Keepa, a great Chrome extension for all online sellers, provides the user with the price (and sometimes sales rank) history for almost all products sold on Amazon. When used correctly, it can provide some extremely valuable insight into the history of a product and the expected price you can sell that product at through the Amazon platform. I have done a number of videos on our YouTube channel that walk you through the process of installing Keepa and even how to use it to find deals online.
Although it can provide a user with valuable information, one must first learn the basics of Keepa to actually understand what it is saying. This should act as a guide for those readers how are new users and those who are looking for a refresher on the basics.
There are a few things that I want to touch on before we go any further.
The orange line (shaded from the line to the bottom of the graph)
This magical line shows the price that Amazon has been selling the item for over the give time period (time periods can be changed by clicking on the time frames on the right hand side of the graph. If there is a period where there is no orange line, that means Amazon is/was out of stock of that item.
The blue line
This line shows the price of the lowest merchant fulfilled seller (not including shipping) on that given item.
This line shows the sales rank history of a given item. Keepa doesn’t pull this in for every item, but it does appear on some items. This information can also be found by visiting CamelCamelCamel (CCC).
Now that you know the basics, you should be good to go!
Let’s take a look at a few situations that you might run into that a Keepa chart could be useful to help derive information.
I am looking to see if an item actually sells at the listed price.
This is a pretty easy one that can quickly be answered by Keepa (and sometimes the use of CCC). All you need to do is pull up the item on Amazon and glance at the price history chart and see what the last month (or 3 months) look like. If you notice a huge spike in prices (followed by a huge increase in sales rank), then you are able to say that the price level has decreased demand and less people are wanting to buy the item at that price point. Below are two examples that you might see:
Example 1: Price history that says that it has been at a given price level for an extended period of time.
Example 2: Price history that says the item has increased in price recently and might not actually sell at that new price.
How often does Amazon go in and out of stock of a given item?
This is a fun one. You are most likely enjoying the world of online arbitrage and you are starting to buy inventory from Amazon (and you should have read Mike’s article about the topic). You might have found a great deal on an item, but you aren’t sure if Amazon is going to come back in stock with the item (or you are wondering when Amazon will come back in stock so you can purchase the item at a low price). What you are going to look for is the orange line to disappear and reappear on the Keepa chart. When it is gone, Amazon is out of stock. When it is there, Amazon is in stock. It’s really that simple.
Example 1: Amazon tends to go in and out of stock of a given item multiple times per month. This might not be a great item to source locally, as Amazon will be back in stock soon or it could be a chance for you to purchase it from Amazon at a lower price.
Example 2: Amazon has had this item in stock for an extended period of time and has no signs of going out of stock anytime soon.
Example 3: Amazon hasn’t had an item in stock in a long time.
The chart looks like a really bumpy down hill skiing hill. What does that mean?
If you haven’t come across an item with a chart like above, you will. It never fails. You notice that Amazon seems to be keep lowering the price on an item. There can be a couple of reasons behind this:
- Amazon could be price testing. They could be trying to find that price that maximizes profit and sales (the equilibrium point). Sometimes a lower price can generate more sales and will actually increase overall profit.
- Amazon could be trying to get out of a product. Think of it like your local store. They have leftover inventory from a given season or a product that did not sell as well as they projected. They are trying to liquidate the product to get cash back to invest into higher profit inventory.
- Amazon is drunk and they are being crazy with their prices. I say this because sometimes you aren’t able to tell the true cause of this style of chart. Sometimes it just looks like Amazon is being silly.
The chart looks like the skiing hill above, but then it shoots straight up. What does that mean?
Oh this chart! It looks a little crazy. It’s like they were tanking the price and then they decided they were going to shoot it up.
Typically, the big spike is a sign that a sale has been made at the lower price and Amazon is bringing it back up to the original price point. Now I can’t say why they are doing this for sure, but I do have some speculations.
- It was a product that Amazon had laying around and they were trying to figure out the price point it would sell at on their marketplace. They might have been trying to see if the product would be profitable or if it was going to be a dud.
- Amazon only had one item in stock and shot the price back up to prevent orders from happening. Since they have all the info about the sales volume, this could be a possibility.
- Amazon is once again drunk and we have no idea why they are doing what they are doing. I tend to favor this option and stay away from these items.
It’s really that simple. I could spend days writing about different examples, but I think you are getting the idea behind the charts. If you have any questions, make sure to browse through the blog for other articles or join our Facebook group and feel free to ask questions there.