On the Amazon Marketplace, parent-child relationships refer to sets or groups of items that connect to a main Amazon Standard Identification Number. One of the most common categories where ASIN parent-child relationships can be observed are in clothing, where you can have similar products available in various colors and sizes.
Setting up proper ASIN relationships is the responsibility of individual sellers. It is crucial to ensure that all the information pertaining to the parent ASIN is accurate, starting with the Universal Product Code obtained from GS-1 to the descriptions of the items.
From time to time, Amazon sellers may encounter situations whereby their parent ASINs appear to go missing; in other cases, the ASIN may have been changed without notice. These parent ASIN issues can happen for various reasons, and one of them could be triggered by rogue sellers attempting to hijack ASINs.
Understanding ASIN Relationships and Variations
There are three product relationships allowed by Amazon:
- Parent ASINs refer to products displayed in search results.
- Child ASINs refer to products related to the parent ASIN.
- Variation themes refer to the relationship between the two aforementioned ASINs.
ASIN variations are created for the benefit of shoppers who wish to enhance their buying experience; they are also used to prevent ASIN duplication, an issue that Amazon has been trying to control as its product catalog continues to grow towards one billion items.
It is important to know that parent ASINs always appear on the main URL of the product listing page. It is also important to keep in mind that both parent and child ASINs are digital records that belong to Amazon. The inventory and UPCs may be yours, but the ASINs can be ultimately claimed and controlled by Amazon, which explains why they may be changed from time to time and without notice.
How Unauthorized Sellers Take Advantage of ASIN Variations
If you visit the Amazon Seller Central online forums, you have probably seen message threads started by sellers who noticed other third parties adding variations to ASINs that are neither parents nor children.
Let’s say you are a white label distributor of kitchen utensils that come in a single size and color. When you notice other sellers listing similar utensils in different sizes and colors, this could be an instance of an ASIN hijacking in progress.
One particular ASIN hijacking tactic involves adding variations while at the same time entering errors in the product description; this would prompt Amazon to either suppress the parent ASIN or change it in a way that it is no longer seen by shoppers.
Preventing Parent ASIN Hijacking With Monitoring
The best way to handle third-party merchants adding ASIN variation that should not be there is to treat them as unauthorized sellers and report them to Amazon Seller Support. With a Brandlox subscription, you will be immediately notified whenever unauthorized sellers come near your ASINs, including when they are trying to add illicit variations.
You can use Brandlox notifications to notify Seller Support about unauthorized sellers listing variations that you did not approve. You can also show attempts to contact sellers about the issue. Brandlox can also generate, send and track cease-and-desist letters in case you need to escalate the issue as you work with Amazon legal to remove the offending sellers from the third-party marketplace.
The best way to avoid unwanted parent ASIN changes is to protect them with Brandlox. If you have introduced 10 or more new ASINs to the Amazon Marketplace, Brandlox is definitely for you. Learn more about this subscription service by getting in touch with our e-commerce consultants today.