Buy boxes represent quick, easy sales at Amazon.com. Designed by Amazon to make the buyer’s experience more pleasant, buy boxes also work to benefit the seller who wins them.
At Amazon, your item could get lost in the pages of offerings. In addition, it’s no longer enough to set your price low enough to be at the top of the first inventory page. Depending on the seller and the item, Amazon will likely put the lowest price in a buy box on the product page, so before the customer ever looks at the inventory page, the lowest price item is conveniently available for one click shopping.
The chances of a sale of an item in a buy box are considerably higher than on a linking page. Buy Box items are sold in minutes and even seconds with popular, highly ranked items, and the convenience of the buy box greatly increases the odds of a sale even for items that don’t attract a crowd. Many items have a small but intense buying audience and a buy box means a quick sale there too, so when you offer item with a low ranking, the buy box can be all the difference.
It should not matter whether your item is a fulfilled-by-Amazon item or a merchant-fulfilled item. FBA items are items that merchants ship to Amazon warehouses, amd Amazon handles the items for the merchant. For buy boxes, the determining factor is the status of the seller, combined with the total price -- the item price plus the cost of shipping. If a qualified merchant offers an item at $5 with a $4 shipping charge, and it's the lowest price, it wins the buy box. If a merchant lists an FBA item at $8.99, including shipping and handling, the FBA item wins the buy box because the total charge is lower.
To qualify as a seller, you must be a featured seller. You must have positive feedback, ship your items in a timely fashion, communicate when buyers email you, keep items in stock and provide the buyer with an overall satisfactory experience. Though there’s more to winning a buy box than the lowest price, the factors aren’t a complete mystery.
There is an obvious drawback at a popular site like Amazon.com that applies here too. Pursuing the Buy Box can trigger a price war. That could sharply reduce the value of your inventory. You must calculate how fast your item will sell before going after the buy box, or perhaps how far you’re willing to let your price fall, especially if the inventory in question is not flying off the shelf.