Amazon consider RRP when awarding the Buy Box

We received an interesting email from an Amazon seller that’s worth sharing. The email from Amazon was sent to a Toy seller and it regards Toy ASINs, RRP (Recommended Retail Price) and getting that all important Amazon Buy Box slot.

Here’s the text of the email:

“Dear Amazon Seller,

You are receiving this email because you are listing one or more ASINs in the Toys category. We have noticed in the past that certain popular Toy ASINs have been sold above the recommended retail price during the holiday season, creating a poor shopping experience for customers.

At Amazon, we give the utmost importance to ensuring a great shopping experience for customers. Hence, we reserve the buybox award for eligible ASINs that are listed at competitive prices and the buybox will not be awarded to offers with a price above the recommended retail price.

You can review your prices for your listings using the new “Pricing dashboard” on Seller Central. Please help us to offer the best shopping experience to customers by ensuring that your listings are competitively priced.

Best regards,

Amazon Services Europe”

It’s a useful insight on several levels. It is, perhaps, hardly surprising that Amazon would take RRPs into account and obviously toys will be a critical category for sales at this time of years. It also reinforces how Amazon intervenes in the marketplace for the betterment of the buyer experience.

But it does also show how eBay can be superior in some ways: that marketplace will see what buyers will bear. So, if there’s a must have toy this year in short supply (I haven’t seen one yet reported in 2015 but those closer to the industry may have and idea) and gift buyers are willing to pay over the odds because of that scarcity, then eBay is the better bet.