What is the Amazon Buy Box and How to Get It

Amazon Buy Box

Imagine your product as a contestant in a fierce competition, vying for the spotlight in a crowded marketplace. Now, picture the Amazon Buy Box as the coveted winner's circle where only one seller emerges victorious.

As an Amazon seller, understanding the intricacies of the buy box becomes paramount in your quest for sales success. But how do you secure this prime spot and boost your visibility among countless competitors?

The path to mastering the Amazon Buy Box is paved with strategic insights and crucial tactics that can propel your products to the top of the e-commerce hierarchy.

Key Takeaways

  • The buy box on Amazon is the featured offer that appears next to a product listing, allowing customers to easily add the item to their cart.
  • Only one MSKU (Merchant Stock Keeping Unit) can have the buy box at a time, and it's possible for no MSKUs to have it.
  • Factors that influence whether an MSKU gets the buy box include pricing, value, shipping options, and fulfillment method (FBA or MFN).
  • Having the buy box is crucial for PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising on Amazon, as only the MSKU with the buy box will have their sponsored ads displayed

What is the Amazon Buy Box?

The Amazon Buy Box is often referred to as the "featured offer" and is a crucial element next to the product listing that features the "Add to Cart" option. See below:

Why is the Amazon Buy Box Important for Amazon Sellers

The Buy Box's prominence means the majority of sales go through it, making competition fierce among sellers. Whether you're the sole seller of a unique product or facing stiff competition in a crowded market, securing the Buy Box can significantly enhance your visibility and sales potential on Amazon.

How Does the Buy Box Work on Amazon

There are often multiple sellers for the same product. When that happens, Amazon needs to choose which seller will get the sale.

The seller that Amazon chooses has the buy box.

If you are the only seller for a product or if your brand is highly recognizable then you will get the buy box almost 100% of the time (unless Amazon thinks there is a problem). However, if you are selling a generic product or a branded product that you don’t have exclusivity for, then you are going to be competing with a lot of other sellers and will have a lower chance of getting the buy box.

Here’s the basic breakdown:

  • Amazon gives an MSKU the Buy Box
    • We don’t know exactly what goes into their algorithm but we can make some assumptions.
  • Only 1 MSKU can have the Buy Box at a time (max)
  • It's possible for no MSKUs to have the Buy Box

How Does the Amazon Buy Box Algorithm Work?

While the exact details of Amazon's Buy Box algorithm remain a closely guarded secret, it's clear that multiple factors are at play in determining which seller wins this coveted spot. The algorithm considers price competitiveness, seller performance metrics, shipping options, and more to ensure customers have the best possible buying experience.

Being the featured offer means Amazon has recognized you as the best option for customers based on these factors, emphasizing the need for sellers to optimize their offerings and operations continuously.

Criteria to Become Buy Box Eligible on Amazon

Amazon stated these things as a guide to becoming eligible for the buy box:

  1. Competitive Pricing: Your pricing, including shipping, must be competitive with other sellers to have a chance at winning the Buy Box.
  2. Professional Seller Account: You must have an Amazon Professional Seller account to be considered for the Buy Box.
  3. Availability of Stock: Ensuring your items are consistently in stock is crucial. Running out of stock can negatively impact your Buy Box eligibility.
  4. Shipping Options: Faster shipping times can improve your chances, and free shipping if possible.
  5. Customer Feedback: Maintaining positive customer feedback and high ratings positively impacts your Buy Box eligibility.

How to Check Your Buy Box Eligibility

Amazon awards this status to sellers who have demonstrated consistent performance. Here's how you can check if your products have been awarded this status:

Option 1: Check in your “Manage inventory” section.

If you don’t see that column, you can edit your columns to show it.

Option 2: Go to your product’s detail page.

If your brand name is showing in the “buy box” then you will get the sale.

Additionally, you may see a warning in campaign manager that you’re not the featured offer.

Why Would an MSKU Not Have Buy Box Eligibility?

There are a number of reasons why an MSKU won't have the Buy Box including:

  1. There is a lower price for the product elsewhere on the internet
  2. There is a better value MSKU available
    I.e. there are options with a lower price, better shipping, FBA, etc
  3. There is FBA offer is priced higher than the MFN offer
    They punish you for this
  4. Other unknown reasons because Amazon is sneaky
    Officially, this is what Amazon says:

If your product isn’t getting the buy box you can investigate all of the above issues to try and resolve it but as you can see there are a lot of things out of your control.

