Você está na página 1de 11

An Empirical Analysis of Algorithmic Pricing

on Amazon Marketplace

Le Chen Alan Mislove Christo Wilson
Northeastern University Northeastern University Northeastern University
Boston, MA USA Boston, MA USA Boston, MA USA
leonchen@ccs.neu.edu amislove@ccs.neu.edu cbw@ccs.neu.edu

ABSTRACT tings due to lack of data (e.g., competitors’ prices) and physical
The rise of e-commerce has unlocked practical applications for al- constraints (e.g., manually relabeling prices on products). In con-
gorithmic pricing (also called dynamic pricing algorithms), where trast, e-commerce is unconstrained by physical limitations, and col-
sellers set prices using computer algorithms. Travel websites and lecting real-time data on customers and competitors is straightfor-
large, well known e-retailers have already adopted algorithmic pric- ward. Travel websites are known to use personalized pricing [25],
ing strategies, but the tools and techniques are now available to while some e-retailers are known to automatically match competi-
small-scale sellers as well. tors prices [40, 17].
While algorithmic pricing can make merchants more competi- While algorithmic pricing can make merchants more compet-
tive, it also creates new challenges. Examples have emerged of itive and potentially increase revenue, it also creates new chal-
cases where competing pieces of algorithmic pricing software inter- lenges. First, poorly implemented pricing algorithms can inter-
acted in unexpected ways and produced unpredictable prices [37], act in unexpected ways and even produce unexpected results, es-
as well as cases where algorithms were intentionally designed to pecially in complex environments populated by other algorithms.
implement price fixing [5]. Unfortunately, the public currently lack For example, two competing dynamic pricing algorithms inadver-
comprehensive knowledge about the prevalence and behavior of al- tently raised the price of a used textbook to $23M on Amazon [37];
gorithmic pricing algorithms in-the-wild. reporters have noted that similar algorithmic pricing also exists in
In this study, we develop a methodology for detecting algorith- day-to-day commodities [9]. Second, dynamic pricing algorithms
mic pricing, and use it empirically to analyze their prevalence and can implement collusive strategies that harm consumers. For exam-
behavior on Amazon Marketplace. We gather four months of data ple, the US Justice Department successfully prosecuted several in-
covering all merchants selling any of 1,641 best-seller products. dividuals who implemented a price fixing scheme on Amazon using
Using this dataset, we are able to uncover the algorithmic pricing algorithms [5]. Unfortunately, regulators and the public currently
strategies adopted by over 500 sellers. We explore the characteris- lack comprehensive knowledge about the prevalence and behavior
tics of these sellers and characterize the impact of these strategies of algorithmic pricing algorithms in-the-wild.
on the dynamics of the marketplace. In this study, our goal is to empirically analyze deployed algo-
rithmic pricing strategies on Amazon Marketplace. Specifically,
we want to understand what algorithmic pricing strategies are used
1. INTRODUCTION by participants in the market, how prevalent these strategies are,
For the last several years, growth in e-commerce has massively and ultimately how they impact customer experience. We chose
outpaced growth among traditional retailers. For example, while to focus on Amazon for three reasons: first, Amazon is the largest
retail sales shrank 1.3% in the first quarter 2015 in the US, e- e-commerce destination in the US and Europe [16]. Second, Ama-
commerce grew 3.7% [21]. Although e-commerce only accounts zon is a true marketplace populated by third-party sellers, as well
for around 7.3% of the overall $22 trillion in global retail spending as Amazon itself. Third, Amazon’s platform provides APIs that are
projected for 2015, this percentage is projected to rise to 12.4% by specifically designed to facilitate algorithmic pricing [1].
2019 [27]. Furthermore, these overall figures mask the dispropor- To implement our study, we develop a novel methodology to col-
tionate gains of e-commerce in specific sectors, such as apparel, lect data and uncover sellers that are likely using algorithmic pric-
media, and office supplies. ing. We collect four months of data from 1,641 of the most popular
The rise of e-commerce has unlocked practical applications for products on Amazon. We gather information about the top-20 sell-
algorithmic pricing (sometimes referred to as dynamic pricing al- ers of each product every 25 minutes, including the sellers’ prices,
gorithms or Revenue/Yield Management). Algorithmic pricing ratings, and other attributes. We use this data to analyze changes
strategies are challenging to implement in traditional retail set- in price over time, as well as compare the attributes of sellers. We
focus on top selling products because they tend to have multiple
sellers, and thus are likely to exhibit more competitive dynamics.
We begin by analyzing the algorithm underlying Amazon’s Buy
Box. This algorithm determines, for a given product being sold by
many sellers, which of the sellers will be featured in the Buy Box on
Copyright is held by the International World Wide Web Conference Com- the product’s landing page (i.e., which seller is the “default” seller).
mittee (IW3C2). IW3C2 reserves the right to provide a hyperlink to the As shown in Figure 1, customers use the Buy Box to add products
author’s site if the Material is used in electronic media.
WWW 2016, April 11–15, 2016, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
to their cart; sellers not selected for the Buy Box are relegated to
ACM 978-1-4503-4143-1/16/04. a separate webpage. The precise features and weights used by the
http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2872427.2883089.

