Why Reprice Amazon Listings?

Repricing on Amazon is more common than you would think and it is driven by three main factors: the Amazon catalogue, the Buy Box, and Amazon's support for repricing.

Things to know about the catalogue

Since the beginnings, Amazon has been based on a catalogue. You can't possibly list a product that isn't linked to the catalogue. However, there is the possibility to add new items to it. Once you add new items, they will become a part of the catalogue and other sellers will be able to sell them too. This structure makes it easy to find products. When everything works as they should, each product should only appear once in the catalogue, along with the details page. This aspect represents one of the main differences between Amazon and eBay; on eBay a search can result in thousands of hits for the same product.

Since every product has only one description and one set of reviews and images, there is not much to make a difference between the sellers. Or is there? The difference between the sellers is given by the few factors they can influence. The most important one of these factors is the price.

What to know about the Buy Box

Whenever sellers start talking about strategy, the discussion will surely steer towards winning the Buy Box. The feelings are mixed regarding this aspect, ranging from enthusiasm to confusion, resentment, and disagreement. If you don't know what the Buy Box is, such discussions will only confuse you even more.

Basically speaking, the Buy Box is the little box in the upper right corner that comes with an “Add to Cart" button. Amazon offers different explanations to what the Buy Box is and what it does depending on your region. In order to get the hang of it, you might want to read Amazon's own explanation regarding this feature. Although the explanations might differ slightly, they seem to have common grounds regarding the criteria for determining the winner:

  • Price
  • Stock availability
  • Customer service

As a matter of fact, customer service involves a wide range of different factors. These are used as criteria for Buy Box eligibility. Factors of this kind include:

  • Order Defect Rate (or ODR): the rate of bad orders determined by poor feedback, credit-card charge-backs, and A-to-Z Guarantee claims
  • Delivery: shipping speed, delivery speed, and being an FBA seller
  • How long the seller has been active and their sales volume
  • Other metrics

Naturally Amazon will never tell sellers how these factors influence the end result, which are the thresholds, or what other factors are taken into consideration. The whole algorithm is a complicated one and it is constantly updated so by the time you think you got it all figured out, it has already changed.