Seller Central can be a challenging platform to deal with. Even after you’ve gotten a good grasp on how to use it, you’ll still run into issues beyond your immediate control. Luckily, Amazon’s 24/7 support team is always on standby to bail you out… right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Below are some of the most common listing issues that sellers encounter.
Amazon Seller Central Problems 101: Listing Hijackers
Because Amazon allows sellers to list nearly anything, the selling of non-unique products can often be an ongoing uphill battle for even the most successful brands. Especially when the product does well, hijackers will add their own products onto your listing, and in addition to potentially stealing the Buy Box from you, they can alter the listing’s content – an absolute nightmare if you’ve worked hard to create an optimized listing for your brand.
Solution: The best way to avoid this issue in the first place is to create a private label brand with a unique company name, then ensure that your private label brand is registered with Amazon. When a hijacker swoops in on your listing’s success product, you can file a copyright claim with Amazon to have their product taken down.
Amazon Seller Central Problems 101: Blocked and Inactive Listings
Listings can be blocked for a lot of reasons – a prohibited product category, a restricted product, inaccurate or incomplete information on the listing, pricing and compliance issues, etc. While Amazon will take corrective action against such listing errors, it’s usually up to you, the seller, to make it right and get your listing back.
Solution: Always check if you have any blocked or inactive listings. On your Seller Central dashboard, navigate to “Inventory” and filter by the “Inactive” status. From there, you’ll be able to check how many of your products have issues as well as if they’re problems you can easily fix (such as pricing and additional info) or if they warrant Amazon’s direct involvement (such as counterfeit or prohibited product issues). Always open a case with Amazon Seller Central support if it’s a serious concern that you can’t solve on your own, and be ready to provide documentation to support your appeal.
On the topic of blocked and suppressed listings, quality issues can also keep your items in limbo for a long time, so knowing (and avoiding) the most common reasons for quality-related suppressions is important:
- Your title exceeds 200 characters. The limit is even lower for some categories. Always use a character counter to help you.
- Missing a valid UPC
- Not inputting enough vital info. Depending on the category, this could be an inadequate description of size, color, country of origin, etc.
- Using inappropriate keywords or trigger words
- Using images that do not meet Amazon’s technical requirements
If you have a lot of listings, it’s best to fix these errors in bulk.
Amazon Seller Central Problems 101: ASIN Merges
Sometimes, without warning, Amazon’s algorithm will merge independent listings based on perceived similarity. Likewise, Amazon can just as easily automatically unmerge a group of products that are meant to stay nested under one parent listing. This can affect your sales performance, especially if you’re riding on the success of your consolidated reviews from all your child listings.
Solution: To fix this, you’ll need to open a case with Seller Central support. If you’re brand-registered with Amazon, you’ll have more authority than a regular seller and it will be easier to get your listings back where you need them.
Amazon Seller Central Problems 101: FBA Dimension and Weight Changes
Amazon charges pick-and-pack and storage fees for FBA products. Sometimes, you may find that your product dimensions and/or weight categories have inexplicably changed without warning due to incorrect measurements taken by Amazon’s warehouse employees. If not caught in time, this can cost you a lot of money.
Solution: If you noticed that your fees have gone up, keep a very keen eye on your weight and dimensions in FBA. If there have been changes, reach out to Amazon Seller Central support and request that they remeasure your products.
Amazon Seller Central Problems 101: Ungated Products from Brand Registry
“Gating” is an unofficial term used by Amazon sellers to indicate that a product or product category is restricted. This is common for categories that deal with sensitive ingredients.
Solution: You can address the issue with Amazon Seller Central support and appeal to have the listing put back behind the gate.
Gaining a Positive Outcome from Seller Support
Selling on Amazon can be a lot of work, especially if you find yourself constantly getting in touch with support to troubleshoot listing issues. Unfortunately, not all support agents can help resolve your problem. Here are a few tips to help you get a positive response from the Seller Central support team.
Be prepared with the details needed before you communicate with Amazon. If you’re not ready with all of the information you need to get your case moving, you’ll be subject to a lot of back-and-forth messaging with the support agent. This is both frustrating and inefficient, so do your best to gather as many prerequisites as possible ahead of time.
Don’t accept everything they say. When you reach out, expect templated responses. Most of the time, you won’t get the answer you want. Do some research beforehand, and once you know what needs to be done, tell the support team how you would like the issue solved. If you take initiative on steering the conversation in the right direction, you’ll find that you’ll receive an answer much more quickly.
Be very clear, concise and polite. Give details. Remember that the individual members of Amazon’s support team are just people doing their job and, like anyone else, are appreciative of (and will probably go the extra mile for) patient, level-headed correspondence.
Call, call, call! Just opening a case isn’t always enough. Be persistent with your follow-ups, calling in daily for status updates.
If you’re tired of running into the same roadblocks that continuously keep you from reaching your Amazon business goals, don’t give up just yet – you are not alone. Fortunately, there are people and processes to help guide your brand back on track.
Our professional team of Amazon specialists will help you reach that next level without any of the associated headaches. We’ll make sure your account stays running smoothly and efficiently at all times. Let’s talk about reaching your full potential on Amazon – schedule a call with us today!