Finally. We develop a technique to detect sellers likely using algo.45 + $0. § 4 explores the category. etc. founded in 1994.58 for extremely heavy.1 Amazon Marketplace As we discuss in § 5.. 3P sellers can opt to handle logistics (inventory. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. § 7 presents related work and § 8 concludes. Using Machine Learning (ML). Amazon earned $89B in revenue in 2014. e-books). among all claims to have 2M Third-Party (3P) sellers worldwide who sold the variables we can observe. irregu- the APIs offered by Amazon Marketplace Web Services. we identify over 500 sellers who are very likely using algorithmic pricing. (FBA) program. is the largest e-commerce website strategies used by 3P sellers. presents our algorithm for detecting sellers using algorithmic pric. The fees vary between 6-45% of the total sale price.) have a flat fee of $1. representing 40% of all items sold via the web- tant feature used by the Buy Box algorithm to select sellers. they typically digital goods (e. Because of these cus- In summary. Media prod- algorithm that Amazon uses to select the Buy Box winner. § 5 ucts (books. we also Prime membership program. ping. or $0.). Other products have a $0.05/lb fee for standard ship- ing. BACKGROUND of an item) per month must pay $0. customers towards Amazon’s shopping apps. We observe that algorithmic sellers appear Figure 1: An example Buy Box on Amazon. Amazon’s success is further bolstered by their branded without any algorithmic sellers. plus on the features of the market that are salient to algorithmic pric- variable per pound shipping fees ranging from $0. Amazon 2. 2. Further. and are more likely to be fea. http://personalization.65 + $0. but receive significantly higher amounts of feed- back (suggesting they have much higher sales volumes).0005 per active SKU. 5. video. including Third-Party (3P) sellers. or they can join the Fulfilled By Amazon 3.) themselves.34 We begin by briefly introducing Amazon Marketplace. to $124. shipping method. etc. We present a comprehensive overview of dynamics on Ama. Referral Fee: Amazon assesses a referral fee on each prod- To facilitate further study. To identify pricing algorithms. shipping. The vast majority of cat- egories have a 15% referral fee. rather than using search engines or 1. site [3]. they have much higher levels of feedback than other sellers. low prices are the most impor. this work makes the following contributions: tomer retention efforts. The Buy Box is shown on every product . and finally small media items. a seller-specified representation 2. which gives customers free 2-day observe that the lowest price and the Buy Box for products with shipping (or better) as well as unlimited access to digital streams for algorithmic sellers are significantly more volatile than for products $99/year. and 3P Sellers and FBA. We focus packing fee per product depending on its size and type. visiting competing online retailers [35]. we determine that. We explore the properties of these sellers.35/product. rithmic pricing. The fee structure for 3P sellers is complicated. Although Amazon began as an on- line bookstore. understanding the Buy Box algorithm is important because sellers may choose dynamic pricing strategies that maximize their chance of being selected by the algorithm. zon Marketplace. downloadable and streaming music. 1. or tured in the Buy Box. showing they are components [4. and product weight. Seller Fee: “Individual” sellers must pay $0. Amazon also enforces min- Outline. but that customer feedback and ratings are also used.g. larly shaped items. in the US and Europe [27]. Closing Fee: Amazon’s closing fees vary based on product and § 3 covers our data collection methodology. it now sells over 20 categories of physical products 2. algorithmic sellers “win” the Buy Box more frequently (even boasts 244M active customers [22].edu depending on the product category. imum referral fees of $1-$2/item. in which case Amazon handles all logistics. we compare the characteristics of algorithmic and non- algorithmic sellers. the lowest advertised price or Amazon’s price) as a time series. For our purposes.39 for ing. zon also functions as a marketplace for third parties. 2. we treat the target price of each product (e. § 2 covers background on Amazon and the Amazon Marketplace.neu. as well as a wide range of When customers purchase products from Amazon. we examine the dynamic pricing strategies used by sellers in Amazon Marketplace.ccs.2 The Buy Box (even fresh food in select cities [15]). which push may lead to customer dissatisfaction [9]. Ama- frequency of price changes. the Buy Box. these fees influence the dynamic pricing Amazon. which Amazon inspires fierce loyalty among customers through their may further contribute to their feedback scores.10/lb for expedited shipping. phones etc. tablets.. These rapidly fluctuating prices digital devices (Kindle e-readers. DVDs. 2B items in 2014. yet the algorithm is of criti- cal importance since 82% of sales on Amazon go through the Buy Box [38]. to be more successful than non-algorithmic sellers: they offer fewer products. and use correlative analysis to identify specific sellers whose prices track the target price over time. we make our code and data available at uct sold. However. sellers may become “Pro Merchants” for $39. Listing Fee: High-volume sellers that list more than 2M Stock Keeping Units (SKUs.99/item sold.Buy Box algorithm are unknown [13]. 44% of online shoppers navigate directly to Amazon to make purchases. In addition to acting as a merchant. Overall.99/month. 6]: strategic and successful. and more. 4. including the characteristics of sellers.g. Overall. FBA Fee: Sellers that use FBA must pay a $1. returns. 3. and involves five 4. and identify 543 such sellers. and § 6 explores the characteristics and impact of these sellers. and do so through the Buy Box. Next.04-$10. when they do not offer the lowest price for a given product).

Seller Platforms. this information is paginated into 10 3P sellers per page. Instead. it is unknown whether this feature list is sophisticated dynamic pricing strategies. and changing We would ideally have liked to use the Amazon Marketplace Web Services (MWS) API to collect the seller and price informa- tion for products.3 Amazon Marketplace Web Service a large number of products—in the marketplace. we found that the API did not meet our requirements for two reasons: the API does not return the identity of 3P sellers (just their chosen price). RepriceIt. we describe below how we handle cases where there are more than 10 3P sell- ers.49 80 $6. 1 Amazon’s documentation stipulates that sellers may only update prices every 20 minutes [2]. we only focus sellers who offer new items. managing inventory. which is a set of APIs for programatically interfacing with the marketplace. The capabilities of MWS are clearly de- Given the prominent placement of the Buy Box. we crawled the New Offers page2 (the page that is linked to in Figure 1 if one clicks on “2 new”. that we needed to overcome to obtain useful. the name of the seller.g. In these cases. Thus. However. .45 0 $6. DATA COLLECTION we use Machine Learning (ML) to examine the Buy Box algorithm The goal of our study is to analyze the dynamic pricing strate- in-depth in § 4. Specifically. representative data. Figure 4: An example New Offers page on Amazon. zon Marketplace Web Service (MWS). or what the weights of the features are. and a button to purchase the receive near real-time price updates for specified products. We use the data from the product pages to analyze the Buy Box algorithm in § 4. this tool Box algorithm is a function B(P ) → pi . As shown only adjusts the product’s price once: if the lowest price changes in Figure 1. we Amazon offers an array of tools to help 3P sellers manage prod. Amazon also has a web-based price match- seller’s offer is displayed in the Buy Box. Appeagle. offered for a product (or less. This page lists all 3P sellers. In addition to scraping the New Offers pages for products. 3.46 Buybox Price 20 Buybox Seller $6. page on Amazon: it contains the price of the product. if product is ing tool for 3P sellers [8]. a proprietary Amazon algorithm determines which In addition to MWS. Although Amazon has released some information about ventory management with dynamic pricing capabilities. offer subscription-based services for 3P sellers that combine in- ers [13]. shipping vices enable any merchant to easily become a 3P seller and leverage options and speed) [7]. · · · . gies being used by sellers on Amazon. with pi ∈ P . The most sophisticated of these tools is the Ama. signed to facilitate dynamic pricing.48 60 $6. To achieve this goal. prices.. Figure 1 shows an example Buy Box. that allows sellers to information. Unfortunately. used given product. and we leave them to future work. describe our data collection process. the Buy uct’s price equal to the lowest competing offer. their prices. This tool allows a 3P seller to set a prod- being offered by n sellers with prices P = {p1 . sellers may use dynamic pricing strategies that give them an advantage with respect to being chosen by the algorithm. MWS includes 3. listing all sellers for a 2 In this study. including specific challenges uct inventory. Formally. items are not covered. the seller’s price is not automatically reduced as well. we require longitudinal data about sellers and their prices—ideally for 2. In this section. their shipping costs. Feed- ing that 82% of sales on Amazon go through it [38]. strategies offered by these services in greater detail in § 5. These ser- the features used by the Buy Box algorithm (e. update includes aggregated information about the lowest 20 prices However.1 Obtaining Sellers and Prices functions for listing products. Companies like Sellery. we used web scraping to obtain information on the ac- tive sellers and their prices. many products on Amazon are sold by multiple sellers. shipping prices. Each product. offers from other sellers are relegated to a separate again. it is not surpris.44 1min 15mins 1hr 3hrs 1day 07:00 08:00 09:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 13:00 14:00 15:00 16:00 17:00 Interval Between Changes Timeline (Minutes) Figure 2: Frequency of page updates. for each product we ex- amine.1 MWS also has a subscription API.47 Price CDF Seller Page 40 $6. shown in Figure 4). and the API is heavily rate-limited. webpage (an example is shown in Figure 4). We discuss the types of complete. and their reviews (number of reviews and average score). we also scraped the product pages themselves. Unfortunately. This has made visor. 100 $6. and RepricerExpress leverage MWS to the underlying algorithm the focus of much speculation by 3P sell. Because “winning” the Buy Box is so critical for making sales on Amazon. if there are fewer than 20 offers). pn }. Figure 3: Examples of price jitter (highlighted with arrows) in the Buy Box on a product page.

