What is the Amazon Buy Box, and what does it mean if it’s suppressed? In this episode, we walk you through all things Buy Box — from the three main reasons Amazon suppresses the Buy Box and the implications it may have for you as the seller, to what you can do to restore a suppressed Buy Box.
For all the insight you need on how to get that Buy Box back in its rightful place on the product page, tune in to the Full-Time FBA Show today! It remains our goal to help you turn part-time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon.
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Key points from Episode 110:
- What the Amazon Buy Box is and how it will increase your sales.
- What it means if the Buy Box is suppressed.
- Three main reasons Amazon suppresses the Buy Box: price too high, demand too low, and poor seller metrics.
- How to restore the Buy Box from suppression.
- How your automatic repricer might be unintentionally suppressing the Buy Box.
- How Buy Box suppression prevents you from running ads on Amazon.
- BQool re-pricer: how it helps Rebecca and Stephen.
- What to do to resume making a profit if you’ve had to lower your prices to restore the Buy Box.
- And more!
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Podcast Episode: How to Win the Amazon Buy Box for Increased Sales
- 6 Things to Know About the Amazon Buy Box
- How to Win the Amazon Buy Box
- How to Manually Reprice Your Inventory
- BQool – Automatic Repricer
- The blog version of this podcast episode
- Join the Full-Time FBA newsletter
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The Reseller’s Guide to Sales Rank
Sales rank is easily the most misunderstood aspect of selling on Amazon. What is a good sales rank? What does a sales rank of zero mean? What do I do with sales rank for sub-categories? Why does sales rank have to be so confusing so much of the time?
I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way! You can finally get the clarity you need on the issue of understanding Amazon sales rank numbers. We at Full-Time FBA have launched a mini-course called The Reseller’s Guide to Sales Rank: Understanding Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Maximum Profits. The mini-course is a combination ebook (30+ pages) and video course (almost 2 hours).
Check out The Reseller’s Guide to Sales Rank mini-course to see how you can master the concept of best sellers rank and be on your way toward smarter sourcing decisions for your Amazon FBA business!
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Episode 110 Transcript:
[0:00:01.8] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Full-Time FBA Show. In each episode, it’s our goal to help you turn part-time hours into a full-time income, selling almost anything on Amazon. Now, your hosts of the show, Stephen and Rebecca Smotherman.
[0:00:20.9] STEPHEN: Welcome to episode number 110 of the Full-Time FBA show. Today, we’re going to be talking about understanding the suppressed buy box on Amazon and how you can rescue it, how you can unsuppress it. Is unsuppress a word?
[0:00:34.7] REBECCA: Sure, it is now.
[0:00:35.9] STEPHEN: I don’t’ know. Yeah, with me now is Rebecca, we’re going to talk about the suppressed Buy Box.
[0:00:39.7] REBECCA: How to unsuppress it.
[0:00:41.8] STEPHEN: Yes, because sometimes the suppressed Buy Box makes us depressed, and we don’t want to be that way. We’ll talk about that on the show today.
[0:00:52.4] REBECCA: All right, so before we get into talking about the suppressed Buy Box and what you can do about it, let’s first just have a short little recap intro to what the Buy Box is. We’ve talked about this before but just in case you need a little review, the buy box is the place on an Amazon product page where you can click to add to cart, a customer can click, buy now, add to cart and it’s where most of the sales come from on an Amazon product page is from that Buy Box and so, getting the Buy Box, having a Buy Box and winning the Buy Box is an awesome way to increase your sales on a particular Amazon product page.
That’s just a brief little intro, if you want more details or more of details or more of a review, we’ve got some resources for you, our second podcast episode, fulltimefba.com/2 was on the Buy Box, and you can listen to that episode to get more information. We’ve also got a couple of blog posts that you can check out: fulltimefba.com/thebuybox or fulltimefba.com/winthebuybox. That will get you some more information if you’re wanting to go a little bit deeper on the Buy Box.
[0:02:00.8] STEPHEN: Yeah, the Buy Box is extremely important real estate. Over 80% of the sales on Amazon sales page come form that little Buy Box and so, when there’s no Buy Box, what’s going on? I mean, that’s some scary time. The suppressed Buy Boxes, yeah, when there is no Buy Box, there’s add to cart buttons.
All you see is maybe a little button that says, “See all buying options” and that leaves you to a little side bar that comes flying over on the top of your screen which kind of sorts all the competitors selling that particular item from least expensive to the most expensive.
The cool thing about the Buy Box is you don’t have to have the lowest price to get the Buy Box. You know what? If there’s no Buy Box, the best place to be is the lowest price and Amazon is suppressing that Buy Box and, in this episode, we’re going to talk about three main reasons why Amazon suppresses the Buy Box and then we’ll talk about ways that you can rescue that Buy Box.
The first reason Amazon suppresses the Buy Box is that Amazon’s algorithm thinks that the current offers are priced too high and that’s just the number one reason.
[0:03:06.3] REBECCA: The second reason why Amazon might suppress the Buy Box is that their algorithm does not see a high enough demand for the items at those current prices. It’s not just that the prices are too high, but it’s also that the demand is too low. In that situation, Amazon might also suppress the Buy Box on a product page.
[0:03:23.3] STEPHEN: Yeah, you might have experienced this in the past where you’ve been selling an item at a price for a long time and then the Buy Box gets suppressed. You’re like, “Wait, I was selling at this price now, what’s the problem? Amazon thinks it’s too high now?” Well, it might be that but it also might be that the demand has gone down.
At that higher price, the demand doesn’t meet it and so Amazon suppresses the Buy Box. It’s kind of a hint to get all the sellers to lower their price.
A third reason why Amazon suppresses the Buy Box is that the current sellers just don’t have good enough seller metrics to win the Buy Box.
