You don’t have to sit back and HOPE Amazon gives you a share of the Buy Box. This blog post goes through things you can do to influence Amazon in your direction.

Be A FBA Seller

Seems obvious, and you probably already are, but just to reiterate – being a Fulfilled By Amazon seller is the most significant factor in determining if Continue reading

In this blog post I go through some actionable steps which you can take to improve your sales. You may even see extra sales the same day.

Phase 1 - Know What Stock Isn't Selling - And Get Rid Of It

First up is some housekeeping. Identify what isn't getting the buy box, isn't selling, and get rid of it. It's often better to make a small loss on products and reinvest that money in new stock that's going to be profitable.

​Here's what you do:

1.  In Amazon Seller Central go to Reports>Business Reports:

2. Then select Detail Page Sales and Traffic:

3. You will then see this report, with the Buy Box Percentage column showing the % of the time each product has had the Buy Box:

4. You can then click at the top of the Buy Box Percentage column and sort by Ascending Order. This will show you the products that are getting the least Buy Box action.

I am sure that some of your products will be showing as 0%. That means that you have never had the Buy Box with those products.

Now that's not a problem if you only sent it in to Amazon recently, but if you're not getting near the Buy Box on a product that's been in Amazon's warehouse for any length of time then it's actually costing you money. And the fact that you've got your cash tied up in something when you could be investing that in more profitable products that will sell quickly.

5. Take a look at the Keepa graph (it shows on the Amazon product page when you have the free Keepa Chrome extension installed) - adjust the time period to 90 days, and then a year.

In the example Keepa graph above, the highest price the Buy Box has been at in the past year was £15.69 (it doesn't mean it sold at the price, just that that's what the Buy Box price was). If the lowest price you're trying to sell at is £18, it's unlikely that you're ever going to get the Buy Box, which means you're not going to sell it.

If the price you want to sell at is never really within the range of the Buy Box price during that period, I would recommend adjusting your price to one that is more likely to get the Buy Box, just to get the sale.

Even if you're not making a big profit, the money is better being spent on something more profitable.

Quick Navigation1. Least Likely To Succeed2. How I Got Started….Sort Of3. How To Create The Change You Need To Become What You Want To Be4. Back To My Story5. First Year Living & Working The Dream6. A Typical Day7. How We Earn Our Money8. How We Became Successful Online Business Owners9. Summary

I often get people telling me that I’m “living the dream”, and to some extent I am. At least, I’m living my dream.

What I do and where I live and how I live is my dream but for you it may not be. But HOW I got to where I am could still be a path that you could follow to achieve your dream.Continue reading

Focusing on just sourcing is a mistake that many sellers make. Making time to focus on the selling side of things can have a dramatic impact on sales, and can make you more money if you do it properly.

82% of Amazon buyers buy directly from whoever has the Buy Box. If you're not in it, they don't even know you exist. The strategic process below shows you how to find out which of your products do and don't have the buy box, and how some small changes in price can make a big difference to your sales and turnover.

Phase 1 - Know What Stock Isn't Selling - And Get Rid Of It

First up is some housekeeping. A way of identifying what isn't getting the buy box, isn't selling, and getting rid of it. It's often better to make a small loss on products and reinvest that money in new stock that's going to be profitable  - particularly in Q4.

​Here's what you do:

1.  In Amazon Seller Central go to Reports>Business Reports:​

2. Then select Detail Page Sales and Traffic:

3. You will then see this report, with the Buy Box Percentage column showing the % of the time each product has had the Buy Box:

4. You can then click at the top of the Buy Box Percentage column and sort by Ascending Order. This will show you the products that are getting the least Buy Box action.

I am sure that some of your products will be showing as 0%. That means that you have never had the Buy Box with those products.

Now that's not a problem if you only sent it in to Amazon recently, but if you're not getting near the Buy Box on a product that's been in Amazon's warehouse for any length of time then it's actually costing you money. And the fact that you've got your cash tied up in something when you could be investing that in more profitable products that will sell quickly.

5. Take a look at the Keepa graph (it shows on the Amazon product page when you h​ave the free Keepa Chrome extension installed) - adjust the time period to 90 days, and then a year.

