Many people are importing goods and making big money selling on Amazon.
You could be one of them!
In this blog series, we’re sharing the secrets of making money on Amazon like a boss. Last time, we shared the services you should take advantage of to optimize your sales potential.
Today we switch our focus to the much coveted Amazon Buy Box.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
In case you haven’t heard of the Amazon Buy Box, it is what all Amazon sellers should strive for.
The Buy Box is that little orange (sometimes white) box that you can click on to add an item you’re looking at on Amazon to your cart.
With all the sellers on Amazon, most products have several retailers competing with each other to sell it. When you click on the Buy Box, you buy the product from Amazon and Amazon chooses which of the many third-party sellers is going to get the sale.
For each product, only one seller can be in the Buy Box at a time and get the most common sales on Amazon.
eWeek.com released a slideshow on Amazon’s Buy Box last year, calling it “the internet’s $80 billion sales button” in the title. As eWeek stated the projection of Amazon topping $120 billion in revenues by the end of last year and over half of that going to the online retailers selling in Amazon’s marketplace, it is hard to disagree with eWeek’s conclusion, “With 82 percent of all sales on Amazon going through the Buy Box, it’s easily the most coveted real estate in online retail today.”
Amazon uses an algorithm to choose the online retailer to win the Buy Box sale. So how can you get that algorithm to choose you?
Amazon’s Buy Box Eligibility
The first place to look when trying to learn how to get into Amazon’s buy box is on Amazon.com itself.
While Amazon keeps its Buy Box algorithm secret, the site does share the requirements to qualify for Buy Box eligibility.
Ultimately, Amazon’s Buy Box is designed to give buyers the best deal. Amazon lists the following as criteria they use to judge sellers for the Buy Box:
- ODR (Order Defect Rate): We base ODR [on] customer feedback, A-to-z Guarantee claims, and chargebacks.
- Other seller performance metrics
- Customer shopping experience offered on an item, such as speed of delivery, shipping options, price, and 24×7 customer service (including through the seller’s participation in Fulfillment by Amazon)
- Time and experience on the Amazon selling platform
- Status as a Professional seller.
Knowing how to qualify is good, but we want to go a little deeper and get more pragmatic in how to crack that Buy Box.
Here are 4 tips for getting the Amazon Buy Box:
Tip #1: Use Fulfillment By Amazon
Fulfillment method might actually be the most important factor for getting the Amazon Buy Box.
Amazon pushes their Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) service and there are big benefits for using it. We talked about this service a bit in our last blog so we won’t spend too much time on it here, but you can bet FBA status will move you up in the rankings.
On top of helping your chances at the Amazon Buy Box, FBA allows you to compete for Amazon Prime sales where Prime members get free shipping. Even if you don’t manage to crack that Buy Box, this gives you a big competitive edge.
Tip #2: Lower Your Price
The most obvious factor that can be seen from products winning the Buy Box is price.
Once you’re eligible for the Buy Box, you need to make sure your price isn’t higher than the competition’s. If you can make your price the lowest on a product, your chance of winning the Buy Box is extremely high.
This is a tricky area because the lower you make your price, the smaller your profits become. But even winning the price competition by a penny is enough.
The next tip could help you balance that lower price with your profit margins.
Tip #3: Import Products in Bulk
Importing products in bulk can help you beat the competition in pricing, as mentioned above, but also help you toward winning that Amazon Buy Box in other ways.
Not only does importing in bulk help you bring down the price at which you can sell products but it increases your inventory depth. Your inventory depth can help increase your ranking and land that Amazon Buy Box in two ways.
First, inventory depth in and of itself is considered in landing the Buy Box. Second, inventory depth increases your status as a professional seller (if you recall, that is in the criteria listed by Amazon).
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to finding a product to import and sell on Amazon, StartupBros.com has a posting about dominating the Amazon marketplace where they show you the following steps on how to use “ASIN piggybacking” to snag a Buy Box and make money on Amazon:
- Identify a successful non-unique product and find its ASIN. It will be listed in the Product Details section of the product listing. (shown below)
- Research the manufacturer to figure out how you can start reselling the product for yourself. Find out how much it will cost wholesale, and calculate what it will cost you to ship. Is there room between that number and $0.01 less than the current Buy Box-winning price for you to make a profit?
- If the answer to #2 is YES, contact the manufacturer and start selling. You’ve just found a gold nugget!
- If the answer to #2 is NO, you may still be able to work out a special deal with the manufacturer if you ask for it. However, if you don’t think it’s worth it, look around for other products in the same niche… Chances are, there’s money to be made on a slightly lower ranked product.
Tip #4: Focus on Customer Service
Obviously, customer service is important in any business. It is especially important in landing Amazon Buy Boxes.
Your seller rating is hugely important in competing for the Buy Box.
The customer service you give on Amazon is one of the absolute biggest ways you’re judged for eligibility and ranking for the Buy Box.
Keep that seller rating high by shipping your items quickly (of course, you should be using FBA, which will ensure you’re doing well in this area), responding to customers quickly, and selling a product that is unlikely to have defect issues.
Encouraging feedback from customers is not a bad idea. Positive comments and ratings from customers go a long way.
Speaking of feedback, we’d love yours on this blog. Let us know what you think of these tips and if you have any to add in our comments section below.