Home » Sales & Marketing » How To Win the Amazon Buy Box

How To Win the Amazon Buy Box


According to Macrotrends, Amazon generates $500 billion in sales every year and 83% of these conversions come from Amazon’s Buy Box. That makes sense considering the fact that it allows customers to purchase immediately. So, if you’re selling on Amazon, winning the Buy Box on the product detail page could make a huge difference to your sales. Read on to learn how to win the Amazon Buy Box. 

Table of Contents
What is the Buy Box on Amazon? And why is it important?
Factors that determine who appears in the Buy Box
How to win the Amazon Buy Box
Why has nobody won the Buy Box for a listing?
Final thoughts on how to win the Amazon Buy Box

What is the Buy Box on Amazon? And why is it important?

The Amazon Buy Box is where customers see the ‘Buy Now’ option, which makes the product purchase even more effortless by allowing them to make instant purchases. The Amazon Buy Box appears on the right-hand side of an Amazon product detail page. 

Product page on Amazon for Portable Water Flosser with the Buy Box highlighted

We’ve mentioned that winning the Amazon Buy Box can significantly affect your sales, but why? 

When a customer clicks the button ‘Add to Cart,’ they’re buying from one specific merchant – the one that has won the Buy Box. But now that the additional ‘Buy Now’ option is included in the Buy Box, this guarantees sales for the Buy Box owner because it is an immediate purchase. 

Being prime real estate to increase sales is the main reason the Buy Box is important, but there are other benefits to winning the Buy Box. It’s critical to converting mobile shoppers because to find other sellers, they need to scroll far past the Buy Box which most customers don’t do. And according to Amazon statistics, there are over 126 million unique mobile visitors in the US per month compared to approximately 42 million desktop users. 

The Buy Box also impacts advertising for two significant reasons: 

  • If you run ads within Amazon Seller Central, all Sponsored Product ads stop running when a product loses the Buy Box.
  • If you have Sponsored Brands Ads (SBAs), they aren’t Buy Box-dependent, so you risk paying for traffic where another seller gets the sale. 

Factors that determine who appears in the Buy Box

So, now that you understand what the Amazon Buy Box is and why it matters to your business, how does Amazon decide who appears in it?

Amazon decides who appears in the buy box based on several factors such as price, fulfillment and seller rating. 

  1. Professional seller account: To be eligible, you must have a professional seller account. A professional seller account is available to anyone, but it’s a subscription-based service that requires a monthly fee on top of selling fees. 
  2. Length of time on Amazon: Those who have been selling on Amazon are more likely to win the Buy Box because Amazon can see a track record of sales.
  3. Selling new items: Used products are automatically excluded from the Buy Box. 
  4. Consistent availability of inventory: Not only do you need available products to sell, but if you have consistent inventory levels, you’re more likely to win the Buy Box. 
  5. Price: Competitive pricing is essential; we will discuss the specifics of a competitive pricing strategy in the next section.
  6. Efficient delivery: If you fulfill orders yourself, Amazon will consider the promised and actual shipping times to determine if you will win the Buy Box. 
  7. Good seller metrics: Amazon looks at your performance metrics such as refund, cancellation and late shipment rates; we will list all the important metrics to follow below. 
  8. Order defect rates: Keep negative feedback, such as A-Z claims and chargebacks, to a minimum.
  9. Quality of customer service: Provide quality customer service. Amazon will look at customer response time (must be within 24 hours) and customer dissatisfaction rate (favors sellers with consistently high marks from customer surveys).
analytics on a computer screen

Metrics to watch that will help you win Amazon’s Buy Box

These metrics are essential to watch to increase the likelihood of winning the Buy Box. While Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), the seller may need to review and improve on some of these metrics; Amazon handles most shipping and customer service issues. However, these metrics are crucial if you’re self-fulfilling orders.

Amazon calculates the Seller-Fulfilled seller rating based on these metrics:


  • Order Defect Rate (Target = < 1%)
  • Negative Feedback Rate
  • Filed A to Z Claim Rate
  • Service Chargeback Rate
  • Return Dissatisfaction Rate (Target = < 10%)
  • Negative Return Feedback Rate

Response Time

  • Late Response Rate
  • Invalid Rejection Rate
  • Buyer-Seller Contact Metrics (Target = < 25%)
  • Response Times Under 24 Hours (Target = > 90%)
  • Late Responses (Target = < 10%)
  • Average Response Time
  • Recent Customer Metrics Data


  • Pre-Fulfillment Cancel Rate (Target = < 2.5%)
  • Late Shipment Rate (Target = < 4%)
  • Refund Rate
  • Valid Tracking Rate
  • By Category (Targets = > 90%)
  • Delivered on Time (Target = > 97%)

Amazon’s standards for these metrics are aggressive, especially when it comes to Buy Box eligibility. You can get an overall picture under “Account Health” in your Seller Central.