listed several products. we need to decide how frequently we will crawl each page. but not always. Beauty. As shown in Figure 2. we observe that our best-sellers show many more sellers than random products.2 Determining Crawling Frequency September 15.com/Best-Sellers/zgbs. Altogether there are 1. We found that when prices are in an inconsistent of our analysis and conclusions may not extend to Prime users. downloading only the first two pages massively previous price change. likely to have such sellers. We choose to only download the first two pages of sellers. reflect what the majority of Amazon users see. We select 837 best- Because 3P sellers (and Amazon) can change their price at any selling products that had at least two sellers at the beginning of the time. download the product page (containing the Buy Box). Amazon states that it can take up to 15 minutes for all (details of these Figures are discussed in the next section). as ex- We therefore choose a crawling frequency of every 25 minutes. even though a customer may see an outdated price. we randomly selected 5 products from the best-seller August 11. Thus.. crawl. typically to highlight sellers and To further verify these results. all Amazon’s customers [23]. bution of inter-update times for sellers. We plot the cumulative distri- prices). ferent products.3 Selecting Products page lists both the base price and the total price (i..amazon. (containing the Buy Box) and the first two pages of 3P sellers (typ- We first examine how frequently sellers’ prices change and how ically. when we refer to “price”.e. the very rapid price “jitters” are likely caused by transient inconsistencies in Amazon’s infrastructure. pected. and the as we found the sellers who change their prices often (suggesting Buy Box seller in Figure 2. We conduct products by price. As a tradeoff There are two noteworthy limitations to our dataset. we select a crawling frequency. the overall characteristics of prices and sellers price change. Thus. Electronics. Thus. as well as somewhat lower prices. 2014 and December 8. 2015 and September 21.4 Limitations Using these results. we turn to selecting the products to study. To explore reduces the amount of data we need to collect while still capturing the origins of this high level of dynamicity. This result is likely due to Amazon’s distributed in- are very similar between the two crawls despite the time difference frastructure. As shown timeseries. However. we downloaded all seller pages. we create a high-resolution dataset that will help to il. For this crawl.000 best- products3 and crawled their product page and the first 2 seller pages selling products to study. but that old prices sometimes briefly reappear after a in Figures 5 and 6. 2014.5 We compare the Amazon inconsistencies) or very long timescales (> 30 minutes).org/details/asin_listing . We select 1. users cannot search or sort by base price alone. our dataset should accurately downloadable music. -1 is anti-correlation). our between number of products and crawling frequency.5 0 0. Best-seller not logged-in to Prime accounts. we plot a timeseries of most of the “interesting” behavior. https://archive.4 3. rather than actual price changes by sellers. 100 100 100 Crawl1 80 80 80 Crawl2 60 60 60 CDF CDF CDF Crawl1 Crawl1 40 Crawl2 40 Crawl2 40 20 Random 20 Random 20 0 0 0 $1 $10 $100 $1000 1 10 102 103 -1 -0. estimates place it at around 20–40% of best-seller products (we exclude digital goods such as e-books.790 Prime members is unknown. and gift cards). To cover more products at longer intervals. and changed their prices at products that are eligible for expedited Prime shipping. Recall that we ing the lowest-cost shipping option) for each seller. price includ. luminate the tradeoff between crawling resolution and frequency. so we focus on best-selling products We do this as Amazon uses total price when users explicitly sort since they are likely to have many competing sellers. 2015. a customer cannot add the item to their shopping cart (i. with a long tail of update times. the customer is 5 not able to add the product to their cart at the old price). we crawled data from Amazon using browsers that were http://www. we choose to dataset is biased (by design) towards best-selling products. we are referring to the total price. etc. state. perfect correlation.e. Thus. and downloaded both the product page (covering up to 20 sellers) once per minute for 3 days. some specific times. the Buy Box price. Next. We observe that the updates are surpris- dynamic pricing algorithms) were within the first two pages 96% ingly dynamic: 40% of price changes occur within a minute of the of the time. Throughout the are aiming to study dynamic pricing. Second Crawl (Crawl2). sellers per product. not all products are equally paper. we randomly sampled 2. Amazon 4 may alter pages for Prime users. systems to converge to the new price.158 products changes happen either on very short timescales (< 1 minute. the Buy Box price of an example product in Figure 3 (we observed similar behavior for other products. we set up an Amazon Individual Seller account. It is important to note that the New Offers 3. Although the exact number of products come from 23 departments from Amazon. 3 Second. containing the 20 sellers with the lowest frequently the Buy Box is updated. product price and the number of sellers in Figures 5 and 6. but did not To do so. First. as the best-selling products change over time: there We observe that the price appears to change five times in this are 196 products in common between the two crawls. most briefly quantify this bias.5 1 Product Price Number of Sellers per Product Spearman's ρ Figure 5: Cumulative distribution of product Figure 6: Cumulative distribution of number of Figure 7: Correlation between price and rank (1 is prices. but do not include them due to It is important to note that the first and second crawls cover dif- space constraints). Our first crawl was conducted between 3. such as Appliances. Calculating Prices. First Crawl (Crawl1). We conduct a second crawl between Specifically. two separate crawls that have different characteristics. likely from a public listing of all Amazon products.

