Amazon Listing Issues and How to fix them

Common Problems faced by Amazon Sellers today

When people want to order anything online, the first thing they do is key-in a search on Google. And, it is more than likely that the first few results will pop up linking the product to the Amazon marketplace. For a better experience, most people just go to Amazon directly and type in a keyword, which yields thousands of results in an instant.

While Amazon has become the go-to platform for both buyers and sellers, what sellers need to realise is that in order to continue selling successfully, they cannot go with a ‘set and forget’ strategy. Product listings, for example, need to be continually tweaked so that there are no listing issues, preventing your customers or prospective buyers from finding your product.

Inventory Listing Issues on Amazon

Listing issues are among the most common problems faced by Amazon sellers today – and when they do get hit by them, most are not sure what the best way is to troubleshoot Amazon listing issues.

This article focuses on how to fix common listing errors, including how to fix suppressed listings and how to fix inactive listings.

How to troubleshoot Amazon listing issues

First of all, we should understand one of the most common problems faced by Amazon sellers in 2023 – suppressed or inactive listings – and why it occurs to begin with.

Amazon might typically supress your product listing if it fails to meet their rigorous marketplace standards. The eCommerce giant says that their listing suppression guidelines are meant to make it super-easy for buyers to find what they need, as they want to create the most positive experience possible in order for their customers to keep returning.

When your listing gets suppressed, people can no longer see it in the browse and search options – that is, until you fix the policy breach issues and find a way to troubleshoot Amazon listing issues, fast. You can see if the listing is suppressed in your seller account dashboard – navigate to the ‘Inventory’ tab in Seller Central, and then find ‘Manage Inventory’. If any items are suppressed, you’ll see them here.

Here are some common problems faced by Amazon sellers as far as suppressed listings are concerned:

  • Your product photos do not meet Amazon’s specifications and standards
  • You listed products which are banned from selling on Amazon
  • The required information is either incomplete, inaccurate, or missing within your product description
  • Your product listing directly violates one or more than one Amazon selling policies
  • Your listing or title is too long
  • You tried to list your products without mentioning the category type
  • You listed used items as new
  • Amazon has reason to believe you are selling counterfeit products

How to fix inactive listings

To troubleshoot Amazon listing issues or simply put, fix suppressed listings, you can try the following:

  • From ‘Manage Inventory’, navigate to ‘Inventory’ in your Seller Central account.
  • If any of your listings are suppressed, you’ll find a “Suppressed” button next to them. But if you don’t see this button then…yay, your listings are fine!
  • So, click on “Suppressed” if you see it and choose the suppressed product listing.
  • Go through that listing and edit all the details that Amazon requires you to change in order to restore it. For example, if it says your product listing does not have images or does not have the right one, click on ‘Manage Images’ to fix the issue. All your product listings have a Product Summary page. This is where all the suppressed listings (along with other errors) are listed.
  • Once you have resolved the issues, click on ‘Save and Finish’.

Fix suppressed listings now

The above section is simply a brief overview of how to find suppressed listings and what you can do about it. However, different kind of listing errors require different approaches. For example:

How to fix permission errors (Error Code 8026)

Products belonging to specific ASIN categories, subcategories, and brands demand Amazon’s approval prior to sellers listing and selling them on the platform. If you’ve gotten an ‘8026’ error code, then that means you aren’t authorised to sell your product in a specific category or subcategory. To clear up the error, you must go to your Seller Central account and apply for approval:

  • From ‘Inventory’, go into ‘Add a Product’
  • Search for the product in question
  • Once search results pop up, click on ‘Listing limitations apply’
  • To start the approval application process, click ‘Request Approval’
  • To check your request status, click on ‘Manage your selling application’

How to fix insufficient data for creating variation relationship errors (Error Code 8016)

A variation relationship is what creates the necessary link between parent and child products. Let’s say you’re selling screwdrivers in varying sizes; the child product for that will be a specific size. In order to create the appropriate variation relationship, you must provide the exact same value for the child and parent products. If this error impacts one product, then the entire listing related to that product family will be suppressed.

Amazon will typically give this listing error when:

  • You submit different variation themes for the parent and child product SKUs
  • Variation attributes are either entered incorrectly or not mentioned at all in the variation theme

All you need to do in this case is ensure that the parent product and its corresponding child products have the exact same variation theme. Additionally, ensure that your child product has the correct values for the appropriate variation fields.

