Top 5 things you NEED to do when you get an ASIN Change Notification

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 1.13.18 PMEver since I started selling on Amazon, I would randomly get emails notifying me that some ASINs I am selling were recently updated. For my first few months of selling on Amazon, I just ignored these emails and thought I had better things to do. I assumed innocently that these ASIN changes were probably just improvements to the product page, and that I didn’t need to investigate. Boy, was I naive and wrong. I quickly learned that there are many profitable action points that I need to do every time I get one of these emails.

Most of the time when an ASIN is updated, it means that someone is trying to improve the ASIN’s product page listing information. Maybe some good keywords were added, or the item had some additional information added that would help increase sales. I would say that 95% of the time, this is true, but the other 5% of the time, the changes actually hurt the item page and could also hurt you as a seller. Whether the changes come from a malicious and deceitful Amazon seller or just a newbie that doesn’t know any better, these changes must be checked in order to protect you, your seller metrics, and your bottom line. I’ll explain more of this below as I give you the top 5 things I check every time I get an ASIN change notification email from Amazon.

Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 3.43.01 PM1. Product Title – I think I’ve seen it all… I’ve seen product titles that were one word long and some that were paragraphs long. I’ve seen them contain spelling mistakes and written in other languages. I’ve seen product titles that tried to contain HTML and others that were not even talking about the item that was pictured. The product title is one of the most important pieces of information that Amazon uses to help buyers find what they want (especially the first 3 words of the title). So it’s vital that the updated title be accurate, spelled correctly, and contain a few additional keywords.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.27.30 AM2. Product Description – Unfortunately, some people don’t know what they are talking about and really make a mess of the product descriptions. I’ve had an item in my inventory where someone added to the description that it was a 4-pack, when in reality it was one toy that contained 4 parts to the toy. This is not a 4-pack. A 4-pack is when there are 4 copies of the same item. To make things even worse, sometimes some sellers actually do change a product from being one item to being a multi-pack. This change could really be bad if you start selling an item that is a 1-pack, but then someone else updates it to a 6-pack. You could have a really upset buyer leave nasty feedback for you if they only receive one item when they are expecting a 6-pack.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.20.52 AMOther sellers sometimes are doing mass updates and accidentally cut and paste info from one item and paste it on the wrong item. I’ve also seen when someone puts an external link in a product description to buy that item on another website. These external links are against Amazon’s rules! Not only that, but they are taking sales away from you.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 11.25.17 AMLike I said, some people who are trying to update the product pages are newbies. Most new Amazon sellers are coming over from eBay and assume that if they need to state something specific about their particular item, they need to update the product page, when in reality they just need to make note of what they want shared in their condition notes.

3. Product Type – Most of these updates are in reference to category changes within the Amazon catalog. Again, it’s so important that each item be placed in the correct category. Some Amazon sellers will try to sneak certain items in the wrong category because they are gated in the correct category. For example, someone might not be approved to sell in clothing (a gated category that requires approval to sell), so they try to change the category to toys, books, or another category that they are already approved to sell in.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 1.53.28 PMOn the other hand, some people try to game the system by getting products changed to be in gated categories. For example, if one seller is approved to sell in shoes, then maybe they’ll try to get that toy to be moved to the shoe category, so that there will be fewer sellers approved to be the competition for that item. It’s sneaky and wrong, but people do it. Ultimately, you want these items to be in the correct category. When an item is in the right category, then it’s more easily found by buyers who are searching for it.

4. Product Key Words – Some Amazon sellers have thought that adding unrelated key words would boost their product in the search rankings. Unfortunately, this not what you want. You want the item to have the best key words that actually relate to the item. Some people even add lines to the product description that could get that item completely removed from Amazon. I once saw a grocery item that had the keyword “e-cigs” added, and those are not even allowed to be sold on Amazon.

