Even for an e-commerce platform that wants to be known as the “everything store,” the number of items listed in the Amazon Marketplace product catalog is becoming unmanageable. Amazon has done an incredible job cataloging products, particularly when considering that new third-party sellers are entering new products and generating new Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASIN) at any given time. Introducing new products to the Amazon Marketplace as a third-party inventor, manufacturer or exclusive distributor is not easy these days. Sellers must comply with various requirements, and even after practicing the most careful adherence to compliance, there is always the change of getting a merged ASIN notification.
This is Why Your ASINS Merge With Other ASINS
Merged ASIN notifications are generally a nuisance because they can often lead to the deletion of an ASIN, which is an even greater headache for sellers. Merged ASINs are the work of an Amazon algorithm created years ago in an effort to contain the unbridled growth of the product catalog. To understand why this algorithm was coded and implemented, it helps to remember how things used to be for sellers in the early days of the third-party marketplace.
1. The 1P and 3P Amazon Marketplaces
The Amazon Marketplace is internally known as 3P; merchants at this level are known as sellers, who may be resellers, manufacturers, inventors, private label distributors, and small brands. There is a higher marketplace level, 1P, where merchants are known as vendors, major brands such as Nike, who place their products directly on Amazon.
Things were bucolic for early 3P sellers who simply had to submit text files for their product catalogs and Amazon took care of the rest. Back then, Seller Support used to actually accept phone calls from merchants who had questions on anything from selling tips to technical issues. By 2014, it was evident that Amazon could no longer offer such personalized level of support, and there was also the issue of the product catalog growing out of control amidst a sea of more than 600,000 sellers.
2. The Problem with Duplicate ASINs
From a technical point of view, Amazon could probably handle an infinite number of ASINs and product listings. But the problem with duplicates is that the company wants to consolidate all product reviews.
Merging ASINs for the purpose of eliminating duplicates makes good e-commerce sense. Let’s say you acquire a nice stock of notebooks featuring Disney’s Frozen themes and the 3P marketplace would be a good place to sell them, so you enter the UPC and find out that they are already listed under ASIN B00MVBI9GS. This will save you the work of going through the process of adding a new product; however, if the UPC does not return an existing ASIN and you get a merge notification after creating a new listing, there could be a number of issues why this happens.
3. When Malicious Sellers Cause ASINs to Merge
In some cases, counterfeiters and rogue sellers will cause ASINs to merge due to their underhanded actions. This usually happens after they try to list against your ASINs as unauthorized sellers. When this happens, you can contact Seller Support and submit documentation that proves the unethical activity and how you tried to handle it. Brandlox is a subscription service that monitors your ASINs and documents the digital trail left by dishonest players on the Amazon Marketplace. To learn more about Brandlox, contact us today. Call 866-848-6072.