Back to blog

Learn with Threecolts

Small group workshops to help you learn, optimize, and grow.

Learn About Coaching

What Is Amazon SAS Core? Benefits and Fees in 2024

Threecolts
Geri Mileva
Published
March 14, 2024
Modified
May 7, 2024
What Is Amazon SAS Core? Benefits and Fees in 2024

Successfully running an Amazon store is no easy feat and if you want to remain on top, you’d have to invest in tools and programs to grow your business. The Amazon Strategic Account Services Core Program promises to help scale your Amazon store with the help of a designated account manager. 

The program isn’t free, though, and you’re probably wondering if the investment is worth it. In this article, we’ll discuss the Amazon SAS Core program, its benefits and drawbacks, and whether it’s worth your while. 

Understanding Amazon SAS Core

The Amazon SAS Core program is designed to help seasoned Amazon sellers reach new customers and increase their sales. When you sign up, Amazon will give you a trusted Amazon advisor who’s a full-time employee with the company. The role of this advisor is to help manage your account so you can identify untapped opportunities and strategies.

The account manager can help you stay updated with the latest programs and offers, including beta and pilot programs. They can also provide operational support like A+ Content recommendations, catalog optimization, and listing creation. If you encounter any issues with your listings, the account manager will help expedite the resolution. This is particularly helpful for listing bans and operational disruptions. 

Think of it as getting an “Amazon Insider,” a premium Customer Service support representative right within Amazon. 

Program Features

To better gauge if the program is valuable to your business, evaluate how the following features fit into your goals. 

  1. Operational support

There are lots of time-consuming tasks on Amazon, such as cleaning duplicate listings, reclassifying listing categories, updating product listing attributes, and more. Your Amazon account manager can handle all of these technical tasks for you, especially in reclassifying Adult products and putting your Amazon listings under the right browse nodes.

Another helpful thing they can do is to put your products under the ABB (Anything in the Buy Box) program. The ABB program creates a virtual recommendation of complementary products to the one a customer is already purchasing. 

While you can do all of the above tasks on your own, your time is best spent elsewhere. If you don’t have a dedicated person on your team assigned to complete all of the manual tasks, then signing up for the Amazon SAS Core program will be worth it. 

  1. Issue assistance

If your Amazon account frequently encounters issues like compliance issues, hijacked listings, catalog issues, denied inventory claims, and more, then having an “Amazon Insider” is a great help. They can resolve a lot of issues that the regular Amazon Seller Support can’t. 

According to Amazon, your account manager won’t just treat the symptoms. They’ll identify the root cause, especially if you’re encountering these issues frequently. They’ll come up with proactive solutions and best practices. Doing so will help you avoid these issues in the long run.

For many sellers, just having their Amazon up and running in the quickest possible time makes the Amazon SAS Core program worth it. 

  1. Personalized insights and recommendations

Your Amazon account manager will provide you with advertising dashboards, catalog dashboards, and other data dashboards that will show how your business is performing. You have access to these same data within your Amazon account, but your account manager will organize them so you can identify opportunities in areas like fulfillment, conversion growth, merchandising, global expansion, and more. 

They can also offer personalized optimization recommendations. If you’re a busy business owner without enough time to go over the massive data on your Amazon account, then having a trusted advisor organize and analyze it for you helps. However, if you like crunching numbers on your own, then you can always access the real-time data and make your own inferences from it. 

  1. Programs, deals, and early access 

Being in the Amazon SAS Core program gives you priority access to new programs, pilots, and betas that are designed to help you achieve your objectives. Your advisor will help you with various Amazon deal types like coupons, lightning deals, 7-day deals, Deal of the Day, and Prime Exclusive Discounts. 

Your account manager will help you develop strategies to take advantage of these promotions so you’ll get your deals approved. They’d also help you prepare for special events and holidays to ensure you maximize these high-traffic events. 

Running promotions is a great way to increase your sales and attract new customers. If you don’t have a dedicated Amazon agency or an internal team to handle this part of your business, then an Amazon advisor is a great help. Just take note that they won’t help with PPC campaigns, so you’d still need to do that strategy on your own. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of Amazon SAS Core

Before jumping head-on with the Amazon SAS Core program, you need to understand its benefits and drawbacks first. 

