Winning the Amazon Buy Box

What is the Amazon Buy Box

So what exactly is the Amazon Buy Box? Amazon’s platform is designed to allow multiple sellers to list their pricing on a single product listing. While the customer is left with a few different options for selecting the seller they’d like to buy from, Amazon offers a simple checkout button on the right sidebar of the page called the “Buy Box”. Since this checkout option is so prominent on the page, it can offer a significant advantage over your competitors if you win it – this means the checkout button is linked directly to your offer. Without it, Amazon shoppers can still find your price under two other locations. One is by browsing offerings in the “More Buying Choices” box located below the Buy Box on the right sidebar. This section lists up to 3 featured sellers. The other option is by clicking “used & new” link which displays all offerings for the item.

How to qualify and win the Buy Box

Before you jump the gun and start listing all of your products at the lowest price possible to win the Buy Box, you should know that there are requirements and many factors that play into which seller is selected for the money seat. First, you can only compete for the Buy Box if you qualify for Featured Merchant Status. This elite status is tied to seller performance criteria; those who consistently provide customers with a great buying experience. Once you’ve achieved this status, there are still a number of other factors examined that make up Amazons Buy Box algorithm. While Amazon doesn’t provide an exact formula, it’s no secret that the following is considered:

  1. Seller’s price compared to the pricing of other featured sellers. Important: You do not need to have the lowest offer price to win the Buy Box. Your pricing strategy should be based on how well you score in the other items listed below.
  2. Seller’s rating. A high rating can offer much weight.
  3. Performance metrics. Chances are if you have Featured Merchant Status then you likely have great performance metrics like low returns / cancellations and positive feedback. Unfortunately…so do your competitors who have Featured Merchant Status. You’ll earn more points if you can beat out your competitors in this area.
  4. Inventory. Keep stock available and update your inventory levels. If your product shows 0 in stock, you cannot win the Buy Box. It’s very common that sellers forget to update their inventory levels and miss out potential sales.
  5. Sell sell sell! Your sales level can offer an advantage over your competitors; the more you sell adds credibility to your company.

I’m a new seller, how do I compete?

As a new seller, it seems like you’re doomed from the start. But trust us, you’re not. A large percent of people bargain shop on Amazon. Instead of clicking the checkout Buy Box, they filter through new and used sellers and commonly make their buying decisions based on price. As a new seller, you don’t have to make huge profit margins to have success. If you can temporarily list your products price lower than normal, you’ll see more sales and start to build marketplace credibility. If your products are quality and you offer good customer support, it won’t be long until you reach Featured Merchant Status. Once you do, you’ll be able to increase the costs of your products and see more sales from shoppers that value great service and credibility over the lowest priced product.

5 Responses to “Winning the Amazon Buy Box”

  1. Jonathan

    Thanks for writing this. I’m a newbie on Amazon and your site has been a big help. Your site has mention of an automatic pricing modifier, any idea when that will be released?

    • admin

      Hi Jonathan,

      We do not have a release date for the pricing modifier yet; we’ll likely release it in beta first. I’m glad we can help out, please let us know if you have any questions.

  2. Jill

    I’ve been a seller on Amazon for a few years now. Winning the buy box can be difficult with competitive items; other items it can be much easier. You make a good point about the different type of buyers and strategies you should take based on your status.

  3. Joseph

    Thanks! You’re right that you don’t have to have the lowest price. I generally keep my prices a few cents above the lowest price and I seem to get a good percentage of the buy boxes. There are a couple of advantages to having a slightly higher price: 1. Better margins, 2. Sellers who compete only on price will run out of inventory more often, allowing other sellers to sell at a higher price. The second point is especially valuable at Christmas, I’ve seen the aggressive pricers run out of inventory fairly early in the Christmas season, allowing the rest of us to sell at very healthy margins for the rest of the season.


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