Have you ever had periods when your products suffered significant drops in sales? It could be because Amazon have suppressed your listings or made your listings inactive (blocked them).
In this article we will be exploring:
- the reasons why this could have happened,
- how to fix the problems, and
- make sure that this doesn't happen to your listings again.
How to tell if your Amazon listing is blocked or inactive
Your product is available for sale on Amazon and you're making make a good amount of sales. Everything seems to be going well. Until one day you seem to get a notification in your message box with a little red flag. This indicates that there is a problem with your account or the listing. This is a kind of a general error indicator.
In most cases Amazon silently takes down one of your lucrative listings. Annoying as this may be, it’s just how they work.
To be 100% informed about fatal Amazon product listing issues, like, inactive, blocked or suppressed listings, setup instant notifications from Bindwise and try them for free.
One problem you may encounter is that you will not be able to save any changes you make to the listing. Unless you address the problem, you won’t be able to progress with any updates.
A reason for this could be because you have too many related products using the same Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). For a store with multiple products, Amazon will only allow you to list up to a finite number of products that use the same ASIN. This will vary depend on your sales history with Amazon.
If this applies to you, try removing all the ASINS from your product and check if the save button is available to use again. Then slowly start adding your ASINS back until you reach the number Amazon allows you to do.
It could be that you have stuck to the limit but because of changes that happen in Amazon, the number of allowed ASINS change. This results in an unoptimised product listing which decrease rankings and therefore number of sales.
Another problem you may encounter that blocks your listing is because of the product title. There is a lot to discuss on this subject.
Even though there is a character limit, your product title could be too long. This could be down to user error or based on some sort of updates that Amazon implements. This could actually cause your product listing to be blocked.
Rather than just cutting off the point of where the title was too long, and having what remained before the limit was breached, as the product title to keep the listing going, your product could be suppressed from the listings. Amazon may argue that this is better as then you don’t have a product that is for sale with a title that is incomplete with half spelt words etc.
You need to keep in mind that each category you list a product in has its own character limit. Some categories may allow 250, others only 100, just pay attention to what is allowed.
This just goes to prove that you should always be monitoring the back end of your Amazon Seller account. If you’re not going to do this, you must have someone doing it for you. If you don’t, you run the risk of thinking that everything is going really well and then all of a sudden, you notice that sales start dropping because your listing is blocked.
Amazon then will not let your product be visible in the listings which means you will lose rankings and everything that comes with that.
We all know the difference it makes to be higher in the rankings. Just one place jump can make a huge difference.
To prevent the title from blocking your listing on Amazon, get rid of some of the words that will get you under the character limit. Then, look at the title words and note the ones that are not as important to the listing. Remember, your keywords are the most important part of the title.They give your liting the most ranking power so you need to keep these in.
You can have the best looking product in the world; the image you use is amazing and has the best quality ever. However, if your product cannot be found, it’s useless. This is what makes the title so important. Only from here can the image help you so get the title right. Look at removing ‘filler’ words. If you think they are important, cut and paste them in to the search terms in the back end.
Pro tip on the topic of titles: as soon as you change the titles, your rankings will be affected. Your product will most likely drop lower in the search listings. This is nothing to be too concerned about though. It will only be a temporary dip as you will be correcting the error and with normal ranking techniques, the listing will bounce back up in no time.
The smallest of tweaks can cause your listing to be suppressed
Even the tiniest of changes to a listing can cause problems to it and prevent if from showing in the search results.
The back end keywords are likely to be changed most often to keep the product current and relevant to the market.
The more that you alter things in the back end, the more likely it becomes that something can go wrong and the listing get blocked.
Those were some detailed reasons for a suppressed listing but here are some other solutions you should look to:
1) Check all listings, especially new ones, more often.
Go into the listing and check if you can save any updates when you go into editing it. If there are any errors then the save option will not be available. Of course, when we say check your listings often, this doesn't mean every time you login to your Amazon account. Keep an eye out for any notifications or emails from Bindwise letting you know of any problems with your listings.
2) Check your sales count.
You may spot a problem if at various points of the day you are used to seeing more sales than usual but you are way off that usual number, you might want to go and check that out. Bindwise will normally notify you of any problems.
3) Stay within Amazon’s term of service.
Make sure you’re doing everything possible but doing it the right way. There will be instances where you know that you’re sort of pushing the boundaries of what Amazon likes. For example, putting text on a product image. Technically, you can do this but you’re not really supposed to.
Don’t include any promotional text within the product. This is against Amazon’s terms of service so stay away from this completely. Stick to the keywords and keep it relevant. Use common sense and stay away from any marketing tactic that you think is ‘clever.’
This logic applies to all aspects of the listing. Don't use any promotional marketing techniques in the image, the description to the specifications. Yes your product needs to be unique and have a feature that separates from the rest but this doesn’t mean you should go against the terms of service and insert a feature such as ‘BEST VALUE FOR MONEY ANYWHERE ON AMAZON’.
The buyer wants to know how they can use the product and what it will do for them. If it’s full of marketing jargon, you will most likely lose the sale AND get your listing suppressed. Not the ideal combination.
So overall, keep to the guidelines and you’ll be fine.
We have created this article to explain why your listing is suppressed on Amazon and give you the heads up to prevent it from happening to you.
The overall message we are giving you is to just be aware of what is happening. The more that you check on the listing, the more likely you will be able to identify the problem and solve it without sales and rankings becoming compromised.
Make the changes that they say need to be done and you’ll be back selling in no time.
If you are changing things around with the current listing or setting up a new product, Amazon will block it if there is something wrong. Keep a keen eye out to prevent you from wondering why rankings are falling and sales are dropping.