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Understanding Different Types of Repricing Software

Online merchants have been using repricing software for the last couple years to price and sell their products faster. No matter what marketplace you sell on, merchants have been using different types of repricing software. Depending on the needs and requirements you as the seller have, there are a variety of different types of repricing software available to merchants. Not all repricing software is equal, and many are created with special features and functions in mind. To find the right software for you, we take a look into 3 different types of repricing software and how each one functions to better help you.

Amazon Lowest Price

Although this isn’t a software service you purchase, Amazon’s lowest price essentially gives you a repricing guideline. When you first list an item on Amazon they’ll notify you of the current price that item is being listed at. You can either charge more or less. Most sellers undercut this price by a few cents in hopes of attracting buyers to their product. However, Amazon’s lowest price will not monitor prices and alert you when your competitor has lowered their price. This is the basic reprising functionality Amazon offers for sellers.

Pros: It’s free.

Cons: It doesn’t offer nearly anything comparable that other RePricing software and isn’t automated. Essentially, you are required to manually monitor and reprice every listing you have, no matter how many items you list.

Automatic

Automatic repricing is like the grandparents of auto-pricing– It’s been around forever! This very simple and helpful tool enables users to reprice their listings automatically without ever touching their account. Set it and forget it. Although you run the risk of driving your profits straight into the ground for the sake of a purchase, you do, however, gain valuable customer feedback and ratings for your storefront. If properly used, automatic repricing can be a very valuable tool.

Pros: The advantages of using automatic repricing is the buy box. With automatic repricing you have a faster chance of winning the buy box because this software will lower your listing price more.

Cons: The only drawback of using automatic repricing software is entering your product into a price war. What’s a price war you ask? Basically, it’s where every seller listing that product under cuts their price to beat out their competition. The conclusion to price wars? You lose money.

Intelligent

The basis of intelligent repricing is easy— Keep prices low enough to win the buy box, but high enough to gain a profit.  Intelligent repricing has become the go-to software of late because it not only automatically extracts your competitor’s pricing, but it puts you in a position to keep your margins. It differs from automatic repricing because it doesn’t just automatically lower every time your competitor does, but instead lower the price just enoughto earn you a profit, while keeping you in the running for the buy box. Intelligent repricing is using certain pricing strategies to win and retain the Amazon BuyBox at the highest possible price.

Pros: The biggest plus to using Intelligent repricing is keeping profits high, while still competing for the lowest price to win the sale.

Cons: The biggest drawback to this service depends on the provider, as most intelligent repricing software companies charge a profit percentage rather than a monthly fee. Sure, you won the sale but your profit is going right back to the provider.

Growing trend: Online Merchants dealing with Major Losses from Fraud

In today’s age of technology, avoiding fraud and scam artists is easier said than done. With online shopping growing at historic rates, retail merchants who sell on various marketplaces are becoming enormously popular targets for scammers. According to a new study, fraudulent activity is on the rise for online retailers, especially mobile and multi-channel sellers, and the results are exorbitant.

The study, performed by Javelin Strategy & Research and LexisNexis, surveyed more than 1,000 merchants to discover what the actual cost of fraud was for each business. Their study included charge backs, merchandise replacements, and even fees paid to payment processors and financial institutions. All in all, LexisNexis’s Fraud Multiplier matrix concluded that for every dollar in fraud charges a retailer incurs, the real expense accumulated to $2.70. And that’s not all fraud is costing retailers. The report also revealed that 60% of consumers victimized by fraud said they avoid specific merchants as a result of fraudulent activity.

“We’re all paying for this. We all pay more for goods because of the fraud problem,” Javelin President James Van Dyke said while discussing the new report. “We have a dramatic disconnect between what merchants think consumers do in response to fraud and how consumers really do respond in case of fraud.”

For online sellers who use multiple platforms, the study indicated fraud is closely associated with the amount of avenues sellers use to complete transaction like browsers, texting, apps and other communication technologies. Hit especially hard in this report were sellers using mobile commerce. For every dollar of fraud activity, merchants experienced a total cost of $2.83, which is up 40% compared to last year.