71NGQMCh2QL._SL1500_5. Shipping Weight – Most of the time, the updated shipping weights come from Amazon themselves, but other times they are changed by a seller who sells merchant fulfilled items from home. The higher the shipping weight is, the more money they can make from shipping costs. For example: If Amazon thinks it should cost $6.00 to ship a one pound item, but the item actually only weights 8 ounces, then the merchant fulfilled shipper gets $6.00 to mail something that should only cost them $3.00. How does this effect an FBA seller? If someone is not a Prime buyer and buys your item, then it’s possible that they could be overpaying for shipping and therefore become an unhappy customer who is ready to leave you negative feedback.

Note: To check on your inventory items, simply follow the link in the ASIN Change Notification email that states: “Click here to vote to disagree with the decision to make the ASIN detail page changes below.”

When you click on this link, Amazon will take you to a page telling you what items are being updated, what the new details are, and what the previous details were. You then have the option to disagree with the update. If you agree with the changes, all you need to do is scroll down and click “Nothing to disagree.” On the other hand, if you do disagree, then you can click “disagree” on the items you think do not need to be updated. You then have the option to express why you disagree. Remember to keep your response short, as to not confuse the Amazon worker who is responding to all of these ASIN change disagreement notifications. After you explain your reason for disagreeing, you can then scroll down and click “Submit Votes.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 3.44.57 PM

It can be somewhat time consuming to check on each of these items one by one to verify that the changes are accurate, but in the end it will be worth it to protect your seller metrics and ultimately your bottom line.

If you notice something is incorrect or just flat out wrong, then vote “Disagree” and tell Amazon what you think the correct details of that product should be.

Some of you may have turned this notification off in your Seller Central preferences. If you want to protect your inventory and bottom line, I suggest turning the notifications back on.

price-tag-267x300BONUS TIP – When ASINs are updated, it often means that someone new is selling the item and that you now have additional competition. It’s likely that they are updating the ASIN because they have multiple copies of that product in stock. When the ASIN is updated, it’s probably a good idea to go and check your competition and make sure your item is priced competitively. For more on repricing your inventory, click here.

So how about you? What crazy ASIN updates have you seen? Do you have any additional tips on how to make the most of the ASIN Change Notification emails? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

70 responses to “Top 5 things you NEED to do when you get an ASIN Change Notification

  1. Thanks, I’ve been ignoring them for 2 years! Now I’ll pay attention.

  2. I had one the other day that someone changed the product weight from 1.5 LB to 9.5 LB in order to get more for shipping. I contested it with amazon but it didn’t seem to help. I just went in a few days later and changed it back.

    • John, if telling amazon that something is wrong didn’t work, then that’s the next best step to take… updating it yourself and providing proof. Well done!

  3. Nice post!!!!

    I just got an item that I am the only FBA seller that was classified as oversized so it got anormiss FBA fees.

    BTW what is the best way to change the Product Type/classification of a product? (without opening a case with SEC)

    • Martin, there is no way (that I know of) to change a product classification other than through Seller Support. Login to Seller Central, click on HELP, click on CONTACT US, and then click on PRODUCTS & INVENTORY. From there, click on FIX A PRODUCT PAGE and go from there. Hope this helps!

      • Thanks for the quick reply.

        Let me share an email I got from seller central,

        “We are happy to change the category on your behalf for these 3 ASINs.

        However, you can do this from your end with below easy steps.

        I kindly request you to delete this product from your inventory and recreating it in the correct category: Home & Kitchen & Home Décor

        For information about deleting a product, see this Seller Central Help page:

        https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/200216110

        If the product remains in the wrong category still, we will make this change on your behalf.

        I’m sorry if this additional step might cause you any inconvenience. I hope you’ll understand that and this help to change the category from your end in future.

        Please be assured that we at Seller Support are here to make things easier for you. If you feel that this process makes in inconvenience, please let us know, so that we can make changes on your behalf.”

        I didn’t understand how this will work.

