The Amazon Suppressed Buy Box

Posted Category Training Tags Strategy

You should be familiar with the Amazon Buy Box and what factors help you win it by now. As you know the Buy Box appears at the top right of a listing however you may have seen listings which do not have a Buy Box. If you haven’t come across this yet here is an example below:


As you can see in the example on this page, instead of the usual yellow “Add to Basket” button there is a “See All Buying Options” button. There are three sellers listing this particular item but none of them have won the Buy Box, there a few reasons why this might be the case.

The Selling Price Is too High

One of the main reasons you will see a suppressed Buy Box is because the current selling price is much higher than the RRP. For the item above, for example, a quick check of the products sales history in SourceMogul shows that the item usually sells around the £8.99 mark. The sales price listed at the time of writing of £16.85 is far higher than this and so Amazon have suppressed the Buy Box. You may remember that one condition for winning the Buy Box is competitive pricing, if the price you are offering is not competitive you simply will not win the Buy Box.

So how you can use this situation as an opportunity? You can interpret this in a number of ways. On one hand if the item has a good sales rank it may still sell at the inflated price although sales will be slower than usual due to the lack of Buy Box.

If the margin on the product is high enough that you are able to price lower than the current offers you may be able to win the Buy Box and make some sales (although please bear in mind that the margins we show you on are based on the lowest price currently listed on Amazon and you will need to do your own calculations to work out how low you are able to drop the price).

On the other hand if the sales rank is poor you might not see many sales on the product and if there is little margin room to lower your price then you have little opportunity to win the Buy Box yourself.

Sellers Aren’t Eligible to win the Buy Box

The second reason you may see a suppressed Buy Box is that the current sellers are simply not eligible to win the Buy Box. They may be new sellers or they may have poor customer metrics or bad customer reviews. If you check the price history for the product and it seems consistent or you can see the current price is close to the RRP listed on another retailers website then this might be the reason for the suppressed Buy Box. In these cases you have a fantastic opportunity to win the Buy Box yourself if you are eligible.

* Please note that for media categories the requirements for winning the Buy Box are a little different.

In books only Amazon themselves are able to win the Buy Box so a suppressed Buy Box in books simply means that Amazon are not selling the item, you have no chance of winning the Buy Box yourself but if the sales rank indicates a demand for the book and you can beat the other sellers on price you may be able to make some money on the listing.

For other media products (music, video, DVD, Blu-Ray) only sellers using FBA will be able to win the Buy Box. A suppressed Buy Box in these categories might mean that Amazon are not selling the product themselves and no FBA sellers have the item. If you use FBA yourself this is a great opportunity to be the only FBA offer for this item, potentially winning the Buy Box and the sales.

Suppressed Buy Boxes can indicate a great opportunity for you to turn a listing into a great sales opportunity but it can take some research to find out which ones are worth taking a chance on. This research can be well worth the time and effort. If you are just starting out and are unsure which listings have potential and are worth investing in then we would recommend starting out with more straightforward offers until you have more confidence in how to spot a great opportunity.

If you want to reduce the time it takes to source profitable products for Amazon resale – get started today with a 7 day free trial and find out how SourceMogul can help you to grow a protibale business!