Amazon consider RRP when awarding the Buy Box

By Dan Wilson November 23, 2015 - 8:43 am

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.

  • Stuart
    2 years ago

    Perhaps Amazon should also use this themselves, I have seen countless items sold at above the RRP on the site by them.

  • Scott
    2 years ago

    Amazon has a habit of trying to drive prices down on sellers rather than up then take on board the huge fees.

    With supply and demand – if theres an opportunity to push prices up at some points which can recoup some money given up through other products that have been sold at a discount then why not?

    • james
      2 years ago

      its really weird, this site seems to be completely unaware of things like “ethics” ( and “why not rip people off whenever you can, especially christmas?” is actually a valid question.
      maybe its just me.

    • Rai
      2 years ago

      It’s not so much about ethics as brand image – they want Amazon to appear to be the place to go, because its cheapest, easiest, the customer service is good, etc.

      Listing things above RRP is bad for the image, particularly on items that might spread virally by word of mouth this time of year.

    • james
      2 years ago

      kind of demonstrates my point there
      “profiteering may be bad for profits” is the only concern?
      jacking up the price of kids toys at christmas doesn’t seem a teeny bit “wrong” to anyone?
      – we’re talking above RRP here, not just “not discounted”, when we all know RRP is more of an upper ceiling than actual recommended sale price.

    • Rai
      2 years ago

      I don’t dispute the lack of ethics on part of a seller (although understand their methodology). I dispute that Amazon is acting out of ethics, when the truth couldn’t be further.

    • stuart
      2 years ago

      So what about delivery, if you roll delivery in to your price then of course it will be above RRP.

      Plus certain sellers may be buying it more expensive than others.

      At the end of the day at RRP is a Recommended retail price, it’s own name is RECOMMENDED. To me this means you can sell it for more or for less. Worry more about Chinese sellers who list products at huge prices with 90% discount than a couple of sellers who might sell a toy at a bit more than the RRP.

  • Richard
    2 years ago

    It’s within a whisker of becoming a cartel with this practice/suggestion, and that’s illegal in this country.

    • JD
      2 years ago

      Not at all within a whisker if this country is UK!

      And they should be banged to rights.

  • Mark
    2 years ago

    Interesting article, I bought the “In” game for this year which is “Pie Face “, after seeing the You Tube video of the Grandfather and Grandson playing (1.2 million views). I paid £14.99 from Amazon itself. I was restricted in buying only 2 games. I then went back 2 days later to buy some more games and Amazon had pushed the price to over £20 and I see the lowest price now is £27.99, going upto £60.00 for one FBA seller. (eBay highest price is £99.99)
    Amazon does this themselves, so it is very hypocritical telling other sellers not to do it.
    If you have not seen the You Tube video here is the link ;


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