        P.S. “FIX A PRODUCT PAGE” does not give you a direct way to change Product Type/classification, you need to put it in to the notes.
        and oping a case is a big hassle when you need to fix a complete brand (its all messed up)

  4. Thanks for sharing the information. I will definitely pay attention now.

  5. Great post Stephen, been getting these a lot lately in my new gig and haven’t been on top of them. I generally thought the same thing – listing were getting improved.

    I’ve seen some terrible listings from other folks as well, namely listings with tons of sizes and colors that make it really confusing for the buyer.

    I’m actually on my “Selling Clothing 101” webinar as I type this, I just opened up a personal account to sell myself last week and got approved for clothing right away! (I do eComm full time for a company as well)

    It boggles my mind people do these sneaky tactics, I’ve been approved for clothing under 2 different accounts and it’s not difficult if you follow Amazon’s rules!

    • Yes, if you keep to Amazon’s rules, you’ll be set up for a very healthy Amazon business. I’m sure the “sneaky” sellers usually get what’s coming to them. You reap what you sow!

  6. Great post! Thanks for the heads up as I get these notices often. Now I will know how to respond to them. Quick question, how do you keep track/remember all the details of your inventory? I wouldn’t remember how much an item weighed, etc. And as a newbie I’m a little intimidated by creating a new listing where I fill in all the product info, have you ever blogged about creating a listing from scratch? Thanks for all the tips Stephen!

    • Amanda, I don’t remember all of the details of every item, but I just try to use some common sense. If an item’s weight is updated to 9 pounds, but I look at the item and it looks like it’s probably only a few pounds, then I’ll ask Amazon to investigate.

      I have not blogged about creating a listing from scratch yet. I’ve read this book: http://amzn.to/YYfc4K (Amazon.com: The Beginner’s Guide to Creating Professional Amazon Listings eBook) and it was a good start. It’s only $0.99, so not a bad investment, to learn the basics of creating product pages on Amazon.

  7. Awesome Blog….I need to take a closer look at my ASIN changes. You did a wonderful job explaining everything…very easy to understand. Thanks again.

  8. Great article. In the past I’ve also been deleting these emails as unimportant thinking that amazon itself was making some corrections on the product to my benefit. I will now pay close attention to these emails. Thanks.

  9. OMGosh, what we do without you, and I do not want to find out! At one point I was receiving so many of these that it was actually annoying so after looking at several, I just didn’t pay attention any longer because I did not see any difference. Who is going to remember from listing something 3 months ago. But the points you raised about change in title, content, weight accuracy are all too important to ignore. As usual, Stephen, thanks so much for your guidance. B:-)

    • Barbara, it does take some time to investigate these changes, but it’s worth it. If you have a VA, this might be one of the jobs you have them do for you. They can investigate these changes for you, if you find the right VA. I’ll blog more about VAs in the future, so be looking for that sometime.

  10. I do not get it. A product is being sold by several people some new some used and then all of a sudden someone comes along and changes or like this post said make it a multi-pack because that is how the new seller wants to sell it and then it is automatically changed for everyone. Shouldn’t amazon hold any asin changes for review?

    al

    • Al, Amazon just updated the system so that we can now VOTE to disagree with the updates. If enough disagree, then the change will not take place. So always make sure you look and vote to agree or disagree with each change.

  11. Hi Stephen,

    It’s my first time to your site (we met on Twitter). This post caught my eye because I had been ignoring these emails until recently. In fact, I just got one this week that I challenged.

    It was for a children’s book and it was classified under: PRODUCT_TYPE: GIFTS_AND_OCCASIONS. Someone wanted to change it to: PRODUCT_TYPE: HOME.

    Really????? That makes no sense! If you follow the link in the email, there’s an option to let them know you don’t think the change is relevant. When you click that button, you can enter an explanation.

    I can’t wait to check out more on your site. Looks like you know what you’re doing!

