MWS New Pricing Data Feed and Rules Information

Note: As this is a major change to the way AMan prices, it is VERY important that you review this document in it's entirety and understand the consequences of the new Amazon MWS Pricing Data Feed. This document is also accessible via our Support page.


Amazon has changed the data feed that AMan uses for pricing. This document details the changes and required configuration necessary for AMan once you have installed this new version of AMan. There is a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) at the bottom of this document.

The new MWS Pricing Data Feed has the following significant changes:

  1. Amazon will now return the shipping charged by sellers. AMan will now factor in shipping when pricing against other seller offers.
  2. The identity of sellers will no longer be available. This means that specific sellers cannot be excluded from the pricing calculations.
  3. Quantities for other sellers will no longer be provided.
  4. Seller Comments for other seller offer is no longer provided.
  5. Amazon now provides the lowest prices by group. The groups will be based on condition, fulfillment channel (Amazon/FBA or Merchant), whether the seller ships from a domestic or international location, shipping time and feedback. For instance we will now get the lowest prices for condition and sub-condition (Like New, Very Good etc.). Furthermore we will get these prices grouped by feedback buckets (98-100%, 94-97% etc.). See below for more details.
  6. The specific Amazon price will no longer be provided (however, the new buy box price will be able to be used in a similar fashion (see below)).
  7. The new pricing data feed is slower (currently about 10,000 to 15,000 items per hour)

Details on the changes in the data provided by Amazon.

Previously we received the 10 lowest prices (excluding shipping). Now Amazon will provide the lowest price by group. The groups will be based on condition, fulfillment channel (Amazon/FBA or Merchant), whether the seller ships from a domestic or international location, shipping time and feedback. For instance we will now get the lowest prices for condition and sub-condition (Like New, Very Good etc.). Furthermore we will get these prices grouped by feedback buckets (98-100%, 94-97% etc.).

Using an exaggerated example of an item with 6 offers (all assumed to be New), the old data feed would provide all 6 offers as in:

Seller

Price

Feedback

Fulfillment (FBA or MFN)

 

Seller1

$10

98-100%

Amazon

 

Seller2

$20

98-100%

Amazon

 

Seller3

$30

98-100%

Merchant

 

Seller4

$40

98-100%

Merchant

 

Seller5

$50

95-97%

Merchant

 

Seller6

$60

95-97%

Amazon

 

With the old data feed we would get the offers from all 6 sellers. From that we could filter out the ones that you configured as such and then price against the offers left. So if previously if you configured the equivalent of not pricing against sellers with 95-97%  feedback, sellers 5&6 would not be considered when pricing. Further if you configured a minimum price of $15, we could set to your minimum price of $15 and then bump up to the next highest seller thereby getting a value of $20 calculated.

Enter the new MWS pricing data feed. First off, at best, we are only going to get offers from sellers 1, 3, 5 and 6 because of the grouping nature of the prices returned (in this case grouped by feedback and fulfillment).  

  • Seller 1 because of being the lowest price in the group that has 98-100% and is FBA

  • Seller 3 because of being the lowest price in the group that has 98-100% feedback and is merchant fulfilled

  • Seller 5 because of being the lowest price in the group that has 95-97% feedback and is merchant fulfilled

  • Seller 6 because of being the lowest price in the group that has 95-97%  feedback and FBA

At best because much of the time we do not get all the prices in all of the groups. In those circumstances (which happen more often than not), we are provided with the lowest offer in their group and any groups not provided will have a higher price (how much we do not know).  Therefore it is quite possible that we only get the offers from sellers 1, 3 and 5 back. In other words there are gaps in the list of offers being returned by Amazon to AMan.

Configuration for the new data feed:

Once installed , you will need to configure the MWS Pricing Rules. This may be done by clicking on Configure->MWS Settings->MWS Pricing Rules. Your old pricing rules will remain intact but not carried over. Therefore, you will need to configure new pricing rules for the new data feed. The following steps are required:

 

  1. Click on Start MWS Pricing Rules Wizard. This will guide you through each of the pricing rules. The first time you run the wizard, it is required that you go through all steps before being allowed to press Finish.
  2. Once you have completed configuring the new rules, you should run a Price Active
  3. Once complete, Pending Uploads will be displayed.
  4. The newly calculated prices should be reviewed to ensure that they are being calculated as you expect. Sorting by the Price Difference and Price Percent columns (click the column header to sort ascending, click twice to sort descending) will speed up this review.
  5. Double clicking on any record will display the List an Item display. New in this version is a display of each offer used to calculate the price and if not used in the calculation, a reason for its exclusion (see below).
  6. Additionally FBA, Buy Box, Buy Box ownership, your offers and the offer used for the calculation will highlighted (see below).
  7. This data should be used to tweak your pricing rules

Colors used in List an Item offer display

 1.   Yellow  - The offer that was used for the pricing calculation.
 
Gray     - This is a filtered offer that was excluding from being used in the pricing calculations. The reason for being ignored will be in the Filter Notes field.
 
