Amazon sellers who wish to take advantage of the great e-commerce potential of the third-party marketplace may run into issues such as mismatched product listings from time to time. This problem will not only affect sellers but also shoppers who may be in doubt as to whether it will actually get the items they wish to purchase. As much as Amazon strives to avoid mismatched or conflicting product listings, they are bound to happen from time to time; in some cases, the issue may be tracked down to sellers who either make mistakes or who do not wish to play by the rules.
Understanding the Amazon Product Catalog
a certain extent, the Amazon Marketplace resembles a massive open source software initiative such as the Linux operating system that is derived from a kernel that can be configured into several distributions. There are numerous flavors of Linux that can be freely installed by users on their computers; the sheer diversity of distributions is due to the open source nature of the kernel that anyone can program for various purposes. At any given time, hundreds of programmers remotely work and collaborate on these distributions. This can be confusing for end users in terms of choosing package managers, desktop environments and working versions.
Amazon product catalog is similar to an open-source project in the sense that thousands of sellers created new product listings, edit existing ones, make product bundles, update information, and send inventory to Fulfillment by Amazon centers. To get an idea of the breadth of the product catalog that sellers have created, in late 2015, Amazon had nearly 500 million product listings classified across 35 departments for American shoppers alone. The company’s powerful data centers are certainly prepared to handle a product catalog exceeding one billion products, and this could happen by the year 2020.
Mismatched ASINs Happen
often than not, mismatched product listings are the result of sellers making mistakes. Amazon requires Universal Product Codes (UPC) for its all products without exception; this requirement allows the creation of Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASIN).
you are a manufacturer or exclusive distributor introducing a new line of staplers to the Amazon Marketplace, the UPCs you acquired will not result in a catalog match. Therefore, you will be able to create new and unique ASINs. If another seller later acquires an inventory of your staplers that he or she wants to sell on Amazon, then he or she will enter the UPC and come up with an ASIN match. If you approve of this merchant listing your products, then he or she can list against the ASIN, declare his or her inventory, and set a price.
with the example above: What would happen if this seller decides to purchase new UPC numbers from a third-party company and decides to assign them to your staplers? Perhaps this new seller was under the impression that he or she is obligated to introduce UPCs, but this may also be a situation whereby he or she is trying to hijack your ASIN.
Down Your ASINs
by mistake or deviousness, mismatched ASINs could hurt your Amazon sales. The best method to prevent these situations is by locking down your unique ASINs with a service such as Brandlox, a system that monitors your product catalog in real time and sends you notifications whenever discrepancies are detected. Depending on your subscription level, Brandlox also allows you to generate cease-and-desist legal notices to sellers who cause mismatches. Moreover, in case you run into a counterfeiter, Brandlox allows you to conduct a test purchase so that you can present this evidence to Amazon. Learn more about Brandlox today!