Even large ecommerce merchants ($50 million + in annual sales) and international sellers experienced a rise in fraud activity. The study found international sellers underwent more than five times the rate of attempted fraud than merchants with U.S operations only. Larger ecommerce businesses suffered an average price of $219 on fraudulent transactions compared to $120 from smaller merchants, mainly because they routinely process above-average transaction volume.

While it is almost impossible to avoid fraud and scams entirely, online merchants and businesses are learning more and more about device recognition and browser protection technologies.

“Merchants can make an impact. This is all about taking the right steps,” Van Dyke said.

Amazon Reporting Technical Error Involving Listings & Inventory Quantities

October 17, 2012–Houston, we have a problem! Amazon.com is reporting in their seller central they are  experiencing technical issues regarding amazon listings, inventory quantity control, and listing edits. Sellers have been having problems most of the day and Amazon has sent out the following message:

We are currently experiencing a technical issue affecting certain Amazon.com listings.  Affected listings may appear as “Incomplete” in Seller Central and temporarily be unavailable for sale; inventory quantities may temporarily not appear to reflect recent sales; and listing edits may be delayed.  We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and will provide updates as they become available. (10/17 – 10:43 PDT)

 

Red or White? Amazon Launches Online Wine Shop

November 8, 2012—Thirsty? Why wait? Amazon.com has officially launched their online wine marketplace with more than a thousand varieties of vino from wineries around the U.S.  Although online wine sales are not available to all states, Amazon said they would ship wine to at least 12 states including Washington DC from its new storefront with prices ranging from $10 to $100.

“Whether it’s helping customers find a favorite varietal, shop for holiday pairings or expand their cellar with a special hand-crafted bottle, we’re excited to provide the right tools and information needed to guide them to the perfect wine,” said Peter Faricy, vice president of Amazon Marketplace.

Amazon will ship wine to the following states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. The Seattle-based retailer is competing with online wine sellers like Wine.com for dominance in the wine category as Amazon continues to grow and add more products to their marketplace.

 

Selling Tools–eBay updates New Policy on Multi-Variation

November 30, 2012—Earlier this month, eBay unveiled a new selling tool for third-party sellers. This multi-variation tool allows eBay sellers to list an item with extra options such as size and color to their listing. For instance—Instead of having to make multiple listings for a pair of pants in different colors and sizes, this selling tool allows the seller to put all those features into one listing. This week however, eBay UK announced it would be reversing one vital part of this listing feature.

Before this feature, sellers would have to list multiple items on eBay in each specific color and size. If you had two red shirts, one in medium and one in large, you would have to create 2 listings and therefore pay 2 insertion fees. This caused a lot of frustration for sellers as they  wanted the ability to display one composite image that showed all colors available to purchase.

eBay UK explained its decision to reverse the policy by saying, “In July we announced improvements to multi-variation listings, including tailoring which photo from the listing is displayed to buyers in search results. We’re aware that this is impacting sellers, as it affects generic searches as well as searches by colour.”

According to eBay UK’s announcement page, beginning December 5, eBay will resume the “shared picture” (images showing all colors) on search result pages for generic queries, across all categories. eBay has yet to respond whether the U.S will roll back the changes or not.

USPS to Launch Same-Day Delivery with Gourmet Gifts

December 21, 2012—The United States Postal Service will be launching their same-day delivery service on Thursday, December 27th in hopes of expanding their service to other metropolitan areas across the U.S. Earlier this week, USPS also revealed they have entered into a partnership with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. The new same-day delivery service will be called “Metro Post.”

All the rage right now is same-day delivery as many ecommerce and marketplaces compete to offer the service. Since 2009, Amazon has offered same-day delivery (Local Express) in seven U.S. cities and has done extremely well. Other ecommerce sites like Walmart and eBay are currently testing the service out.

