Professional sellers who have met all of the performance-based qualifications are Buy Box-eligible (formally known as Featured Merchant). This status usually operates by account, but it can also operate on a category to category basis instead. There is no additional fee for a seller to become Buy Box-eligible; however, the seller must maintain high levels of performance. Low performance ratings put the seller at risk of losing his Buy Box-eligible status.
The listings of a Buy Box-eligible seller will compete for the Buy Box, and if they do not win it, the same listing is considered for placement in the section called More Buying Choices. Although Amazon does not guarantee placement in either of these sections, a Buy Box-eligible seller is the only type of seller who has a chance of being featured.
Buy Box-Eligible Status Qualifications
- Order Defect Rate: ODR is based on customer feedback, A-to-Z Guarantee claims, and chargebacks.
- Seller Metrics: Sellers may become Buy Box-eligible based on the metrics found under the seller performance measurements.
- Customer Experience: A seller may gain Buy Box-eligible status based on the speed of delivery, options for shipping, competitive pricing, participation in Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), and customer service.
- Seller Seniority and Experience: The length of time and frequency of the seller using the Amazon platform to sell products will affect his Buy Box-eligible status.
- Professional Seller Status: A seller’s Professional Seller status will influence his status as Buy Box-eligible.
Whereas prior to Amazon’s changes, anyone could see who was eligible for the Buy Box simply by looking at the Offer Listing Page, this information is now only disclosed to the seller within their Seller Central account. To see if you are Buy Box-eligible:
- Click on the Inventory tab in your Amazon Seller Central and select Manage Inventory.
- Click on the Preferences tab.
- In the Column Display section, locate the field for Buy Box Eligible.
- Select “Show When Available” from the drop-down menu.
- Then, when looking at a particular SKU, if you are eligible for the Buy Box it will say “Yes” in the Buy Box Eligible column, and if you are not eligible for the Buy Box, it will say “No”.
How to Meet Buy Box-Eligible Qualifications
The performance criteria which possible Buy Box-eligible status relies on is subject to change and varies by category. Because of this, there are no specific guidelines the seller can follow in order to make Buy Box-eligible status. To be eligible, the seller must meet very high standards; excelling in the different qualifying areas is the best way to achieve Buy Box-eligible status. If the seller is not currently Buy Box-eligible and would like to work toward achieving eligibility, seller performance metrics can be improved in a number of different ways:
- Accurate Listings: The seller must carefully select a title, description, and categorization for items and properly select item conditions to avoid customer confusion.
- Accurate Shipping: Shipping items in accordance with fulfillment procedures to ensure the customer that the correct item is being shipped will increase a seller’s performance rating.
- On Time Shipping: Shipping orders in a timely manner and meeting all estimated delivery dates, especially during holidays, is critical to obtaining high ratings and earning Buy Box-eligible status. To become Buy Box-eligible, the seller will confirm shipment to avoid dissatisfaction and possible canceled orders. In regard to timing, it is necessary to maintain constant communication with the buyer.
- Communication with Customers: Communication with the customer throughout the entire process is one of the best ways the seller can build and gain trust with customers. Notify customers when anything changes in an order, especially if the order is delayed for any reason.