    Be happy, healthy and wealthy ~
    Ree

  12. How can I check my items for accuracy on ASIN change when they are not in my possession but in FBA inventory?

    • Tom,
      The way I check for accuracy is mostly by memory. I know I won’t be able to remember everything, but some changes will be very obviously incorrect… and for those, I correct ASAP. If it’s for something I have a lot of inventory in stock, or if it’s a very high priced item, then I’ll open up a ticket with Amazon and have them check into the matter at hand. I’ve had them double check shipping weights and category changes before. It takes a while (sometimes a week or 2) but it’s worth it when so much inventory or capital is at stake.

  13. Beth Cherkowsky

    Just found your blog and reading it now (and will be recommending to some friends). And it reminded me of the Strawberry Jam that got moved to Business and Industrial and the chocolate sauce that was in the Automotive section.

    And then there is a product I no longer remember that had the weight changed to 10 lbs. So I had to take a picture of it on my old postage scale showing 1 item and a weight of 1 lb to convince Amazon.

    • Hi Beth!
      Sending Amazon a picture of an item on a scale is a great idea. I’ve sent pics to them with rulers beside an item to correct a product that Amazon said was oversized.

  14. Hi, how do we get these emails from Amazon. I have a lot of items, and have been seeing a lot of changes and have never once got an email like this. I have been selling for several years. Is there a setting I need to make? Thanks.

  15. I had one once where someone changed a 1 pack to a 6 pack. It took weeks for them to change it back. I just put my price to $99.99 so it wouldn’t sell and I’d have an unhappy customer. Eventually I discovered it wasn’t a new seller, it was a new Amazon rep who had changed the listing.

    So frustrating, but we definitely need to check the alerts when we receive them.

  16. I have found that the dimensions a seller puts in the listing can cause the fees to be much more than they should be too. I recently had to request AZ investigate some calendars I had for sale. They were all the same size and weight, but the fees ranged from $2.57 – $3.36 because some other sellers did not put correct dimensions in when creating the listing or it was changed.
    I submitted a case and it was resolved within a few hours! I always look at these ASIN changes now because if I am receiving an email it pertains to my business and PROFITS =).

    • Yes, the fees will be larger if the weight or dimensions are incorrect. And some items have their dimensions so wrong that Amazon thinks it’s oversized when it’s not. This mistake causes oversize fees AND it causes us to send the item to a “oversized only” FBA warehouse when it doesn’t need to go there.

      I’m glad you open up a case and it was resolved! Well done!

  17. Thanks Stephen, useful topic.
    I don’t know about this before.

  18. Thanks for this post. One of my listings was dramatically changed resulting in a total change in sales. I just went in and tried to fix it. We’ll see whether my fix is accepted or not.

  19. I hope people do not take your post lightly Stephen. All 5 of these ASBN notification changes should be read and challenged when necessary. Product Title is essential because you want to make sure it is absolutely correct. Some products are similar but may have a word or two that is different so if a person is looking by title for a certain product and do not get the one they thought they were ordering because of “similar” title with that one or two word difference, you may have to give a refund and Amazon may let them keep the product. Also, #5 is so important. As an example, a Disney Infinity Vanelope figure (similar to skylander) was recorded on Amazon as weighing 249.8 pounds which would cost the seller $225 for Amazon fees in weight. The item actually weighed 1.8 ounces and I submitted the change to Amazon which they accepted and changed. I saved myself well over $220 for that change as that is a figure I have for sale on Amazon FBA. Watch the weight changes so you won’t be surprised when your item sells and a hefty charge from Amazon follows. A final note, you only receive the ASBN changes for items you actually have for sale with Amazon whether FBA, merchant fulfilled, or previously sold from your inventory.

  20. Thanks. Really helpful.

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  22. OMG!!! Thank you so much Stephen!!! Sheesh….I have kept these emails about ASIN changes in an email folder “in case” but have never paid any attention. Honestly- couldn’t even really tell what they were talking about! This was a great article and extremely helpful.

  23. I have asked before about these changes and have always been told to just ignore them. Finally I know what they are, what to do and how they could affect my sales.
    Thank you!