By partnering with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Metro Post will be available for purchases involving The Popcorn Factory (popcorn and specialty treats), Cheryl’s (cookies and baked gifts), Fannie May Fine Chocolates (premium chocolates and confections), and 1-800-BASKETS.COM (gift baskets and towers). The launch of Metro Post will occur for one year in the San Francisco metropolitan area and work with multiple retailers that offer both an online and physical presence.

USPS Vice President of Domestic Products Gary Reblin said “Building relationships with prominent retailers like 1-800-FLOWERS.COM will help us leverage our capabilities by making same day delivery a standard option on retail websites.”

Consumers can employ the Metro Post premium service online or in person at a retail store that carries the company’s branded gift items. Cut-off times for purchases delivered by Metro Post is 2:00 p.m. with deliveries to occur between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m.

If the USPS offered Metro Post in your city would you use it?

Could Amazon Payments and Checkout become the NEW PayPal?

Since 2007, Amazon has entered the world of online payment services to compete with powerhouse PayPal with their own version called Amazon Payments. This service allows sellers and buyers to use payment methods for sending/requesting money, adding funds, and making purchases of goods, services, and even purchasing through third-party websites. Although PayPal still reigns supreme, Amazon is setting its sights on PayPal’s hold over alternative payment solutions and looking to become the #1 online payment services in the world.

Did you Know? Amazon.com originally invested in the popular instant credit service “Bill Me Later” before eBay (Owner of PayPal) acquired them.

Amazon Payments is a payment engine that allows users to make purchases from your website or storefront using their Amazon customer ID. Amazon Payments keeps all financial information private from sellers and Amazon Payments offers the same trusted payment experience that is currently available on Amazon.com. To use Amazon Payments you must first have an Amazon account, but once activated, you can make payments on any third-party website that accepts Amazon payments. Also, Amazon Payment offers users the flexibility to use credit cards associated with their Amazon account and even make payments and receive them through their bank account just like PayPal. Amazon Payments accepts verified U.S. bank accounts, credit cards, and transfers from your available Amazon Payments account balance. Credit cards currently accepted include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, Diners Club, and JCB.

To tighten up the competition, Amazon has even created Amazon Checkout, which rivals with PayPal and Google Checkout, as being a one-stop shop for payment and checkout options on your retail website or storefront. You can also integrate Amazon Checkout and Payments with your own storefront and website that lets you automatically save your customer’s data for quick processing and one-click purchases. What makes Amazon Checkout so innovative and appealing is not only do they not charge any monthly or hidden fees (Fees are based on a percentage of the transaction amount plus a per-transaction fee), but they offer tons of seller protection! Yes, we said it– Seller Protection! So if you ship your product to the provided address from the customer and use a trackable method, you’re covered. Stop fighting off month old refunds and get the coverage you’ve been looking for. Although Amazon Checkout is currently only available to sellers in the U.S, Luxembourg, Great Britain, and Germany, Amazon is working on creating the most efficient and powerful online payment service in the world.

What do you think of Amazon Payment and Checkout rivaling PayPal? Do you think Amazon can become the #1 online payment services for all online merchants? We want to hear your suggestions. Send emails to nick@e-commercegenius.com

 

Amazon Crowned King of Mobile Shopping for July 2012

Do you remember a time long, long ago when cellphones were used primarily for talking? Yeah we don’t either as nearly 86 million people took to their smartphones for online shopping in July of 2012. Yes that’s right, 86 million people used their mobile devices to shop online and more than half of those shoppers went to Amazon sites.

According to a study conducted by comScore, an online analytics firm, Amazon drew major traffic in the month of July with 49.6 million visitors leaving eBay.com in their dust as they trailed with 32.5 million visitors. Following Amazon and eBay in comScore’s rankings was Apple.com with 17,684 million, Wal-Mart with 16,295 million, and Target with 10,041 million visitors. Also on the list were Best Buy, Ticketmaster, CVS, The Home Depot, Blockbuster, Barnes & Nobles, Walgreen, Limited Brands, Lowes, and Etsy.

