Amazon Ads Overcharging, Part Deux

As promised, here's the conclusion to my Amazon Ads overcharging dilemma. As usual, the Corporate Behemoth crushed the little indie, as they have sapped me of any motivation to dig deeper, and I'm throwing up my hands in disgust.

Just for laughs, here are the e-mails where Amazon tries to explain how their dynamic bidding works. If you can make any sense of their math, I would love to hear it. As it is, I'm done with dynamic bidding. If I'm going to gamble, I'll stick to something simpler, like Exacta Box Bets at the horse track.

Me (11/22/2019): "I am running an Amazon Ad campaign where I have the maximum bid set at $0.57 and the dynamic bid up set at 14%, which should make my maximum bid $0.57 x 1.14 = $0.65. However, on 11/21/2019, I recorded 5 clicks at an average of $0.85 per click. How is this possible?"

Amazon (11/23/2019):  "Please give us some time, I'll get back to you with an update by the end of November 26, 2019."

Amazon (11/30/2019): "Thanks for contacting us back. I check the open case and is still under investigation by the Advertising Team. My peer in charge of your case is going to provide you an update as soon as possible. I appreciate your patience while we continue to work on your case."

Amazon (12/3/2019): "As promised, we've coordinated with the our advertising team & just received an update from them. The bid adjustment percentage is 14%. As the bid is set as "Dynamic bids - up and down", we will raise the bid by a maximum of 100% in real time, that would become 1.04. Hence now the CPC charge of $0.81 for 21st dated is valid which is within 1.04."

Me (12/3/2019): "Unfortunately, the math still doesn't add up to me. In summary, the issue is my highest individual bid was set at $0.57, which should make my maximum dynamic bid cost $0.65 ($0.57 x 1.14 = $0.65), not $0.81."

Amazon (12/3/2019): "Please note that bidding strategies are accumulative. This means based bid can go up based on dynamic bidding set to up and down (which can go up to 100%) and then, to that adjusted bid, the system applies any settings from "adjust bids by placement.

"For better understanding, right now the you have no bidding strategies enabled but you had dynamic bidding up and down and adjust bids by placement with 14% so the logic would go as follows: base bid $0.5 + 100% of Dynamic bids - Up and down= $1 + 14% of Top of Page = $1.14 + 14% of Product Detail Pages = $1.3 <--- Highest amount bid can go up to. So it's understandable that the CPC shows at $0.85."

And that's when I gave up. Based on Amazon's cryptic sales data, I'm not sure if dynamic bidding was adding any value to my ads anyway, so the decision to turn it off seems pretty clear to me.

Anyhow, enough complaining. From now until Christmas, all of my ebooks are on deep discount. Please stuff your eStockings and leave a review for me instead of milk and cookies. Peace and Love.


  1. Thanks for sharing these trials and tribulations, C. M. You have my sympathies: I've been having trouble with them and know first-hand of their imperious dismissal of fact and unwillingness to explain. In another 50 years, people that them will rule the world, and then we'll all be in big trouble *sigh*

    1. Thanks, Chris. They don't make it easy, do they?

    2. Nope, and their ads 'dashboard' is a triumph of confusion. I made mine make sense by stopping wasting my money on their ads

  2. First, love your picture of Santa w/ your book. So clever!

    "For better understanding" is a laugh! I think what they told you is that once they increase your bid, they can then increase it exponentially until it gets to where they think they have enough profit on your ad.

    Your blog has been so helpful in terms of what I should try for advertising now that my own book is (finally) out. Thanks so much for taking to time to help other!

    1. You're welcome, Gifford! I'm glad you find it helpful. And regarding Amazon, that's what it feels like--them saying we'll just charge you whatever we want.


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