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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed May 4 2016 23:04:37

Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool

By: Ina Steiner
Sponsored Link
Amazon launched a repricing tool, but it's in stealth mode. Some sellers began discussing the feature on industry boards, including Amazon discussion boards. Some have said they believe it will increase the "race to the bottom" in terms of pricing.

Not all sellers have access to the tool, called Automate Pricing by Amazon. Amazon published a video to YouTube, but it's "unlisted," meaning it's only viewable to those who know the URL.

According to the video, competitive pricing is critical for success on Amazon, and Automate Pricing is a "fast convenient way to make price updates."

Sellers can use the feature to set up automatic rules:

"Identify the maximum and minimum price limits you're comfortable with and Automate Pricing will automatically adjust your prices within the prescribed range.

"Let's say you want to peg your price to the Buy box price. When the Buy box price changes, Automate Pricing ensures that your price matches, exceeds, or beats the Buy box price by an amount or percentage that you specify within your min and max."

Sellers who have access to the tool say it appears in the Seller Central dashboard under the "pricing tab." One seller discussing it online said, "This is Amazon's dream. This will help drive prices into the..." But another seller noted that repricers have been around for years. 

There are other factors for sellers to consider besides price alone. A few months ago in a thread about price-matching, a seller advised a colleague to consider rivals' feedback. "The item with the lowest price may be sold by a seller with 80% positive feedback. If your feedback is stellar, you can charge a few dollars more and be confident that quality-conscious customers will buy from you. That has been my personal experience here, over thousands of sales."

Alasdair McLean-Foreman of Teikametrics, which provides repricing services, doesn't expect Amazon's tool to have a huge impact on prices on Amazon. "Since the bulk of successful retailers on Amazon are already using some kind of automation, I think the effect to the market price largely won't be impacted," he said. 

What about the impact on third-party vendors? "Repricing services that only offer simplified logic without taking into account the most critical component of profitability will find it much harder to present value to retailers."

McLean-Foreman said Amazon's tool creates an opportunity for more sophisticated solutions that assist retailers in a more holistic way - "to win on the Amazon platform you need a complete solution that optimizes for profitability and not just price."

Let us know what you think of Amazon coming out with its own repricing function.



Comments (11) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare
       
Thu May 5 09:18:20 2016
I know Amazon loves to let me know that a price in my cart has gone down.  Most of the time it is not enough to get excited about.  The notice does remind me that I have an abandoned cart and I will then either delete, move stuff to a wish list or buy. Always helpful to a site to get an abandoned cart moving :)

I do not have a firm opinion on this kind of Tool.  I have not seen any in action and I am not sure that it would be a value add for me as a Seller.  Now, if it also notified me that prices are changing and I could then go look to see what & why and if I want to change what I am doing...that could be valuable. However, a simple behind the scenes sub-routine that changes prices and never lets me know - not sure about it's usefulness to a small or low-volume seller.

I assume that it makes sense for Amazon to create their own, they know their site best. Especially if they want to run any other type off their site and thereby keeping the site secure and data-mining to themselves? I would think giving a 3rd party version access to the site to make the changes is not optimal security? Maybe that is not how it works.  I hope the experts here chime in on this :)

Wonder if they charge for this or if they will in the future.  
Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite
       
Thu May 5 15:22:10 2016
I sell Antique & Vintage, so right now, the Amazon thing doesn't apply much to me.  As a buyer, I HATE Amazon, and how they present search results.  I just bought 4 books there, spent 2 hours doing it, and didn't buy a single book that was the cheapest.  Jeeeesh they make it tough to find any one but the seller they want to present to you.

That said, the pressure exerted even in A&V through the magic of fixed, jury rigged search algorithms, eventually does much the same thing.  If you can't be seen, unless you are the cheapest, pretty soon you're forced to either lower your price, or quit.  If only the cheapest, or the ''Promoted'' can be seen, then you don't even have a chance to speak to customers, regarding Quality and Service.  And in the case of A&V, the enormous possible difference in the product.
 
What happened to the proverbial 3 legged stool of Quality, Service, & Price.  Not necessarily in that order, choose any order you like.  But what happened to anything more than Price?  

Just take the 1960's department store. Once or twice a year ''White Sale'', ''Suit Sale'', ''Furniture Sale''.  Never more than 15% off.  Worked good.  Service & Quality was whatever you chose, depending on the retailer (or catalog seller), and both were dependable.

