3 Things You Should Learn About the Buy Box

Are you wondering how your listing can get on the Buy Box? Read this.

Tom Paddock
Tom Paddock -
3 Things You Should Learn About the Buy Box

If you're new to selling on Amazon FBA, you've probably heard about the coveted 'Buy Box'. It's that little box on the right side of an Amazon product page that says 'Buy Now'. Winning the Buy Box is a big deal. It's the online equivalent of prime retail shelf space.

I'm Tom Paddock, founder of Sellerfuse and the first thing I want you to take from this article, is that you don't need to be the cheapest price to win the buy box on Amazon.

This isn't a conspiracy, price is one of many factors but most sellers go straight to their pricing, because it's the easiest thing to adjust. Take a look at the above photo, £14.99. Now look below at the cheapest prices.

Amazon Buy Box Case Study
Proof that the Cheapest Price doesn't guarantee the Amazon Buy Box

Before I start off on a rant, let's take things back a step.

So, What exactly is the Amazon Buy Box? And how does it work? In simple terms, it's an algorithm that decides which seller gets the 'Buy Now' button for a product. It's a complex system that takes into account factors like price, seller performance, and availability.

As a new FBA seller, understanding the Buy Box can seem daunting. But don't worry, I'm here to break it down for you. In this article, I'll explain what the Amazon Buy Box is, how it works, and how you can increase your chances of winning it. So let's dive in.

What is the Amazon Buy Box?

The Amazon Buy Box. You've heard of it, seen it, and maybe even used it. But what is it really? Well, it's not as complex as it may appear. When you're shopping on Amazon, you've probably noticed that small box on the right-hand side of the product page that says 'Buy Now' or 'Add to Cart'. That's the Amazon Buy Box.

You see, Amazon isn't just a huge online marketplace. It's also an incredibly intense battlefield of fierce competition. With millions of sellers vying for a buyer's attention, having your product easily purchasable with just one click can make a massive difference. And that's precisely the opportunity the Amazon Buy Box offers.

The Buy Box is, essentially, a quick checkout facility. Amazon has put in place an algorithm that determines which product listing earns this prime position. It isn't handed over to just anyone. Seller performance, product price, and availability are among the critical factors the algorithm considers when deciding who gets the Buy Box.

As a new FBA seller, understanding how the Buy Box works is critical. It's not just about getting your products listed on Amazon. It's also about ensuring that you optimize your listings and manage your seller performance to increase your chances of winning that coveted Buy Box spot.

How Does the Amazon Buy Box Work?

You're probably thinking, how does the Amazon Buy Box work? Let me break it down for you. It's not magic, but a calculated process ruled by an algorithm. Understanding this process is vital for new FBA sellers, like you, to hone your strategies and increase your chances of winning that coveted Buy Box spot.

As mentioned earlier, the Buy Box is essentially a quick checkout facility found on Amazon product pages. Where your customers can make a purchase with a single click. However, not all sellers automatically gain access to this. Amazon is very selective - it uses an intelligent, proprietary algorithm to determine the winner of the Buy Box.

The major factors this algorithm considers include:

  • Seller performance metrics

  • Product price

  • Product availability

Let me explain further.

Seller performance metrics refer to your track record as a seller on Amazon. It includes aspects such as your order defect rate, cancellation rate, and late shipment rate. A better seller performance not only improves your chances of winning the Buy Box but also boosts customer trust.

Product price is a significant factor too. If you're selling your product at a competitive price, your chances of scoring the Buy Box increase. But remember, it's not just about being the cheapest; it's about providing value for money.

Product availability is just as crucial. If you consistently have stock, you're more likely to win the Buy Box.

Amazon's Buy Box algorithm also considers shipping time, FBA usage, and customer response times, among other things. By keeping an eye on these factors and constantly improving upon them, you can make the Buy Box work in your favour.

Now that you've got a clearer understanding of the inner workings of the Amazon Buy Box, use this knowledge to your advantage. Remember, it's not solely about having the lowest price, but about mastering your seller performance and product management, too. Keep optimising - the world of FBA selling waits for no one.

Factors that Influence the Buy Box

As we've established, there's more to the Buy Box than meets the eye. It's not a simple case of the lowest price bagging the spot. In fact, Amazon uses a complex algorithm to determine who wins that coveted Buy Box position. Let's dive deeper into the primary factors influencing the Buy Box.

Seller Performance Metrics

Amazon trusts sellers that provide a great customer experience. Hence, your seller performance metrics are crucial. This includes your Order Defect Rate (ODR), Perfect Order Percentage (POP), and valid tracking rate. Maintaining a high standard in these areas will boost your Buy Box eligibility.

  • Order Defect Rate (ODR): This measures your orders that have resulted in a negative experience for the customer. Keep this number as low as possible.

  • Perfect Order Percentage (POP): It's the opposite of ODR, as it measures the percentage of orders without any issues. Aim for a high POP.

  • Valid tracking rate: High scores here reflect that you're providing reliable shipment tracking for your customers.

Product Price

While price isn't everything, it's undeniably a significant factor. Keep in mind that the product price includes the shipping costs. Hence, a lower total price can edge you closer to the Buy Box, given your seller performance metrics are also strong.

Product Availability

Your product's availability also plays a significant role. Extended periods of unavailability might bump you off the Buy Box. I recommend keeping a close eye on your inventory levels and ensuring that popular items are restocked promptly.

Shipping Time and FBA Usage

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) usage is another decisive factor in the Buy Box algorithm. FBA Sellers often have an edge due to Amazon's trust in its own fulfilment network. Not to mention, shipping time greatly impacts your Buy Box chances. Faster shipping times not only elevate customer satisfaction but also your odds of claiming that Buy Box spot.

Customer Response Times

Lastly, quick response times to customer queries show Amazon that you're committed to excellent customer service, which again, weighs well in your favour.

It's crucial for FBA Sellers to master these areas, constantly find room for improvement, and stay ahead of the competition. This will bring them closer to that renowned Buy Box spot. And then, the sky's the limit.

Tips for Winning the Amazon Buy Box

Winning the coveted Amazon Buy Box isn't rocket science but it requires a meticulous approach towards improving the factors that influence the Buy Box algorithm. You've got to continuously refine your strategy if you're aiming for that winning position.

Top on the list is Seller Performance Metrics. The algorithm favours sellers who've shone in customer service. So how do you improve this? Simple, ensure prompt delivery, minimise cancellations or refunds, and provide splendid customer service. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, always keep an eye on your Order Defect Rate.

Next up is Product Price. Let's face it, pricing affects consumer decisions and it's a crucial factor for the Amazon Buy Box algorithm. It's not just about being the cheapest, it's about providing the best value. Keep a watch on your rivals, adjust your prices according to market trends, but remember, don't compromise on quality.

Thirdly, Product Availability plays a big role. If you don't have the goods, you can't win the race. Make sure you've got a steady supply of products and manage your inventory efficiently. Running out of stock not just affects your Buy Box prospects, but it's also harmful to your seller rating.

Equally significant is Shipping Time. Amazon prefers sellers who delight customers with quick deliveries. Offering Prime shipping or using Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) can enhance your chances of earning that coveted position.

Lastly, don't forget about Customer Response Times. Respond to your customers' queries swiftly. Amazon algorithm loves sellers who engage with buyers and provides prompt assistance. A responsive customer service is a must to stay on the algorithm's good side.

By focusing on these five factors, you'll increase your chances of winning the coveted Buy Box and stay ahead in the Amazon marketplace. Success doesn't come overnight but with consistent effort on these fronts, you're well on the way to getting there.


It's important to know how the buy box works as an Amazon Seller. However, you don't need to worry so much about dropping your prices to be the cheapest... as cheapest isn't always going to win you the buy box.

It's also normal to worry about the buy box, it's completely normal to want to control it, although you'll come to learn it's not quite that simple. My advice here would be to continue on with your sourcing and focusing on the things that you can control.