February 24, 2021

“Almost” is not the standard Amazon uses, and neither should you

By: Jay Morane

“But it was almost the same thing as the detail page.” The important word there is “almost” and that is also the word that will result in the ASIN or your account being deactivated.

Almost the same can lead to a “not as described” or “inauthentic” complaint from the buyer. It could also result in a “counterfeit” intellectual property complaint from the rights owner. Anyone who has had that happen will tell you they are not as much fun as you think and to avoid them whenever possible.

I would love to tell you there is a 100% guaranteed way to avoid those issues but that would not be true. I can tell you there are steps you can take to substantially lower the risk of those complaints thereby diminish the potential risk to your ASINs and/or your account.

The most important step in this process:

Be honest with yourself. Look at the item you are listing, then look at the ASIN you are considering listing it under in Amazon’s catalog. Does it match EXACTLY?

By exactly, I mean in every detail from the packaging to the item itself with no variance between what is in your and what is shown in the images on Amazon.

  • Does the listing title EXACTLY reflect what you are selling in all aspects?
  • Is the product’s size in the same measurement (ml versus oz)?
  • Are the fonts on the packaging and product label identical?
  • Are you selling an older version of the item shown on Amazon? If so then you need to find that older listing
  • Does the description and bullet points accurately describe your product?
  • Are you selling a European version of the product being shown? Does the title clearly state this?

These are just a few examples and are not a complete list.

Avoiding ASIN deactivationIMPORTANT

If you list on someone else’s mistake that does not protect you from being enforced. It is your responsibility to make sure the ASIN Listing you choose is correct. Saying that you did not create the listing is not an excuse.

Are you listing a non-branded/generic item on a branded listing?

That is a recipe for disaster and deactivation. Even if the item looks identical and you are certain they are, if the detail page and ASIN has a brand associated with it that is not your brand, you cannot list under that ASIN. It may have been a generic item when it was manufactured but the other seller put their brand on it so it is no longer generic.

What do you do when you run into these situations?

Look for other ASINs that may already exist that are identical to your product. The best way to search is by using the UPC that is on the item you wish to sell. Instead of searching by title or name of the product, use the UPC when adding a product. This will return more accurate results BUT you still need to review the information to confirm it is an identical match. The UPC may be the same but there may have been packaging refreshes or updates that could lead to buyer confusion or mistaken assumptions.

Sellers often forget…

Something that sellers often forget is that you are knowledgeable about the product you sell. You know the slight differences in packaging or product variances and understand that they may not have an impact on the overall performance of the item. Buyers may not have this level of expertise and if they are buying the item as a gift, they may know nothing more than the name of the item and rely solely on the title.

Do not fill in gaps or connect dots in your head that a buyer may not do on their own. The listing should exactly reflect the item that you are shipping in every aspect and detail, period. This is not something that Amazon will debate or compromise on.

In conclusion

Amazon buyers are scrutinizing their purchases more closely than ever and by listing your items correctly, you can do something to protect your account. Take steps now to prevent actions later.

If you have questions about your Account Health contact Riverbend Consulting or give us a call, 877-289-1017. Our team will be happy to help!

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