As shown in Figure 7. and cal. we use Machine Learning (ML) to try to infer some weights that drive the Buy Box algorithm. and thus cannot Next. the rating and feedback of a seller come win the Buy Box. 4. Positive Feedback: positive feedback percentage for the sellers returned by Amazon. the Buy Box winner correlated decision trees with different feature combinations and and price is highly dynamic. . vector.e. these We begin our analysis by exploring how Amazon’s systems eval. and the list of sellers sorted by price. However. Contrary to our expectations. In contrast.1 Seller Ranking each seller containing the following seven features: As shown in Figure 4. the Buy Box win. 4. Feedback Count: total feedback count for the seller. Price Ratio to the Lowest: ratio between the seller’s price how Amazon chooses to weigh various seller features. Thus. we examine the empirical behavior of the Buy Box. then Spearman’s ρ 6. for products with different numbers of sellers. Thus. we conduct an in-depth investigation of the features and In this section. However. Rank zero means they are the first seller in the list. This result gives us our first clue that According to Amazon’s documentation. sellers at different ranks. even without these features we are able to achieve high to the price and seller in the Buy Box for all products in the Crawl2 prediction accuracy. 3. we demonstrated that the Buy Box algo- only factor that impacts ranking and selection for the Buy Box). we only use data from Crawl2. seller’s price and the current lowest price for the product. Second. and shipping times. Amazon explicitly ranks all sellers for each product on the New Offers page. Recall that we have already shown that Amazon does not cific questions about the customer’s experience. rithm uses features beyond just price to select the Buy Box winner. 1. other classifiers. rate of returns and refunds. Figure 8 plots the number of changes will show. We collect the rankings for all products in our dataset. some products even experience hun- bagging samples [36]. Average Rating: average customer rating6 of the seller. we model dynamic pricing strategies. most products see a number of changes: only 13% of products have Classifier Selection. the Buy Box as a prediction problem. 7]. only 60% of the top-ranked sellers 6 Fully described in § 6. and follow up by characterizing the dynamics and be- havior of the Buy Box. will equal 1.. for a product Note that in this section. culate Spearman’s Rank Correlation (ρ) between the ordered list of 4. we briefly examine Amazon’s seller ranking beyond price into account when evaluating sellers.2 Behavior of the Buy Box Algorithm Unfortunately. each of which is characterized by a feature contains Buy Box winners and seller rankings. as we ing with dynamics over time. from 3P sellers. for many products. Price Difference to the Lowest: difference between the ner is not necessarily the seller who is ranked the highest. response time to customer inquiries. Figure 9 shows the trees). However. Surprisingly. as well as speculation Amazon’s systems take additional seller attributes into account (be.. while 50% of products sifier to predict whether a specific seller of a product wins the Buy have more than 14 changes. suggesting that our data does capture the many dataset over the six weeks of observation. RF is an ensemble classifier that achieves low bias and low Buy Box winner: the seller winning the Buy Box is constant for variance by aggregating the decisions from a large number of low- 31% of products. we construct a feature vector for 4. the fraction of sellers at different ranks that “win” the Buy Box. per product. for each product in our dataset. Is Amazon the Seller?: true if the seller is Amazon. To facilitate our analysis. First. Taken together.3 Algorithm Features and Weights uses non-trivial strategies to evaluate sellers (i. we examine the relationship between seller rank (from the tance (calculated as the average of the Gini index among all splits in New Offers page) and the winner of the Buy Box. results show that Amazon’s systems take additional characteristics uate sellers. Specifically. we see fewer changes to the Box. other features are possibly used by the Buy Box sides price) when making decisions.e. our task because it outputs interpretable measures of feature impor- Next. Furthermore. Amazon does not al- 7. ways sort sellers by price. We immediately see that important seller features. seller. we observe that Amazon 4. RF is an ideal classifier for dreds of changes. algorithm. since it may influence how sellers choose Model and Features. such as kernel-based SVM. since it offered by n sellers. or many more than one per day. we cannot measure these features. If the lists perfectly correspond 5. Is the Product FBA?: true if the seller uses FBA. 100 100 100 Win Rate (%) 80 80 80 Accuracy 60 60 60 CDF 40 Price 40 40 Prediction 20 20 20 Baseline: Lowest Price Seller Baseline: Lowest Rank 0 0 0 0 1 10 100 1000 0 5 10 15 19 1 5 10 15 20 Number of Changes Rank Number of Sellers Figure 8: Cumulative distribution of changes to Figure 9: Probability of winning the Buy Box for Figure 10: Buy Box winner prediction accuracy the Buy Box price and winner. are harder to interpret. we first examine the seller ranking algorithm as it offers clues as to 2. around 20% of products have correlation <1. and there is a long tail of sellers at higher ranks from customer surveys asking for a star rating (0–5 stars) and spe- that win. THE BUY BOX rank sellers solely on prices (see Figure 7). Amazon returns sellers sorted by price). start. price is not the In the previous section. quantify their impact on the Buy Box algorithm. This includes sales volume. our goal is to predict which seller will be chosen to occupy the Buy Box.1. are chosen by the algorithm..e. Understanding the Buy of the features and weights used by the Buy Box algorithm. i. algorithm [13. In both cases. (i. We leverage a Random Forest (RF) clas- static Buy Box prices over the entire period. Box algorithm is crucial. Given our dataset. and the current lowest price of the product.

thus only a subset of seller/product pairs include AM ZNr . repricing software for Amazon Marketplace. Finally.8 and choose three tar- pressive predictive power of our RF classifier. Therefore. For example.7 get prices for each product: lowest price. with ρ ≥ 0. fier achieves 75–85% accuracy even in the most challenging cases with many sellers. we construct a time series feature is more predictive of who will win the Buy Box. fier at predicting the winner of the Buy Box (using 10-fold cross.e.1 Methodology To put the accuracy results of our classifier in perspective. (t1 .06 Total 918 678 543 513 Average Rating 0.10 2nd Lowest Price 721 494 425 370 Feedback Count 0.02 Table 2: Number of sellers and products with detected algorithmic pricing. which reconfirms that price is not the sole fea.10 Amazon Price 297 277 176 183 Is Amazon the Seller? 0.com/sellery/ 9 In fact. pamzn m )} vantage. based on two different change thresholds. 50–60% accuracy. we other chooses the lowest ranked seller. We hypothesize that sellers using algorithmic pricing are likely ure 10 also depicts the accuracy of two naïve baseline classifiers. The final step in our methodology is to filter our candidates. (tm . the “Amazon is the Seller” feature. back. seller feed. r).03 Is the Product FBA? 0. Thus. and feedback count are all important features. Sr = {(t0 . amzn amzn AM ZNr = {(t0 . r). As shown of the prices pi offered by the seller at time ti : in Table 1. and Amazon’s which contradicts conventional wisdom about how the Buy Box price pamzn i for r at each time ti : algorithm functions [13]. (tm . to base their prices at least partially on the prices of other sell- One baseline classifier always predicts that the seller with the low. (tm . Figure 10 shows the accuracy of our RF classi. if s always offers the several features that we are unable to measure. p1 ). mented features and weights. however. (tm . Feature Weight Threshold = 10 Threshold = 20 Strategy Price Difference to the Lowest 0. it means that the price changes contained in the pair of time series occur at the same moments. However. It is possible that Amazon scores highly in these missing lowest price for r at each time ti . p2nd 2nd 2nd 0 ). unless otherwise stated. it chooses the lowest ranked one). (t1 . corresponding to Box. We motivate our selection of target prices by examining popular ture used by the Buy Box algorithm. as determined by our RF classifier.9 for each feature by our RF classifier. we lack ground truth on which sellers are using algo- validation) for all products in Crawl2. we build a detection algorithm that tries of sellers for a given product.36 Sellers Products Sellers Products Price Ratio to the Lowest 0. p1 ). Moreover. Finally. This makes sense intuitively: for example. this strategy is neither likely to be useful for results are statistically significant. the seller’s positive feedback and feedback count are also important metrics for winning the Buy We also construct three target price time series. it is possible that FBA is an important factor in cases where the customer is an Amazon Prime LOWr = {(t0 . 5. we calculate the similarity between Sr and LOWr . and that the mag- suggest that sellers who use algorithmic strategies to maintain low nitude of the price changes are relatively constant. which manifests in our classifier as additional weight in us from comparing Amazon’s prices against themselves. we examine the weights calculated second lowest price. We note that doing so is non-trivial. This exclusion rule also prevents features. p1 ). we see that the classi. such as sales vol. DYNAMIC PRICING DETECTION tuitively. We use a change threshold of 20 Table 1: Relative importance of different features in winning the Buy Box. Sellery provides one more option: matching to the aver- 7 Our dataset includes at least 1K samples at each rank. Obviously. while the price relative to the competitor with the lowest price. etc). p0 ). 2N Dr = {(t0 . (t1 . such as ourselves are only able to measure the prices offered by Evaluation. Higher weights mean that the For a given seller/product pair (s. as a function of the number rithm pricing. with the results indicating that price. and the Feature Weights. We mark pairs prices relative to their competitors are likely to gain a large advan- tage in the struggle to win the Buy Box. we observe that using FBA has low importance.33 Lowest Price 726 544 426 408 Positive Feedback 0. if a seller exhibiting high correlation with the target price We now turn to detecting algorithmic pricing on Amazon Mar. p1 ). it is trivial to achieve to locate sellers that behave like “bots”. and also highlights the im. we caution that this does not necessarily mean that Ama- zon has tilted the Buy Box algorithm in their favor. pm )} portant than other features. then LOWr will actually contain the second- ume [7]. Amazon’s price. p0 ). Recall that Note that when we construct the three target price time series. · · · . (t1 . 2N Dr . and AM ZNr (respectively) using Spearman’s Rank Correlation. Interestingly. since FBA confers free shipping for Prime users. · · · . 8 ketplace. we observe that Amazon’s algorithm for choosing the Once we have constructed the time series corresponding to winner of the Buy Box is a combination of a number of undocu- (s..05 as algorithmic pricing candidates. plow low low 0 ). thus the age price. the 2nd lowest price p2nd i . pm )} Although we observe that “being Amazon” does confer some ad. These results When ρ is large. we Amazon’s Buy Box documentation states that the algorithm uses exclude the prices offered by s. note that Amazon does not sell all products in our dataset. Fig. pm )} member. However. they set and the timing of changes suggest algorithmic control. Both baselines only achieve first define several target prices that the seller could match against. lowest price for r. However. winning the Buy Box. the lowest price plow i . ers. as external observers https://sellerengine. sellers where the prices 100% accuracy in the 1-seller case. sellers (and not their usage of the Amazon Marketplace API. . i. In- 5. We are able to gain some visibility into this algorithm. a seller who al- est price will win the Buy Box (if there are multiple sellers offering ways wants to offer the lowest on a specific product must set their the same lowest price.7 (the empirical cutoff of a strong positive correlation) and p-value ≤ 0. · · · . Overall. the two price-based features are significantly more im. · · · . nor being competitive among the sellers.

