Winning with Pricing Strategy on Marketplaces


Selling successfully on marketplaces like Amazon and eBay hinges on how well you price your products. It’s a balancing act: set prices that draw in customers while keeping your business profitable. To achieve that you need a pricing strategy dedicated to marketplaces.

Smart pricing isn’t just about numbers; it’s a key player in the game of online selling, making a real difference in how well you do. Let’s see what a winning pricing strategy on these platforms looks like.

Step 1: Understanding the Marketplace Ecosystem

Before diving into pricing strategies, it’s important to understand the dynamics of marketplaces. These platforms are characterized by intense competition, a vast array of products, and a diverse customer base. The pricing strategy adopted by sellers needs to account for these factors to be effective​​.

It’s estimated that Amazon alone has over 600 million products listed on its platform (The exact number of products on Amazon is constantly changing, with thousands of new items added daily…). It’s cristal clear that you need to stand out of this vast competition – knowing that the price is one of the most important ranking criteria on Amazon (and other marketplaces as well!).

Step 2: Know Your Costs

Accurately calculating direct and indirect costs is fundamental. This includes the cost of goods, shipping, packaging, marketplace fees, and advertising expenses. Understanding these costs ensures that pricing strategies result in profitable sales, not losses​​.

For example, consider a seller offering handcrafted jewelry. The direct costs might include materials ($10 per item) and labor ($5 per item). Indirect costs could encompass shipping fees ($3 per item), packaging ($2 per item), marketplace fees (say, 15% of the sale price, which for a $30 item would be $4.50), and advertising expenses ($1 per item). Therefore, the total cost for selling each piece of jewelry is $25.50. To ensure profitability and not incur losses, the seller’s pricing strategy must set the sale price above this cost, factoring in a desired profit margin.

Step 3: Research Competitors

Analyzing competitors’ pricing provides insights into market trends and consumer expectations. It’s crucial to balance competitive pricing with maintaining profit margins, avoiding the pitfalls of price wars, and differentiating offerings through value-adds or superior customer service​​.

Utilizing tools like Netrivals, sellers can gain invaluable insights into competitors’ pricing strategies and market trends. This continuous monitoring allows sellers to identify pricing patterns and make informed decisions.

Competitor Price Tracking (Marketplace Pricing Strategy)

Why analysing competitors’ pricing strategies on marketplaces is so important

Here are four main reasons to explain you the importance of competitor price tracking on marketplaces:

  • Intense competition: Understanding how competitors price similar products helps you stay competitive and avoid pricing too high or too low.
  • Market trends: Regular monitoring of pricing changes helps you quickly adapt to market shifts and consumer preferences.
  • Price war avoidance: Tools like Netrivals enable strategic pricing to prevent getting caught in detrimental price wars.
  • Informed decisions: Continuous analysis provides insights for differentiating your offerings, allowing you to compete on aspects beyond just price.

Step 4: Embrace Dynamic Pricing

Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are dynamic, with prices fluctuating based on demand, time of day, and other factors. Sellers should (and must!) consider dynamic pricing strategies that adjust prices in real-time to stay competitive and capitalize on changing market conditions​​.

Without a dynamic pricing solution like Netrivals, the seller risks either pricing too high during off-peak times, leading to reduced sales, or too low during peak periods, missing out on potential profits. In dynamic marketplaces, where conditions change rapidly, the ability to adjust prices in real-time becomes a crucial strategy for maximizing sales and revenue.

Remember: Dynamic pricing is the cornerstone and backbone of every successful marketplace selling strategy!

Example of all the advantages of Dynamic Pricing

Step 5: Test additional pricing strategies

Value-based vs. Competitive pricing

There are two main approaches: value-based and competitive pricing.

Value-based pricing

This approach centers on setting prices based on the perceived value of the products to customers rather than solely on cost or market prices. In marketplaces where there is a wide range of similar products, sellers using value-based pricing focus on differentiating their products by highlighting unique features, superior quality, or additional services that add value. For example, a seller offering handcrafted items might price higher than mass-produced equivalents, emphasizing the craftsmanship and uniqueness. This strategy can allow sellers to justify higher prices, potentially leading to greater profit margins.

