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The Amazon Buy Box: How to Take Control

A Guide from Fast Track FBA

Thomas shares the main reason you need to control the Amazon buy box is because it will get you more sales.

As an FBA seller, once you've been through the sourcing process, purchased products, and listed them on Amazon, you need to make some sales. The most effective way to do this is through the Amazon buy box. But what is the buy box, and how do you get your price listed in it? I recently answered these pressing questions and more on the Fast Track FBA YouTube channel. But if you missed the video, don't worry. Here's the complete recap of my guide to the buy box and how you can win it.

Table of Contents

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What Is the Amazon Buy Box? 

An Amazon listing that highlights the amazon buy box on the right side, along with the seller who currently controls the buy box

First things first, the buy box is the small box on the right side of Amazon listings that allows customers to add an item to their basket or buy it instantly. The buy box makes shopping much easier for customers, as they don't have to scroll through lists of sellers to purchase a product. 

 

However, this means only one seller gets their price listed in the buy box. You can find out who currently controls an Amazon buy box by taking a look under the ‘Buy now' button. 

Why Do You Need to Control the Buy Box?

You'll often hear FBA sellers talk about ‘winning' the buy box, and celebrating when they do so. But why is everyone so desperate to have their price listed in the buy box? Well, since….

 

  • Eighty-five percent of sales occur through the Amazon buy box  
  • Only the seller in control of the buy box makes the sale

 

…controlling the buy box means maximized profits and the best ROI. 

What Is a Suppressed Buy Box? 

An Amazon listing that highlights a suppressed buy box. Suppressed buy boxes occur when Amazon doesn't think any of the listed prices are fair enough to offer their customers in a regular buy box

Sometimes, an Amazon listing won't have a buy box. Instead, you'll see a much smaller box that says ‘See All Buying Options'. This is because Amazon has ‘suppressed' the buy box. 

 

Generally, a suppressed buy box indicates that the only prices available for a specific item are too high. So, if you notice a suppressed buy box on one of your listings, but you're the cheapest price available, Amazon still thinks your price needs to be more fair.

How do you turn a suppressed buy box into a regular buy box?

If you want to get the regular buy box on your listings, decrease your prices in small increments until you notice it reappear. 

 

You'll need to determine whether the sales volume you'll receive by being in the buy box at that lower price is enough to make a profit. Alternatively, you can leave a suppressed buy box on one of your listings if you're happy to make sales slowly and sporadically. 

If you're struggling to find products profitable enough to leave some leeway for price changes, you need the Fast Track FBA Leads service. With access to this service, you can see the potential profits, ROIs, Keepa Charts, and competitors on over 500 deals for US and UK Amazon. Plus, with a click of a button, you'll unlock  the deal's ASIN and supplier. The team add new deals on a daily basis, so check out the Fast Track FBA Leads service here

How to Win the Amazon Buy Box

A list of sellers on an Amazon listing. The cheapest price controls the buy box, a matching price rotates in and out of the buy box, and the most expensive price is not in the buy box.

Now that you know about the buy box, you're probably wondering how to take control of it. Here are my top tips:

 

1. Price 

 

As mentioned, price is vital in controlling the buy box and avoiding a suppressed buy box. Generally, the cheapest price is the one that will win the box. Take some time to work out the lowest possible price you can offer your products while still making a profit. Also, remember that if you control the buy box, you're likely to sell out faster, so make sure to restock your inventory if needed. 

 

If you've put your prices as low as possible but still match one of your competitors, don't panic. In these cases, Amazon usually allows two sellers to share a buy box by regularly rotating which seller's price is listed. 

 

2. Fulfilment Option 

 

Products on Amazon are either FBA or FBM. Essentially, they're either shipped out by Amazon or straight from the manufacturer's warehouse with an independent courier. Unsurprisingly, Amazon prefers to use its own logistics because they're reliable, trustworthy, and free for Prime customers. 

 

This is why, when it comes to the buy box, Amazon prioritizes FBA sellers over FBM sellers, even if they've listed a product for the same price. Due to this, FBA sellers have a little bit of leeway to sell at higher prices than FBM sellers. As a rule of thumb, you can go up to a 13% increase on the FBM seller's price and still remain in the box. 

But What About FBM Sellers?

If you're doing online arbitrage but aren't partaking in FBA, you may be slightly worried after what you've just read. However, you can still control the buy box even if your products are ‘Fulfilled by Merchant'. Here's what you'll need to consider: 

 

  1. Perfect Order Percentage – The higher your perfect order percentage, the better. 
  2. Shipping Time – Amazon much prefers shorter shipping times. 
  3. Order Defect Rate – The fewer problem orders you have, the better. 

 

These three factors will work alongside your price to determine whether you win the buy box. If you're having trouble with these metrics, you'll likely see FBA sellers overtaking you in the race for the buy box. 

 

Conversely, for FBA sellers, if you're up against an FBM seller with perfect metrics, you will need to price extremely competitively to control the Amazon buy box. 

Other Things to Consider

There are two more things that both FBA and FBM sellers need to take into account to gain control of the buy box. These are:

 

  • Number of orders you've made (without problems or complaints)
  • Feedback score 

 

Basically, Amazon wants to check that you're a good seller and ensure that your customers feel the same.

 

If you're a new seller and can't take control of the Amazon buy box no matter how low your prices go, the lack of orders and reviews is probably why. You'll need to wait a bit to build these metrics up. After that, if you price correctly, you should see buy boxes in your name. 

 

BUT, if you're competing against Amazon on a listing, all of the above can mean nothing. They could take control of the buy box, no matter their price, leaving FBA sellers stuck outside it. This is why you should use FBA tools to double-check whether Amazon is on a listing before you buy that product. 

Tools to Help You Win the Amazon Buy Box

A screenshot from Keepa, a tool that can help you win the buy box by analysing the history of buy box prices.

Finally, the battle for the buy box is not one you have to fight alone. Here are two tools I rely on when it comes to securing the box: 

Keepa

As an FBA seller, you should already have the Keepa extension installed. As well as being an essential for making sure a product will remain profitable, it also displays the history of the buy box for a particular listing. With Keepa's help, you can analyze which prices have gotten into the buy box in the past and plan for the future. 

 

If you want to know more, check out my video guide on how to use Keepa here. 

Repricers

Repricers automatically reprice your items between a pre-set minimum and maximum. They'll help you price competitively, win the buy box, and maintain your control over it. 

 

If you're unfamiliar with these tools and want to learn more about repricers, here are my recommendations. 

Watch the full video here

Or, if you don't have time to watch the complete guide now, check out the Buy Box Cheat Sheet. This will give you everything you need to know in bite-sized chunks, and you can refer back to it whenever you're battling for the Amazon buy box. 

 

If you liked this guide and want to find out more about Amazon FBA, here are some articles that will interest you: Top 8 Keepa Tips, How to Find Items Sold by Amazon in 2024, and Top 10 Online Arbitrage Software Programs.  

 

We also created a playlist on YouTube named the Amazon FBA Full Course 2024.

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