In the example Keepa graph above, the highest price the Buy Box has been at in the past year was £15.69 (it doesn't mean it sold at the price, just that that's what the Buy Box price was). If the lowest price you're trying to sell at is £18, it's unlikely that you're ever going to get the Buy Box, which means you're not going to sell it.

If the price you want to sell at is never really within the range of the Buy Box price during that period, I would recommend adjusting your price to one that is more likely to get the Buy Box, just to get the sale.

Even if you're not making a big profit, the money is better being spent on something more profitable.

Phase 2 - Know Exactly Which Stock Doesn't Have The Buy Box

So we've looked at which products are never likely to get sold, and we've decided we're going to do something about those.

What if you could also see quickly and easily which products were close to getting the Buy Box but just weren't making it?

One quick easy slight change to your pricing, and suddenly you've got a much better chance of making a sale.

Well this was the missing piece of the jigsaw for our Amazon business, so to have the next part of our strategic Buy Box process​ in place, I created a Chrome extension which has helped us significantly improve our sales (I have decided to share this with you so that you can follow the same process - more on this later).

​Buy Box Checker Pro goes through your entire storefront and produces a list of all your products, shows which have the Buy Box with a nice green tick and which don't with a nasty red cross. It also shows you the current price of the product in the Buy Box.

​Let me show you.

Here is an example screenshot of what the results look like  when you run the extension:

You can see straight away in the pic above that the seller's first three products have the Buy Box, but the fourth one doesn't.

The seller who does have the Buy Box on that product is only 78p cheaper. Surely you can afford to take a 78p hit to your profit in order to make a sale. You could of course hold out, but I personally would want to sell something today so that I could reinvest my money rather than wait for weeks for the sake of 78p.

So what we do is run the extension, have a quick look at the products where we can make some quick wins, and take action to get more buy box action as I'll show you in Phase 3 below.

What the extension also does is show you a summary of your entire inventory. In the example below, this seller has a total of 78 products, of which 51 currently have the Buy Box, a pretty healthy percentage of 65.

We then click on Show Price History Data  - every time we run the extension it stores the results, so that we can track how we are doing over time.

Setting ourselves targets is a very effective way of improving performance and sales.​

So what we see is a list of the last 20 times we ran the extension:

So we took some action and made some small adjustments in price, and just a 3 hours later the amount of our products which have the Buy Box has increased:

If you schedule this in once a week, or once every couple of weeks, you will find that as long as you take action based on the results of Phase 1 and Phase 2, the amount of products that have the Buy Box, and therefore sell, increases significantly.

When I first had the Chrome extension developed, we were running at around 30% of our products having the Buy Box. We are now averaging around 70%. You can imagine how many more sales we are getting as result.

You can install Buy Box Checker Pro here for a discounted $37:

There is a free version of Buy Box check that doesn't include the storage of the historical data over time. You can download that here:

The reason you need to read this blog post is that I'm going to walk you through the process of improving your Amazon sales by making small changes to your inventory. By the end, you will be able to:

  1. ​Get rid of the stock that’s just hanging around costing you Amazon storage fees so that you can reinvest your money in more profitable products
  2. Turnover your profitable stock more quickly, improving cashflow
  3. Give you a strategy that you can repeat week after week to help scale and grow your Amazon business.

The Way I Run My Businesses Changed My Life

In October 2016 I was a part time Amazon seller with a full time day job, living in Liverpool, England. You may well be the same (probably not the living in Liverpool bit but you know what I mean).

In February this year I moved with my family to the beautiful Spanish island of Mallorca, working from home (obligatory pic of the view from my office below) running a successful Amazon business with my short wife (I don't have a range of different height wives, just to be clear).

The reason for this amazing change? Well there isn’t one main reason, it’s a combination of different things, but at the heart of each of them there is one similarity - having a strategic process.

Everything within my Amazon business  has a fine tuned, efficient process. Whether it’s using Virtual Assistants to do our product sourcing, or having systems in place to ensure we are getting as much of our inventory into the Amazon Buy Box as possible, our strategic processes have allowed us to scale and grow our business.

We still work hard, but we are doing it for ourselves, which is a much more fun way of working, don't you think?

What Can This Mean For You?

So if you’re struggling to get your Amazon products selling, or you want to improve your sales (you can ALWAYS improve your sales), this guide will walk you through some simple but effective ways to introduce a more strategic process to managing and selling your inventory.