Benefits

The following advantages make a compelling case for signing up for the Amazon SAS Core program:

  • Get a dedicated account manager to help accelerate your sales and provide top-notch seller support.
  • Access tools to expand your business globally, reach new markets, and grow your business. 
  • Have direct contact with support since you can directly access your account manager via phone, email, and a monthly check-in review.
  • Get advice on the best promotions for your store and a free (1) Lightning Deal or 7-Day Deal per week.
  • Know about the latest Amazon programs and get early access to beta programs and promotions.
  • Get insider information on internal issues that can potentially impact your business before the public knows about it.
  • Receive inside help in escalating difficult-to-resolve cases.
Benefits of Amazon SAS Core

Drawbacks

While not exactly disadvantages, the following are things you have to consider before signing up. These are the costs of signing up and you have to be prepared for them:

  • There’s a minimum 3-month contract period.
  • The program costs are dependent on your business and Amazon gives a customized quote for each seller. However, most sites estimate it to be between $1,600 and $5,000 per month.
  • You don’t get preferential treatment and will still be subject to the same rules and regulations as other Amazon sellers. 
  • All of the services are bundled and you won’t be charged a lower price if you only need help with one aspect, such as issue assistance.
  • There’s no trial period so upon signing, you’re already locked into the minimum contract period. 
  • Your account manager isn’t exclusive to you. They’ll handle other clients and depending on how busy they are, their response might take a while. 

If you need more information about the program and its viability for your business, you can always talk to an Amazon sales representative. They’ll advise if the program is for you or not. Generally, it’s recommended to consider the program if you’ve been selling on Amazon for more than a year. 

If you’re just starting an Amazon store, then the program might not be the best investment of your resources. While Amazon may still consider your business for the program, they’ll most likely prioritize experienced sellers. 

Getting Started with Amazon SAS Core

Once you’ve decided to sign up for the Amazon SAS Core program, you need to talk to an Amazon Sales Representative who will ask several questions to determine your eligibility. To know if your business is eligible, it must meet the following requirements:

  • Have an active Professional Selling Account in good standing with Amazon
  • Must be doing business in the Amazon US store
  • If you have multiple seller accounts, you need the unique email address and Merchant Token of each Selling Account. Each seller account should be enrolled separately. 

If you meet the above requirements, just head over to the Amazon SAS Core website and click Contact US. You’ll be asked to complete the form below and wait for an Amazon Representative to reach out. 

Getting Started with Amazon SAS Core

The program is open to both brand owners and resellers as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. There’s no monthly revenue limit, but judging by the program costs, it’d be best if your store is earning six to seven figures per year. 

Fees for Amazon SAS Core

Amazon doesn’t give an exact fee structure on its Amazon SAS Core website. Instead, it states that the fees are customized to each seller individually and designed to assist sellers in all stages of their Amazon business. 

However, most websites state that the SAS Core program costs $1,600 per month + 0.3% of your total sales from the previous month plus taxes. The fees are capped at $5,000 per month. 

If your store is doing $100,000 in monthly revenue, then you’d take 0.3% of that amount ($300) and add it to the base fee of $1,600. The total fee will be $1,900, excluding taxes. 

The fee may sound like a lot, but you should compare it with the savings from maximizing the program. 

For starters, if you run at least 1 Lightning Deal per week, which typically costs $150, then you’d be saving $600 in fees since you get a free deal per week. If you frequently face issues that disrupt your operation and you’re losing $3,000 in daily sales for every day the store is closed, then having a dedicated account manager to expedite issue resolution and get your store up and running is priceless.

You can also consider the opportunities that having a dedicated advisor opens up. Amazon shares a case study with Easy@Home, a brand that sells diagnostic test kits like fertility tests, drug tests, and blood pressure monitors. Their products are highly regulated by the government and having an advisor helped them navigate the complexity. 

Further, their advisor was able to help them tap a new market and expand to Amazon Europe. With the advisor’s connections, the brand was able to test new markets and learn new things. They were also able to explore the opportunities in Amazon Business and join the program. 

Fees for Amazon SAS Core

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re still unsure about the program, check out the answers to these commonly asked questions:

Are Amazon SAS Core Managers competent?

According to Amazon, SAS account managers receive “in-depth training on topics that include fulfillment and inventory, selection and conversion growth, merchandising and advertising, and global expansion (and many more).” They’re full-time Amazon employees and are required to have professional experience in relationship management and negotiation. 

Since they manage multiple clients, they must also be good at prioritizing, scheduling, and time management. They’re highly analytical and can create inferences from available data. However, based on an Amazon job post, eCommerce experience is only preferred, not required. Experience in account management, marketing, and buying for industries like retail, telecom, tech, and hospitality is also a preference. 

But while Amazon strives to hire and promise the best, seller experiences vary. Some sellers claim to have competent account managers and some wish they’d been assigned a better person. Most sellers agree that the personalized data insights and operational support features are things they could do on their own. Meanwhile, issue escalation support and the free lightning deals per week will pay for the service if you know how to maximize them. 

If you have any feedback on the service level you’re receiving from your account manager, you can use the “Leave Feedback Anytime” link in their email signature. This sends you to a feedback tool where you can share your feedback. You can also reach out directly to their manager.

How can I engage my Amazon SAS Core manager?

You have scheduled monthly check-ins with your account manager where they’ll review your business plans and goals. You can also reach them by phone and email and expect availability during regular business hours. 

