A vigilante formula for artificially increasing your
All sellers with a faint heart and fragile sensibilities: Move along. There’s nothing for you here.
For the rest…
We’re going deep into a guerilla tactic for those who will do anything to succeed as FBA sellers.
The formula I’m going to outline is for two categories of
- Newer FBA sellers (or sellers new to a particular category) who want their listings to be eligible for the Buy Box.
- FBA sellers who want to increase their feedback rating (this is most of us).
Problem #1: You are not eligible for the Buy Box.
Is this you? You can find out if you’re Buy Box eligible via the following steps:
Go back to your inventory view, and look at the column for “Buy Box Eligible.” Does it say yes for your inventory, or no?
Why are some FBA sellers ineligible for the Buy Box?
I don’t claim to be an expert on this. But the biggest reasons are:
- Low positive feedback percentage.
- Low number of feedback ratings.
- Not enough sales in a category.
If your feedback score is less than ideal,
If you’re new to selling on
If you’ve been selling on
In a moment, I’m going to show you how to fix all three of these.
“Help, I’m new. Remind me what the Buy Box is?”
This is not meant to be a beginners guide to the Buy Box, but in short: It’s the prominent box on the right hand side of the screen (or the middle with textbooks), where buyers can checkout quickly with one (or three) clicks. Some estimate over 70% of all sales happen through the Buy Box. While I don’t believe this number is accurate, I still repeat it to emphasize the Buy Box’s importance in sales.
Once you’re Buy Box eligible, your sales should spike immediately.
A lot of newer
Problem #2: You want to raise your
This one is much more simple.
Either you’re balanced perilously on the precipice or getting banned from
This helps get the Buy Box, and it to a lesser extent it can also help directly with sales.
Both of these problems are only solved through one thing: Getting more sales, and getting buyers to leave positive feedback for those sales. That’s it.
Most believe the only way for this to happen is organically: Customers buy your products, about 7% of them leave feedback, and you just tap your toe waiting for that glorious day
But what if there was a way to artificially generate sales, artificially generate positive feedback, and artificially increase the rate you accomplish all of this? What if….
The old fashioned way
This won’t help with sales (which is a necessary part of winning the Buy Box), but there’s always the option of soliciting feedback from your customers manually. You might get your customer/feedback percentage up from 7% to 15% (or something). There are even services like Feedback Five and Feedback Genius who automate this process.
The new, militant way
What I’m going to outline is a militant formula for the following type of seller:
- Serious about selling on
Amazonin the long term.
- Is willing to invest serious money to accelerate their growth (should apply to everyone).
If that’s you, let’s get into it…
Fiverr (two R’s) is a marketplace of people who will do almost anything for $5. Seriously.
For $5, you can get everything from someone recording a video of themselves insulting your former landlord by name and mailing them the link, to video editing, to recording a custom made rap song (the last of which I’ve purchased countless times as last-minute birthday presents). It’s endless.
If your imagination can conceive of it, someone on Fiverr will do it for $5.
Maybe you can see where this is going, maybe not…
Essentially, all we need to solve our problem is:
- More sales.
- Positive feedback for those sales.
If someone is willing to ghostwrite a custom love letter to your coworker in the next cubicle for $5, do you think they would make a couple clicks on
Post a “gig request.”
In the upper right hand corner of the Fiverr homepage, there is a button to “post a request.” Click that.
Describe what you want.
It might look something like:
“I am looking for someone to go to my personal storefront on an ecommerce site, make a small purchase, and leave me a review for the purchase. It will require about 2 minutes of work.”
Wait for offers to come in.
Send them a link to your
Pick your target (100 postive feedbacks, for example), and hire that many people accordingly. (I would not advise having the same person make multiple purchases. Could look suspicious in the eyes of
You probably have a million questions right now, so let me address them
I’m not saying I’ve done any of this before (and if I had, I wouldn’t tell you), but here are some notes on making this work.
“What if I don’t have tons of books in the $4 range in my inventory?”
If you haven’t been selling very long, you may not have an abundance of bargain basement books in your inventory. Personally, I have hundreds of these, and I wish they would just go away.
If you don’t, you have to decide how much this is worth to you. You have the option of discounting your cheapest items even further, since you will likely be paying for the book on top of the Fiverr fee.
“I have to pay for the book too?”
Maybe, maybe not.
If you can find someone to take $5 for this job, put $4 of it towards the book, and be content pocketing $1 for 2 minutes work, then that is the ideal scenario.
If not, you’ll have to pay them for the book on top of their Fiverr fee (it doesn’t have to be an even $5. You could offer $2 + cost of book and see if you have any takers).
It will depend on who responds to your post.
“How do I know how many sales / feedback ratings I need?”
If you’re trying to get Buy Box eligible, there’s no easy answer.
(There are people on the internet who claim to know the answer. I don’t trust most of what I read from
If you’re trying to raise your feedback score, that is pretty simple. Just determine what percentage you’re trying to hit, then do the math on how many positive feedbacks it will take to get there. Simple.
There are so many people looking for “work” on Fiverr, there should be no shortage of takers on your offer.
“This sounds expensive.”
Remember at the beginning when I said this was for serious FBA sellers willing to invest in the long term growth of their business? This is why.
Getting 100 sales & 100 feedbacks could cost as much as $900 ($5 Fiverr fee + $4 book cost).
This is a small investment considering 100 feedbacks would get most of us out of any feedback danger zone, and most of us (probably) eligible for the Buy Box. But its a gamble.
“Isn’t this against the rules?”
Covering your bases: How to do this safely
Realistically, there is no way for
As paranoid as you can possibly get, you cannot create a scenario so “Big Brother” as to explain how
That said, here are a couple ideas to be extra careful:
Only hire people in the US. This is also probably the only way to keep it economically viable, since you don’t want to be paying overseas postage (or orchestrating 100 friend’s addresses where the books could be sent). But getting a flood of overseas buyers *might* flag you.
Don’t have the same person order more than one book. Another thing to avoid triggering any “irregular activity” algorithms (which probably don’t exist).
This should pay for itself
Remember the two scenarios we set out to solve here:
- Ineligibility for the Buy Box.
- Bad feedback score.
As for the first, getting eligible for the Buy Box should set off a huge spike in sales. Assuming your inventory is big enough, this should offset any upfront costs.
As for the second, we all know
Success in business is about working smarter, not harder. Conquer that Buy Box, get out of the feedback score danger zone, and listen to the cash register ring…
PS: Questions, or thoughts on optimizing? Leave a comment below.
Also, claim your free book: