Almost every Amazon seller is concerned about someone eating their lunch, as to say, a competitor eating into their profit margins. Private label brands have become the go-to-market strategy for many new Amazon sellers the past couple of years. This means that, as a seller, you not only need to be aggressively growing your business, but you also need to be protecting your current sales rank. One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your sales rank on Amazon is to hide your inventory levels from the prying eyes of your competition. You may be asking yourself “But how? My inventory levels are only available to me, right?” Negaitve! This isn’t necessarily true. You need to protect you Amazon inventory levels using max order quantity.
Using the Amazon Cart to Spy on a Competitor’s Inventory
Most experienced Amazon sellers know this tactic. If you don’t, though, it’s pretty easy to do and it will give you a trusty approximation. Here’s how it’s done.
- 1. Go to the product detail page you want to spy on. For this example I’m going to use a popular apple slicer.
3. From here, change your quantity to 999 and click Update.
5. Now take this figure and add it to a spreadsheet where you can track the date, amount in stock, units sold and units added. Based off of our example, you could be confident that this items sells approximately 23 to 24 units per day.
Block Competitors with a Maximum Order Quantity
As nifty as the shopping cart tactic is, it goes both ways—meaning you can spy on a competitor but they can also spy on you. You can set a max order quantity within Seller Central under the Offer tab of an ASIN. By setting a max order quantity, you will limit the amount of products a shopper can purchase at a single time. This means that spies will only be able to add the maximum allotment, too, which hinders their sales velocity research. Amazon will add the set maximum order quantity to your cart when a quantity is set higher than allowed.
This may not be the best option for merchants who typically sell large quantities at a time. You need to determine what a healthy max order quantity level is that meets your business goals, but for others, this can be the perfect tool.
Maximum Order Quantity for Promotions
Sellers who are running promotions will benefit the most from the max order quantity function. Amazon disabled the Money Off option in the campaign creation module in November 2016. This small update has large implications like making it difficult for sellers to offer one-redemption-per-customer promotions. Now, sellers run the risk of a promo code being applied to their entire inventory, instead of a single product. For example, a seller could purchase a competitor’s inventory at 90% percent off, and resell it on the exact same listing on Amazon.
You need to be extremely cognizant of the risks involved when running promotions. Luckily there are solutions available to ensure you can run promotions and protect your inventory.
Max Order Quantity Simplified with MAX
Sellers Labs has developed a free—that’s right, FREE—software application to help all sellers protect their inventory from competitors and greedy shoppers. It’s called MAX and it simplifies the entire process of setting a max order quantity so you can update your threshold quickly and easily from one promotion to the next.
Simply login (for current Seller Labs customers) or create a free account. You’ll then be asked to enter your optimal max order quantity for each ASIN you sell and then click Submit. MAX works in the background so you don’t have to go to every individual page to update the max order quantity manually. It’s really just that easy.
MAX is free for everyone. The only thing you have to lose is your competitive advantage. Try it today!
Cory Checketts is the lead copywriter at Seller Labs. He has five years of experience doing strategic communications and professional writing. When he’s not typing you can usually find him getting dropped off the back of amateur cycling pelotons on the roads of northeast Georgia.