I’ll even share with you the tools we use to make this process as quick and efficient as possible, including one which I had developed just for our business.

82% of Amazon buyers buy directly from whoever has the Buy Box. If you're not in it, they don't even know you exist. The strategic process below shows you how to find out which of your products do and don't have the buy box, and how some small changes in price can make a big difference to your sales and turnover.

Phase 1 - Know What Stock Isn't Selling - And Get Rid Of It

August sees Amazon apply it's long term storage fees. Knowing which of your products doesn't stand a chance in hell of selling by then is important to reduce costs. Also - why on earth are you holding stock that isn't selling? Couldn't you do something better with that money, such as buy some profitable products?

​Here's what you do:

1.  In Amazon Seller Central go to Reports>Business Reports:​

2. Then select Detail Page Sales and Traffic:

3. You will then see this report, with the Buy Box Percentage column showing the % of the time each product has had the Buy Box:

4. You can then click at the top of the Buy Box Percentage column and sort by Ascending Order. This will show you the products that are getting the least Buy Box action.

I am sure that some of your products will be showing as 0%. That means that you have never had the Buy Box with those products.

Now that's not a problem if you only sent it in to Amazon recently, but if you're not getting near the Buy Box on a product that's been in Amazon's warehouse for any length of time then it's actually costing you money. And the fact that you've got your cash tied up in something when you could be investing that in more profitable products that will sell quickly.

5. Take a look at the Keepa graph (it shows on the Amazon product page when you h​ave the free Keepa Chrome extension installed) - adjust the time period to 90 days, and then a year.

In the example Keepa graph above, the highest price the Buy Box has been at in the past year was £15.69 (it doesn't mean it sold at the price, just that that's what the Buy Box price was). If the lowest price you're trying to sell at is £18, it's unlikely that you're ever going to get the Buy Box, which means you're not going to sell it.

If the price you want to sell at is never really within the range of the Buy Box price during that period, I would recommend adjusting your price to one that is more likely to get the Buy Box, just to get the sale.

Even if you're not making a big profit, the money is better being spent on something more profitable.

We'll come to the best way to do that in Phase 3 below. Don't skip ahead though, we have an even more interesting way at getting your inventory moving.

Phase 2 - Know Exactly Which Stock Doesn't Have The Buy Box

So we've looked at which products are never likely to get sold, and we've decided we're going to do something about those.

What if you could also see quickly and easily which products were close to getting the Buy Box but just weren't making it?

One quick easy slight change to your pricing, and suddenly you've got a much better chance of making a sale.

Well this was the missing piece of the jigsaw for our Amazon business, so to have the next part of our strategic Buy Box process​ in place, I created a Chrome extension which has helped us significantly improve our sales (I have decided to share this with you so that you can follow the same process - more on this later).

​Buy Box Checker Pro goes through your entire storefront and produces a list of all your products, shows which have the Buy Box with a nice green tick and which don't with a nasty red cross. It also shows you the current price of the product in the Buy Box.

​Let me show you.

Here is an example screenshot of what the results look like  when you run the extension:

You can see straight away in the pic above that the seller's first three products have the Buy Box, but the fourth one doesn't.

The seller who does have the Buy Box on that product is only 78p cheaper. Surely you can afford to take a 78p hit to your profit in order to make a sale. You could of course hold out, but I personally would want to sell something today so that I could reinvest my money rather than wait for weeks for the sake of 78p.

So what we do is run the extension, have a quick look at the products where we can make some quick wins, and take action to get more buy box action as I'll show you in Phase 3 below.

What the extension also does is show you a summary of your entire inventory. In the example below, this seller has a total of 78 products, of which 51 currently have the Buy Box, a pretty healthy percentage of 65.

We then click on Show Price History Data  - every time we run the extension it stores the results, so that we can track how we are doing over time.

Setting ourselves targets is a very effective way of improving performance and sales.​

So what we see is a list of the last 20 times we ran the extension:

So we took some action and made some small adjustments in price, and just a 3 hours later the amount of our products which have the Buy Box has increased:

If you schedule this in once a week, or once every couple of weeks, you will find that as long as you take action based on the results of Phase 1 and Phase 2, the amount of products that have the Buy Box, and therefore sell, increases significantly.