we define the change all unique numbers of sellers and products we detect.. if the lowest price is likely to often match (i. the 3P seller must charge a ing the overall lowest price (and 2nd lowest price) as the target for higher price to maintain the same profit margin.5 $16 Price Price $14 $9 Algo Seller Seller 2 Seller 4 Seller 1 Seller 3 $12 Algo Seller Seller1 Seller 2 $8. this provides more evi. tween algorithmic sellers and target prices. price in this plot (we ignore the second lowest price in this plot as matching to the second lowest price is very similar to matching to 5. we briefly exam.4% of all sellers in in a time series Sr for us to consider s as using algorithmic pricing. As described in their algorithmic pricing than Amazon’s price. lowest price are very close to the lowest price: 70% of these sellers ine the set of sellers that we find to be doing algorithmic pricing. § 2. In this table. to the second-lowest price as well. We observe that algorithmic sellers who match to the Now that we have described our methodology. As expected. Fig- rapidly as we increase the change threshold. only 40% of Table 2 shows the number of algorithmic pricing sellers and the algorithmic sellers are within $1 of Amazon’s price. also makes a large number of price changes. in the remainder of the paper. correlate strongly with) number of price changes in the time series is small. Conversely. To determine the gap between the prices offered by the suspected olds. $10 $10 Algo Amazon Seller 2 Seller 1 Seller 3 $9 $9 Price Price $8 $8 $7 Algo Amazon Seller1 Seller 2 Seller 3 $7 $6 10/30 10/31 11/01 11/02 11/03 11/04 11/05 11/06 11/07 11/08 11/09 08/23 08/24 08/25 08/26 08/27 08/28 08/29 08/30 08/31 09/01 Timeline (Year 2014) Timeline (Year 2014) Figure 16: Example of Amazon (in red) setting a premium over the lowest Figure 17: Example of Amazon (in red) matching to the lowest price over price of all other sellers. However. doing algorithmic pricing when we apply different change thresh. est when Amazon is the lowest price. We separate threshold since it represents a conservative threshold that is in the sellers matching to the lowest price and sellers matching Amazon’s “knee” of the distribution. However. tween algorithmic sellers and target prices. if a 3P seller and Amazon share We immediately observe that many more sellers appear to be us.5 $10 11/12 11/13 11/14 11/15 11/16 11/17 11/18 11/19 11/20 11/22 11/24 11/26 11/28 11/30 12/02 12/04 12/06 12/08 12/10 Timeline (Year 2014) Timeline (Year 2014) Figure 14: Example of 3P seller (in red) matching the lowest price of all Figure 15: A second example of 3P seller (in red) matching the lowest other sellers. $20 $10 $18 $9.1. For example. then it is possi. we plot the relative difference between . Figure 13: CDF of relative price differences be- with different change thresholds. However. Thus. number of products they sell that we detect with change thresholds The fact that algorithmic sellers matching to Amazon tend to of 10 and 20. our dataset use algorithmic pricing. prices offer by two other sellers. For example.e. time. this is 38% of all Figure 11 shows the number of sellers that we consider to be sellers that have ≥20 changes for at least one product they sell. 2500 100 100 To Amazon To Amazon Number of Sids 2000 Crawl1 80 To Lowest 80 To Lowest 1500 Crawl2 60 60 CDF CDF 1000 40 40 500 20 20 0 0 0 1 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 -$60 -$40 -$20 $0 $20 $40 $60 -200 -100 -50 0 50 100 200 Change Threshold Price Change Amount Price Change Percentage (%) Figure 11: Number of algorithmic sellers detected Figure 12: CDF of absolute price differences be. The Total line shows the over- ble that the correlation is coincidental. In the case threshold as the minimum number of price changes that must occur when the change threshold is 20. To see if we can observe algorithmic sellers that include exclusive. these fees in their prices. we see that 2. we merge the sellers and products from charge higher prices may be due to the required commission fees Crawl1 and Crawl2 and present the total unique numbers.2 Algorithmic Pricing Sellers the lowest). we observe that the number of sellers decreases algorithmic sellers and the target prices. Amazon’s commission fees are around 15% for most product portant to note the different strategies are not necessarily mutually categories. it is im. the same wholesale cost for a product. a seller matches to both Amazon and low. set their price within $1 of the lowest price. Unless otherwise ure 12 examines the absolute difference between the algorithmic stated. that Amazon charges. we plot two figures. we choose 20 as our change sellers’ prices and the corresponding target prices. and a seller matching to the dence that the seller is using algorithmic pricing.

