Repricing - Is It Really So Hard To Understand ?

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Nottingham United Kingdom
Bigian13
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Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Repricing - Is It Really So Hard To Understand ?
15 Jun 2016
After a recent holiday I came back to a busy inbox, with many emails regarding repricing software.

The problems appear to be that many users do not know how to effectively use repricing software. Now I know that there are many on here that are sellers of / work for repricing software companies but here is how I get it:
  • You set a minimum price.
  • You set a maximum price.
  • You set all sorts of parameters for pricing against competitors etc.

  • Simples !

    The problem is that many still see it as a 'race to the bottom' or do not fully understand how repricing works.

    Example 1
    Seller A uses repricing software but finds that the only other competitor B keeps undercutting to below their minimum. Seller A reduces their minimum price to try and undercut B to the point that they are losing money on each sale. Simple, stop lowering your price, stick to your minimum and you will probably get the same number of sales but at a better margin. If this is the case, then seller A can probably raise their minimum price, raising seller B price in the process, but watch out for similar listings.

    Example 2
    Seller A has been competing with a couple of others on a listing. Prices were close but seller A had been receiving regular sales. One seller has gone, and the other has no stock of this item. You would expect seller A to get all the sales, but sales have stopped. The reason is that seller A had set their maximum price to £999.99. Not bad for an item that they were originally selling for around £25 !! Set your maximum price at an acceptable level taking into account similar items not necessarily on your listing and more importantly, how much YOU would be prepared to pay.

    Not all sellers are computer literate or technophobes that enjoy looking at graphs and charts, or even know how to use them. A lot of them are small businesses that are new and small and trying to make a bit of money here and there.

    Repricing could not be simpler, to those that understand it, but maybe more could be done to explain it to novices by the providers.
    E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
    United States United States
    ecommercedaveuk
    Kudos: 20
    Joined: Jun 21, 2016
    Re: Repricing - Is It Really So Hard To Understand ?
    21 Jun 2016
    Thanks for the simple explanation. I'm thinking of signing up and give repricing software a go on a trial basis. Is there any you would recommend?
    United States United States
    toddaryan
    Kudos: 53
    Joined: May 12, 2015
    Re: Repricing - Is It Really So Hard To Understand ?
    21 Jun 2016
    @Bigian13 you are correct in that, at surface value, repricing is a very straightforward math equation. I feel that some repricers make it too complicated by not offering a standard or canned repricing rule that does a good job in general of competing.

    But in all fairness, repricing has many levels / layers of complexity and competitiveness. For highly competitive scenarios, factors such as time to fulfill, shipping time, available inventory (yours and your competitor), rate of price change, sales velocity, and other advanced analytics come into play. For these sellers, a high of complexity (and unfortunately an associated level of difficulty) is required.

    To kick it up a notch, most readers are probably assuming we're talking about just Amazon and / or eBay. What about repricers that account for other marketplaces, pricing engines, and in-store pricing? That's a whole new level of complexity.

    I wish it were straightforward, but I think the nuances is why there are over 40 repricers (last time I counted) on the market ranging from $9.95 to $2,500 per month.
    Nottingham United Kingdom
    Bigian13
    Kudos: 2,232
    Joined: Feb 21, 2014
    Re: Repricing - Is It Really So Hard To Understand ?
    22 Jun 2016
    @ecommercedaveuk

    To be totally honest, I would recommend RepricerExpress for Amazon repricing, and Price Spectre for eBay repricing.

    This is based upon my experience with the different repricing software available and my experience with them. Other users may well have their own opinions.

    RepricerExpress can do eBay repricing as well as Amazon, however it is currently based on your Amazon pricing strategy. Not a good thing if you have more competitors on eBay.

    Both of these providers allow different algorithims to reprice your software against different competitors / conditions. RepricerExpress also takes into account exchange rates for international Amazon accounts.

    Give them a (free) trial and see how you get on. Just remember to stick to your minimum prices
    E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
    Nottingham United Kingdom
    Bigian13
    Kudos: 2,232
    Joined: Feb 21, 2014
    Re: Repricing - Is It Really So Hard To Understand ?
    22 Jun 2016
    @toddaryan

    I do agree with you in part.

    Repricing software can be too complicated for some people, hence the post.

    To reprice against variables such as stock and delivery can not always give accurate results. For example visible available stock may be the amount that sellers decide to be displayed or listed on a certain channel rather than their actual physical stock holding. Many sellers on eBay list a set amount rather than their full inventory due to selling limits or even to hide their stock levels from competitors. In fact one of my clients only lists two of each item rather than the hundreds he has in stock to create a 'get it before its gone' type scenario. If you are repricing with a higher price against a competitor that appears to have low stock, you could be in for a long wait. Also dispatch time is currently being altered by many sellers from same day to next day or longer on eBay along with extended delivery times to allow for eBays (unloved) dispatch metrics. From chatting to some of these sellers they have not noticed any drop off in sales due to longer advertised delivery times, relying on feedback comments to enhance their delivery times. Unless the repricers AI can read multiple comments along the lines of 'Arrived 2 days earlier than expected' and adjust for these then this also makes it partly irrelevant. However I have found that customers in Germany, for example, are more likely to spend that little bit more to get a faster delivery. Personally, unless I needed a product by a certain date, I would go for a cheaper price with a longer delivery than a more expensive one with quicker delivery (up to a point).

    B&M stores can in no way be considered when it comes to a fully automated repricing strategy. Smaller B&M stores are unlikely to have a web presence, and even the larger stores that do, often have special offers and promotions in store. Unless you are selling products that have high margins that enable you to employ a number of researchers, this should not be considered as being feasible. If you have a a B&M store then there are too many variables and expenses to take into account such as rent, rates, maintenance etc. to efficiently reprice against internet competitors.

    What if you are the only seller of a certain product on a certain channel in a certain country. Lucky you. Try to reap the rewards by increasing your prices, but not when buyers are becoming more savvy and will do a simple search on the internet to find that product or a similar one cheaper on a different selling channel. While many buyers remain loyal to a certain shopping channel, more and more are using the search box and price comparison sites to find the best price.

    With the increasing need to have EANs and MPNs for products across most marketplaces, 'cross platform' repricing could become quite common. However this may well result in you offering your lowest price across all channels unless the repricing software can intelligently continue to raise prices on certain channels before sales fall off, however to do this accurately would need to take into account variables such as seasonal trends which would have to be either programmed in, or based upon several years of data to be accurate.

    Another of my clients started using a CSV file, Repricer Express, Price Spectre, and a bit of manual research (around an hour a week) to update all their product feeds for many shopping channels and has experienced a large growth in the last 12 months in both sales and more importantly profitability. Nice and simple !

    Repricing can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, but my advice is to try and keep it simple unless you really understand what you are doing. The important thing is to try a certain method and see if it makes you more money. If it does, decide to stick with it or try something else that will make you even more money. If your profits start to drop then ditch it and try something else.

    [Last edited: 22 Jun 2016]
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