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Buy Box Series: Misconceptions and Myths

By Tami Ben-David April 1, 2015
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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.

A plethora of articles have been written about how to outsmart the Buy Box, and while many of them might work in specific situations, the ideas expressed are generally oversimplified, outdated, or just plain wrong.

Here are two commonly spread rumors about the Buy Box:


This is a theory that emerged in the summer of 2012. It claims that if a seller undercuts the lowest competition by a certain percentage and then takes off an extra penny, they will always win the Buy Box.

After testing this theory extensively with multiple products, at multiple price points and in multiple categories, it is evident that this is not a fixed rule.

The idea may have gained popularity because when it was tested on low-end products, it created a lot of false positives.

Although lowering prices always increases one’s chances of winning the Buy Box, the claim that a certain equation will guarantee the Buy Box, certainly holds no truth.

Continually lowering the price creates price wars between sellers, driving down profit margins on all sides.


Another false assumption is that if a seller’s price is within 2% (or other percentages) of the current Buy Box winner, that seller is guaranteed to win the Buy Box at least a certain percentage of the time, as the Buy Box rotates between sellers.

Again, there is no evidence to support this theory. Although it does often work when tested, this is another example of false positives. Buy Box rotations do exist but this has nothing to do with “The 2% rule”.

While rotations are certainly an integral part of the Buy Box, to assume that they can be manipulated entirely by price has been proven wrong time and time again.

So then what does work? That’s a topic for our next installment in the Buy Box series. Stay tuned… Or download our Buy Box Bible!

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