Nightmare Amazon-Repricing-Glitch Before Christmas
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It’s every Amazon seller’s worst nightmare, especially in the lead up to Christmas: to suddenly discover that for an entire hour your products have been selling for a mere penny, resulting in devastating monetary loss.
On Friday evening, between the hours of 7 and 8 pm, this is exactly what happened to hundreds of Amazon sellers using the rule-based repricing solution, RepricerExpress. While buyers were obviously pleased to have scored some great products for super cheap prices, RepricerExpress customers estimated that they had lost thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds due to this error. Some even claimed that they may have to shut down their business as a result.
And the timing couldn’t have been worse. Sky News quoted one seller as saying, “this has happened on probably the busiest trading weekend of the year.”
In fact, this is not the first time an error of this kind has happened. In the summer of 2012, another popular repricer also suffered a glitch in their system, albeit for only 15 minutes. The glitch caused multiple incorrect penny listings, and dozens of orders that later had to be either cancelled (much to the disappointment of the purchasers), or fulfilled at a major loss to the seller.
The Feedvisor Difference
While obviously devastating for many sellers, it is important to realize that repricing malfunctions are not reflective of the industry as a whole.
This kind of issue only occurs when a repricing software has no countermeasures in place to ensure that a product will not be incorrectly repriced.
Unlike those relying on rule-based repricing systems, Feedvisor’s customers are 100% protected against incidents like this. It is absolutely impossible for us set a price that is not aligned with our customers’ wishes. This is due to the four-step process that every pricing decision goes through prior to being published on Amazon:
Even before the repricing stage, the system checks the floor and ceiling prices the customer has set for the product. If they do not seem logical compared to the cost of the item, an alert is created and the item will not be repriced until the issue has been solved. The same is true if the customer has not yet filled out the floor or ceiling price.
We then do an in-depth algorithmic analysis to find the best price for the item. If the resulting price does not fall within the range set by the customer, we override our price with the closest price we can set within the customer’s range.
Just before the price is published on Amazon, we again make sure that it falls within the range set by the seller. If the seller has changed his floor or ceiling prices in the interim, the system checks that the final price remains within range.
Dashboard Alerts for the Seller
Once the price is up, Feedvisor’s dashboard offers a health check to the seller, allowing them full transparency over all pricing decisions. While we always stick within the range of prices set by the seller, we will send them an alert if we think they should re-evaluate their floor or ceiling price.
With Feedvisor making over 25 million pricing decisions daily, and with every single iteration going through this four-step process, customers can find relief in the knowledge that pricing glitches, like the ones mentioned above, do not and cannot happen.