When I first had the Chrome extension developed, we were running at around 30% of our products having the Buy Box. We are now averaging around 70%. You can imagine how many more sales we are getting as result​.

If you'd like to get these kind of results, I'll share with you how to get the Buy Box Checker Pro extension towards the end of this post.

Phase 3 - What To Do To Get The Buy Box

Ok, so knowledge is power, but with great power comes great responsibility.

What I'm trying to say is, it's great knowing which of your stock you need to do something about to get sold, and how many don't have the buy box, but if you don't do anything about it you've just wasted your time.

Phase 3 of the buy box strategic process shows you how to take action. There are two options here:

1. ​You can go into your Amazon inventory and simply put the price that you are pretty confident of getting the Buy Box at, based on price history and current buy box price. This can work well, although it does mean that you need to go back in to keep checking and adjusting

2. ​You can use a more efficient and effective option which is a repricer, which automatically adjusts the price within a range that I specify. This works well because it's a lot more "set and forget", but because the repricing tool that I use is very smart, it will try and get the highest price for you that it can, so even if you've reduced what you originally wanted to sell for, you're still making as much money as possible.

Here is an example, from the Bqool repricing software, which I have found to be not only the most effective repricer but also the best value for money - not a bad combination:

So here we can see that we don't have the Buy Box, and that we're unlikely to get it right now, because the seller who does has the product priced at £25, which is £2.98 under our current minimum.

What we would do is look into price history, how long we've had the product in stock, and make a decision as to whether we want to lower our minimum price ​so that we can sell and reinvest in more profitable stock, or whether we're confident that we can sell at the higher price within a reasonable timescale.

And the great thing about using a repricer, we can set our minimum price at say £24.50 in this example, tell the repricer that we want to price match to whichever other FBA seller has the Buy Box. We're not sparking a "race to the bottom".  Bqool will automatically adjust our price within the min and max we set, so we don't necessarily sell for the lowest price.

There are different pricing rules you can set within Bqool, with more aggressive "Get The Buy Box" as an example, and with variations of each, but I'll go through those on another day.

Strategy Summary & Special Offers

So now we have our Buy Box strategy. There are different ways of doing this of course - I have shared with you what works consistently for us, and has enabled us to scale our Amazon business.

To follow the same strategic process, you will need the following tools:​

Buy Box Checker Pro Chrome Extension

To reward you for reading this far, I'm going to let you have it at a significant discount - only $37 (regular price $67) - only available at this price by following clicking Install Now

Sign Up For Bqool Repricing Software

Sign up via this link, email me at dan@danashton.co, and I'll share with you the exact same repricing rules I use, and also how to set them

Then set a schedule (every week,  every day,  or every two weeks - whatever works best for you) and follow this process:

1. Check which products never get the buy box and research if they ever will at your current price - note the prices that you will need to adjust to for the ones that won't sell or will take too long to sell (Phase 1 above)

2. Check which products don't have the Buy Box using Buy Box Checker Pro, and what percentage your inventory is at (Phase 2 above). Take a note of the prices that you need to adjust. Set yourself a target of what you want your inventory Buy Box % to be.

3. Make adjustments to price either manually or with a repricer like Bqool

4. Run Buy Box Checker Pro again a few hours later or the next day, and see your % increase

5. Rinse and repeat - if you maintain a high Buy Box % you WILL see your sales increase. Invest your money in new stock, grow your business.​

That's your Buy Box strategic strategy right there. I want you to make more sales, I want your Amazon business to be a success - if you need anything else from me to support you with this strategy just get in touch - dan@danashton.co, and I'll do what I can.

Buy Box Checker Pro Chrome Extension

To reward you for reading this far, I'm going to let you have it at a significant discount - only $37 (regular price $67) - only available at this price by following clicking Install Now

A short blog post here with a simple Amazon hack that someone in my Facebook group (you can join here) took action on and got over £13,000 back from Amazon by following it!!

I can pretty much guarantee that Amazon owe you money for lost or damaged inventory - don't assume that they automatically recompense you for all of these - they don't.

It's relatively easy to do, just follow the steps below:

1. Go to Reports > Fulfillment by Amazon

2. In the left hand column under Inventory, select Inventory Adjustments

3. Click on Download, and add in a From Date as far back as you started selling, and a To Date of today

4. Click on Request Download, then Download when it is ready:

5. Once it has downloaded, open the text file, Edit, Select All,  then copy and paste it into Excel or Google Sheets

6. Delete everything that isn't a "E" or an "M" in the reason column. These are items that are Amazon damaged or misplaced.