Cyan     - This is an FBA offer (also indicated by the Fulfillment field having a value of 'Amazon' as opposed to 'Merchant' for merchant fulfilled offers).
 
Green   - These are your offers (also indicated by the MyOffer field)
 
Red      - This is a Buy Box owning offer (also indicated by the BuyBox field)
Orange - This listing owns the Buy Box (it is possible to own the buy box for an item where you have multiple listings this will indicate that this particular listing is the owner of the buy box). Also indicated by the ListingOwnsBuyBox field.

Getting Assistance with the new pricing rules:

Please email us with any questions you may have regarding the meanings of the new pricing rules or the behavior of the product. However, if you have a specific question as to why one or more items are being priced the way they are, you must send the diagnostics below before we can assist.

Diagnostics required for any issue with the MWS pricing data feed

ALL of the following will be required when you request our assistance in determining why one or more items are not being priced the way you expected:

  • The item(s) involved must be in Pending Uploads. If they are not, you must first run a Price Active prior to sending the diagnostics.

  • We will need your database and logs (not just logs) which may be sent using Help->Help Menu->Upload Database and Logs to Support.

  • When prompted for the reason, you should enter some sample SKUs and ASINs of the item(s) involved.

  • Additionally, you should enter a detailed explanation of why you consider that there is an issue with the pricing of the item(s).

Note: Amazon at times sends back incomplete data with the new data feed. For items where we receive incomplete data, we will invalidate all of the data and retry up to 2 more times to get a complete set of data. If we do not eventually get a complete set of data, the item will be priced with a value ranging from $79,000 to $99,999 depending on what data is missing. These values are used to indicate that we were unable to price the items. However, these prices will never be uploaded by AMan.

 Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Why is AMan changing the data feed that it uses for it pricing data?
    A. Amazon is requiring all software vendors to change to their new MWS Products API in order to obtain data used in pricing.
     

  • Q. When do I need to install this new version?
    A. This version of AMan will be a mandatory upgrade on Friday, August 31st.
     

  • Q. How do I install this new version?
    A. The new version of AMan may be downloaded from the link on our Support page. AMan should be closed prior to installing. Upon restart you will be prompted regarding the new pricing changes. Please review this document for the full installation details.
     

  • Q. I do not use my copy of AMan for pricing or listing. Yet I am prompted to configure the new pricing rules. Can I ignore it?
    A. As AMan does not know which copies of AMan are used for pricing/listing, AMan will prompt about the new pricing rules regardless of the functions used. These prompts can be ignored. However, before any pricing or listing functions are used, you will need to go through the MWS Pricing Rules Wizard.
     

  • Q. What is the main advantage with this new data feed?
    A. The new data feed provides data for the shipping charged by sellers. This means that AMan now prices factoring in shipping costs charged by other sellers.
     

  • Q. What other advantages are there with this new pricing data feed?
    A. Because shipping costs are being provided and the new data is grouped, AMan will now see FBA offers and your merchant fulfilled items can be priced against FBA seller offers. However, this is off by default but may be turned on in the Pricing Rules Configuration and/or Wizard.
     

  • Q. Any other advantages?
    A. Yes, because of the grouping, it is now more feasible to to price by same sub-condition or same and better sub-condition.
     

  • Q. Is it difficult or time consuming to change to the new pricing rules?
    A. This new version of AMan provides an  MWS Pricing Rules Wizard which simplifies the configuration of the new pricing rules. The wizard displays a subset of the pricing rules at a time as well as showing the documentation for that subset underneath. As long as you know the pricing strategy you wish to use, configuration should only take a few minutes.
     

  • Q. Are there any new features?
    A. Yes. The List an Item screen displayed when listing new inventory or modifying an existing listing (by double clicking on the item in Pending Uploads) displays the offers color coded which indicates why offers were not considered for the pricing calculation the the offer that was ultimately used for the pricing calculation. See 
    Colors used in List an Item offer display above for details of the color coding above.
     

  • Q. I no longer see the other seller names or quantities. Will that be put back in the product at a later time?
    A. Unfortunately no as Amazon has stated that this information will no longer be provided.
     

