Two ways to fix the Amazon High Pricing Errors that drive every FBA seller insane.
Video: How To Fix High Pricing Errors
There are many articles and videos across the internet on how to fix “high pricing errors.” Look around, and you’ll see lots of negative YouTube comments saying the methods “don’t work.”
In this article, I set out to do two things: Tell you how to make the existing solutions work, and share a new solution I’ve never seen talked about before.
Why do “high pricing alerts” happen, and what are they?
Here’s what happens: You’re selling with Fulfillment by Amazon. You use FBA (partially) to reap the benefits of the “pricing leverage” Fulfillment by Amazon offers. You normally price significantly above the lowest Merchant Fulfilled offer.
Then you see a listing has been deactivated. Amazon gives the reason “Potential high pricing error.” Sometimes this can happen to hundreds of listings at once.
It starts when you either notice an email from Amazon like this:
“We have detected potential pricing errors in your Amazon.com product listings. We have deactivated the listings mentioned at the bottom of this message to prevent any negative customer experience.”
Or, you see your “stranded inventory” page explode into this:
The dreaded “High Pricing Error” is annoying, impossible to explain, and challenging to fix. That’s what this article is about.
Why do high pricing errors happen?
First of all, you’re not doing anything wrong.
Amazon’s (insane) algorithm detects that your price may be mistakenly high, and deactivates the listing. Amazon asks you to “fix” your “error” on the “Fix Price Alerts” page.
Ostensibly, they are trying to protect the customer from price gouging or a “negative experience, ” and protect you from your “error” by taking down your listing so you can price it competitively.
Honestly, its incredibly creepy and “Big Brother.” Why is Amazon telling us how to price the products we sell?
My theory on why “high pricing errors” exist
Amazon is nudging you to further its own agenda of Amazon being the low-price option that undercuts every other retailer on earth. Aggressive pricing practices of FBA sellers are not in harmony with that agenda, and they bring down the hammer in the form of the deceptively-named “high pricing error.”
Under the pretext of “preventing price gouging” or “protecting you from your own mistakes,” they shut down your listings and make them very difficult to undo.
Amazon isn’t doing this to protect you. They want to keep prices low and circumvent price fixing laws by calling these “high pricing errors.”
Until some lawyers get on this, this is where we are.
Lawyers: Where are you on this?
Here’s my layperson legal question for any lawyers out there…
I’d be interested to know how these “high pricing errors” aren’t legally considered price fixing.
To this layperson, influencing pricing behavior of merchants feels like an open-shut case of price fixing. Anyone?
How Amazon tells you to fix a “high pricing error”
Amazon will tell you the way to fix a high pricing error is on the “Fix Price Alerts” page. (Pricing tab -> Fix Price Alerts)
You’re told to simply click “reactivate” to verify the price you set was not a mistake, and Amazon will reactivate your listing.
In practice, this doesn’t work.
Within minutes, you’ll (usually) get another email: Your listings have been deactivated for a “high pricing error” again.
You repeat the process. And again: deactivated.
This is where most people give up, and Amazon wins.
How To Fix High Pricing Errors, Solution One
This is the solution you’ll see in many seller forums (the solution most people say doesn’t work).
The reason people report this solution doesn’t work is that they aren’t persistent enough. This often only works if you repeat the process many times – often 4 times, 5 times, or more.
Its counterintuitive to do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result (some say it’s the definition of insanity), but eventually you should get a different result. Persistence is key.
Here’s the process:
- Go to Pricing tab.
- Go to Fix Pricing Alerts.
- Set a minimum and maximum price.
- Edit the existing price slightly (a cent or two is fine).
- Click “Reactivate.”
If that doesn’t work, this is where persistence comes in. Repeat the process.
- Go to Pricing tab again.
- Go to Fix Pricing Alerts again.
- Adjust minimum and maximum price slightly.
- Edit the existing price slightly again.
- Click “Reactivate.”
You may have to repeat this several times before it finally “takes” (i.e. Amazon gives up and lets you win).
Again, people say this doesn’t work because they either skip one of these steps, or aren’t persistent enough.
How To Fix High Pricing Errors, Solution Two
I’ve never heard this one talked about before…
If somehow #1 doesn’t work, or you want more direct approach (not necessarily more efficient, just more direct), here’s an alternate approach.
- In the “Fix Price Alerts” page, select “Get Support.” (bottom left corner of page)
- Select “Determine Why a Listing is not Displaying” option. (see screenshot below).
- Enter an ASIN.
- Select the “Phone” option.
Someone from Amazon will call you.
From there, explain you have X number of books deactivated for high pricing errors, you confirmed they are not errors, and you want them all resolved in bulk.
The support person should fix all your high pricing errors right there on the phone.
