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How Sellers Can Prevent Repricing Malfunctions on Amazon

By Tami Ben-David December 15, 2014
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About the Author

A British ex-pat, Tami been writing and content-strategizing for Israeli tech start-ups for the last 5 years. When she's not writing nerdy content, you can find Tami on open water charity swims or traveling to far-flung countries.

Amazon sellers the world over deeply empathized with those sellers who suffered a substantial monetary loss following a repricing glitch on Amazon this past weekend.

A rule-based repricer mistakenly set thousands of their customers products to 0.01 for a whole hour on Friday evening, causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to customers who were expecting to only benefit from the buzzing and lucrative holiday season. Instead, not only did Christmas turnover amount to zero, but some businesses may have to consider cutting their losses and close down as a result of the glitch.

Two years ago, the same thing happened with another rule-based repricer, and many sellers who were unable to cancel the penny orders also had to contend with severe financial loss.

Are repricing glitches always unavoidable or is there a way for Amazon sellers to prevent themselves suffering a similar fate?

Luckily, the answer is a positive one. There are 3 precautions an Amazon seller can take to minimize their chances of being negatively impacted by a repricer:

Choose a Repricer with Caution

When browsing the repricing market, you must must must ensure that the repricer you choose has checks and balances set up within their software to prevent something like this happening.

Ask the sales rep you speak to what the repricer has in place to ensure that this will not happen to you. If they simply tell you don’t worry, it won’t happen if it’s not good enough. Ask them to be more specific.

Fulfill your Orders Yourself

In both the incidents mentioned above, sellers were unable to cancel the orders because by the time they found out about the repricing malfunction, Amazon had already shipped the item to the buyer.
Although using FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) has many advantages, fulfilling orders yourself (FBM) allows the seller a window of time to check prices before shipping the items out.
A seller would therefore need to weigh up the pros and cons of using FBA versus FBM for individual products and categories.

Set Free Alerts

Camelcamelecamel is a free Amazon checker tool that will send you an alert if your product (or any product) reaches a specified low point.

The service is free to activate and sellers receive email, Twitter or other alerts as soon as the prices of any of their tracked products drop.

Using a service such as this one is especially useful if you’re a seller who sells thousands of items, as the more you sell, the more difficult it is to keep track of every product and every single price change.

Every single Amazon seller should be able to sell with confidence and to have complete trust in their repricer. Any alternative situation is not only unfortunate but intolerable too.

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