inventory size. Amazon appears to have a ceiling at around $9. etc. Third. different lengths of Crawl1 and Crawl2. ing algorithmic pricing. as shown in Figure 19. likely caused by algorithmic sellers? and (3) What is the impact of and total amount of feedback on the New Offers pages. we compare and contrast Next. so the long lifespans of their products further suggest the lowest price from the other two sellers. we have identified the sellers who are likely us.3. while the We conclude this section by showing a few example products longest are 3 and 1 months for Crawl1 and Crawl2. As shown mic and non-algorithmic sellers. the anomalies in Figure 18 around 1 month are artifacts caused by the majority of the time they sell at prices up to 40% higher. Note that the vertical rithmic seller is willing to sell the product for as low as $12. where we detected algorithmic pricing. product at a small premium relative to the lowest price. percentage of feedback that is positive (0–100). the shortest possible lifespan is 25 minutes. we examine the following four Figure 20 shows the cumulative distribution of positive feed- seller-level characteristics: lifespan of products. role as a merchant and the host of the marketplace. sellers and non-algorithmic sellers. and thus we ignore them in the 6. we observe that there ers. we see very different behavior between algorithmic role as a seller separately. The lifespan of a pair begins the 15–30% above Amazon’s price. plete inventories. we compare the total Amazon (in red) chooses their price to be a premium above the number of products sold by algorithmic and non-algorithmic sell- lowest price of all other sellers. first time we observe a seller offering that product. gorithmic and non-algorithmic sellers. shipping time. However. we can see four rithmic sellers are active in the marketplace for significantly longer other sellers that offer the lowest price over time. respectively. given this compressed value range. above tory for algorithmic sellers includes all products they sell. In the figure. perhaps focusing on items that they can obtain in bulk at At this point. back percentage for all sellers in our dataset. and Rank. On Amazon. Figure 20: Percentage of positive feedback for al- for algorithmic and non-algorithmic sellers. In this section. and the algorith. not just which they match the lowest price. For example. low wholesale prices. mic and non-algorithmic sellers. 100 100 Algo 100 Algo Algo 80 80 Non-Algo 80 Non-Algo Non-Algo 60 60 60 CDF CDF CDF 40 40 40 20 20 20 0 0 0 25mins 1d 10d 2mon 0 1 10 102 103 104 105 0 20 40 60 80 100 Lifespan Number of Products Positive Feedback (%) Figure 18: Distribution of seller/product lifetimes Figure 19: Number of products sold by algorith. In the figure. Note that this gorithmic sellers have slightly higher positive feedback than non- list of characteristics is not comprehensive: as mentioned in § 4. we examine the feedback received by sellers from cus- the characteristics of algorithmic and non-algorithmic sellers. sellers matching Amazon’s price and the overall lowest price. almost all sellers have greater than we do not have access to several seller features such as return rate 80% positive feedback. Feedback. we conducted a separate crawl that exhaustively Fourth. Amazon presents each seller’s av- non-algorithmic sellers? (2) What fraction of market dynamics are erage rating (0–5). respectively. we observe many cases where Amazon itself appears to be employing algorithmic pricing. As we show lowest price is able to sell the product well above their reserve momentarily. algorithmic sellers sell fewer unique products by a large margin. customers may rate sellers on a 0–5 scale particular. To obtain com- in time. ANALYSIS products. the algorithmic sellers’ prices and the target prices in Figure 13. the are three other sellers that offer the lowest price at different points dataset may not contain all products sold by sellers. algorithmic sellers. but below which they sell the specific products where we detect algorithmic pricing. Surprisingly.3 Price Matching Examples methodology. dian seller/product lifetime for an algorithmic seller is 30 days. First. we examine its As expected. Figure 14 shows an Figure 18 shows the distribution of seller/product lifespans for example where a 3P seller has a clear strategy to always match the both algorithmic and non-algorithmic sellers. that they have a large amount of inventory. we Product Lifespan. Note that algorithmic sellers on the Buy Box? Amazon does not display these stats for sellers with insufficient feedback (typically new sellers). but that Amazon is almost always slightly more expensive. Since Crawl1 and Crawl2 focused on best selling products. Figure 16 shows a case where Inventory. we observe several cases where the seller offering the while it is only 15 days for a non-algorithmic seller. Second.1 Business Practices following analysis (this only filter out 5% and 15% of algorithmic To compare the general business practices between algorithmic and non-algorithmic sellers in our dataset. Next. algo- of products. we are interested in answering the following questions: and also provide feedback about whether their experience with the (1) How do the business practices of algorithmic sellers compare to seller was positive or negative. periods of time than non-algorithmic sellers. We begin by examining the lifespan of can observe a number of sellers who choose a new price that is seller/product pairs in our dataset. In tomers. Since Amazon itself plays a dual rithmic sellers’ positive feedback advantage is more significant. our data suggests that algorithmic sellers have a high price. Given our crawling 5. respectively). This suggests that al- gorithmic sellers tend to specialize in a relatively small number of 6. Although we the algo. the algorithmic seller always matches sales volume. . We observe that algo- lowest price across all other sellers. We observe that al- feedback volume. and ends the last time we observe that seller offering the product. As shown in Figure 15. Note that the inven- in Fig 17. the me- mic seller (in red) always quickly matches their price. and ranking in the seller page. we observe cases that Amazon adopts more complex collected the entire inventory for 100 randomly selected algorith- pricing strategies than simply matching lowest prices.

and they acquire significantly larger amounts of positive feed. products with and without algorithmic sellers. we plot Figure 23. time. “Overall” means that Ama- This suggests that either there is no competitive pressure to insti- zon sold the product at some point during our crawls. if we examine the algorithmic sellers. rank in the presence/absence of algorithmic sellers. New Offers page for algo and non-algo sellers. As we observed in Figure 7. algorithmic sellers could be more Overall. Figure 21 examines the amount of feedback received by algo. if we compare the products that have Taken together. Second. First. offering around 75% of all best-selling products over time. Crawl” is the average percentage of products sold by Amazon dur- However. Although Amazon’s inventory of products for- very different distribution. the price never changes for 65% of the pairs. We observe that for non- a seller separately. prices change 100 or even 1000 times. 100 100 100 Algo 80 80 80 Non-Algo 60 60 60 CDF CDF CDF 40 40 Algo 40 Algo 20 20 Non-Algo 20 Non-Algo 0 0 0 1 102 104 106 0 5 10 15 19 0 5 10 15 19 Number of Ratings Rank Absolute Rank Figure 21: Amount of feedback received for algo. algorithmic sellers could have much higher sales volume than list is roughly ordered from least-to-highest price. which is the change Each Crawl 62% 63% threshold we set to detect those algorithmic sellers. Thus. but in the products where they do we see that Amazon ranks in the top 5 sellers 88% of the time. we observe a ing each snapshot. 100 100 100 Non-Algo Algo Win Rate (%) 80 80 Price 80 60 60 Sid 60 Non-Algo CDF 40 Algo CDF 40 Sid 40 20 20 Price 20 Non-Algo Algo 0 0 0 0 1 10 100 1000 0 1 10 100 1000 0 5 10 15 19 Number of Price Changes Number of Changes Rank Figure 24: Number of price changes per Figure 25: Number of changes in the Buy Box for Figure 26: Probability of winning the Buy Box for seller/product pair. the rank of algorithmic sellers on the ketplace. Amazon as a Seller. Amazon is also known rithmic and non-algorithmic sellers. Figure 24 shows the distribution of number and host of the marketplace. our results show that algorithmic sellers exhibit sellers doing algorithmic pricing to products without such sellers. algo and non-algo sellers at different ranks. this plot includes all the products sold by the algorithmic sellers. they participate in the marketplace for longer periods of products without such sellers. algorithmic sellers. Figure 22: Cumulative distribution of rank on the Figure 23: Cumulative distribution of Amazon’s rithmic and non-algorithmic sellers. even Amazon tends to be ranked lower for products where back (suggesting they may have higher sales volumes). non-algorithmic sellers.2 Price and Buy Box Dynamics sellers. followed by price and product changes in the Buy Box.10 and there is a long tail of products whose ket. products that are sold by Amazon. we observe that Amazon ranks highly for almost all aggressive about soliciting customer feedback. The feedback and sales volume characteristics of algorithmic sellers put them at an advantage with respect to non-algorithmic 6. Table 3 shows the percentage of best-selling algorithmic sellers. it makes sense to examine their role as of price changes per seller/product pair. or the seller is unsophisticated. in compete. Note that neither CDF goes to 100% because Finally. Pairs with at least one price change are sale does appear to change over time. Algorithmic Non-Algorithmic 10 Overall 72% 73% Readers may notice that the number of price changes for algo- rithmic sellers in Figure 24 goes below 20. There are two reasons why this could be happening: for every product at each crawl. we this percentage increases to 96%. which contrast: algorithmic sellers acquire significantly greater amounts shows the the rank of Amazon as a seller on the New Offers page of feedback. In products with algorithmic sellers. some Table 3: Percentage of products with Amazon as one of the listed sellers. the first. Besides having an enormous inventory. they still dominate the mar- more common than not. when comparing all the products in Next. algorithmic sellers are active. . products they sell. we look into price changes for each seller/product New Offers page tends to be significantly higher than that of non- pair. we move on to examining the dynamics of Amazon Mar- their respective inventories. we compare the frequency of algorithmic and non- there are cases where sellers do not appear in the top 20 list. However. algorithmic sellers winning the Buy Box. while “Each gate changes. of which have <20 changes during our crawl. Given Amazon’s dual role as merchant Price Changes. Unsurprisingly. algorithmic sellers are much more active in the marketplace. In this case we observe a stark for their low prices. However. As shown in Figure 22. To demonstrate this. they sell fewer unique products. significantly different characteristics than non-algorithmic sellers: we see a dramatic difference.

