Two ways to fix the Amazon “High Pricing Errors” that drive every FBA seller insane.
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 Amazon “high pricing errors” happen, and what are they?
Okay, so you’re selling with Fulfillment by Amazon. You sell 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 deactivated for a “Potential high pricing error.” Sometimes hundreds of listings.
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 these 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 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. Your aggressive pricing practices 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? My layperson legal question…
Before we get to how to fix high pricing errors, let me ask: If there are any actual lawyers reading this, 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?
Here’s 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 or hours or days, you’ll (usually) get another email: Your listings have been deactivated 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.
Update: After this article was originally posted, I had a tool built that automates the process outlined above – saving you tons of time and basically applying a “brute force” fix for “high pricing errors.”
It’s called PriceFix. See a demo here.
How To Fix High Pricing Errors, Solution Two (I’ve never heard this one talked about before)
If somehow that 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.
And that’s it
Between those two options, you should be able to fix any and all “high pricing errors.”
PS: Have you had success with either of these fixes? Post a comment below.
PPS: If you’re in a Facebook group or forum where people are having trouble with high pricing errors, feel free to share this article there.
PPS: Update: I got so sick of these, I paid some software developers to build a tool that automates the process of resolving these “high price errors.” It’s called PriceFix. See a demonstration here.
My “How To Fix High Pricing Errors” video