Textbook Price Rules
Since a store can’t be expected to set a price for each individual book in their inventory, Sidewalk Pro gives them the ability to set Price Rules. These rules allow a store to price competitively, flexibly, and quickly for every sort of transaction the store completes.
If a store does have a price they would like to set for a specific book, these rules can be overridden at the catalog level or after the title has been added to a cart.
In this document, we’ll provide a little glossary, then some notes on the most commonly used Price Rules. For an in-depth discussion of Price Rules tactics and strategy, or to ask about other rules, please contact us. We love talking about this stuff!
Amazon Qualified Low: When using Amazon prices as part of a Price Rule, Sidewalk will look at the lowest price listed by a reputable sellers. For example, a seller who has had their account active for longer than 6 months, with more than 100,000 sales and a satisfaction rate of 96% or greater would be what we call Qualified Seller.
Target: This is a buyback term. Target is a special flag that can be attached to a title. All Target titles are subject to a different Price Rule for buyback than books that are not flagged. Typically, this allows a store to pay a premium price for these books, since these will be valuable on either wholesale guides or external marketplaces.
Good Target: When attempting to complete a buyback transaction on a Target Book, it must meet certain criteria if it is to be considered a “good” Target (see the image below Bad Target’s definition). If it does not, the book will be marked as a Bad Target book and can be priced differently. This will ensure that the store never pays a premium price for a book that is not in excellent condition.
Bad Target: When attempting to complete a Buyback transaction on a Target Book that does not meet the specified criteria, it will be marked as a Bad Target book and can be priced at a lower amount.
Catalog: This is a Buyback term. Catalog books are adopted textbooks that are bought back from students while the inventory level is below the set quota. Since there is still an open quota on Catalog books, the store might choose to pay a premium for them until the quota is met.
Standard: This is a Buyback term. It applies when the textbook does not meet the requirements for Catalog or Target textbooks.
Commonly Used Price Rules
Hovering a mouse pointer over any field in a price rule will generate a short description of that field. For a deeper analysis, a store can read this document or contact Sidewalk Pro Support.
All Wholesalers Advanced Buyer Buy Price V2:
This Rule looks at all of the store’s wholesaler guides and returns the amount that is most advantageous for the store. It checks Amazon prices only in the event that the book is not on any of the guides the store has access to.
The Basic Tab does not take into account any wholesaler ranking.
- Percent of Target: Applies only to books that are designated as a Target Book.
- Percent of Bad Target: This rule will use this percent if the book is designated a Bad Target.
Percent of Wholesaler Rank A-E: Sidewalk determines Wholesaler ranking through a combination of factors, much like Amazon determines their book ranking.
- A-level books, for example, are premium. They are very valuable to most of the wholesaler guides, and certainly sellable on the open market.
- E-level books might not be carried on the next wholesaler guide, so they might not be valuable to buyback. Or they might just be very low-value books, and not a title a store would want to chase.
- For premium books, a store might choose to input over 100% into these fields. By offering customers a premium price, the store can both secure customer loyalty and save money by sourcing without relying on wholesalers.
Wholesaler Good Target:
These settings will only apply to a book designated as a Good Target Book and the title is on a wholesaler guide.
Wholesaler Bad Target:
These settings will only apply to a book designated as a Bad Target Book and is on a wholesaler guide.
If no wholesale price exists, this rule will then look at the following Amazon criteria:
- Maximum Buy Rank: The Rule will only price out books that fall at or below a certain Amazon ranking.
- Amazon Ceiling: This is the highest amount the store would pay the student if the title is not on a wholesale guide. The ceiling is there to keep the store from spending too much on buyback.
- 1-2500: This will price the book at a specific percent of the Amazon Qualified Low if the book is ranked 1-2500 on Amazon.
- 25001-50000: The remaining fields will allow the store to price each group of ranked books differently until the Maximum Buy Rank is reached.
Priority All Wholesalers Advanced Buyer Buy Price Version 2:
This Price Rule will look first at a specific guide indicated in the Basic tab. If the book is not on that guide, it will look at each of the store’s other guides and function the same as All Wholesalers Advanced Buyer Buy Price V2. This may be used if the store has a contractual obligation or receives other benefits to send books back to a certain wholesaler, making that wholesaler worth considering before any others, regardless of the wholesaler’s offerings.
Amazon Listing Price:
This price rule looks at the Amazon Qualified Low of a title, and allows the store to position itself competitively on the open market.
The tabs after Basic refer to the condition of the book. Each tab will list a set of ranges that correspond with the Amazon rankings. For each rank range, enter where the title should rank in a list of Qualified Sellers. For example, if the title has an Amazon rank in the millions, it might need to be the least expensive qualified offer to have a chance of selling. If the title has a rank of 3, it is a very valuable book, and will sell even if it is not listed for the cheapest qualified offer.
Repricer: While the Amazon Listing Price Rule will create a competitive initial listing price for a title, a Repricer will allow a store’s inventory to dynamically price itself as the market value of a title fluctuates.
- Minimum Price: What is the minimum price at which the store would like to list a book on Amazon?
- Maximum Percent of List: How high above the Amazon list price of a book is the store willing to sell it?
- On Booklist Minimum Percent of List: This feature allows the store to protect its walk-in customers during rush. If a book is adopted on a store’s catalog and listed both online and in the store, the store can choose to inflate prices here (e.g. 120% of the list price for a new title) so that it is unlikely that the title will sell online (and if the title does sell, the profit will justify the sale). This keeps the title available for the local student population, if the store wants to prioritize local business over sales. Otherwise, this field can be set to 0%.
- How close to the least expensive qualified offer online does the store need to be to guarantee a sale?
- For more valuable books (those in a lower rank range), a store can set these parameters to a higher number, because a more valuable book will be more likely to sell. This Price Rule will find the search result the store picks and price the title so that it becomes the new search result.
- For example, New might look like this: 9, 3, 2, 1. Acceptable might look like this: 2, 1, 1, 1.
Percent of List:
This is a basic Price Rule, which prices books according to their list price on the Global Title Service. The list price of a title will fluctuate according to its market value until the List Price Date. To create a static list price, add a date to the List Price Date field in the appropriate term in the catalog.
Tiered percent of list:
This Price Rule allows the user to set two different percent of list prices, depending on the value of the book.
- Percent Over Tier: The percent of List Price that the store would pay if the book title is listed at or more than the Tier amount.
- Percent Under Tier: The percent of List Price that the store would pay if the book title is listed at less than the Tier amount.
- Tier: This is an arbitrary dollar amount set by the store.
Rentback functions a little like a consignment system. It isn’t often used by stores anymore; please contact Sidewalk if you’d like to hear about rentback-specific Price Rules.
Rent Extend Rules:
Configurable Extra Rental Days:
This Price Rule allows a store to charge a customer a fair price for extending their rental, as determined by a percentage of the original rental price to charge as a fee per day.
Extra Rental Days:
This rule will charge 1 percent of the original rental price per day for extensions of 7, 14, 30, or 60 days. For extensions of 90, 120, or a full semester, the rate is hard-coded to keep the store from charging more than the original rental price.
Rental Buyout Rules:
- Minimum Price: The minimum price that the customer would be charged.
- Percent of List: Percent of the current list price.
Retail Based Rental Buyout:
- Minimum Price: The minimum price that the customer would be charged.
- Percent of Retail: Percent of current retail price.