I've given up telling anyone, ''At 70%, 80%, even 90% off, it was made to sell at that price''!  They're too happy telling you the $159.00 Coach purse bought at the ''Outlet Mall'' was really overstock, not made by 3rd shift workers, or a knockoff.  They don't know about ''3rd shift'' workers, but I do love asking them ''Why would you want an overstock Coach purse?''  ''Sounds like something no one else wanted''.  They care about a ''Viral Black Maned Lion Story'', but know nothing about the continued slaughter of Tens of Thousands of Tigers, Elephants, and Bears, for black market animal parts.

Back to Amazon, this is just more ''Race to the Bottom''.  This kind of pricing has NEVER done any market, any permanent good.  From the seller's side, it only serves to stifle the competition.  That way, there are less competitors to buy out, leaving the new, unregulated, modern American monopoly.  From the buyer's side, it continues to falsely educate the modern buyer, that everything is the same, only price matters.

Ask yourself:

1)  Do you REALLY think, that as a 3rd party seller, Amazon has your welfare in mind, with this new policy?

2)  In the end, what policy, by Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy, ever did anyone any good, except Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy!
Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: donald This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 6 00:47:53 2016




I wasted my time when I try to beat other sellers. It was a rat race. I simply did not made any worth while money. I'm not at Amazon for that so now I set my price and wait my turn. Sooner or later I sell when other sellers run out of inventory.


Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Fri May 6 02:14:35 2016
I'm not into a repricer because it just promotes lower prices. I set my prices for what I want to sell them for. If they don't sell on Amazon maybe on eCRATER. I hate getting lovely little messages from Amazon telling me that I have the highest price on something and then give me a suggested lower price. Since they make some of their money from fees, you would think they would want us all to sell at higher prices.

Repricers can't understand the intangible buyer behavior. This past week I sold two copies of one of my items within about 12 hours of each other. With the first I checked the listing to check out my competition. My other copy had the Buy box and there was one other copy priced at less than half of mine. When the second one sold I went back and checked again, the cheaper one was still for sale and there had been no other listings that I could tell. Was it because of the Buy Box? Was it because of my greater amount of sales and feedback? My way of listing? Who knows, but it wasn't about the price, yet the repricer would have probably suggested dropping my price in half.
Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 6 06:17:37 2016
Back to Amazon, this is just more ''Race to the Bottom''.
^^
This.  None of this takes in the price for shipping goods, which adds to the cost of the product.  These days I only sell DVDs on AMZ.  They've restricted the FBM from selling about 50% of items-beauty, software, baby items.  Most of my clothing sales now come from Tradesy and now and then I sell on Ebay. These sites are making it hard for the FBMs to sell.  Period.  I'm just about ready to throw in the towel with AMZ.
Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: Aleks This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Fri May 6 07:04:19 2016
This info might be valuable for Amazon Sellers who are dissatisfied with auto-repricers.

There are software project out there, called www.Bindwise.com. It doesn't change your prices! Its goal is finding and delivering you insights, like price changes of competitors - you make decision and take action.

It goes even further, by letting you know immediately about negative feedback, also about your listing with poor information, and points exact places to improve.  
Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 6 09:26:48 2016
I see this as good since it not only will lower the price, but it will raise the price as well.
You can set the low price so you don't have to race to the bottom and with a high price limit you can also set your item to not go beyond the reach of the buyer.

Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: topdog This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 6 09:31:59 2016
No question it will have the overall effect of lowering prices.
I absolutely HATE dealing with sellers that use a repricer. All that accomplishes is that the price keeps going lower into the bottomless pit, with the only real result is that all parties give up all of their margin.  
Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: Big Red This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 6 09:32:21 2016
For those who use automated repricing, one would be very foolish to use Amazon's tool over a private third party's tool.

Amazon is also a competitor on the Amazon marketplace (obviously), and in using their repricing tool one divulges to Amazon the minimum price at which one is willing to sell.
Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: topdog This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 6 09:35:57 2016
Most of the items we sell are MAP enforced, so we're restricted to selling at that MAP price, as are (most) our competitors. The problem is, there's always some jokers who comes along and goes a bit below, and it takes a while for the manufacturer to cut him off. Add in a repricer, they can go from a couple of $ below MAP (which often has little effect on our sales) to way below MAP (which will effect everyone). So yes, this will likely lower prices a good deal - to the point that even more of our manufacturers will ban Amazon sales
Perminate Link for Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool   Amazon Stealth-Launches a Repricing Tool
by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 6 18:09:08 2016
Americans should shy away from undercutting other sellers. To begin with, you cannot compete with Chinese sellers who can cut prices lower than best wholesale cost. Best you spend your time educating yourself and your family as to where to buy and who to buy from.  


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