as it creates a largely winner-take-all market- However. However. algorithmic pricing (i. 20% of products with. the presence of algorith- tion from public profiles in eBay’s feedback system with their so. [19.neu. we observe cases where algorithmic sellers change prices tens or even hundreds of Theoretical Work on Price Competition. ers. [25. which they may perceive to be sellers. Given the importance of winning the search community. they manage to win line marketplaces. First. As expected. these practices.Buy Box.g. Clearly. However. minate with all serious sellers adopting automation. Our findings illustrate the power of algorithmic pricing in on- gorithmic sellers do not offer the lowest prices. conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF. algorithm exacerbates the disparity between algorithmic and non- tomers convenience. in markets. likely suggesting higher sales volumes and thus more rev- 7. and CHS-1408345. this result is quite interesting: as shown in Figures 12 tecting using a target price time series. algorithmic sellers tend to set their prices greater than or such sellers in our data set. RELATED WORK enue than non-algorithmic sellers. Next. especially smaller merchants who played by the sellers and study the properties of its equilibria as a lack a dedicated programming staff. mic sellers does not necessarily push item prices down to their re- cial network profiles on Facebook. 18.ccs. function of the dependencies among goods/services offered by the However.12 Ar- Auditing E-Commerce Algorithms. Furthermore. this is indeed the We collected large-scale data on products and sellers on Amazon case: algorithmic sellers are more likely to win the Buy Box at all Marketplace. as previously noted.. unintentional market distortions. Similarly. 32. CONCLUDING DISCUSSION on the Buy Box. In this paper. and tence of systemic racial discrimination on AirBnB [24]. algorithmic pricing can sonal information and detailed shopping habits leaking from online cause prices to fluctuate rapidly. it is challenging for non-algorithmic sellers to compete proposed by Bertrand [14] to combinatorial settings. CNS-1319019. winning the Buy Box. Figure 25 compares the number of seller (labeled E-commerce marketplaces have changed many aspects of how as Sid) and price changes we observe in Buy Boxes for products goods are bought and sold. third-party price monitoring tools like CamelCamelCamel. Online marketplaces bring cus. the impact of algorithmic pricing on marketplaces out algorithmic sellers have zero price changes. Finally. Unfortunately. pricing receive more feedback and win the Buy Box more fre- quently. Minkus et al. We view our efforts to detect dynamic shill-purchasing service for escalating business’ reputations on the pricing as the first step towards long-term monitoring of algorithms Taobao online marketplace. this makes the shopping experience more complicated for are becoming increasingly ubiquitous on online marketplaces. Sellers we identified as using algorithmic the Buy Box anyway due to their feedback and sales volume. Recently. the existence against other competitors in the market. 14] model a pricing game and Feedvisor is a win for sellers. [12] models with algorithmic sellers. Second. 31. uncovered instances of price discrimination and price steering on This research was supported in part by NSF grants CNS-1054233. and we make our code and data available to the re- ranks except for the top one.e. this exposes cus. we took the first steps towards detecting and quan- Next. places can cause privacy issues for consumers. Automated algorithms guably. especially in heterogeneous products with algorithmic sellers. increasing automation opens the door to intentional and lous parties. [30] Finally. user-friendly automation platforms like Sellery pricing game in the marketplace. Acknowledgements ing users to receive out-of-date pricing information. 33] study insincere sellers that generate opin. the anonymous nature of online marketplaces makes place where the Buy Box winner receives the vast majority of sales. confusing and undesirable [9]. With easy access to times per day. there are also caveats introduced by algorithmic pric- sellers. these services have made that have algorithmic sellers. 11 Available at http://personalization. it is not clear what the impact of dynamic pricing is on reveal that attackers can correlate the highly sensitive user informa. Any opinions.. [34] discovered per. As shown in Figure 26. [39] conduct an empirical analysis on rithms pushing prices to unrealistic heights [37] and being used to the Seller Reputation Escalation (SRE) ecosystem that provides a implement price fixing [5].11 We found that algorithmic sellers can be de- Buy Box. Edelman et al. we examine the impact of algorithmic sellers 8. [11. which gives rise to the need for merchants to payment providers (e. [20] studied Uber’s surge pric- ing algorithm and revealed that an implementation bug was caus. and not always positive. e-commerce sellers are over time—especially one attempting to manage many products able to adjust their prices automatically by setting algorithmic rules simultaneously—but is trivially automated. findings. we examine whether algorithmic sellers are successful at tifying sellers using algorithmic pricing on Amazon Marketplace. and a vast inventory of products. although more quantitative and qualitative work is nec- However. revealed the exis. markets that include competing algorithmic and non-algorithmic tomers to a great deal of volatility. and products that do not. algorithmic sellers. low prices. The Buy Box Issues in Online Marketplace. them vulnerable to manipulation and fraud conducted by unscrupu. serves. there are documented cases of algo- tems on online marketplace. major e-commerce sites. customers. customers. 28. with the ultimate goal of increasing transparency of Several empirical studies have also show that online market. [26. understood. 29] We thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. These sellers are playing a of cost-effective. PayPal). versus only 2% for and customers is not yet understood. of these issues in our data. which would be difficult for a human to maintain the Internet and computation technologies. Although we do not observe any ion spam and artificial ratings to manipulate the reputation sys. using computer algorithms to automati- products with algorithmic sellers experience many more price and cally price goods) a realistic possibility for even small-scale sell- seller changes in the Buy Box: for example.edu 12 http://camelcamelcamel. which suggests an arms race that may ter- price competition in marketplaces where equilibria rarely exist. even though al.com . and we identify over 500 and 13. the impact of these algorithms on users are often poorly essary to truly understand how these factors impact customers. equal to the lowest price for a product. 10] extend the traditional price competition model ing. As shown in Figures 14–17. Furthermore.

