Amazon Price Match : The Definitive Guide

Amazon Price Match

Omar Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

Table of Contents

Hunting for a good deal is in our DNA. Just you looking for a guide on the Amazon price match is a sign of that!

It’s a practice nearly as old as shopping itself. The ancient Mesopotamians and Greeks used the barter system to exchange one good for another. Negotiating was a crucial part of the process.

Is that pouch of salt really worth this exotic furskin? Why don’t you throw in some tea leaves to even out the deal?

We’ve long traded the bartering system for one of cash and coins. Yet the urge to haggle for a lower price remains. You feel it every time you go into a store and root through the bargain bin at Walmart or Target. It’s what drives people to shop around options to save money.

Ecommerce has made it easier to follow this instinct. Now you don’t have to hop from one store to another to find the best price. Just pull up listings and product pages to find out who’s got the lower price.

With a better deal always a click away from customers, ecommerce platforms have had to come up with more convincing ways to close the sale. One of those is a technique that not many brick and mortar stores offer: price matching.

What Is Price Matching?

Amazon Price Match

Price matching is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a price adjustment tactic where retailers match against the most competitive prices you can find.

So, say a customer is looking for a product. Shop A sells it for $20. If that shopper finds the same item going for $15 on Shop B, Shop A can either match that price difference or beat it by cutting even further.

That is, if they have a price matching policy in place. While price matching is always a win for the consumer, cutting into profit margins is obviously a tricky move for many retailers. It creates a race to the bottom that’s not sustainable for a lot of sellers. Excessive price matching can even undermine the perceived value of your brand.

That’s why policies can vary. Some stores only offer price adjustment during a certain period. Other policies are limited by item type, or only do a partial refund. So the question on any new seller’s mind is: How to price match Amazon?

Does Amazon Price Match?

Not anymore. As of 2016, there is no longer an Amazon price match policy for anything other than televisions.

Previously, customers could email Amazon customer service if a product was marked down within seven days of purchase. Amazon would then pay back the price difference through price drop refunds. However, the platform maintains that it never had a policy in place, and that instances were exemptions rather than the rule.

Right now, Amazon’s official statement about post purchase price adjustments is this: “We constantly compare Amazon’s prices to our competitors’ prices to make sure that our prices are as low or lower than all relevant competitors. As a result, we don’t offer price matching”.

How Does Amazon Keep Their Prices Low?

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People flock to Amazon primarily because of its unbeatable inventory. If you need anything, you’ll probably find it on the platform.

That range, coupled with low prices, keeps it one of the world’s leading online marketplaces. Half of shoppers say competitive prices are what keep them coming back.

But without price change refunds, how else is Amazon claiming that they can offer the best price over rivals?

The exact answer to that question is unknown. Pricing is one of the ways Amazon stays ahead of the competition. Naturally, the company keeps its exact workings closely guarded.

But trends and data talk. Over the years, we’ve been able to shed some light on Amazon’s dynamic pricing strategy.

We know that prices change 2.5 million times a day. So no, that isn’t just your eyes playing tricks on you–that product may really have been cheaper yesterday. One study from pricing intelligence platform Minderest has found that Amazon adjusts prices by up to 20 percent.

And the deciding factors that drive these millions of adjustments? A nebulous mix of discounts, sales trends, and the massive trove of consumer data Amazon possesses. Using predictive modeling, Amazon can guess what you might purchase next and ships it to a warehouse near you. That means when you do buy it, shipping will be as cheap as possible.

That’s only one incredible example of how Amazon uses data to optimize for best prices. But what can you as a seller do to ensure you have the lowest prices?

Are Your Prices Competitive?

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With so many choices available to customers, even a coupon can lure shoppers away from your page.

You can’t simply slash prices after your cheapest competitor. You have to protect your profitability. The reality is, most small businesses won’t be able to chase after the lowest offer without hurting their bottom line.

And you don’t even have to. KAVAJ, a leather goods brand, found that you can be as much as 20 percent more expensive than other offers and still remain competitive.

So how do you balance profitability and entice shoppers without an Amazon price guarantee?

You’ll first need to start with setting a price floor that works for your business and your niche. You can arrive at a reasonable figure through pricing analysis research.

Amazon has a tool that can make the process easier. Sellers can check their pricing using the Price + Shipping column, which can be found on your Manage Inventory page. Using this column, you can compare your prices against three factors: Featured Offer, Competitive Price, and Lowest Price.

  • Featured Offer are the listings you can find on top of a product page
  • Competitive Price aggregates pricing from sellers outside of Amazon
  • Lowest Price tells you the lowest your product is going for on Amazon

A green check mark will appear if your pricing meets or falls below these prices. Getting a red check mark means your prices are higher. You can use this data to inform your Amazon price adjustment strategy.

Of course, you may not always have the time to stay glued to price watches. Trends can be difficult to track, and your pricing may unknowingly be lagging behind the competition.

You can set your pricing to automatically adjust based on price drops outside of Amazon. Match External Competitive Price keeps your item priced equally to retailers outside of Amazon. That means if your item costs $10 and external prices rise to $12, Amazon will automatically raise it to $12.

Alternatively, you can set your desired price to stay below the External Competitive Price. That means your item will stay at $10 even if external prices rise to $12.

Price Intelligence Tools For Amazon Sellers

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Amazon’s price monitoring tools are helpful, but can be limited. For one thing, they don’t allow much visibility into internal price changes. You also won’t find historical pricing data for any SKUs that aren’t your own, limiting your ability to look into seasonal trends for new products.

Luckily, there are a handful of third-party tools (not connected to your amazon account) that you can use to monitor price fluctuations. Typically used by shoppers to look for deals, sellers can also utilize these apps to watch out for top price drops and increases in their niche.

CamelCamelCamel

Camelcamelcamel is a free price tracking tool. Users can create price change alerts and view price history charts.

Keepa

Keepa is another free price intelligence tool. Beyond creating simple price history charts, it allows you to set thresholds by sales rank and fulfillment type. This gives you a more detailed view of how price actually affects sales.

FBA Calculators

An item’s final price isn’t only how much it costs to produce. Your final price–or landed price as it’s commonly known in the industry–includes shipping fees and discounts or promotions. It’s the price customers are going to see at checkout, and therefore the cost that they’re going to compare with other retailers.

Using an FBA calculator will help you figure out how your actual price compares to other retailers.

How To Offer Competitive Deals On Amazon

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Yes, Amazon has stopped price matching, but there are more tactics you can utilize to beat out competitors with special pricing.

Coupons

Coupons remain an effective and lucrative marketing technique. Serious couponers even have apps dedicated to managing and monitoring coupons. On Amazon, a carefully timed coupon strategy can boost your sales by up to 12 percent.

Product Promotions

On Amazon, promos like discounts and Lightning Deals are a great way to get your product off the ground. Amidst today’s rocky economic climate and rapid inflation, customers want to maximize every dollar spent. Businesses saw a higher than expected surge during this year’s Prime Day sale, even though they offered fewer discounts.

FAQs

Does Amazon have a lowest price guarantee?

No, there is no way to completely guarantee you’re getting the lowest price available anywhere. But Amazon’s algorithm is constantly working in the background to offer competitive prices.

Can Amazon lower price after purchase?

Not anymore. While in the past contacting a customer service rep could net you a price drop refund, Amazon has officially put an end to the practice.

Does Amazon have post-purchase price protection?

There is no Amazon price match after purchase. Amazon does not currently offer price protection for products sold on its platform.

What is the Average Selling Price?

Amazon computes the average selling price by number of units sold and the price customers have recently purchased in the last 60 days. Products sold using promotions are not counted.

Bottom Line

Unlike other retailers like eBay and Target, Amazon does not have a price protection policy. But that doesn’t mean you’ll struggle to beat offers from other retailers.

Ultimately, customers want a good deal, no matter how it’s packaged. And you’ve got plenty of things in your corner working for you. Amazon’s dynamic pricing algorithm crunches pricing data in real time. You can set up different types of promotions seamlessly through your Seller Central Account.

With a little research and keeping a vigilant eye on price watches, you can keep your prices competitive and grow your profit.

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