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Wed July 18 2012 12:22:02

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

By: Julia Wilkinson

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I was listing a textbook the other night when I came across a button that did not look familiar to me on the Amazon seller form: "Match Low Price," with the all-caps word "NEW" next to it in orange.

I had to ask myself if I had seen it before and just not noticed it, but I could find no online discussion about it. There has been, however, the ability on Amazon to use a "Match Low Price" for an existing listing, but I had not seen it before in the initial listing form where you add an item to your Amazon inventory for the first time.

In August 2012, Amazon also added the ability for shoppers to tell Amazon about a lower price, if they found a lower price for an item somewhere else.

Is this button more pressure for sellers to engage in what's been called a "race to the bottom," and what do you think of that if you sell on Amazon? Some sellers complain about products that hold healthy selling prices from, say, six sellers, until a seventh seller comes along and sets a crazy lowball offer, skewing the market on that item for all sellers. Have you encountered this on Amazon, and what do you think about the "race to the bottom" concept -- is it a problem or just a natural market force at work? Post a comment here!




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: Wire This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 18 13:01:24 2012

Having been selling on Amazon for a year now, I always set my price myself. And with news of the appeagle glitch, I will still stay in full control of my prices.
If I am doing FBA, I dont worry about low price if I will be the only FBA seller for that item. I always price higher and get plenty of orders that way. A lot of buyers on Amazon are prime members and will pay more for free 2 day shipping and the convinces of easy returns with Amazon handling it all.

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
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Wed Jul 18 14:33:08 2012

Hi Wire,

Good points. There is the thought that, if it's only one seller lowballing a bunch of the same ISBN items, someone will soon buy that person's lowball offer and he'll be gone. (Some sellers even talk of buying it themselves to get rid of it!).

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Jul 18 15:10:20 2012

Just re-inforces my decision not to sell on Amazon.
They should just leave it to the market to set prices.


Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 19 13:56:51 2012

Buy it yourself!

I haven't done that yet but I have told buyers who complain about prices quoting a lowballers price.  ''I may just buy that myself for $50 so I can sell mine for $1500''.

It's impossible to beat a scrap dealer on price on junk IT equipment, even if it cost $10,000 when it was new and is a current product there will be someone trying to sell one for $50.  Ridiculous.

Everything has a value.
It's people who don't understand that who are causing that race to the bottom.  

The problem with playing that game is if you sell everything cheap, really cheap, you can't sell enough to make enough money.  

Do you really want to ship 10,000 items at $2 to make $20,000?   Not me!  Too much activity for too little money.  This isn't red China!  

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 19 17:00:20 2012

Nobody wins in a race to the bottom! .... however if one considers item condition , low price doesn't always reflect the best value

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 19 23:29:33 2012

HAD PROBLEM WITH EXTREMELY LOW OFFER LISTED. I BOUGHT IT, RESOLD IT ON THE SAME LISTING PAGE-AMAZON-MADE $40.00 FOR MY TROUBLE. NOW EVERYTHING BACK IN LINE.

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Fri Jul 20 00:54:55 2012

The good news is that well known brands will continue to leave Amazon and ebay over control issues and the bad news is that it will take longer for 3rd party merchants in highly competitive categories to go out of business as two greedy CEOs duke it out.

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Fri Jul 20 09:09:22 2012

Gee - never though of buying & relisting it back on Amazon - wonderful!

I'm guilty of ''the race to the bottom'' only in the sense when I list a book on Amazon at what I consider a fair value, I don't play the Amazon lottery of pricing it 2x higher than I think it would sell. Then again, the book will sell at some point & the next customer for the book can pay the asking price.

The thing that really gets me is the $0.01 cd's for sale. Just recycle the plastic for goodness sake, the time to mail out the sucker is just not worth it!

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Fri Jul 20 09:11:33 2012

Hey Steevo -

You remember the old adage

"We only lose $0.05 on each item, but we make it up in volume!"

Nuff said about lowest priced items.

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Jul 20 11:03:37 2012

I think those that list the lowball offers on Amazon and other venues, either have no concept of the true worth of an item, they are real lousy in math and don't realize that they will be owing the buyer money at the end of the transaction, or they are so convinced that everyone currently is very poor because of the lousy economy that they think all prices have to be as low as possible so people can 'afford' theur stuff. Then there are the folks that say they are only selling as a hobby and don't care what they make. If they don't care what they make, then I really wish they would list their stuff at reasonable prices so those of us that sell to buy groceries and pay the utility bills can earn enough money!

I've heard lots of excuses for the lowball prices, none of which make sense and in over 10 years of on line selling, I still haven't seen an explanation of how the lowball sellers make money with their system of pricing. I also don't understand the highball prices which are at times 10 times the normal selling prices. Generally always a couple sellers names will be there pricing away at ridiculous prices but they seem to be making thousands of sales a month, so I'm curious about that too.

