Product Listing Mechanics: Buy Box & Sold by Amazon

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Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to answer two common questions:

•    “What is the “buy box”?”

   “What if Amazon is already selling the product I’m looking at?”

We’ve added this to Module 2 as these are 2 areas of massive misconceptions among people who haven’t sold on Amazon before. Following the model that we are teaching, these 2 things are not going to matter to you, but, as an Amazon marketer, we want to make sure that you know what these are.

What is the “Buy Box”?

In this section we will take a look at what the “buy box” is, what it is used for and why it doesn’t really matter for you. 

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First, what is the “buy box”? When a product on Amazon has more than one seller, the “buy box” is basically awarded to the top seller for that product, which is done if the buyer simply clicks on the “Add to Cart” button that appears to the right of the product, as shown in the image to the right.

The way to know if there is more than one seller for a product

and to see which seller has the “buy box”, just look below the product text and you will see something like “8 new from $6.24″, shown in the following image:

dreamzoneWhen you click on the hyperlink, you are shown the list of merchants who sell that product. The top-ranking merchant in that list is the one that gets the sale if all the buyer does is click the “Add to Cart” button. In this example of the sleep mask product, the list of merchants are shown in the following image:

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In our example, because the price on the main product page shows at $10.99, we can see that the top-ranking merchant (though not shown at the top of the list) is BenStores. What that means, then, is when a buyer clicks the “Add to Cart” button on the main product page, the sale goes to BenStores. If you look back on the main page, just under “In Stock”, you actually see “Sold by BenStores and Fulfilled by Amazon”.

For the remaining sellers, the only time they get sales is whenever the top-ranked seller runs out of stock or when the consumer clicks “8 new” and picks a different seller, which is done by clicking the “Add to Cart” button next to the desired merchant.

This is a very small percentage of total Amazon sellers. So, if you’re selling the same product as everyone else then you are fighting tooth and nail to get into that “buy box”. This is a whole game in and of itself, which is mostly driven by price and where you want to be using “Fulfillment by Amazon”. The good news is, however, that you’re not going to have to worry about any of this because in the business model we teach you in Amazing Selling Machine, there will be no other sellers for your product.

What if Amazon is the Seller?

You can tell if a product is sold by Amazon if you see “Ships from and sold by Amazon.com” on the product listing’s page (see below).

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If a product is sold by Amazon, does this mean it’s not a product worth competing with or that it is a product that Amazon owns and will not let anyone else sell? No it doesn’t. All it means is that Amazon has contacted the manufacturer of that product (in our above example, Coconut Oil) and asked if Amazon itself can buy the product wholesale and sell it on their site. Looking at the image above, you can see there are 66 other sellers for the Coconut Oil product. If you sold this specific product, you would be added to that list, but because you are creating your own “coconut oil” product, you will have your own listing and so you won’t have to worry about this.

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For example, if you did a search on Amazon.com for coconut oil, you could be the second product in the listing (e.g.

Matt’s Coconut Oil). Since it is your own brand, Amazon can’t sell it unless they ask you. This, of course, would be a really cool thing and has happened to a few people we know and have taught this business model to. Amazon will actually start asking you to buy your product wholesale. For example, they’ll buy a 30-day supply in advance, start selling your product and do lots of crazy marketing stuff for your product (but that’s a whole other discussion).

Conclusion

Now that you’ve learned what the buy box is and what happens when Amazon is a seller of a product you want to be selling, hopefully you’ll realize how simple it is to get around the issues surrounding both of these items. In doing so, you’ll be able to move forward comfortably with selecting and selling your own branded products.

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