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Amazon Sellers Must Compete with Rentals and Ebooks

Booksellers are finding that not only do they have to compete with Amazon.com and other sellers on the marketplace, they now have to compete with Kindle formats and even rentals.

In early May, EcommerceBytes reported that Amazon was testing the listing offer page. It seems testing has been ongoing in how Amazon presents buyers with options for viewing product details as well as offers.

There are two threads worth perusing if you are curious about what others are seeing. This thread discusses changes to the detail page. And this thread begins by talking about the offers page.

One seller discussing the changes theorized that Amazon is trying out new formats for pages that are “choked with too many offers.” In some cases, Amazon is giving one seller key billing on the detail page of a title.

A reader who told us about the testing in early May reached out with an update on Monday, reporting on some of the changes he’s now observing.

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On many text book pages the Buy Box now displays an option to rent the book instead of buying it.

And on some books, the Buy Box is displaying an option for a FREE kindle book instead of buying.

He also said the seller’s inventory page has a new “Pricing” tab at the top of the page between the “Inventory” tab and the “Orders” tab with a pull down menu with 3 options: View Pricing Dashboard, Manage Pricing and Fix price Alerts.

“There has been some chatter about this addition most sellers feel that it is going to cause prices to race to the bottom,” he said. “I personally can not even figure out how it works, and to my knowledge Amazon has made no announcement about this new feature.”

In May when contacted by EcommerceBytes, Amazon declined to comment about the testing it was conducting.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.