Amazon’s Automatic Pricing Tool: Set & Forget?
By Tina Marie Bueno | August 25th, 2016
On August 22, 2016, Amazon announced “Introducing Automate Pricing from Amazon” in your Seller Account Headlines.
Automated pricing may make some Sellers tremble imagining that it’s all about slashing prices down to bare bones. Rest assured, you have all the power to control the parameters both up and down.
Have you seen this new tool in your dashboard?
It can come in handy whether you have a few SKUs or hundreds but don’t desire to spend inordinate amounts of time monitoring price fluctuations. Another benefit is avoiding typos occurring from manually changing prices. For example, maybe you wanted to sell a product for $55 but accidentally typed .55, resulting in a wiped out inventory and major financial losses. Or the opposite…inadvertently making the price $5,500 resulting in zero sales until you discover the error!
My guess is that most Sellers are intimately acquainted with their profit margins for each product listed. Knowing that information determines your level of flexibility when setting both your lowest and highest prices.
Certainly there are a variety of strategies when it comes to pricing products on Amazon, even though every pricing goal is ultimately similar.
For example, sometimes going lower for a defined period of time to boost a seasonal or stagnant item. Or, Merchants may play with their pricing to rank higher when there are multiple “Other Sellers on Amazon” offering the same product. Often, repricing by only cents impacts ranking on that list of options…even if it’s a temporary shift. FBMers can compete with FBAers if they offer free shipping, or the total price (including shipping) is less than the next competitor.
Remember that the lowest price is not the holy grail which guarantees Buy Box wins. There are definitely other factors in that algorithmic calculation.
If spending less time monitoring your prices and those of competitors, removing the error of manually mis-typed prices, and the flexibility of automating changes; then here are a few more advantages to consider:
- It’s free. I don’t know if this will remain true forever; however, there is no indication otherwise at this juncture.
- It’s super simple to start repricing immediately. From your Seller account create a pricing rule, add SKUs to your rule, set a minimum and maximum price by SKU, and click start. Voilà! Automate Pricing will adjust your price according to your rules, 24/7.
Examples of pricing rules you can create include:
- Match the Buy Box
- Beat lowest FBA price by $0.10
- Stay $1 above the lowest price
- If you set your listings to Inactive (for family emergencies, vacation, etc.), any pricing rules that apply to those listings are paused until your listings are set to Active again.
In case you’re curious about how it works, Amazon provides a couple quick videos and this summary table:
A Final Thought
While automatic pricing is definitely an overall time-saver, that doesn’t mean setting it once and then forgetting it completely. However, instead of being glued to your monitor, periodically (as defined by you) checking in to see if the landscape of your product niche has changed is still a task to keep on your to-do list.
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