"Pricing Health" Idiocy

Please, bear with me… I’m at my wits end with this stupidity. Obviously, SS is unable to even understand the issue and just spit the same copy-pasted line every time. Here’s the situation (as simply as I can explain it):

Fully FBM. ASIN created in 2019. I’m the manufacturer, and only seller. Have had the BB since day 1. Price hasn’t changed since 2022, and then it was just a $10 increment in price to cover for supplies price increase. Item priced at $70 plus $14.99 shipping. Shipping is a template. (I use medium flat rate boxes). Here’s the thing:

About 2 weeks ago, my sales disappeared… Not abnormal this time of the year, but it was abrupt and not only a reduction… it went to straight zero. Checked account, everything seems normal. Perfect metrics, listings all active, all of them with BB (I don’t have many listings, just a few, so easy to check)… except one… active, but no buy box, even when the eligibility remains as YES. This is the ASIN in question.

After checking, the “pricing health” area shows the ASIN as “Not eligible to be the Featured Offer due to significantly high price” and gives me as a solution to “match the list price”. Here’s when the stupidity began: My price is $70… reference price (list price): $70… In the listing detail (inventory manager) same thing.

So, knowing the IQ of Amazon bots, I clicked the “match” button… and then the price was reduced to $55.01 (which, added to the shipping price, will make the $70). So, obviously, the bot is comparing the list price (without shipping) with the sales price+shipping, and hence, the high price error.

Now, the “fun” part: as soon as the sales price was modified (when I clicked the match price option), the listing was deactivated, showing a “low price error”, and asking me to put the price up to $84.99 (which is obviously, price + shipping), showing this amount as the price for which the item has been sold in the past.

I’ve tried modifying the list price… putting maximum and minimum price (being the max the 84.99 and the min the $55.01, just to try and get rid of the issue… and every single time, either I get a high price or a low price error…no way around it. I even set the automatic price rule, and the system placed the price at the right price ($70) but then, the high price stupidity shows up.

I even tried a file upload, and nothing changed.

So, in short, as of now: the price is right, being managed by Amazon. Featured offer elegible on the inventory manager page, but not eligible on the pricing health page… No Buy Box on this ASIN. Pricing health showing high price error.

SS answer to my “I need your help to figure out this pricing error” is: “it’s an automatic process, we can’t do anything”… “well, if your prices doesn’t match…” (hey, yes, they match!!) and my favorite: “please, send us a screen shot of the error to continue the investigation” (screen shot sent, clearly visible that both reference and price are exactly the same and still I’m being prompted to match them) and then “well, as far as we can see, the listing is active” (WhoTF said the listing was inactive?)

Guys/Gals, I really need your help! Someone have been in a similar situation? What can I try to solve it?

PS: Forgot to tell that I went to the extreme of setting the list price and sales price both at $84.99 and then running a sale for $70…just to try, and same high price cr*p. I’m really losing what’s left of my mind here!!

4 Likes

I’ve seen a few posts over in the NSFE this month and last which led to a suspicion that the circumstances which you’ve so-eloquently illustrated perhaps being in play; given your long experience in Sailing The River, I’m now more than before convinced that a new Amazon initiative on this front could well be being deployed.

Unfortunately, I have yet to decipher the details, and connect the dots in what analytical diagnosis results suggest is probably the most-likely manner, but I’m working on it.

May I ask you what the average number of Daily Refresh Cycles (i.e., the 3:00 AM PST/PDT-imposed standard in Amazon’s Global Enterprise Domain network) between your attempts to correct this unfortunate situation, from the time you became aware of it, and the time of last-described unsatisfactory result?

2 Likes

Do you have any type of automation turned on?

2 Likes

Well, knowing the “wait 24/48/72/1,254 hrs” work for every single modification on Amazon planet, I’ve let the time pass between attempts…this is my (sad) 4 day on this experiment… and finally out of options.

Pretty sure the developers are trying to find a way to close the circle of those who circumvent the pricing policies by lowering the price and upping the shipping, but definitely consistency is needed! If you’re not considering price+shipping as reference, how on earth are you taking it for sales price comparison? And even worse, how is the reference price calculation different for low price and for high? Unbelievable!

BTW, always a pleasure to read you! Love your style :+1:

2 Likes

Now yes! As part of my last attempt, I activated the price automation for only that SKU, as a way of “ok, smartbot, you tell me which price I should set”. And it’s showing the correct price! (obviously, again, only seller, item manufactured by me, so no similar items to use for comparison, and historically, same list and sales price)… but, the “significantly high price” error is still showing, prompting me to match $70 (price) to $70 (reference/list price) :roll_eyes:

2 Likes

This happen to us for one week … also FBM … and manufacturer … and brand registered … and no one else can sell our item (custom product).

List price and our price were the same. It went across all of our products. No issues so we decided after one week to run a sale for one week just to see if it would kick start some sales. It took 3 days but it worked as some sales dribbled in.

