FBA Buy Box Disaster - The Solution


#1

Hi.

I believe that I have identified what the problem is with FBA Sellers losing the Buy Box to FBM sellers from Monday onward.

I have emailed the Amazon UK managing director and the main text is given below. I would strongly urge ALL FBA Sellers to also email the MD about it at: managingdirector@Amazon.co.uk

The more voices raised about it, the more likely that something will be done.

Here is what I said:

"I would like to draw your attention to, and ask you to rectify, an event that has created a huge and disastrous problem for all Amazon Sellers who use FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). This event threatens the whole FBA business model and is going to drive many FBA Sellers out of the market. I believe that I have identified what has caused this event and how to solve it.

On Monday 4th November, there was a seismic shift in the way that the Buy Box algorithm allocates the Buy Box. FBA Sellers who held Buy Box prices before Monday suddenly lost all or most of their Buy Boxes to sellers who use FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant). In order to regain the Buy Box, FBA Sellers have to reduce their prices to a level close to or equal to that of the lowest FBM offers. So for example I previously held many Buy Boxes at the price of £19.95, but now can only price most of them at £10 or less in order to win the Buy Box. This means that now I can only sell at break-even prices or at a loss.

FBA Sellers just can’t compete with FBM Sellers on low prices because of the much greater costs for FBA – on average Amazon takes 36% of my turnover for FBA transactions, compared with 19% for FBM transactions (and this differential gets worse as prices are lowered as some FBA charges are fixed costs rather than a percentage, so for a £10 FBA item Amazon take 40% of my turnover).

Seller Support have assured me that there has not been any change to the Buy Box algorithm this month, so this disaster for FBA Sellers was presumably not intended by Amazon.

I believe that a change to something else in the Amazon system on Monday has had an unexpected knock-on effect on the way that the Buy Box algorithm works.

On the Product Page that the customer sees, there are a number of boxes on the right-hand side of the page. Underneath the link to the page with all New and Used offers is a box titled “Other Sellers on Amazon” (the OSA Box). This shows offers that do not currently have the Buy Box, but are within the current Buy Box price range for these items.

The way that the OSA Box works was changed on Monday. I believe this is what has caused the change in the way the Buy Box algorithm works.

Prior to the change, where an FBA offer held the Buy Box, the OSA Box would only show other FBA offers that were within the current Buy Box price range for these items, and it would only show FBM offers if an FBM offer held the Buy Box.

After the change, the OSA Box now shows all offers that are within the current Buy Box price range for these items, regardless of whether the offers are FBA or FBM and regardless of who holds the Buy Box.

I hope that if you reverse the changes to the OSA Box, this will solve the Buy Box algorithm malfunction."

Make some noise guys.


#2

You a bit late it happened prior to the date you show for us & many others,it happened overnight on Tues 22nd October


#3

Hi Russ.

You should still contact the Amazon MD about this issue and include the information on when your listings were affected.


#4

Pointless will not even be read.


#5

Then try emailing jeff@amazon.com


#6

Unfortunately, the BuyBox algorithm depends on multiple factors, which Amazon doesn’t reveal and there is no guarantee you will have the BuyBox on any listing, even if you were the one who created it and there are no other sellers competing with you.

Also, I believe that Amazon recently updated their algorithm to start displaying different results to each buyer based on multiple factors such as their location, purchase history or browser, so you seeing poor results doesn’t necessarily have to mean that this is what your buyers see as well.

I believe that e-mailing the executive departments over loss of BuyBox would be a waste of time.


#7

Hi Kika.

Do you really think that Amazon are not going to be interested in an issue that basically destroys the FBA business model for many FBA sellers and will cost Amazon a huge amount of lost revenue?


#8

what made you think that Amazon not already got something else in place for revenue generation?


#9

Well done that man.
Tomorrow I will also e:mail the MD.

I spotted this yesterday and it goes without saying that this is a complete disaster for FBA sellers.

Cheers


#10

Are you looking at the listings with an account that has Amazon Prime?

I find when I look at a listing without Prime then you are correct the FBM merchants are taking the buybox. When I look at the same listing with a Prime account then the FBA seller takes priority.


#11

Damn… looking at the title I thought you had solved the issue and were telling us the solution :wink:


#12

As a mainly FBM seller, I wonder why you think you shouldn’t need to be competitive?

Also, remember the FBA fees you show include storage, picking, packing and delivery. These costs are not shown in the FBM fees you show and are additional costs the FBM seller must cover in addition to their FBM fees.


#13

I posted earier today as a separate thread, the report might have some relevance here;
https://promarket.org/how-amazon-rigs-its-shopping-algorithm/

Personally if the BB has changed to create a more level playing field, that seems to be a very good thing. I’m not unsympathetic to any seller when amazon arbitrarily changes terms of functionality that affects their sales, but unfortunately it’s what Amazon does all the time and we’ve all been on the receiving end at one time or another. They have a management strategy of inducing ‘churn’ and you can’t really battle that strategy, the lack of stability seems deliberate - so regrettably writing to the MD is just a further waste of your time.


#14

I personally welcome the change. For many years we have lost the buy box to (amongst others) Chinese sellers sending over their stock to UK warehouses. We are FBM and have to rent premises and pay staff to pick and pack orders. The FBA fees (although many complain about them) probably work out cheaper than our overheads yet we never usually get the chance to sell as much as Amazon always take the buy box.
Sorry guys - I know most of you won’t want to hear that !


#15

Let’s face it Amazon is moving away from delivering our/your prime items! They want seller to for fill prime. This way they no need to pay as its funded by the seller. And still get the prime yearly fee.


#16

Yep, ditto, it’s way past time the MP wasn’t so skewed.


#17

Couldn’t be happier myself that FBA aren’t getting all the buy box!

Why should you get the premium spot, I still have to pay for storage etc, just in a different way to how you do on FBA


#18

pointless I’m no longer sending in stock FBA it’s just killing me, sent in double for xmas and it’s just sat there, never mind they then put many of my ASINS on hazmat review, then having to destroy stock, then jeff@amazon contradicting their own compliance team allowing ASINS they refused (again) I’m sick to death of Amazons treatment… so opened up my Ebay shop and gone FBM… but even if I put my FBM units 1p less than another seller at 96% service I still dont get BB🤷‍♀️ I’m 100% no issues EVER with standards its madness…just 0 faith in amazon now after this latest BB fiasco


#19

Are you saying FBM sellers have no rights to the buy box?


#20

You fail to grasp one basic, fundamental principle about Amazon:

Amazon is never wrong.