How to fix product description with HTML tags errors (Error Code 90122)

If you mistakenly added HTML tags to your product listing, you will get this error as Amazon does not support them.

Fixing it is easy: just check all the fields to see if there are any HTML tags – so, this means your product title and description, bullet points, features, etc. Simply remove the tags and resubmit to Amazon.

How to fix product description errors (Error Code 90117)

If you’ve exceeded the product description length limit, you will get this error.

If you download an inventory file for a specific category from the ‘Add products’ section in your Amazon Seller Central account, you’ll be able to see the maximum number of characters you can use for that product description. Adjust the total number of characters according to the limit.

Just to give you a general idea, the total number of characters allowed for each one of the fields is:

  • Product name: 200 characters
  • Key features: 100 characters
  • Brand name: 50 characters
  • Product description: 2000 characters
  • And so on

Is there a chance by listing got incorrectly suppressed?

Amazon is likely the largest and most secure eCommerce platform that currently exists, but it’s not without its ‘imperfections’.

On occasion, the Amazon algorithm may flag certain keywords incorrectly, even if your listing fully complies with the current standards. Furthermore, your listing could get flagged because of an unintended prohibited claim, for example.

The prohibited product claim guidelines by Amazon ensure that you receive fully accurate information for each product at all times. In addition, you need to comply with all local and nationwide laws when you list products – the algorithm relies upon the prohibited product claim to red flag certain listings.

If any listings have been incorrectly suppressed, Amazon will notify you through stranded inventory & performance notifications.

Stranded inventory

If Amazon flags a product listing through stranded inventory, they will remove the ASIN. You can find stranded inventory in ‘Manage Inventory’, where Amazon would provide a reason for stranding a listing – e.g. “missing attribute” or “prohibited claim”. Sometimes, you can fix the issue by editing your product listing copy, while at other times, you need to appeal against it.

Performance notifications

Whenever a performance issue for an ASIN is flagged, Amazon will send you performance notifications. As a result, your product detail page may be removed or you may receive an error stating that you need to remove the product detail page before you can resume selling.

Resolving the issue requires submitting a three-action plan – the root cause, the corrective measures you took, and the preventive actions you’ve put in place. You can check the flagged ASIN from your Seller Central dashboard and see any recent customer comments that may point to performance issues. Once you submit the action plan, the performance issue will be removed by Amazon.

Conclusion: How can I ensure that my listings don’t get suppressed again?

It’s very important to monitor your listings as any suppressed ones can have a highly adverse impact on your revenue stream, of course.

However, uploading and regularly maintaining your product listings isn’t easy, especially as your product line grows. Common Problems faced by Amazon sellers include listing errors when the given listing does not match Amazon’s guidelines.

If you already know the error code, then you know what to do, but what if an error code pops up that you’re not familiar with (as there are dozens)? In that case, you may need to do a bit of back-and-forth in order to find a solution.

There’s probably not a single Amazon seller who would doubt the benefits and strategic advantages the Amazon marketplace offers their business. Unfortunately, many do not realise that ongoing maintenance to their listings is required in order to comply with Amazon’s stringent guidelines.

When we talk about how to fix suppressed listings or troubleshoot Amazon listing issues, we need to have a regular upkeep and maintenance schedule so that all our product listings are fully compliant with Amazon’s ever-changing standards. In many cases, we’ve seen sellers’ accounts being deactivated without notice due to suppressed listings.

Don’t be that seller!

Having a trusted Amazon advertising and marketing agency monitor any changes or inaccuracies to your listings is crucial. It can help eliminate a lot of undue stress, not to mention the time spent trying to zero-in on the error code or the reason for any given listing being suppressed.

With a trusted Amazon agency to monitor these changes, you can keep your listing running smoothly throughout each sales period. Chris and his team will completely take the stress and hassle out of monitoring and maintaining your listings, freeing up a lot more time for you to focus on your customers and come up with an even superior product.

Other relevant blogs:

Chris is the managing director of Ecommerce Intelligence, a full service Amazon agency. He has over 13 years experience selling on Amazon and other marketplaces. Follow Chris on LinkedIn for daily tips and advice.
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