One difference would be that we have shipping included into the cost of the product. This may have saved us from what you have experienced.

We would agree with @Dogtamer that it is most likely a new Amazon initiative that is being tweaked to catch the low price high shipping bad actors.

3 Likes

Hi @BridgesBuilder, I know that this is nowhere near the error that Amazon threw, but do you have that product advertised for sale anywhere else online, at a price different than the Amazon price?

2 Likes

Zero experience with this, but have you tried an $84.99 price with free shipping to trick the bot?

2 Likes

I would avoid charging separate shipping on Amazon for various reasons

  • A shipping charge makes problems like the one you’re having harder to resolve, and could’ve caused it to begin with by confusing the bot
  • Amazon buyers like “free shipping” and it’s less confusing for stupid people who can’t add 2 numbers (which represent a not insignificant amount of buyers)
  • Easier to manage on your end when you update pricing since there’s only 1 price to manage instead of 2
  • There’s no real benefit to separating the shipping cost from the item cost

Another thing I’ve seen people do, is instead of making a huge price hike, increase your price by like a dollar a week

2 Likes

I thought that too! I do have all my products listed in Etsy, Ebay, Mercari and Walmart, as well as on my own website. On every single one of them, the price is the same (some of them included the shipping cost on the price, so if a comparison is made, Amazon will still be the cheapest one).

2 Likes

That’ll be my last resource today. I didn’t want to go that route considering the fees and the fact that when a “renter” decide to buy the product and then return it 2 weeks later, I would have to reimburse full, including shipping. But definitely will try.

1 Like

The benefits I see are the possibility to not reimburse shipping cost when a customer decide to return the product for some stupid reason, or when the address is undeliverable (has been happening more and more frequently lately).

The other one, even when minor, are the fees. With a separated shipping cost, the fees are calculated based just on the price.

But, yes, definitely pros are more convincing on this case. I’ll run a test with this SKU and see what happens.

2 Likes

Interesting … we see that an Amazon bot is hitting our website hard right now …

It will be interesting to see if anything happens. Our price structure and shipping are completely different format than what we use on Amazon.

Since their bots are identifiable… shouldn’t it be possible to show them different pricing?

I know websites can block bots, but even better would be to show them a different price. I bet if you gave the bots a higher price than what’s on Amazon their ranking algo would favor your stuff more favorably.

Don’t see anything wrong with that, just like how some companies charge different amounts in different regions, your business happens to charge robots more than humans. Robots aren’t a protected class against discrimination… yet…

2 Likes

Never a good sign when bots are running wild… Hoping for no consequences :expressionless:

2 Likes

UPDATE:

I tried modifying the list price and sale price, both to include the shipping cost, and changing the SKU to free shipping… The error disappeared and the modification took place.

Within 15 minutes, the error reappeared, “significantly high price”, prompting to match the price to $70 :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

I’m right now gathering all the information from the listing, and decided to delete it and maybe, when my liver comes back to it’s place after this absurdity, create a new listing for this product. This is simply and completely stupid!

So creating a new listing has the following problems:

  • You lose all sales rank
  • You can’t use the same UPC again on the new listing as that’s tied to an existing listing
  • Creating a duplicate listing might be a policy violation
2 Likes

Yes, I know those issues. :neutral_face:

Luckily, this is not a high ranked ASIN, it was created in 2019 using a GTIN exception (I didn’t have my brand registered back then) and now I do have a UPC code for it , but when I tried to update the listing to use that identifier more than a year ago, SS suggested to create a new ASIN :persevere:

I’m really out of ideas… not sure if that error there is causing my account to be “shadow banned” in some way, and even worse, as the listing doesn’t have a featured offer, it’s showing:

"No featured offers available
We feature offers with an Add to Cart button when an offer meets our high standards for:

  • Quality Price,
  • Reliable delivery option, and
  • Seller who offers good customer service

“No featured offers available” means no offers currently meet all of these expectations. Select See All Buying Options to shop available offers."

So, basically, being myself the only seller and manufacturer, that message is telling potential customers that I’m not reliable or that I’ve had had issues with my customer service, so this issue is affecting my overall image as a brand and as a seller :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

That message just means any one of those factors isn’t being met, it’s a generic message put up on all non-buybox eligible ASINs (some of which are due to poor metrics, hence the inclusion of that text).

I wouldn’t worry about that anyway, for one, your offer is being suppressed so nobody’s seeing it, and even if they do no buyer would click more info to see that message, they’d just move on to something else.

1 Like

Yes, I do know what the generic message means… but customers don’t! They just see: “hey! there’s this seller for this product, but I’m not showing them up in the main page because either they’re not reliable, their price is unfair or their customer service is cr**py. Anyway, you can buy from them clicking here at your own risk”

The ASIN is not suppressed. It’s up, but not in the buy box… and it’s not in the buy box because of this stupid glitch that I don’t have neither a way to solve myself nor a seller service willing to even try to understand and take a look at it. :confounded:

2 Likes