Seller Central account? Check. Bank account? Check. Inventory? Check. Inventory is at an Amazon warehouse? Check. What’s left? Repricer? Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s dive into why it might be worth holding off on dropping cash on a repricer when you first start.
With the bulk of Amazon’s sales coming from third-party sellers, it’s no question that the competition is fierce. Even with hundreds of millions of items for sale on the Amazon marketplace, not every single one is a hit. For the things left that end up being hits in some form or another, the competition can be fierce.
The exception to this being private label brands selling their products on the marketplace and not permitting third-party sellers to do the same.
This is all well and good, and by me saying this, I could very well be further instilling the idea that repricing is the only way to succeed, and if you don’t have a repricer, you’ll immediately be a loser and should quit.
I’ll tell you right now, though, that mindset is trash.
This post isn’t going to tell you to get a repricer. It won’t ask you not to get a repricer. As non-committal as that sounds, it’s going to do both and neither.
So what the heck am I even reading, Johnathan?
I have been thinking about this topic for a couple of months now, ever since I released my in-depth, behind-the-scenes post that came about from a rather lengthy and meaty conversation I had with Dillon Carter, one of the masterminds behind the smartest repricing tool to exist.
One of the topics we had discussed (and something I do not think I touched upon enough in my original article) is that having a repricer is nice, but there’s so much more to that decision that in our own ways, both agree a lot of people miss.
What is a repricer?
This is a question that I see come up often in Facebook groups dedicated to Amazon selling and Amazon FBA. It helps to understand what the buy box is, so before continuing, read my post on the topic. I’ll be here when you come back.
Knowing what you know now about the buy box, it stands to reason there’ll be a massive amount of pressure from sellers to ensure they’re always in the top spot. This is where repricers come in.
While evaluating the current state of a listing regularly–some are better (or worse, way worse) than others–a repricer has to update yours to reflect the most competitive price. It typically does this based on criteria you set, like the highest price and lowest price you’re comfortable with, alongside other factors.
Some of those factors can vary from seller to seller and listing to listing, like which sellers the repricer should consider worthy opponents, how to treat used listings, and what to do when you’ve hit your floor.
Repricers work around the clock, but not they’re not all created equal. It’s not uncommon to see repricers put extra features or bucket the number of SKUs it’ll support behind the need to give them more money. (Pro tip: any repricer costing more than $100/month is milking you.)
How to determine if you should get a repricer
A familiar reflex for new sellers is to see others using a repricer, asking for recommendations, and immediately signing up for whichever one is mentioned the most. The Amazon selling space is littered with people who think there are such things as magic bullets, and repricers are often branded as being an upper-tier magic bullet.
In fact, it’s far from it, especially when you’re starting out.
Here are the reasons you should be 100% comfortable answering and confident in before jumping on board with any repricer:
- Do you know why a repricer is essential?
- Do you have at least 10 SKUs in your inventory?
- Are those SKUs replenishable? If not, can you get ten new SKUs to replace those quickly if they sold out tomorrow?
- Are you the only seller of those SKUs?
Let’s break these down.
Do you know why a repricer is essential? If you don’t, yet, go back to the beginning of this post and re-read it. Go through a third time if you feel like you have to. Hell, email me, and I’ll be happy to walk you through it.
Do you have at least 10 SKUs in your inventory? At first glance, it would seem like it makes sense to start automatically repricing at ONE SKU. Doing some quick math, though, it’s not. If your repricer costs $97/month and you have only one SKU, your repricer is eating away a lot of your profit. Get more SKUs to spread out the operating cost.
Are those SKUs replenishable? This falls similarly in line with the previous check. If your SKUs aren’t replenishable, and maybe even small quantities (I see you, retail arbitrager), you’ll find yourself running into the same type of problem, though it’s solved differently. Keeping an inventory inflow and outflow is enough to make this a non-issue.
Are you the only seller of those SKUs? This one is for the private label crowd. There’s no need to have a repricer if you’re the single seller. I would say that it might still be optional because my favorite repricer can use the buy box as a competitor and act when it is alone.
Even with the potential, if this is your listing (something you created and priced), don’t feel the need to game the system.
A fresh product with a new listing won’t have many price data to back up what is reasonable, so be bold and set your price as you feel is necessary. No need to have a repricer to find the mythical boundaries you won’t need to think about.
The best repricer for most sellers
Remember when I mentioned new sellers ask for repricer recommendations? Drop that question in an Amazon FBA-centric Facebook group, and you’ll get at least a half-dozen responses. BQool. Repriceit. Channelmax. Repricerexpress. Informed. Sellozo. Those are all repricers that show up just on the first page of Google search research.
None of them are what I recommend for most sellers, however. I have been subtly referencing my top pick throughout this post, so if you were super astute, you already know what I am about to suggest.
The best Amazon repricer for most sellers is Aura.
Plain and simple.
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I used several other repricers and never found them to be as smart as Aura is when it comes to repricing. I even sat down with one of the founders of Aura, Dillon Carter, and talked about Aura, the motivation behind it, a recent new integration with Inventory Lab, and what he’s chewing on for the future.
Go read that article, then come back here — the reason why I pick Aura time and again will make way more sense.
The only time I wouldn’t suggest Aura is for used booksellers. For that, I have heard–from booksellers directly–that BQool works wonders.
So if you’re new, really consider whether you’re ready for a repricer. If you can’t answer all the questions I’ve provided in a way that makes sense, it’s OK to turn it down for now. Aura isn’t going anywhere–none of them are.
Once your business grows enough for automatic repricing to make sense, jump in.