Even though I'm curious, I have enough to do keeping my store running than trying to figure out other's selling philosophy. One of the reasons I would like to see more talk on this board about all venues and selling tactics than constantly about ebay this and that. Some of us have said good-bye to ebay and don't relly care that they continues to dig their own grave even if they still can convince their shareholders that they are doing fine.

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: coolcarla This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 20 16:35:10 2012

Aren't these sorts of things just clouding the REAL issue?. . . which is: If Amazon and Ebay are just ''venues'' to bring buyers and sellers together, as they claim, then what business is it of theirs what people price at? . . . or what their return policy is? . . . or what their shipping policy is?  etc.

Can you imagine you rent a space for your restaurant, you install a kitchen, hire and train servers, chefs, bartenders, decorate the place and THEN have your LANDLORD come in and tell you how fast you have to get the meals to the table? what kind of meals you can serve? Or that you have to refund the meal price if someone complains?

Ebay and Amazon are Landlords folks and they take great pains to say they are ''just venues'' whenever it suits them evading reponsibility. But then, in every other way, they insinuate themselves into our business as a ''not so silent'' partner telling us how to run it. How can they legally have it both ways?

Ebay even has their freudian slip once in a while by calling them their customers when in fact, they are OUR customers. WE, the SELLERS are Ebay's customers but they can't even get that simple fact straight.

And now, providing this ''match low price'' .... why are they even bothering with this stuff? Ebay and Amazon's job is to provide a basic level playing field for commerce to take place, prevent frauds and scams and that's it! Nothing else is their business. Every buyer can decide whether they want to buy from a seller after reading seller's description, price and terms. Nobody is forcing them to buy! The marketplace will decide if a seller stays in business just like for the bricks-n-mortar.

I already don't like that they put other listings in my store for people to click on.... ''other people bought this or that...''

Can the landlord of your restaurant come in at dinner hour and announce to all your patrons that there's cheaper restaurants down the street? Or that most people stop by Starbucks for coffee after dinner? I surely think you could file a lawsuit for intereference with your business against him.... and win!!

Why do these online landlords think they can operate any differently? We pay to rent space! Yet they tell us how fast to ship, that we have to accept returns, etc. Either we are INDEPENDENT businesses as they claim we are, or we're not. It can't be both.

And that is the real heart of the matter for this, and all the other issues that are constantly arising.

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
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Sat Jul 21 00:16:45 2012

So if people don't like ebay and Amazons policies and tactics why do they still list there ?

There are other sites!

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jul 21 05:00:44 2012

Coolcarla, I believe you're missing the point.  You're seeing conspiracy where there is none- remember Occam's Razor.  The various sites make money off each sale, and thus they want more sales on their venue.  So Amazon offers a way for me to price my item lower than anyone else (which they hope will also be lower than on Abebooks, alibris, et al) and I'll sell it and they'll make a cut out of it.  Nothing devious about that, and there is no requirement that you use their service to price your item lower.  As to the penny-sellers, I don't mind them at all as many people will not buy from them which helps me.  There's a major comic book retailer that has started to list on Amazon- they usually do their listings from scratch even if a listing exists.  If I list the same item later, I put my item into their listing as I know I'll make the sale before them based on the fact that I actually WRITE a description of the product while they have boilerplate language which doesn't refer to the product at hand.  Study your opponents, and learn how to sell against them, and you'll be fine.  OR you can see conspiracies everywhere which doesn't enrich you in any manner.  

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: Karl This user has validated their user name.
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Sat Jul 21 11:06:36 2012

No, actually I think the intent of this button was not necessarily for a ''Race to the Bottom''.  Amazon does want to be the global low price seller, but frankly due to other issues in search and browse the idea behind this addition I believe was viewed as an ''Opportunity Button''.  If the merchant has the margin and wants to compete, the tool looks at the comparable pricing to that specific ASIN and gives the merchant a reading on what's out there.

As for the re-pricer topic, it is unfortunate that sloppy programers hurt unsuspecting merchants.  There are far more elegant re-pricers out there where the possibility of a glitch is greatly diminished.  And, it is impossible if you have over 500 or 700 listings, to actually compete against re-pricing because you'll never catch all the changes even if you have a room full of people on computers watching all your product pricing 24x7x365.

Best practices for re-pricing recommends you determine your floor and your ceiling and let the re-pricer do the rest while you go about sourcing new products and getting your arms around your customers.

Fretting over some of this minusha is somewhat of a waste of energy.  Control the things you can and let the rest wash over you.

I've worked with these marketplaces for over 11 years, and it is an experience.  I hope sharing my comments helps!!!  

Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button   Amazon's 'Match Low Price' Seller Listing Button

by: tolbooks This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 12 20:30:21 2012

There are books and CDs for a penny on Amazon. Not sure how you are supposed to even ship a product after Amazon takes that out their commission.
Lowest price matching? Why not just take your inventory out to the dumpster.



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