How to win the Amazon Buy Box

As you can see, Amazon favors reliable, professional sellers that are more likely to sell high-quality products, ship on time and offer above-average customer service. But what does that mean practically when it comes to winning the Buy Box? Here, we will look at actionable ways to increase your chances of winning. 

list of products on Amazon showing price, sales rank, buy box price and eligibility

Check eligibility status

The first step is ensuring you’re eligible for the Buy Box as a seller. 

Here’s how to determine the status of your listings:

  • Go to your Amazon Seller Central account’s “Manage Inventory” section. 

  • In the right-hand corner, click “Preferences” and “Buy Box Eligible” in the dropdown menu. 
  • This process adds another column that simplifies eligibility to yes or no.

Suppose you want a birds-eye view of your products and their current Buy Box percentages. In that case, you can view this under Reports in Seller Central. Look under “Reports > By ASIN > Detail Page Sales and Traffic by Child Item.”

Use Amazon fulfillment 

If you’re shipping your products, it can be more challenging to prove your inventory, and it takes longer to show a track record of filling orders on time. However, if you use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you may be able to see your products in thy Buy Box sooner, especially as a new seller, since Amazon has the inventory on hand and they can better guarantee quality and quantity. 

In addition, brand-new seller central accounts filed by merchants aren’t eligible for the Buy Box unless they make sufficient sales volume. Amazon determines this volume, and it varies by category. 

If you want to increase your chances of winning the Buy Box, Amazon fulfillment is likely the way to go. 

Of course, there are instances where it doesn’t make sense to use Amazon fulfillment. For example, if you’re selling perishable goods that may go stale sitting in a warehouse or have already established brand manufacturing with built-in infrastructure for shipping. 

There may be instances where some of your products are fulfilled by Amazon while others are fulfilled by you. But keep in mind if you’re fulfilling your orders, you need to be shipping products and dealing with customers at a standard that is comparable to what is expected from Amazon. 

person delivering a box while another person signs for package

Provide fast shipping

If you aren’t using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), your shipping time impacts your ability to own the Buy Box. Amazon calculates how well you’re doing with shipping by comparing projected shipping time with the actual shipping time. 

Amazon analyzes shipping time based on the following time frames, but remember, Amazon customers don’t just expect cheap or free shipping; they also expect it to be fast (thanks to Prime).

  • 0-2 days
  • 3-7 days
  • 8-13 days
  • 14+ days
clipboard that says pricing formula with phone calculator on top

Maintain a low landed prices

The lower the landed price, the more likely you will win the Buy Box. The landed price includes shipping and handling costs. 

While it may be tempting to drop your prices below your competitors to gain an advantage in winning the Buy Box, the key here is keeping your prices low and consistent with other merchants on the site. 

Of course, many Amazon professional sellers are constantly changing prices to edge one another out on the Buy Box, however, don’t make your prices lower than you can afford. 

Determine whether you can afford to own the Buy Box at its current price by considering your:

  • Amazon seller fees
  • Margins
  • Return cost
  • Shipping costs
  • Amazon budget

Pricing strategies

While the cheaper, the better can help you win the Buy Box, what pricing strategies work for merchants going high volumes of sales on generic items don’t always work for smaller-scale sellers. So, here are some pricing strategies that may help you to win the Buy Box, but keep in mind how you do business when choosing between them. 

  1. Manual repricing: You can manually set a competitive price by watching competitors’ products and adjusting accordingly. This method can be effective for sellers with only a few products, who make the products themselves, or who have products that don’t have much competition. However, most sellers don’t have the time to do this. 
  2. Rule-based pricing: Rule-based prices are basic – as the name states, you set up a rule for adjusting your product’s price. This strategy may work for you if you aren’t overly concerned about potential margin loss. One major disadvantage is that it can lead to pricing wars (consider if more than one seller uses this strategy on an identical product). Another thing to consider is that this strategy sometimes means pricing products lower than necessary when other metrics alone would maintain the Buy Box regardless of the price. For example, if you want your product to be $1 less than any other seller.
  3. Algorithmic repricing: This strategy is an intelligent repricing tool that uses algorithms to set the best price based on all market conditions, such as competitor prices, promotions, etc. Based on your overall product profitability, it will kick in and find the best middle ground between winning the Buy Box and profit on sales.

