Every Amazon FBA and FBM seller wants to be the featured offer in the Amazon buy box. More than 80% of Amazon purchases are via the buy box, so it’s the fastest way to move inventory and rack up sales. However, many misconceptions exist about how to win the Amazon buy box.
In this article, we’re going to break down the Amazon buy box algorithm. I’ll teach you how to become Amazon buy box eligible and how the buy box rotation works.
Most importantly, I will teach you how to win the Amazon buy box profitably. Ready to beat the Amazon algorithm? Let’s dig in.
What Is The Amazon Buy Box?
The Amazon Buy Box is the prominent purchase button at the top-right of the Amazon listing.
This box contains essential information for the buyer: the price, delivery date, and the all-important “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons.
Think of the Amazon buy box seller as the default seller. If the buyer clicks the yellow or orange button in this section, the buy box seller’s product adds to their cart.
Remember, these are the buttons Amazon buyers use to purchase more than 80% of the time!
This section will also list the buy box seller’s store name, customer service, and return policy.
Other Sellers On Amazon
All other sellers’ listings for this product feature in a second, much less prominent section below the buy box called “Other Sellers on Amazon.” Savvy shoppers can compare prices from other Amazon FBA and FBM sellers in this box.
What Is Featured Offer On Amazon?
The Amazon featured offer is simply the listing displayed in the buy box. Sometimes you will see the buy box referred to as the featured offer.
What Is A Suppressed Amazon Buy Box?
A suppressed Amazon buy box is when the shopper has to click “see all buying options” to view the featured offer. The suppression happens when Amazon thinks the price is too high.
However, it ultimately doesn’t matter, as there is still a default listing behind the button. It’s just an extra click for the customer.
Is Your Seller Account Amazon Buy Box Eligible?
Amazon Buy Box Eligibility Factor 1: Account Type
Free Amazon Seller accounts, also known as the Individual Plan, are not eligible to be featured in the buy box. You must pay $39.99/month for the Amazon Seller Professional Plan for your listing to be a featured offer.
For this reason and many others, you must upgrade your Amazon Seller account plan to increase your sales and profits. An individual plan is a good option if you are a hobby seller or just trying it out. However, you should upgrade to a professional plan to make more money as an Amazon seller.
To learn more about the right way to start Amazon selling, consider learning from my Beginner FBA Course.
Amazon Buy Box Eligibility Factor 2: Product Type
Amazon only features new products in the buy box. If you are selling a used product, it will never be featured.
Amazon Buy Box Eligibility Factor 3: Fulfillment Method
Both FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) and FBM (Fulfilled By Merchant) products are eligible to win the Amazon buy box. This change is a major shift in the Amazon buy box algorithm for 2022. Amazon no longer favors FBA over FBM for the buy box.
The Lowest Price Does NOT Always Win The Amazon Buy Box
Many old-school Amazon sellers and teachers will tell you that the Amazon buy box always features the listing with the lowest price. This advice is simply not true. Price is only one factor in the Amazon buy box algorithm. Question anyone who tells you that the lowest price always wins the buy box.
Amazon sellers are constantly dropping their prices, sometimes by even a few pennies, to win the buy box. This race to the bottom only hurts your Amazon business and other sellers. An Amazon seller’s goal is to make money. Price tanking only depletes your profit margin.
The Amazon featured offer price can be significantly higher than other sellers. You don’t have to take my word for it. Here are a few Amazon buy box examples:
Examples Of A Higher Priced Amazon Featured Offer
In this example, the featured buy box price is $5 higher (+26%) than the lowest seller.
Hocus Pocus Coffee
The Amazon buy box price for this product is $6 more (+29%) than the lowest price.
How To Win The Amazon Buy Box Rotation
So if these sellers are winning the Amazon buy box despite their higher prices, how are they doing it? They excel at one or more factors in the Amazon buy box algorithm.
Amazon Buy Box Algorithm Factor 4: Seller Rating
Amazon favors highly rated sellers. Here are the factors you need to ace to get a better chance at winning the buy box:
The larger your volume of 4 and 5-star reviews, the better your seller rating.
This factor is specific to FBM sellers. An order defect rate of more than 1% is considered bad customer service by Amazon and could put your account at risk of being shut down.
This metric is on a 60-day rolling basis, so if you get a hit, just keep shipping quality products, and it will eventually reset.
Late Shipment Rate
A good Late Shipment Rate is 0%.
Pre-Fulfillment Cancel Rate
Never cancel an order unless a customer requests it. A good Pre-Fulfillment Cancel Rate is 0%.
Valid Tracking Rate
A good Valid Tracking Rate is 100%. If you use Shipping From Amazon, you will always have a perfect Valid Tracking Rate.
Amazon Buy Box Algorithm Factor 5: Fast & Free Shipping
Amazon’s business is based on fast and free shipping. Your ability to quickly get the product into the customer’s hands significantly impacts which offer is featured in the buy box.
FBA Fast & Free Shipping
If your FBA products are ready to ship in the warehouse, this increases your chance to win the Amazon buy box. However, if your products are in-transit or between warehouses, then your product will not feature in the buy box during that time.
FBM Fast & Free Shipping
If you’re providing an excellent, speedy service with FBM, you have a good chance at a feature in the buy box. Amazon prioritizes the best customer experience. Set up your templates with quick handling time, fast shipping, and on-time deliveries.
Free shipping will help FBM sellers win the buy box, but it’s unnecessary. Instead, you can charge for shipping and lower the product price, as only the total cost is important to Amazon.
For example, if you sell a $14.99 product with $9.99 shipping, the total to the customer will be $24.98. You can beat another seller to the buy box with a $25.99 product with free shipping.
Fast & Free Shipping By Location
Your geographic location to the buyer can significantly impact your chance to win the buy box. A shorter shipping distance expedites the shipping speed. Therefore, you are more likely to appear in the buy box for a customer in the same state or region.
Amazon Buy Box Algorithm Factor 6: Product Price
If all the other Amazon buy box algorithm factors we discussed are equal, a lower price will win the buy box.
However, do not let this factor influence you to drop your price blindly. Even if your price is higher, you could still win the buy box if you compete with sellers with lower ratings or slower shipping.
Staying firm on a strategic price increases your profit, values your work and time, and increases the chance of a successful replen product.
Let the lowball sellers sell out and make pennies, then win the buy box with a healthy profit margin.
My Method To Win The Amazon Buy Box - Profitably!
You can win the buy box, but if you’re not making a great profit as an Amazon seller, you’re not really winning! Work on improving the algorithm factors above, then use these tips to make money in the buy box:
Profitable Amazon Buy Box Tip 1: Set a Minimum Profit Margin
My rule of thumb is you should always price a product with at least $5 profit, or 50% ROI. This rule provides a cushion if the price drops a few dollars before your product is purchased.
Profitable Amazon Buy Box Tip 2: Price Amazon FBA Above The Current Price
If you’re selling via FBA, always price your products a bit higher than the buy box. You will get in the buy box when the other shippers sell out, making more money than your competitors.
Profitable Amazon Buy Box Tip 3: Source Locally
By shopping at smaller or regional stores, you’ll compete with fewer sellers on every worthwhile retail arbitrage product. There’s lots of competition for the great find at Walmart because they’re everywhere across the country.
Don’t invest in fad items or products featured on YouTube channels. Every retail arbitrage Amazon seller is buying those and tanking the price.
Profitable Amazon Buy Box Tip 4: Join My Beginner FBA Course
Ready To Win The Featured Offer on Amazon?
For more visual examples, watch the video version of this post on my YouTube channel: How to Win the Amazon Buy Box aka Featured Offer. I share new Amazon selling videos every week. Learn from guides like this, or follow along and learn as I source.