FBA – Fun With Auto Pricers

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You got to love it when you buy something that has good margins on paper and then when you put it into practice things go to shit.  Take this HP All-in-One computer for instance.

HP All-in-OneI bought two of these computers at Staples for a pretty good price, $549.00.  When you include 10% off spread between Staples Rewards and Upromise my cost was down to $494.

I did not use my Ink card for this purchase because I had a minimum spend to meet at the time so put the purchase on my new SW cards.  At the time I purchased these they were selling on Amazon for $648.  After fees I was looking at a profit of about $90 per computer.   That has pretty much gone out the door at this point.

Almost immediately after listing the computers the priced started to drop. And it was not pretty.  Here is the last month:

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As far as I can tell I have got caught up in a battle between a bunch of auto-pricers/idiots.  There are about a half dozen sellers who keep competing against each other and drop their prices by 1 or 2 cents respectively multiple times per day.  It has totally sucked to watch and be stuck among it

I got so fed up with it that I dropped the price on my computers just to get out.  I sold one real quick by dropping my price down $10 below the lowest auto-pricer/idiot.  Unfortunately, I was not able to sell the second because the auto-pricers/idiots just adjusted accordingly.  Now they are about $20 below the price I had set, what a train wreck.

At this point the question I have is do I wait them out or fuck with them?  Right now I am going with the fuck ’em route. I dropped the price on my last computer $30.  The price is now $10 below the lowest seller.  There is a part of me that is really hoping they adjust and start the free fall again from the price point I set.  Screw these guys.  I am watching a real life prisoners dilemma unfold before my eyes.

UPDATE:

Unfortunately, my machiavellian plan to get the price to bottom out on these guys did not work.   Fortunately, I did get that computer sold.  However, my profit pretty much disappeared.  Instead of $90 I made $20, woo hoo!  Note to self, avoid a gaggle of auto-pricers like the plague.

3 Comments on "FBA – Fun With Auto Pricers"

  1. The key here is whether the folks using autopricers properly calibrated their autopricers… if not, then enjoy the freefall!! If so, then, you might be able to get rid of that last computer…

  2. You could try dropping your price low enough that you can buy out your pennyballer competitors stock and make a profit on it. Best you play that game in the early hours of the AM.

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