Maintain a high feedback score

A high seller feedback score is essential. Your feedback rating is based on reviews from orders (orders from the last year, but the 90 days are weighted heavier) and an average of all seller feedback ratings. 

The Amazon Seller Feedback system was created so that customers can see other buyers’ experiences with different sellers — and use them to decide on which seller to purchase from. Many sellers don’t realize that Seller Feedback differs from Product Feedback. Customers often mistakenly leave product reviews on Seller Feedback pages, which can be especially damaging if you see many negative reviews.

Shoppers may sometimes leave a product review on your seller feedback, which is a problem for your seller score. Fortunately, you can contact Amazon about the issue, and they’ll typically rectify it quickly. You can go to Amazon through a case and say, ‘this is incorrect; this feedback is product-related,’ and Amazon will remove it.

Additionally, if it’s an FBA product and someone leaves a negative seller rating about packaging or shipping — which is Amazon’s responsibility, in that case — you can file a claim, and Amazon will remove it.

inventory in a warehouse on shelves

Maintain inventory and sales volume

The better you maintain product stock, the more likely you are to win. For example, if you have one unit of inventory left while another seller has 30, the other seller will be more likely to win (of course, other factors are also taken into consideration). 

If you’re using your own fulfillment process, ensure inventory management and fulfillment are aligned so products are always in stock. 

For sellers using Amazon Fulfillment, remember product availability is determined by the inventory in the Amazon warehouse (not what’s currently in your warehouse or getting shipped to Amazon). So, remember fulfillment processing and delivery time when sending products to Amazon. 

Also, note it’s just as important to keep your inventory information up-to-date as it is to have the inventory available. Mistakes with available stock can lead to unsatisfied customers and negative reviews. 

person wearing a headset providing customer service

Good customer response time

When sellers sign up, they agree to the company’s Service Level Agreement (SLA). This requires a response to customer queries within 24 hours. So, not only does good response time increase your chance of winning the Buy Box, but it’s required by Amazon. 

Reply on time; if you can’t, reply as soon as possible. Failure to respond within 24 hours will decrease your chances of winning the Buy Box.

Low order defect rate (ODR)

A low order defect rate (ODR) is vital to winning the Amazon Buy Box, but what is ODR? 

ODR is a metric used to measure the quality of customer service. It measures the percentage of orders returned due to defects (missing, incorrect or damaged). Factors that can make an order defective include credit card chargeback, negative feedback and A-Z claims. 

What’s an A-Z claim? Amazon offers an A-to-Z Guarantee to help protect customers who may have experienced a defective order. The A-to-z Guarantee covers orders that arrive damaged, late, or incorrect and can also cover orders that are missing items or don’t match the description. Suppose a customer is eligible for a refund under the A-to-z Guarantee. In that case, Amazon will investigate the claim and may issue a refund or replacement. 

When the ODR reaches 1%, the seller has received excessive customer complaints or negative feedback related to orders, and Amazon will take action to protect the customer experience. Amazon may suspend the seller’s account or reduce visibility on the marketplace. 

To keep your ODR low, keep track of your performance metrics daily. Specifically, aim to keep refund and cancellation rates below 2.5% 

Why has nobody won the Buy Box for a listing?

Sometimes products show no Buy Box, which means there is no winner. Instead of the ‘Buy Now’ option, customers will likely see a button that says ‘See All Buying Options.’ 

There isn’t necessarily a simple answer as to why there is no winner for the Buy Box, but here are some reasons why this may occur:

  • A dramatic price change: If the winner of the Buy Box has a sudden and substantial price change. When this occurs, Amazon takes precautions to protect customers from potential counterfeit goods that are listed at significantly reduced prices. 
  • Violation of price parity: If a seller is selling a product for a lower price on their website or another channel, Amazon may penalize them. 
  • Increase in customer complaints: Amazon may temporarily remove the Buy Box to investigate complaints about a product.

Final thoughts on how to win the Amazon Buy Box

Winning the Amazon Buy Box is a key position to be in when looking to increase conversions and profits. Amazon has been and will continue to be customer focused which means the more emphasis you put on your customers will increase your chances of securing more buy boxes on more products. 

Was this article helpful?

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top