- Patrick Muir
- On February 2, 2015
This past week I started selling organic prunes.
Amazon was selling a 6-count version for roughly $30. It would be impossible to compete straight up with Amazon because of the additional fees a third-party seller incurs that Amazon doesn’t have to. For example, the 15% Amazon referral fee greatly increases my costs compared to Amazon.
Instead of trying to compete against the Amazon ASIN, I decided to create a variation. A variation is simply a different version of the same product. In the case of the organic prunes, I created a 3-count. My product would be more expensive if you compared price/ounce, but the absolute price would be lower. Rather than paying $30 for a 6-count, you could buy a 3-count for about $10 less.
There are a few advantages I discovered from having a variation:
- I automatically had hundreds of reviews
- Free link off of the Amazon ASIN listing
When a variation is created on Amazon, it incorporates the reviews from each of the products. Since my ASIN was new, I had no reviews. Reviews are important in building trust with potential buyers. By creating a variation from the Amazon listing, I automatically incorporated the hundreds of reviews that already existed. Another plus is that the reviews were overwhelmingly positive.
Free Link off the Amazon ASIN
After I created my ASIN, I noticed that I didn’t even rank on common search terms buyers would use to find organic prunes. It would take a while before my ASIN had the credibility needed to rank higher. On the flip side, the Amazon 6-count ASIN ranked #1 in common search terms. By creating a variation, a link to my 3-count was automatically added to the Amazon ASIN buy box page. This provided me referral traffic right away.
The referral traffic should help sell product which will help the product rank in search. I know the product will never sell in high volumes without ranking well in organic search.
The organic prunes 3-count have only been selling for five days. After the first two days, I had no sales. I lowered my price to be exactly 50% of the 6-count. No surprise that sparked sales and the product now has a sales ranking which should help push organic traffic. My test inventory has sold through at 50% in five days.
I’ve since raised my price back to my full standard retail price and have sold a few. The true test will be on the last 50% of my inventory at full price.