Amazon Seller Central support is empowered with that ability, but not all of them are so helpful. So you might not always get the right person.
Amazon support can vary pretty wildly, and its important to know support has the ability to fix high price alerts. So if the person you talk to won’t help you, its because they don’t want to. They do have that ability.
That’s how it’s done.
Between those two options, you should be able to fix any and all Amazon “high pricing errors.”
Patricia Jones says
I am a part-time international seller on Amazon. ^ months in US 6 months in Barbados. Does your course show ways to cheaply source online as well?? (limited budget to begin with (3 months into selling on Amazon). Wouldn’t want to purchase course and then unable to source books as recommended in course.
Peter Valley says
If you’re asking about the Book Sourcing Secrets course, I wouldn’t be able to say precisely what sources are available in your country, but there’s a full refund guarantee for 60 days if you decide its not a good fit.
Jimmy Stewart says
Peter I just went through this on a Barbie toy accessory that has been discontinued. It sold retail in stores for $29.98 and now since they are not available anymore I have new ones I kept back. I am listing them for $39.98 but Amazon kept killing the listing for price errors. If you mouse over the “alert” icon on the left side of the listing that is suspended it pops up a box that says to deactivate the pricing error monitoring that you can put in the min and max price.
I remember when they added this feature. It was back when the 3rd party repricers went wild and sold items for .01 and caused a lot of issues. Amazon put this in to protect the seller but now they are taking advantage of us.
Let me say that this is not just an FBA issue. It is also on FBM (merchant fulfill). I did the first option above for about two weeks at the same time filing an online support issue. Every response coming back was for me to lower the price but when I asked for the magic price they could not tell me. After two weeks and keeping the case active by replying every other day I finally used the call option. The first person I talked to said they could not help because it was regulated by the catalog group. I was persistent to speak to a person in USA from that group. I was finally put through to a gentleman who indicated that this was not in human control but controlled by and bot that looks at the market on other websites and compares the price. He also went on to say that the pop up box indicating that the pricing error bot could be disabled was not correct and they change the policy in past month due to price gouging but website word has not caught up yet.
I asked him to show me where any other site has these items and recommended he google the UPC because there were none out there except a used one on eBay for $29.99. He finally determined that there was a list price on the catalog item set at $12.98 and told me to reduce it to that. BTW I am offering free shipping ($9.00 due to item size) so reducing to $12.98 was not a option since I knew it actually sold for retail $29.98 while I got it on sale for $19.98.
I also directed him to another ASIN that had the same item in different color that was being sold on Amazon at $69.99. After about 20 min of cautious arguing he finally agreed to submit the request to remove the error low list price. It took 4 days for a response but finally they allowed the price to go through and listing up.
I have had other listings that I just let it stay in suspend and I list them on eBay or Walmart. It’s not worth the hassle. I agree with you that this should be illegal. It appears their excuse is all the legal issues they recently got into with the COVID-19 price gouging on the TN guys that scoured 2-3 states to buy up $17K worth of sanitizers to sell on Amazon recently that hit national news. At least the excuse for the recent crack down.
Peter Valley says
Thanks for sharing this. I have also heard support quoted as telling other people the same thing. Forcing sellers to price against non-Amazon sites makes it feel even more like price fixing to me.
Mary Morris says
This won’t be the solution for everyone, but after weeks of dropping the price over and over and never getting the item to reactivate I finally had Amazon send the stock back to me. I then listed it as “Used – Like new” and explained in the comments section that the item was still in shrink wrap. I then sent them back in and they sold just fine at a price higher than what I had them listed at previously. I can’t tell you how angry I get when Amazon tells me what price I am allowed to charge. They have no way of knowing what I paid for the item, what my overhead is, what kind of margin I need to be profitable, etc.
I have a book with 87€ (1€=1$ more or less) blocked from AMZ so I cheched w/keepa the previous history price and I saw there was one sold about 57€. So i priced it at 57€ and AMZ accepted. Sometimes the bot is set with previous historical price.
Peter Valley says
The easiest way to remove a high price error is always to drop the price, though they shouldn’t make us do this and we lose money that way. Better to conquer them then give in.
Chris Rider says
Yeah, I had a video game I was selling as used, wondering why all the other listings were collectible. I got hit with high price alert. I think the high price alerts are rarer on collectible.
Has there ever been any response to the legal challenge?
Amazon are now kicking out all sellers over some arbitrary price they pick. This does not reflect the market as seen on BookFinder.com. They are creating a very low set of prices by removing all the higher priced sellers, making it appear that your higher price is truly an outlier.
Amazon are creating the low price point deliberatly against what the market is actually saying. This has to be price fixing surely.
Unless you have Keepa and look at the historical offers and/or as I do have a price history you won’t realise what has been done.
Seller Support being useless as usual.