The study by comScore noted that virtual shoppers using their smartphones varied in ages with about 70.7% in age ranges of 18-44. Male visitors encompassed 51% of unique retail visitors via smartphone, according to the study. Essentially 4 out of 5 smartphone users dialed up online retail shops on their phones.

All of these figures were measured by comScore and their Mobile Metrix 2.0 service.

eBay Offers New Feature To Report Bad Buyers

October 17, 2012—eBay.com is finally offering sellers an option to fight back against bad buyers. The online marketplace known for years to side with buyers is now offering a brand new feature that enables sellers the ability to leave negative or neutral feedback. eBay sellers are now offered the option of rating their transaction with buyers and reporting trading partners for violating eBay policies.

For years buyers had eBay sellers by the (you know what) and were able to take advantage of them, even blackmailing them in some cases, by leaving negative feedback in their seller rating.

 

Buying Wholesale 101

November 12, 2012—One of the most asked questions we get at AmazonGenius is, “How do I find products to sell online?” While the question may seem fairly simple the answer, however, is not. Whether you’re selling online using an e-commerce website or utilizing online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, the need for wholesale products is in high demand. For a fraction of the retail price, sellers can obtain quality brand name products to sell on their storefront. While finding potential products to sell may seem easy, locating the right manufacturers and pricing is extremely difficult. Many manufacturers, especially in the U.S., have many hoops sellers must jump through before they can buy wholesale. Although the possibilities are endless, we take a look inside the details of buying wholesale and explain what sellers should look for when trying to find products to sell online.

Pricing/MAP– This is one of the biggest pitfalls sellers make when buying products wholesale. Normally, manufacturers or distributors will give sellers their product pricing with both MSRP and wholesale pricing. However, often times this product pricing list require a MAP agreement to be filled out and signed. MAP stands for minimum advertised price which mean this is the lowest price you can sell the product for. If you’re caught selling the item for less than the MAP agreement, the manufacturer or distributor can legally stop selling to you and even prosecute you.

Business and Credit Info– When contacting manufacturers to acquire products wholesale, companies typically require buyers to have a tax ID, business license, and seller’s permit. Many manufacturing companies want to know all your past business and credit history, often times requiring you to fill out a credit report if you want credit limits. Essentially, you have to be ready to divulge your entire business life history from your annual sales figures to number of accounts you have.

MOQ– This question comes up a lot for first time wholesale buyers. What is MOQ and what does it mean? Basically, MOQ stands for minimum order quantity. This is the amount of products you must purchase to receive the wholesale discount and it can range anywhere from 10 products to 10,000. That’s a lot of money for one product! The first time buyers should do when looking for products wholesale is locate the MOQ. This will tell you right off the bat if you should buy from the manufacturer or not. Many times manufacturers and distributors will work with you on the MOQ but more often than not, they won’t. So make sure your product is selling like hot cakes before you buy 10,000 of them or you’ll be giving them away as Birthday and Christmas presents for the next few decades.

Distribution– Another hoop many sellers face when finding wholesale pricing is distributors. These are basically the middle men between you (the reseller) and the manufacturer. Distributors are put in place to distribute a company’s product accordingly to their terms. Many times buyers will have to go through a manufacturer’s distributor to obtain their product, cutting out a portion of your profits in the way. We recommend if possible, never going through distributors and sticking mainly to manufacturers. With distributors, their goal is to distribute the product and saturate the market with it.

Profit Margins-The whole reason of buying wholesale is to increase profit margins. However, when buying wholesale you’ll never fully understand your profit margins until you start researching your product. Before you start buying anything, run a quick search of your product on Google by using the name or keyword of the product. Check out what e-commerce sites are charging and what marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are selling it for. This will give you an exact idea of what the retail price of your product is and what your competition is selling it for.

Overall, buying products wholesale can be very challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing. Many e-commerce and marketplace sellers spend hours and hours researching products and pricing every month to figure out the right products to buy and sell.