How Does This Affect PPC?

In sponsored ads, only the MSKU that has the Buy Box will EVER be shown.

So if you don’t have the buy box your PPC ads have no chance of being displayed.

This is why we add all MSKUs for an ASIN to our campaigns whether they are FBA or FBM.

That way, in case the FBA stocks out, and the FBM offer gets the Buy Box, and advertising can continue without you worrying about it.

Strategies to Win the Buy Box

To increase your chances of winning the Amazon Buy Box, focus on maintaining competitive pricing strategies that align with market trends.

Understanding how the Buy Box rotation works is crucial to strategize your approach effectively.

Tips to Win the Amazon Buy Box

Aside of the previous criteria we've mentioned, here are some other things you could do to increase your chances of being chosen for the Buy Box:

  1. Utilize Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): Amazon favors FBA sellers due to their fast and reliable shipping. Consider using Amazon's fulfillment services to increase your chances of winning the Buy Box.
  2. Maintain High Performance Metrics: Focus on improving your seller performance metrics within Seller Central. Ensure fast shipping, excellent customer service, and positive reviews to show Amazon you're a reliable seller.
  3. Fulfillment Method: Sellers using Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service often have a higher chance of winning the Buy Box, though it’s not an exclusive pathway.
  4. Order Defect Rate (ODR): Keeping your ODR low, below 1%, indicates that you're providing a good customer experience.
  5. Return Rate: A low return rate indicates customer satisfaction with your products, which Amazon values for Buy Box eligibility.
  6. Valid Tracking Rate (VTR): For sellers fulfilling their own orders, a high VTR is necessary, typically above 95% for most categories.
  7. Cancellation and Late Shipment Rates: Keeping these rates low demonstrates reliability, a key factor Amazon considers for the Buy Box.

Common Challenges in Winning the Buy Box on Amazon

Struggling to secure the Buy Box on Amazon? Sellers face various challenges, from pricing competition to product availability issues.

Understanding the reasons behind losing the Buy Box placement and implementing effective troubleshooting strategies can significantly improve your chances of winning the coveted spot.

Reasons Why Sellers Might Lose the Buy Box Placement

Consistently losing the Buy Box placement on Amazon can be a result of various factors that impact your competitiveness as a seller.

  1. Pricing Competition: If other sellers offer the same product at a lower price, Amazon is likely to prioritize those listings in the Buy Box.
  2. Poor Fulfillment Options: Sellers using fulfillment methods that don't align with Amazon's standards, such as slow shipping or unreliable service, may lose the Buy Box placement.
  3. Suboptimal Seller Metrics: Metrics like order defect rate, late shipment rate, and overall customer feedback can influence Amazon's decision to award the Buy Box to a seller. Ensuring high-quality service is crucial to maintaining Buy Box eligibility.

Troubleshooting Tips for Sellers Who Can't Win the Buy Box

If you're facing challenges in winning the Buy Box on Amazon, addressing factors such as pricing competition, fulfillment options, and seller metrics becomes crucial for improving your competitiveness.

To troubleshoot and enhance your chances of winning the Buy Box, start by evaluating your pricing strategy. Ensure your prices are competitive yet profitable.

Next, focus on optimizing your fulfillment methods, considering options like FBA to potentially increase your chances of winning the Buy Box.

Additionally, pay attention to your seller metrics, such as order defect rate, late shipment rate, and customer feedback, as these play a significant role in Amazon's Buy Box algorithm.


Securing the Amazon Buy Box is crucial for any seller looking to increase sales. It requires a blend of competitive pricing, strong seller metrics, and effective fulfillment strategies. Focus on these areas to improve your chances of winning the Buy Box.

Remember, it's not just about the immediate win; it's about setting up for ongoing success on Amazon. Keep evaluating your approach, adapt to changes, and always prioritize customer satisfaction. This straightforward strategy can significantly boost your visibility and sales on the platform.

Written by
Carly M.

Carly is an eCommerce expert and founder of PPC Farm, an agency that specializes in elevating Amazon sellers through strategic PPC management. With over 11 years in the industry, her and her team have successfully managed thousands of ASINs, boosting visibility, sales, and performance for their clients.

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