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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2658 - October 24, 2011 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 5

Amazon Asks Sellers to Provide Age Data for Toys and Games

By Ina Steiner
October 24, 2011

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Amazon announced an improvement to the Age Range feature in the Toys & Games store on Amazon.com and asked sellers to provide minimum targeted age data for all of their listings. The Age Range feature appears in the left navigation pane of the Toys & Games store, and will soon provide more options, enabling customers to better refine their searches.

Amazon explained, "For example, if a customer is shopping for a child age 6, they will be able to specify age 6, rather than use a pre-determined age range. If they want to broaden their search, they will be able to select more than one age, such as ages 6, 5 and 7."

Amazon asked sellers to provide minimum targeted age data by November 1, 2011, causing a stir in the Amazon.com discussion boards. "Giving us 10 days to comb through 1000's of listings is onerous. Second, asking us to do it during Q4, the BUSIEST TIME OF YEAR FOR TOY SELLERS, is absolutely freaking insane," wrote one seller. Other sellers who use Amazon's fulfillment service said they would be unable to find the information since their products were in Amazon's warehouses.

A day after the discussions began, sellers who had emailed Amazon with their concerns reported receiving a letter containing the following message:

"We apologize for any concern that our message has caused. Our intent was to inform you about the improvements to the Toys and Games store and how you can better use the age field to improve discoverability of your products before peak season. Populating the age field improves the customer experience through surfacing the products to the appropriate audience. While the use of the age field is not required for existing listings, we recommend that you populate this field before November 1, 2011. Existing listings without age data may not gain the increased visibility our search refinement is intended to provide. In addition, please remember to follow the age guidelines from the previous e-mail when submitting this data. Please note that this is only requested for Toy and Games products. Thank you for selling on Amazon.com."

Sellers continue to post about the issue in this Amazon.com discussion board thread.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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