If you ask any Amazon seller who has been on the platform for any extended amount of time what tools they use, you'll find a common denominator. Keepa.
I polled my audience of 55,000 Amazon sellers over at FBA Today and here is what they indicated as the most important software they pay for.
It's no secret, Keepa is one of the most valuable tools that Amazon sellers have at their disposal.
The bad news (well, good news for you since you're clearly interested in learning more) is that most sellers are barely scratching the surface of Keepa and what it can do for their businesses.
Now, Keepa is far too robust and feature rich for me to cover in depth in this article, but I'm going to provide a quick overview of what it is, how it works and how Amazon sellers use it.
I promise that by the end of this article, you'll either install it for the first time or leave with a newfound excitement for what you can do with it.
What Is Keepa?
Keepa is a a massive database of real time Amazon information.
Currently, they are tracking over 3.1 billion items across 12 Amazon marketplaces.
It tracks things like...
- Sales rank
- Offer totals
- Buy box price
- Reviews and ratings
- Average number of drops per month
- And more
Keepa is a unique program because it isn't explicitly advertised as a tool for Amazon sellers. In fact, many of the Keepa users are actually just regular Amazon customers who are looking for great deals.
Keepa shares all this information in several ways.
They offer a web-based application, a Chrome extension that provides history graphs on Amazon.com product pages and a mobile app.
The most valuable function for the average Amazon seller is the Chrome extension and the ability to view deep analytics of each product's sales and price history. The mobile app is just, meh. It's best when it's paired with other 3rd party scouting software like Scanpower or Scoutify.
I’m writing this article on “my day off,” and I wanted to have fun with it. So I've come it with a little personification of Keepa to best explain it.
The heart of Keepa is its data. Those 3.1 billion data points that are updated hourly. Like a heart, it's always pumping up-to-date information on billions of products on Amazon.
However, data alone is meaningless. It's the ability to analyze the data that provides sellers and deal seekers with actual value.
So, the brain of Keepa is its filters and graphs. We can set up filters to view the metrics over time that are most important to us.
Here is an example of a Keepa graph that would appear on a popular Amazon ASIN.
How Keepa Actually Helps Sellers
What does all of this actually mean though for you in terms of making more money?
Keepa will help Amazon sellers in the following ways.
#1 Make Better Pricing Decisions
Keepa shows us the buy box history for the life of a product. This lets us more accurately predict what prices our items will sell at in the future.
In the graph above, we can see exactly what the buy box was across the previous 3 months. This is much more valuable than knowing just the current buy box price because it may or may not be reflective of the price we can expect when we join the listing.
This helps us avoid costly buying mistakes when items end up selling for prices far lower than we originally predicted when sourcing.
#2 Understand Your Competition
Keepa shows us critical insights into our competitors. The biggest of which is Amazon.
In the graph below, we can see that Amazon is sharing the buy box with 3rd party FBA sellers. This is great to know before making any buying anything to sell.
We can see...
- How many offers there are and have been over time
- Whether Amazon is on the listing and if they go out of stock
- If Amazon is sharing the buy box when they are in stock
- How often the price drops per month
All of these can help us ensure we don't have our prices tank or need to engage in the dreaded race to the bottom.
#3 Predict Sales Velocity (How Many to Buy)
Keepa shows us sales rank history for categories and sub categories. These fluctuations across the history graph let us know if an item is selling or not and what sales trends will be going forward.
We can see data spread out over various time frames as well to get a more holistic view of how an item is performing.
#4 Find Amazon to Amazon Flips
An Amazon to Amazon flip is when we buy a product on Amazon and sell it back on Amazon at a higher price.
Keepa's web application shows us deals that we can filter to find the best possible flips.
Here are the ways Keepa can help us find Amazon to Amazon flips.
- The deals page shows us items that have dropped dramatically recently
- The product tracking page allows us to set "deal traps" to find items at prices we can make a profit on.
- It shows us if Amazon is going out of stock (a requriement for Amazon to Amazon flips).
#5 Spy on Competitors
Keepa allows us to view top sellers and their offers. On its own, this feature might not seem incredibly valuable, but when you integrate the export feature with a third party product sourcing tool like Tactical Arbitrage, it becomes obvious why this is so cool.
Unlike Keepa, Tactical Arbitrage is a tool that helps us find 3rd party sources to purchase items from. We can use what is called a reverse search and upload bulk lists of ASINs and find sources for them from 900+ 3rd party websites.
Again, with the exception of Amazon to Amazon flips and eBay to Amazon flips, Keepa is not a tool for finding sources of products to sell. However, it pairs very well with other tools that do find sources for you.
The best way to explain Keepa as completely as possible in a blog post is to answer some common questions. So, here are the ones I've seen the most often.
Is Keepa Just for Online Arbitrage?
Is Keepa Free?
Keepa was free for a very long time. There is still a free plan, but important features have been put behind a pay wall now that costs 19€/month (which just under $19 for my US friends).
Expanded functionality on the premium Keepa subscription includes...
- Interactive Sales Rank history graphs
- Interactive Buy Box price history graphs
- Interactive eBay price history graphs
- Interactive Offer Count and Review/Rating history graphs
- Basic access to the API with 5 token/min
- Price increase tracking
The free plan gets you about 50% of the functionality you need, but the paid plan is absolutely worth it.
Does Keepa Show How Many Units Are Selling?
Keepa doesn't explicitly show how many units are selling. We use the sales rank graphs to infer this information.
Drops in sales rank indicate a sale (in most cases, but not always).
For example, the graph below suggests that the item sold around 17:00.
Products like RevSeller, Seller Amp, Jungle Scout and Helium 10 all offer their own sales estimates in their apps, but none of them are perfectly accurate. They have their own algorithms, but they shouldn't be treated as the gospel truth.
How to Master Keepa
This is the mile high overview of Keepa.
To truly master it, you will need to use it often and learn as you go. However, if you want to dramatically decrease the learning curve, I highly recommend checking out Keepa Academy.
It's a course taught by online arbitrage expert Chris Grant that goes through every single facet of Keepa and how we can use it to make more money on Amazon.