People use software like Sellery, SellerEngine Plus, and Profit Bandit to retrieve information about items on Amazon because it’s much faster and more efficient than looking up the information yourself on the Amazon web site. But how do third-party software programs get data from Amazon? Do they search on Amazon like you would? No. That would be slow, inefficient, inaccurate and unreliable. Instead Amazon provides a tool (known in software development as an API) that makes it easy for third-party software to interact with the information available on Amazon venues.
You’re probably wondering what’s the catch, right? Read on to find out.
Amazon controls and structures the data that they provide to third-party software through their API. That means that all software programs that use the API receive the same information and that’s good since it creates a level playing field. It also means that if Amazon doesn’t want to provide a piece of data, they don’t have to. They decide what data is sent to your software.
Today we’re going to talk about how competition data is delivered through the API – one of the most confusing and least understood behaviors of Amazon’s API: the bucket system.
What is a bucket and how does it apply in repricing software?
A ‘Bucket’ is a group of competitions’ listings that all meet the same criteria set by Amazon. Buckets are used to provide competition data through the Amazon API and are compiled based on the following criteria:
– Item Products can only be listed on Amazon if... More
– Fulfilment channel (FBA / MFN)
– Seller location (local, international)
– Lead time to ship
– A performance rating on a scale of 1 to ... More rating interval
When you’re looking at data about competition in your repricing software what you see is not data on each individual listing for the selected item but offers or listings grouped together in buckets of listings based on the criteria mentioned above.
Facts about buckets
– The buckets are compiled using only the first 15 lowest priced listings for every condition category (new, used, collectible) and everything else is discarded by the Amazon API.
– A bucket may contain one or multiple listings. If for any two listings all the criteria above are the same then both will be included in the same bucket regardless of other values like price and feedback count.
– When a bucket contains multiple listings the Price and Feedback Count you see for it both belong to the lowest priced listing within that bucket. Other offers in that bucket are priced equal to or higher than the Simply the lowest price an Amazon... More displayed.
Implications of using the Amazon API in third party software
– If you want to compete against the Lowest FBA price but the first 15 offers are all Merchant fulfilled the lowest FBA price is not included in the buckets therefore you cannot compete with it in the software
– Other prices are hidden behind the lowest price in each bucket that contains multiple listings, that means the average price is inaccurate since it only takes in to account the price for each bucket and not the price for each listing.
Categorizing listings the way the buckets system does creates less of a burden on Amazon API servers and makes data reliable and available much faster. It also encourages sellers to remain competitive which plays out in favor of customers. It’s true that the bucket system restricts access to certain competition data and while in very specific circumstances it would prove useful to see a complete list of all sellers the buckets system is a better solution since it streamlines the data making delivery faster and giving you a useful overview of the most relevant competition so you don’t need to get lost in the details.
Dodge these limitations by using another API that is integrated in Sellery
If you’re very particular about how you want to reprice your items and would like to see details like seller names, who owns the This refers to the situation where a sel... More, or what is the lowest FBA price even if it is not among the first 15 lowest priced listings, try Sellery – our web based repricing software.
You can get all this data with Sellery because it is able to provide competition data outside of what is available through the standard Amazon API by integrating a new API provided by Amazon: the Pricing Events data feed. It delivers individual pricing events for each of your listings so whenever one of your competitors changes their price this other API sends a notification which is then interpreted by Sellery taking a repricing decision based on your preset pricing rules. Aside from getting additional data about competition it also makes repricing much faster allowing you to react in almost real time to price changes that your competitors make. This is the future of repricing so give it a try – it’s free.