How FBA Product Listings Exist without Buy Box Winners
This post answers why it happens, how to resolve it and the effects on sales volume. Some ASINS and listings are not capable of having a buy box. Those are not the listings we’re addressing today. So, in this post we’re talking about product listings and ASINS that qualify for the buy box but the buy box doesn’t show up even though there are FBA sellers.
I’m sure you’ve all seen listing that look similar to the image below, right?
“See all buying options” highlighted in red is not a buy box.
Why FBA Listings Exist without Buy Box Winners
When sellers meet the major criteria for winning the buy box (which we pointed out in this post) but the listing says “available from these sellers” its an indication that performance metrics are off. But how can every sellers performance metrics be sub-par? Because there are a lot of metrics.
Another reason this could happen is it takes a while for the buy box situation to update on Amazon. Having the buy box is a temporary jackpot win, remember? Inventory moves quickly and if only one seller is qualified for the buy box, there’s a possibility of their inventory going out of stock. Naturally they’re not out of stock for too long and inventory is on the way to a warehouse. But factor in Amazon’s slow update rate, it could take a couple days to 1 week for the buy box to update. By that time the seller with good performance metrics is back in stock. In the interim, no other sellers win the buy box.
How can we fix it?
You’re going to need to figure out which performance metrics are under target.
You can do this by following these steps:
- Log into seller central
- Click performance
- Click performance metrics
- “View Details” to further investigate under each category
Buy box eligibility is reviewed daily but performance metrics are averaged over 30 and 90 day periods. Hopefully the store isn’t suffering from multiple metrics below target. If there’s an issue with the product you might want to disable the listing and start a quality investigation in fulfillment centers. Getting massive amounts of returns and bad reviews isn’t impossible but difficult to make a comeback.
The other way to fix the issue is to lower the price by a significant amount. It’s suggested price be lowered by 50% to override poor performance metrics and win the buy box. This leads us to our next question.
What are the effects of this on sales volume?
Sales nearly come to a halt. Even for a product that is ranked low in the Amazon ecosystem. Without movement, product rank increases producing long term effects. That’s how important the the buy box is for product listings.
For brands and manufactures this is a scary position to be in. It takes a while (30-90 days) for sellers to increase their performance metrics. That’s a long time to sit on inventory that isn’t moving. In some cases it makes sense to heavily discount an item to move inventory. If there are a lot of disloyal, unauthorized sellers selling your product they’re not going to care about brand image. They’re going to move product.