things into account. What are the practical takeaways for some of the vendors that are tuning into this episode?

Martin Heubel
Yeah, a hundred percent. So, I think if you're starting from the beginning of our kind of webinar, then if you're standing in front of the decision of, okay, should I branch out from the vendor central model and go all into 3P or hybrid, model, make sure that you really run the business case and I say this because I've seen multiple times now that vendors are kind of creating or brands are creating a P&L comparison with the status of today. 

And this is a little bit of a risk because of course, you know, hopefully, you are kind of per unit economics inside out in your vendor central model. But if you are trying to move to 3P, then there are a lot of hidden cost components that you'll need to factor in going forward. Because all of a sudden you need to kind of have software that helps you with the pricing. You need to have software that helps you with your inventory management, which is all done right now via your vendor central business.

And you may also need to purchase external expertise or internalize them at a cost, which you may lack right now in your organization. And those are the hidden cost components that you should certainly account for when comparing your P&Ls with each other. And you're also making the business case of whether you should open up a seller central account yourself, or whether you want to kind of onboard a distributor or a third-party logistics provider if you're thinking about FBM instead of FBA for your business. 

So just make sure that you really compare all of those cost components like for like between both business models, but you also account for these hidden cost components such as internal and external expertise that you may need to acquire in order to be even able to run that business yourself.

When it comes to vendor negotiations, I think we kind of discussed it in length, like make sure that especially those senior sales director relationships or senior category, that relationships are in check, you know who they are. Especially for European vendors, it becomes critical that you know who are the pan-European decision makers. So the regional decision makers and not the local market ones, because they may not actually be able to interfere or to kind of positively influence your negotiations after all.

And I think those are the key learnings that I would take away from right now. Of course, make sure that you are taking a very proactive approach to your negotiations, which can also help you to facilitate the kind of negotiation speed, which is certainly something that also when you look at it from a resource investment point of view of your own headcount and your own teams should be something that you're favouring.

Paul Sonneveld
Thank you, Martin. Now we do have some great questions coming in. We're already past half an hour, but let's see if we can quickly cover some of them. 

Martin Heubel

Paul Sonneveld
They're not coming through the platform here, so I'm going to read them out, myself. I'm going to start, Matt Parkinson asked this almost at the start of the webinar. Matt asked, I think a very interesting question. How can you implement a price increase without an Amazon vendor manager? Slightly off-topic, but I think a very pertinent question, for many, that are tuning into that.

Martin Heubel
Yeah, a hundred percent. I think we had a similar question. I would ask, l mean, haven't we? So look, it's a little bit more challenging, but not impossible. What you really need to look at is your ASP compression. So you need to take a look at how your average selling price of your item and that you want to increase the cost price with and your account has hopefully improved over the last three to six months compared to your average cost per unit.

So how much have your cost prices increased over the last three to six months compared to ASP? If you see that your ASP is going up, because you're also seeing it reflected in the wider market segment. Then of course chances of getting it accepted are a little bit higher also algorithmically, because Amazon has much more margin to play with than if you try to simply kind of increase your cost prices with Amazon at the same time as with any other retailer.

Amazon is a self-proclaimed price follow-up. So they want to see those prices reflected in the market segment before they will accept any cost increase. You go through two routes in order to kind of effectively demand or kind of require this cost increase. A, via the typical cost increase workflow. This is just a standardized process that you have available in Vendor Central to adapt cost prices, it may get automatically rejected. 

And if so, you are always well advised to also separately raise a case where you make your business case and you kind of explain why this cost increase is justified, and hopefully also reflected in the wider kind of P&L of the account. Of course, pricing is at the entire prerogative of the retailer. So, we'll have to see what Amazon does in the individual business case and on the individual account. But this should give you the best chance of getting it accepted. 

Paul Sonneveld
Thank you. I have, it's probably the last one looking at the clock here. One from Richard. Thank you Richard for your question. His question is, What would you consider Martin to be the most ideal timing within the year to actually start the negotiation or the annual negotiation process? Is there an optimal time during the year?

Martin Heubel
Well, so they're always cyclical. You can negotiate off-cycle with Amazon if you want to, and if you are large enough of a brand in any given category. So you can request that. But Amazon is not very likely to simply and outright accept it because they also have to kind of align their internal resources. We all know Amazon had layoffs, so they have less vendor managers covering a similar even higher number of accounts.

Typically, Vendor negotiations start in consumer goods categories around q4, and then if you go into hardline categories such as consumer electronics, home housewares, kitchen, and major domestic appliances around, the first quarter, so somewhere in early January. And it really depends on how important you are to them on whether they prioritize your account. So the earlier they start negotiating with you in the past, the more it indicates that you're also an important or more important brand to them. If you want to forward the negotiation process, then you'll certainly be able to kind of request that.

And the kind of number one tactic that I can give you is to simply cancel your trade terms three months before they kind of auto-renew, which will not necessarily force but prompt your vendor manager to prioritize the negotiation on your account because they have no guarantee that they will continue to having terms, trading terms in place should they start negotiations with you too late.

Paul Sonneveld
It's interesting. Hit the cancel button to get their attention. Some really good, nuggets there and really practical, advice there, Martin. We're going to have to wrap it up there. As always, it's an absolute pleasure. You are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Amazon vendor negotiations. Before you go, I was going to ask you, do you have any plans to repeat this survey in the future to get some time series behind this? It'd be very interesting. 

Martin Heubel
Yeah, sure. I mean, first and foremost, thanks so much for having me on the show, Paul. It's always a pleasure to come back and to kind of bring the newest insights to you and your audience. So look, The survey results were quite interesting, right? But I think they will really become even more interesting if we can compare like for like how have certain priorities shifted over the years. 

So what I'm planning right now is to kind of conduct this survey on an annual basis going forward. If anyone in the audience wants to participate or has missed their chance to participate this year, just kind of go to, and take a look at the current survey results. At the bottom of it, you'll find an opt-in to my newsletter where you'll stay up to date and I'll obviously let you know once the new kind of survey opens.

Expect it to be around April, May next year because this is the good time when most of the brands have concluded their annual vendor negotiations. So that's the reason why we'll not be doing it by the end of this or early next year right away. But typically, in the sweet spot between April and May, we are going to conduct it again. So looking forward to that. And, yeah, hope to be back, to bring you the newest results. Latest then. 

Paul Sonneveld
Definitely would love to have you on the show again, and look at where things have shifted priorities and outcomes. Great. Well, thank you so much, man. I do appreciate it. And I look forward to our next session.

Martin Heubel
Yeah, thanks Paul for having me. Thank you. 

Paul Sonneveld
All right, everyone, that is a wrap for today. Just a small plug. Next week I think it's Wednesday, we are running another Amazon vendor-focused session this time around with Asha from  Etopia. And we're going to be talking specifically about AVS, Amazon Vendor Services. Some of you are paying Amazon a lot of money.

Others have shied away from doing that. We're going to go deep into what is it, should you pay for it? Is it worth it? And if you are paying for that service, how do you get the most out of it? So make sure to check that out via LinkedIn or via our registration page on our website.

That's it for today. Thank you so much for tuning in, and I'll see you next week. Take care.