. Measuring price discrimination and steering on [5] Former e-commerce executive charged with price fixing in the e-commerce web sites. [37] S UTTER . Bertrand reputation-escalation-as-a-service. 2nd quarter 2015. January 2015. International Conference on World Wide Web (2015)..wsj.com/news/technology/amazon-hoax. Amazon. J. Coming soon: Toilet paper priced Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies (2013). Retailer. S. amazon-buy-box-the-internets-80-billion-sales-button. AND com/gp/help/customer/display. [36] S TATISTICS .. ps4s-161527. Identifying manipulated offerings Department of Justice. M. Estimating the [13] B ENMAYER . WANG .. [35] R AY. com/en_US/dev_guide/index. OTT. TECH/web/04/25/amazon. C ASTELLANOS .com/articles/ [30] M INKUS . In http://feedvisor. like airline tickets. Econometrica 18. [22] D URYEE . Amazon. T. KDD ’13. [29] M IKIANS .. http://recode.developer. S OELLER . In ’14. The Bargaining Problem.algorithm/. N ISAN ..S. H SU .com. October 2015. X... C ARDIE . (2012). [6] Fulfillment fees for orders on amazon.. A. V. Learning (2001).93 – plus [17] C ASTILLO . rep. Amazon is absolutely eviscerating other retailers online. A. [38] TAFT.. Amazon adds 30 million customers in the past year.com/enterprise-apps/slideshows/ [18] C HAWLA . L. September 2015. 2012.. In Financial [15] B ISHOP. T. R. B. AND N ISAN . https://www. M. N. AND S TAVROU . WANG . J des Savants 67.9. AND B ERENDT. J. B. prime members worldwide. The buy box cheat sheet. Internet online-marketplace.com/the-buy-box-cheat-sheet/.698. Detecting price and search discrimination on the internet. EC ’15.census. eWeek. Commerce (2013).. Digital discrimination: The case Amazon-Sellers-Sold-Record-Setting-2-Billion-Items. L IU . R. D. //www. June 2015.com/gp/help/customer/display.gov/opa/pr/former-e-commerce. builds-its-european-marketplace.developer. E RRAMILLI .. G YARMATI . wal-mart.html. September 2015. D. N. The Wall Street Journal. In Proceedings of the Ninth ACM Conference on [9] A NGWIN . Tech. J. M. In Proceedings of the 24th competition in networks. EMNLP ’13. T. In Proceedings of the 19th ACM in online combinatorial markets. executive-charged-price-fixing-antitrust-divisions-first.com. E RRAMILLI . breaches on ebay. AND L AOUTARIS . Peeking Beneath the [40] Z IOBRO . L IU . Amazon seller lists book at $23. Amazon builds up its european marketplace. In Machine https://www. May 2014. M. 2 (1950). P. In Privacy Enhancing Technologies (2014). 2015. M ISLOVE . A. 2015. M ISLOVE . 2015. C. K. T. Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on World Wide Web [14] B ERTRAND . prevalence of deception in online review communities. N. Crowd-assisted search for price discrimination in e-commerce: ref=hp_left_cn?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200832850. G. In Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Electronic [39] X U . The price of anarchy in bertrand games. EC ’13.amazon. https://www. Geek Wire.. REFERENCES News. T. https://www. R. ACM Conference on Economics and Computation (2015).net/2015/10/05/amazon-is-absolutely- [16] B ROHAN . J. [27] L INDNER . Global e-commerce set to grow 25% in 2015.. http://www. [33] OTT.geekwire.. G. [12] BABAIOFF .. July 2015. U. B. M. [28] M IKIANS . J. C.pdf. F.. I know what you’re buying: Privacy SB10000872396390444914904577617333130724846. [32] NASH . new survey shows. Census Bureau .com.com/2015/amazonfresh-delays.com.com/2014/amazon-adds-30-million- submitfeed. Purchase details leaked to paypal (short paper). L.. 2014. C.amazonservices.. In Proceedings of the 23rd SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and International Conference on World Wide Web (2014). www/data/pdf/ec_current.com/2015/07/29/global-e- http://www. T. [4] Fees and pricing. Random forests. 299year-prime-fresh-rollout-for-another-3-months/. K. D. reputation manipulation: The emergence of [19] C HAWLA . Data Mining (2013). Cryptography (2015). J. Amazonfresh delays $299/year prime fresh rollout. J. A. F. AND ROSS .. Book review of theorie mathematique de la richesse (2012). S. GeekWire. [7] Increase your chances of winning the buy box. Measurement Conference (IMC’15) (Tokyo.html/ Proceedings of the 11th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks ref=hp_rel_topic?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201687830.com/2015/amazon-may-have-up-to- worldwide in 2014. Amazon hoax coupled with walmart’s price shipping. L AZER . e-commerce retail sales. [25] H ANNAK . http://www. L...gov/retail/mrts/ [1] Amazon marketplace web service (amazon mws) documentation. 2015. http://www. [26] L I . D. Japan. http://www.com/2015/04/30/amazon.html/ commerce-set-grow-25-2015. M.. AND H ANCOCK .com/gp/help/customer/display. A. L. D.com/articles/target-expands-online-price- [21] D E NALE .internetretailer. AND M ATTIOLI . button. M. M. Proceedings of the Fourteenth ACM Conference on Electronic [31] M UKHERJEE . October 2015).. Amazon. G YARMATI . Amazon may have up to 80 million high-spending Feeds_SubmitFeed.internetretailer.com. 2015. Adweek. of airbnb. http: 80-million-high-spending-prime-members-worldwide/. A. G UNES . antitrust division’s first online marketplace prosecution. J. April 2015. L IU .html. Re/code.geekwire. V.com. First results. ?nodeId=201119410. Price competition. Amazon. Bertrand networks. http://docs. Amazon. A.S..businesswire. sociale and of recherches sur les principles mathematiques de la [34] P REIBUSCH . J. M.. M.. In In Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical http://www.com/news/home/20150105005186/en/ [24] E DELMAN . November 2014. PETS [10] BABAIOFF .. AND B REIMAN .com. 499âĂŞ508. tweaks subscription model in california. http://www. AND PAES L EME . Target expands online price-match policy to include Hood of Uber. Retailer. D. http://www.price. 2 (1883)..com.. AND W EIDENHAMER . W.. In Proceedings of the Sixteenth 155–162.. Quarterly match-policy-to-include-amazon-wal-mart-1443636271. AND G HOSH .eweek. H. May 2014. CoNEXT ’13. Feedvisor. J.amazonservices. [3] Amazon sellers sold record-setting more than 2 billion items http://www.. AND W ILSON . N IU . T. WWW ’15. 2015. customers-past-year/.html?nodeId=1161240. [8] Match low price. The Wall Street Journal. M. WWW ’12. L UCIER . P EETZ . HotNets-XI.com/gp/help/customer/display. W ILSON . PAES L EME .adweek. AND C ARDIE ..html/ N. C. fluctuations and welfare guarantees. B. EC ’09. AND N IU .. R. Price competition using behavioral footprints. Business Wire. E-commerce Commerce (2009). http://docs. October 2014. Spotting opinion spammers [11] BABAIOFF .wsj.. AND S IVAN ..geekwire. AND L AOUTARIS .. B. Methods in Natural Language Processing (2015).. L. http://www..com/en_US/feeds/ [23] D URYEE . August 2015. theorie des richesses. Amazon buy box: The internet’s $80 billion sales coupled-walmarts-price-matching-leads-ridiculously-cheap. Amazon.cnn. AND ROUGHGARDEN ..com/2011/ matching leads to ridiculously cheap ps4s. K UMAR ..amazon. [2] Amazon marketplace web service (amazon mws) documentation – http://www. In https://www. D. H. [20] C HEN . In Proceedings of the 15th ACM/USENIX Internet amazon. AND L UCA . S. WWW ’14. on review portals.justice. B.amazon.. Geek Wire.html. April 2011. Internet eviscerating-other-retailers-online-new-survey-shows/. U. April 2015.655.amazon. CNN.

Interesses relacionados