Amazon Marketplace is a key sales channel for millions of third-party sellers. However, ensuring your listings comply with Amazon’s policies is relevant to maintaining your selling privileges.
One complex area is MAP or minimum advertised pricing rules, which have started applying stringent monitoring over time.
So sellers need to understand what it is and how to configure cost evaluations to avoid policy violations.
This guide will explain Amazon MAP monitoring and provide tips to keep your account in good standing.
MAP stands for the minimum advertised price, which is a pricing policy set by some brands to protect product image and brand reputation.
Its policies dictate the official minimum tariff at which a product can be advertised or listed online.
The goal for brands is to prevent resellers from heavily discounting items and diluting the brand image. Discount rates can hurt the perception of quality and exclusivity.
Luxury brands in categories like cosmetics are especially cautious about these cost regulations.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Real-time pricing data is the gold standard for MAP monitoring that is being used by many brands whose focus is providing customer-centric products.
Amazon uses a combination of automated bots and manual reviewers to monitor pricing across their marketplace for MAP compliance.
Any promotions found violating will trigger consequences on a legal level, resulting in blocking your brand.
The most common penalties include:
In some cases, violations can also result in fines or being permanently blocked from selling certain brands. Given the severe outcomes, sellers must comply strictly with MAP policies.
Automatic pricing Amazon uses 24/7, as it helps to monitor pricing and identify any cost violations.
These bots crawl all product listings continuously, flagging any rates below the legally fixed levels.
When a violation is detected, the bots will immediately remove that brand’s ads. Since the automated monitoring is constant, any inventory priced below MAP will be caught quickly.
Tips to avoid issues with Amazon’s pricing bots:
DO YOU KNOW?
More than 60% of sales in the Amazon store come from independent sellers—most of which are small and medium-sized businesses.
In some cases, you may receive MAP violation warnings in error. If you believe your rates meet the brand’s pricing guidelines, you can request an appeal.
Provide proof of the official MAP pricing directly from the manufacturer. Explain how your brand’s inventory aligns with the legally fixed cost rules.
However, note that Amazon heavily favors brands in disputes. Appeals are not always successful.
The graph below shows the global distribution of new sellers on the Amazon Marketplace in 2020, by country.
In addition to bots, Amazon employs manual reviewers to audit listings for MAP compliance. These human reviewers sample product pages, looking for non-compliant pricing.
Follow these guidelines to pass manual reviews:
Complying fully with MAP guidelines requires diligence but protects your seller account. Brands prefer consistent pricing and the ability to control discounting.
Best practices for maintaining long-term MAP compliance:
Following Amazon’s requirements takes work but enables stable marketplace selling. Despite the complexities, strict MAP monitoring and enforcement is the norm for the platform.
Staying informed on brand terms and configuring listings appropriately is significant for sellers.
With some diligence, you can successfully sell profitably on Amazon while upholding MAP and avoiding violations.