  24. Has anyone else been getting nonsense shipping weight changes like SHIPPING_WEIGHT: .04999999995807?
    It doesn’t specify the unit type so I’m not sure if it’s legit. I’ve been arguing with all of them by default.

  25. They never make sense for the product. Sometimes though the current weight is wrong anyway. Even weirder is that if you look at the product page the shipping weight isn’t the same number as the “previous” weight given in the argument page. I argue all of these changes by default.

  26. Stephen, How do you find the keywords other sellers are using? I’ve not ever been able to find those.

    • In Seller Central, when you’re looking at your inventory, there is an option to edit each one of your listings. One of the tabs in the item listing is keywords. But many times, Amazon won’t take your keywords that way. Another way to get it updated is actually by opening up a ticket with Amazon and suggesting keyword updates.

  27. Great article Stephen! I have been ignoring these notifications since day 1.

  28. I always look at ASIN changes and just had 10 listings changed to Pack of 60, when the quantity should be 1. Unfortunately, by the time I got the notification from Amazon, there were already 4 pending orders for the product. I have disputed the changes and closed all of my listings–we will see what happens. It frustrates me to no end to have to deal with such an unpredictable system.

  29. Thanks Stephen! After spending over three hours on the phone, talking to five different people who barely spoke English, I was transferred to someone who could clearly see the problem and said he would initiate an investigation. I have sold items online for 16 years and have never seen such a flawed method for product listings. Correcting anything involves multiple calls, emails, etc. and a lot of time and patience. It’s too bad there aren’t better options out there for moving such a large volume of product.

  30. Thanks Stephen for this email I get these notifications all the time and wonder what to do in fact I have a pair of croc’s that az keeps sending this to me i’ll look at it and disagree everything is ok

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  32. Wow!! Thank you for the info, I did not realize there was so much involved and will check all these steps when Amazon sends me an ASIN change email notification next time.

  33. Thanks for this info, as I’m new to FBA and wasn’t sure what that ASIN change notification/email I just received was about. I ignored it until today, 3 days later, and when I click on the link to view the change I get a blank page. Maybe because the product of mine that was affected apparently sold in the meantime? The change wasn’t too major, but it was definitely for the worse (poor wording, punctuation, and keyword) so I voted to disagree with the change and explained why (the vote link still worked). If I hadn’t read your blogpost, I wouldn’t have realized how the change could have impacted me negatively. Luckily, my item still sold, but another seller might not be so fortunate. I hope Amazon changes it back.

  34. I have one ASIN that keeps going back and forth between including the manufacturer’s name and NOT including the manufacturer’s name in the product title. It keeps going back-and-forth at least a couple of times a week. I disagree every time they drop the manufacturer’s name, and it changes back to include the manufacturer’s name. Then a few days later, it goes back to no manufacturer’s name. I don’t get it.

    • I’ve had this happen to me too…. Every few days the item gets changed back and forth and back and forth. Here is what I found out why this happens.
      There are 2 ways to update a product page:
      1. Update the product page one by one in Seller Central.
      2. Bulk update many product pages by uploading a flat file.
      When the same items get updated back and forth all the time, it’s because two different people are using the bulk flat file uploads that are causing these changes.
      It’s annoying, but if the changes are not bad changes, it’s best to just leave it alone. Hope this helps.

  35. Thank, Stephen. It continues to happen over and over again, as recently as 2 hours ago. The change is that they keep taking the brand name off of the product title, and then putting it back. I can’t think of any reason not to have the brand name, can you? Seems to me a lot of customers search by brand name. I know I do.

  36. Great article,
    I had a competitor buy a product that he has the same listing on. In the description it originally stated the product came in Natural, but colors were available. I sent them Natural, but now i just got a ASIN change notification and looked and he states that it comes in Grey. He has bought from us numerous times, and left negative reviews on us. Is there any way for Amazon to see the old ASIN information before it was changed just in case he tries to pull a fast one on me?

  37. Really helpful article. I’ve gotten these notifications in the past and it hasn’t always been clear what changed. Thank you!

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