While Amazon claims that they limit the number of sellers assigned to each account manager, you can expect your manager to handle 12 to 15 seller accounts. These accounts will have varying needs and business complexity and your manager will be dividing their time among them. 

Despite the volume of work involved, most sellers claim that response rates are better than Amazon Seller Support. Most account managers will get back to you within days of reaching out to them. 

Can I cancel my SAS core program?

You can cancel your Amazon SAS program enrollment after the minimum 3-month contract period. You can do this via the Premium Services Hub on Seller Central. Just go to Seller Central > Programs > Premium Services > Manage > Cancel Program. 

When you cancel your enrollment, it will end on the last day of the cancellation month. Afterward, you won’t receive additional fees.

Is Amazon SAS Core good for my business?

If you’re a large seller with an established Amazon presence and high-volume sales, Amazon SAS Core will be a worthwhile investment. They’ll help optimize operations, improve marketing strategies, and increase your profitability. You’ll recognize their worth, especially if you have a broad range of products and a complex business structure. 

However, if you’re a small seller, then Amazon SAS Core isn’t suitable for your business. For starters, the premium price tag is prohibitive and not cost-effective. You can also get overwhelmed with the advanced features and services SAS Core offers, which may be unnecessary for your business. 

If you operate in a niche market, you know your customers better and you’re the best person to develop your own tailored marketing strategies. A SAS Core manager provides very little value in your situation since they won’t have the same intimate knowledge of your target market. 

Likewise, many small sellers find that Amazon’s standard seller tools and resources are more than enough to help them scale their business. If they need further functionality, they can always use accredited third-party Amazon software to boost their business.

Alternatives to Amazon SAS Core

If Amazon SAS Core sounds like an expensive investment, then you can check out the following alternatives to boost your Amazon business.

Alternatives to Amazon SAS Core
  • Register in the Amazon Brand Registry

If you own and develop your own brand, then you should go and explore the Amazon Brand Registry. It’s a service that protects your brand from fraud and abuse by identifying and preventing counterfeits. It will also help you avoid trademark registration pitfalls when you enroll in its IP Accelerator. 

You also get access to advanced brand-building tools like A+ Content for enhancing your product details, Sponsored Brands for driving brand discovery, Amazon Stores that gives you a customizable storefront, Amazon Vine for enhancing product reviews, and more.

  • Use profit recovery platforms to enhance profitability

If you’re an FBA seller, you know too well the pains of lost or damaged inventory, shipping errors, and mishandled returns. Your inventory is your business’s gold mine and you want to sell or recover it. Tools like RefundSniper and SellerBench help you reclaim refunds due to lost, damaged, or mishandled inventory. It’s like having a trusty assistant keeping your business profitable. 

  • Invest in automated repricing solutions to stay competitive

Does your product have tons of competition? Do you want to keep earning that Buy Box? Having the most competitive price will guarantee that customers keep purchasing your product. However, manually adjusting them is time-consuming. 

With automated repricing solutions like SmartRepricer, you can maximize your Amazon profits by automatically adjusting your prices based on market conditions and improving your listings. You can swiftly adjust your pricing strategy so you can maintain a strong market presence.

Invest in automated repricing solutions to stay competitive
  • Streamline your analytics

If you’re a seasoned seller, you know how important data and numbers are to your business. However, with the barrage of information, it can be difficult to focus on the right metrics. An Amazon account manager will consolidate your data and give you monthly reports. But you can replicate the service with a customizable profit analytics platform that gives all the crucial metrics on one simple screen. 

FW Profit Analytics is a tool that lets you customize your analytics using your own expense categories. You can include all the inventory management costs and break down your sales, taxes, promotions, refunds, and fees. Then you can view in one dashboard all of your profits and losses across multiple Amazon marketplaces. 

From these consolidated and customized data, you can make data-driven decisions that will propel your Amazon business forward.

Verdict: Should You Sign Up for Amazon SAS Core?

Amazon SAS Core is an amazing program with multiple great benefits. For large businesses with complex products, having a trusted Amazon advisor who works on the inside can give you peace of mind that a dedicated person is handling your account. The fees also justify themselves, especially if you make more than enough to cover the price tag. 

However, if you’re a small Amazon seller, have a niche product, or just starting to grow in the platform, then signing up for Amazon SAS Core might be more than what you need. Some alternatives can achieve the same, if not better, results. 

There are many ways to grow an Amazon business and the Amazon SAS Core program is just one of them. Be sure to explore all of your available options to make the best decision for your business.

Browse through and read our other blog posts that are data-driven insights with our very own proprietary data and learn more on Mother's Day trends and best practices, Easter sales, price elasticity of demand, Amazon FBA fee changes, Amazon product title optimization, winter seasonal products, Amazon end of year sales, Valentine’s Day trends and best Amazon fulfillment centers by location and throughput.

Learn with Threecolts

Small group workshops to help you learn, optimize, and grow.