Competitive pricing

This strategy involves pricing products in relation to what competitors are charging for similar items. It’s particularly relevant in marketplace environments where price comparison is easy and often the primary factor for customers making purchasing decisions. For instance, if other sellers on Amazon are offering a similar electronic gadget at a certain price point, a seller might price their product slightly lower to attract price-sensitive customers. While this can be effective in winning sales, it also comes with the risk of eroding profit margins, especially if it leads to a race to the bottom where sellers continuously undercut each other’s prices.

In some cases, a hybrid approach might be best, combining elements of both strategies to maximize competitiveness while maintaining profitability.

Utilize psychological pricing

Implementing psychological pricing techniques, such as charm pricing, can be a subtle yet effective strategy to influence consumer behavior. Charm pricing involves setting prices just below a round number, making the price seem significantly lower in the eyes of the consumer. For example, pricing an item at $9.99 instead of a round $10 can create the perception of better value, even though the actual difference is minimal.

In a marketplace setting, where customers often browse through numerous options and make quick comparisons, this small difference can have a significant impact. For instance, a seller might list a smartphone case at $19.99. Despite being only one cent less than $20, this pricing can make the item appear more affordable, attracting more buyers who perceive it as a better deal in the search result on the marketplace. This strategy plays into the common consumer tendency to focus more on the first number in a price.

This approach is particularly useful in highly competitive market environments, where small factors like pricing psychology can make a notable difference in consumer choice.

Strategies for increasing sales volume

In marketplaces like Amazon and eBay, bundling and cross-selling effectively boost sales volume. Bundling involves offering related products together at a discounted combined price, like a digital camera with a memory card and case on Amazon, enhancing value for customers. Cross-selling suggests additional, complementary products, such as recommending a laptop bag when a customer purchases a laptop. These strategies increase the average order value for sellers and provide customers with convenient, value-added purchasing options.

The power of limited-time offers

Creating urgency with limited-time offers like flash sales or seasonal discounts is a potent tactic to spur quicker buying decisions. For example, a seller might run a 24-hour flash sale on Amazon, offering a significant discount on a popular electronic gadget. This limited time frame creates a sense of urgency among customers, prompting them to act quickly to take advantage of the deal.

Similarly, seasonal discounts, such as special pricing during holiday seasons like Christmas or Black Friday, can also accelerate purchase decisions. Customers, aware of the limited nature of these offers, are more inclined to buy immediately rather than delaying their purchase. This strategy not only drives up sales volume in a short period but also helps in clearing stock, attracting new customers, and increasing visibility for the seller on the platform.

Such time-sensitive promotions are especially effective in marketplace environments, where there is a constant influx of offers and customers are on the lookout for the best deals.

Step 6: Continual Monitoring and Adjustment

Adapting to market changes

Pricing in B2C marketplaces like Amazon and eBay requires constant vigilance. Market trends, consumer preferences, and competitor strategies are always in flux, necessitating regular price reviews and adjustments. For instance, a surge in demand for a product type may call for a strategic price increase.

Competitor price tracking

Using tools like Netrivals, sellers can continuously monitor how competitors price similar products. This insight allows for timely adjustments to stay competitive and meet market standards.

Cost structure reevaluation

Costs can vary due to fluctuating supply chain expenses or marketplace fees. Regularly reassessing these costs ensures that pricing remains profitable and sustainable.

Responsive strategy refinement

Feedback and marketplace analytics provide crucial data for refining pricing strategies. If a product shows high interest but low sales, it might suggest the need for a price adjustment.

Continuous monitoring and the ability to swiftly adjust pricing are essential in the dynamic environment of B2C marketplaces. This ongoing process helps sellers maintain profitability and a competitive edge in a constantly changing market.

Implement your pricing strategy now!

Adrian Gmelch

Adrian Gmelch is a tech and e-commerce enthusiast. He initially worked for an international PR agency in Paris for large tech companies before joining Lengow's international field marketing & content team.

Your e-commerce library

4 Top Tips for Selling on Marketplaces (Home and Garden)

Learn more

Marketplace Horror Stories

Learn more

Master Intelligent Google Campaigns

Learn more

Sign up for our newsletter

By submitting this form you authorize Lengow to process your data for the purpose of sending you Lengow newsletters . You have the right to access, rectify and delete this data, to oppose its processing, to limit its use, to render it portable and to define the guidelines relating to its fate in the event of death. You can exercise these rights at any time by writing to