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.