  • Q. I normally price against Amazon's offer. I no longer see that option?
    A. As Amazon no longer identifies sellers associated with offers, AMan can no longer offer that feature. Amazon does provide the New Buy Box owner (the offer displayed on the main product page shown to buyers). AMan provides rules to allow you to price against that offer. For media items (books, DVDs and CDs), the New Buy Box owner is typically Amazon.
     

  • Q. When I price some of my terms are being priced at $79,000 or higher. What does this mean?
    A. Unfortunately Amazon at times returns an incomplete set of pricing data for offers. Because it is incomplete, AMan invalidates that set of data and prices at at very high price to show this. AMan will not allow these high prices to be uploaded - they are used just a signal that the data was incomplete. Typically, refreshing the data will provide the complete set of data.
     

  • Q. When I create a new (as opposed to existing) listing, the shipping cost shows as zero even though that is not what Amazon or I charge for shipping. What is causing this?
    A. When initially listing a new listing using List an Item, AMan tries to determine the shipping cost you charge for the item. For media items, this is normally readily discovered as all sellers charge the same amount. For non-media (such as toys, electronics) where some sellers can determine their own shipping costs, often AMan cannot determine your shipping cost. So that the item is not under priced initially, AMan will assume a shipping cost  of zero. On the next pricing session when AMan will have your shipping cost for the item from the data Amazon provides, AMan will use your actual shipping cost and price accordingly.
    Note: AMan does not send the shipping cost to Amazon - Amazon automatically adds that once the listing is created. Therefore your item will be listed with the correct shipping cost regardless of what the List an Item dialog states at the time of listing.
     

  • Q. I installed the new version of AMan and every time I try to use List an Item or Price Active I get a message about the MWS Pricing Rules Wizard and it will not let me do anything. How do I fix this?
    A. Because of the significant changes to the pricing functions in AMan, it is required to run through the MWS Pricing Rules Wizard at least once before any listing or pricing functions may be performed. This may be done using Configure->MWS and Pricing Settings as per the MWS Pricing Rules documentation.
     

  • Q. I configured my pricing rules with the Pricing Rules Wizard but I cannot start Automatic Repricing. How do I fix this?
    A. Because of the significant changes to the pricing functions in AMan, it is required to run Price Active at least once prior to running Automatic Pricing. This is necessary to allow you to review the prices being calculated and changes any pricing rules prior to having them uploaded to Amazon. Price Active may be run from the AMan Task Wizard or as per the Pricing Quick Start Guide.
     

  • Q. I have a question about how an item is being priced. What do you need to assist me?
    A. Please refer to
    Diagnostics required for any issue with the MWS pricing data feed above.
     

  • Q. I have questions that are not answered in this FAQ. Who should I contact?
    A. Please refer to our Contact Support page to email or phone us with any questions.






     

    Installing the new version:

    The version you are running on may be verified using Help->Help Menu->About AMan Pro. The required version is 3.3.1248 or later. If in doubt follow the instructions to upgrade below regardless.

    Both US and UK customers should install this update.

    You can check the version you are running (assuming that AMan is not shutting down because of the required update) by clicking on Help->Help Menu->Check for AMan Updates. If it states you are running 3.3.1248 then you are at the correct version and no further action is required.

    This upgrade must be installed on ALL PCs running AMan Pro IMMEDIATELY.

    The latest version of AMan Pro is available at http://www.spaceware.com/Downloads/AManPro/setup.exe (0.98MB in size) . If you are having issues (primarily firewall issues) please try using http://www.spaceware.com/Downloads/AManPro/setupfull.exe (46.2MB in size). The latest version of AMan may also be downloaded from our support page at http://www.spaceware.com/support.htm .

    Please download and install after closing down AMan (and Outlook if you use it). If using IE, you may either select Run if prompted when downloading or, if you elect to Save the setup file to disk, you will need to locate the file and Open it to start the installation. If you use Firefox as your browser, you will need to display your downloaded files and select it to Open it.

    Installation will not affect your data or settings. Upon restart, you may get a message that AMan Pro is migrating your database. This is normal and must be allowed to complete.

    After installation, you may need to configure your firewall to ensure that AMan (Amazon.exe - version 3.3.1248) has got full access to the internet.

    If you get a message stating that the downloaded file "is not a valid Win32 application" or "Unable to locate CAB file", this indicates that the download was interrupted and should be retried. Please download again and save to disk. Then check the file sizes which should be 0.98MB if using setup.exe and 46.2MB if using setupfull.exe.

    After the setup file has been downloaded, run and installed, you should see that the version of AMan Pro is 3.3.1248. Any earlier version will need to be upgraded . You may check the version you are currently running by clicking on Help->Help Menu->About AMan Pro.

    Please visit New Version Updates for a list of the new features in this release.



     

     

 

 








 


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