One of the reasons why you can win the Buy Box is having great metrics, great return rates, great feedback, there’s no damaged inventory, a whole bunch of different type of seller metrics, you’ve got to have really good seller metrics to win the Buy Box and if those current sellers aren’t good enough, Amazon is not going to feature them in the Buy Box.
Category metrics can differ from one category to another. You might be able to get a Buy Box in one category but not another and so, look into that and see if you can improve your metrics. Alright, let’s transition to, instead of why Amazon suppresses the Buy Box, how we can unsuppress the buy box. How we can rescue the Buy Box, get it back in its proper place in the corner of the Amazon sales page so that people can buy our stuff?
[0:04:39.6] REBECCA: If the number one reason for a suppressed Buy Box is that the price is too high, then the obvious solution is to lower your price. If you are trying to get a Buy Box unsuppressed, you can start to lower your price until you regain that Buy Box.
This is going to take some trial and error, this is going to take some time, possibly to figure it out, to figure out where that sweet spot is because obviously, we don’t want to lower our prices just completely to the point where we’re losing all of our profit and all of our ROI.
If we can lower it little by little and check back in to see, when is that Buy Box coming back, what’s that point where it switches off and on and keep our price under that but high enough to keep our profits, then that is where we’re wanting to be.
[0:05:23.2] STEPHEN: Yeah, another strategy is to reprice to the lowest price. You might not win the Buy Box there, but you will be the first item listed when customers click the “see all buying options” page, Amazon sorts that from lowest price to higher price. While it might not un-suppress the Buy Box, you might get the next sale by being the lowest price. That’s another option for you to consider in this situation.
[0:05:46.7] REBECCA: One question that also comes up when you start to talk about a suppressed Buy Box is whether or not running ads will help that situation. But one thing you need to know about how ads on Amazon work, is that you have to be Buy Box eligible in order to run ads on Amazon. If the Buy Box is suppressed, you are not Buy Box eligible and so you’re not going to be able to run any ads. And so, if you are wanting to increase sales through ads, you’re going to have to get that Buy Box back before you can even start to consider setting up an ad campaign.
[0:06:17.9] STEPHEN: Yeah and speaking of ads, check back with us sometimes in the New Year, we are going to have an episode all about Amazon ads and we’re going to have a special guest to talk to them about ads, so we’re going to learn about that coming up in the next couple of months so be sure you stay subscribed and listen to the episodes because we’re going to talk about ads soon.
Another thing that we can talk about when focusing on un-suppressing the Buy Box is to double check your repricing rules. You might have your repricing minimums and maximums set too high or too low, probably too high. Your max might be too high and so some repricers just don’t reprice when there is no Buy Box. A lot of times repricers will focus on trying to win you the Buy Box, again, because that is where over 80% of the sales come from.
If there is no Buy Box, your repricer rules might not be repricing the way you want it to, so you might want to tweak your repricer rules to make sure that it includes a rule that includes a situation if there is no Buy Box. We use the repricer BQool, spelled BQool. You can find more about it at fulltimefba.com/bqool and they have a lot of different repricer rules that you can set up for yourself and we love it and we use it and it helps us a lot.
[0:07:26.6] REBECCA: Overall, the best strategy is going to be for you to lower your price to get the Buy Box back, that’s the tried-and-true method of getting the Buy Box to come back if it’s been suppressed and so, if that is a problem, lowering the price is not going to be profitable for you, it might just be your best strategy is to lower the price, get the Buy Box, sell out of the item and then use the capital that you get back to that you can move on to different inventory that you can sell that will have a Buy Box that you can sell consistently without having to worry about your price and whether or not customers are going to see it easily in the Buy Box for you to have your offer available for them.
[0:08:02.8] STEPHEN: Dealing with a product on Amazon that has a suppressed Buy Box, you know, it could be frustrating but there are some tweaks that you can make in your business model to help you win back that Buy Box or at least, get rid of that inventory to move on, you know, sell that inventory and move on and use that capital for better inventory.
Hopefully, this episode has been helpful for you to better understand the Buy Box, the suppressed Buy Box and how to get that Buy Box back where it belongs.
[0:08:31.9] REBECCA: Thank you so much for joining us for this week’s episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. As always, you can find the show notes for this episode at fulltimefba.com/110, that’s the number 110 because this is episode number 110 and you will find any links that were mentioned in this episode for resources that you might want to check out, as well as the transcript for the episode if you want to read through that.
[0:08:55.9] STEPHEN: Next week on the show, we are going to answer the question, “Should you merchant fulfill in Q4?” Should you, as an FBA seller who has their inventory at Amazon, should you pivot and maybe seller-fulfill and fulfill the inventory yourself during Q4 this year? We’re going to answer that question, the pros and cons, we’ll get into that in the next episode of The Full-Time FBA Show.
[0:09:21.0] ANNOUNCER: That is all for this episode of The Full-Time FBA Show. So head over to fulltimefba.com/podcast, where you will find the show notes and links from this episode. While you’re there, subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll get several free downloads of our popular and helpful Amazon FBA resources. Now, take action on what you have learned today so you can find success at turning part-time hours into a full-time income with Amazon FBA.
Mustafa Anany says
I am 60 year old with some disability. I have three little children. Recently I got laid off from my job. I am trying to sell on amazon and do it full time job but I am overwhelmed with all steps to take and YouTube videos.
Can you please help me!
Stephen Smotherman says
It sounds like you need the JumpStart Amazon course. It has everything you need to get started selling on Amazon. You won’t be overwhelmed because it’s a self-paced course and you can go as quickly or slowly as you want to go. We start laying a solid foundation and build upon that one layer at a time with more and more Amazon reseller skills and strategies.
Here is a link to the course: https://www.fulltimefba.com/jumpstart.