How do you find and fix your worst ASIN – and why?

Whether you sell three products or 10,000 products on Amazon, you always have one worst ASIN.

Even when you remove that worst ASIN, you still have one worst ASIN.

Bad ASINs cause endless problems for Amazon sellers — poor customer reviews, high return rates, safety concerns and more. When combined, the results can wreak havoc from losing money to account suspension.

On Amazon, sellers simply cannot afford their products to be returned and refunded. Every seller eats the fees Amazon charges for picking and packing FBA orders. On top of that, the sellers receive returned products from buyers, most of which are not sellable or need expensive repackaging. If just a few ASINs rack up losses – especially for large-volume movers – the entire account’s financial health is at risk.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In just a few steps, you can improve the profitability of your account by correcting your lowest performers. Here’s how:

  • Uncover the ASIN that is losing the most money, generating the most returns, or generally causing your expensive headaches
  • Rehabilitate that ASIN
  • If the ASIN cannot be rehabilitated, scrap it; don’t sell dogs
  • Repeat the steps with your next “new” worst-performing ASIN
  • It sounds “easier said than done,” maybe a bit overwhelming. Stick with me. Not only can this be done successfully, but you can also turn it into a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). This makes it much easier to manage as other team members take over the process, long term.
how to find and fix your worst ASIN

Steps on how to find and fix your worst ASIN

Step 1: Find your worst-performing ASIN

Identify your worst ASIN. Here is the key. Finding this ASIN cannot be based on opinions, emotions, or “your gut.” It requires data. It must be a numbers-driven decision. Start by collecting data for the trailing 30 days of sales. Then:

  • Run your FBA and MFN returns reports in Seller Central. Sort the spreadsheets by return reason. Remove orders with return reasons for which you’re not at fault, such as “ordered by mistake” or “undeliverable.” If you see return reasons such as “switcheroo” or “not as described”? Those are your fault in AmazonLand. Include them. Calculate the adjusted return rate for each ASIN.
  • Review feedback in Voice of the Customer in Seller Central. Look for complaints that can be traced back to your account and your products, such as defective or used sold as new.
  • Review seller feedback, product reviews and the Account Health dashboard. Make notes of any complaints you see. Now is not the time to be defensive and question the buyer’s motive, intellect or family history. Be objective and impartial (pretend you are Amazon reviewing your account, i.e., “no mercy.”).
  • Review buyer-seller messaging. Again, examine complaints and questions relating to the quality and condition of your products.

In every case, you are sussing out the quantitative and qualitative data, which will indicate the bad ASIN—the one ASIN of greatest concern. A fast-selling ASIN with moderately bad performance will be much more important to analyze than a slow-mover with horrible performance. Why? That fast-selling product may be doing the most damage to your bottom line.

Step 2: Rehabilitate your worst ASIN

Improving an ASIN can be easy. It can be difficult. Or it can be impossible. It all depends on what problems actually exist.

Based on the data gathered above in step 1, choose a strategy to improve your worst ASIN. Improvements come in the form of:

  • Updating the product detail page to clarify information that is confusing to buyers
  • Requiring stepped-up inspections at the manufacturing facility
  • Improving product packaging so the item arrives to the buyer in perfect condition
  • Redesigning the product for its next manufacturing run
  • Improving FBA prep
  • Asking FBA for better fulfillment center packaging
  • Improving MFN shipping methods or prep
  • Stop selling the product

That’s right. In the end, you may have to stop selling a product. Nobody wants to hear it, but some products are dogs. If they are killing your bottom line, they need to get out of your Amazon account.

Step 3: Repeat with your new worst-performing ASIN

Once you’ve fixed your worst-performing ASIN, guess what? You now have a new worst-performing ASIN! You just have to find it and fix it.

Never, ever give up on improving your worst ASIN. Improved them all? Start over again!

Is this hard work? Yes. But these incremental, continual improvements are what separates high-margin, successful brands from the flashes-in-the-pan. And while driving more revenue and profitability, these improvements also will keep sellers out of the Amazon suspension doghouse.

All of these processes can be distilled into an SOP that can be performed by a VA or other team member over time. Based on the size of your catalog, you may choose to improve your worst ASIN every day, every week or every month.

Need more insights? Let us know, we’re here to help.

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