7. Open a case - Help > Contact Us > Selling on Amazon > Fulfillment by Amazon > FBA Issue > Something Else - and tell them that you would like to be reimbursed for the attached damaged items. Make sure you attach your Excel file, and do it in batches of 5 ASINs. This will mean you may need to open multiple cases, but you will get a better response from Amazon by limiting it in this way.

I posted this in my Facebook group  a couple of months ago, and here is a comment from one of my members: "​I still have 4000 out of 5100 lines of data to go through. I've opened 13 days of cases and received over £13,000 back from reimbursements. I don't open cases on weekends. I have started to send about 30 cases a day the last 3 days and had no problems from Amazon." That is obviously from a big seller, but it just proves what can be done. Let me know how you get on. I would recommend you diary to do this every month of so.

Time to kick back and relax! You've hired your product sourcing Virtual Assistant, just wait for those sweet sweet deals to arrive in your mailbox every day.

You know where I'm going with this already don't you? Well the fun has just got started. Hopefully you've got your management and training processes in place, but if you haven't, I've put together a series of short video guides below on how we manage our Virtual Assistants.

The methods we use have developed over and work very well. You don't have to follow the same ones, but I'm confident that if you do you will stand a very good chance of your VA succeeding.

Communication & Day To Day Management

For some reason when I speak it's quite quiet on this video, so you'll need to turn the volume up after the intro.

Here are the links to the tools I demonstrated in the above video

  • Meister Task   - really easy to use, nice workflow options, and free! Update - since recording the video I have discovered that Basecamp has upped it's minimum subscription to $99 per month. I'm not saying it isn't worth it, but I think you can achieve what you want to achieve for free or a lot cheaper. I will recommend another service below.
  • Basecamp - this is what we use, and feel we couldn't manage our VA's effectively without it. There is a cost of $29 per month. Update - since recording the video I have discovered that Basecamp has upped it's minimum subscription to $99 per month. I'm not saying it isn't worth it, but I think you can achieve what you want to achieve for free or a lot cheaper. I will recommend another service below.
  • Asana I have used Asana on occasion, and it has the chat and document storage facility within projects that you need to make the VA management work. The free version should be more than sufficient for your needs.

Work Allocation

I hope that you could see from the video that having an organised sourcing schedule helps your Virtual Assistant know exactly what they should be doing and when. I also hope it shows you that by using sourcing software your VA will be able to be incredibly productive in finding profitable products for you to sell.

Don't worry, you don't need BOTH Wizard and TA. We have one VA running one and another running the other, but that's just us. Either or would be very effective also.​

Time Tracking

So you can see that Time Tracking is a really useful way to keep your Virtual Assistants focused and give you the confidence that they are working to improve your business.

  • HubStaff  - the clear favourite for me, which will mean that you are not tied to a particular recruitment site. Very affordable and comprehensive.
  • OnlineJobs  - a nice, easy to use tool. Use it to start off with when you have just hired your VA as it's part of your $49 per month package, then move over to Hubstaff when you cancel the subscription before the second month charge kicks in.
  • Upwork  - good looking and effective (like myself), but means you have to have recruited your VA via Upwork

Contracts & Non Disclosure Agreements

I haven't made a video on contracts and NDAs for two reasons:

  • ​Looking at legal documents doesn't make for very exciting viewing
  • I have no legal qualifications so I'm not comfortable recommending anything in those areas

That said, we do have both a contract and a NDA with our Virtual Assistants, based on free templates from a legal website which we adapted the wording on.

​I don't expect to be able to enforce anything in either of these documents, but I like the VA's to feel as though they are part of a real business, and also that I take things seriously. 

If you haven't read the first two parts of the Virtual Assistant guides you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

How Are You Going To Train Your Virtual Assistant

Training is THE most important part of the whole product sourcing VA process. Get this wrong, and all the work you've done so far will have been in vain. Get this right, and you are set to accelerate the growth of your Amazon business. Luckily I've got the perfect, tried and tested product sourcing training system all ready to go. You can find our more about this by clicking below: