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Mon Aug 20 2012 11:45:09

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

By: Julia Wilkinson

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We've heard about the "Amazonification of eBay." But what about an "eBayification" of Amazon?

As more third-party and casual sellers flood onto Amazon, enjoying the fast and easy listing process, a phenomenon of listing errors, duplicate listings, and listings without images has popped up. Amazon seems to be aware of its "image" problem, as it has recently been sending out emails to sellers about listings with problems, such as missing images or not enough other details, encouraging them to fix such issues.

One seller noted the problems that can occur when multiple listings are created for the same product. It can lead to both buyer and seller confusion: a seller is not sure under which listing to post his product, and buyers may be confused by what appear to be different sets of listings for the same product.

"One of the things that is frustrating about selling on Amazon is the proliferation of multiple Product Detail Pages for the same item," said one seller. "To cover my bases I often offer the same item for sale on multiple Amazon Product Detail Pages so I don’'t miss out on sales. It makes it more difficult to manage my inventory and to adjust inventory as sales roll in from the different listings. It also makes it more difficult to manage pricing since the competition varies from Product Detail Page to Product Detail Page."

The seller said the multiple pages for the same item doesn’'t include pages that are bundles or color variants, or other differences that would justify a separate page. "Sometimes the listings are for remanufactured or refurbished versions, even though those product conditions should simply be addressed under the main product listing," they added.

"When I take the time to report them to Amazon, the action they take seems to depend on the individual Amazon employee who receives the information," the seller reported. "Sometimes the Product Detail Pages are consolidated and sometimes they aren'’t. Sometimes I’m informed of a Product Detail Page that is closed or consolidated and sometimes I’'m not."

This can be confusing for customers as well, who may spend a lot of wasted time comparing the same product across multiple Product Detail Pages, the seller pointed out.

If you sell (or even buy) on Amazon, is this something you've noticed and that has bothered you? What should Amazon do to fix the problem, if anything? Post a comment here!




Comments (13) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: mylifeisgood This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 20 12:49:26 2012

Oh no tell me it isn't so...The perfect site everyone brags about has a listing problem. I can't believe that at all.

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: Jim S. This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 20 13:28:11 2012

In addition to missing images, incorrect images, poor title generation and incorrect weights is another continuing problem.  

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 20 14:56:48 2012

Amazon's problem(s) come from segregating sellers .. something eBay is working on NOW (the Authorized Dealer tag).

When a seller isnt allowed in a specific category or Amazon goes into thier ''lets protect the manufactorer mode'' and doesnt allow you to list certain skus ... people get creative!

They sell things in the wrong categories, they sell things with out filling out all the details on the items, they buy thier own UPC codes then send it in for FBA.

Amazon, like eBay cant/wont be honest with the very sellers they want (do you know how many PLEASE DO FBA with us emails I get?) and tell them what they are and are NOT allowed to sell - its trial and error. To be honest - while its not good, its better then eBay - where you can list things and then eBay sics VERO on you  (of course eBay SWEARS they dont know ANYTHING about that)(oh HI ANCHOR STORE! =) !!)..

pick your poison!

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: andrewjtitcombe This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Aug 20 16:02:35 2012

Amazon's emails annoy me! When I list these days (CDs/LPs) I add images and track listings. If I see an error I report it. It takes twice as long to list because of this but Amazon won't police it themselves. Then they email me to complain my (older) listings are incomplete. It is time for them to expand their catalogue team so customers & sellers can have confidence in Amazon listings  ALSO the antiquarian book listings are unsatisfactory as often there are many listings for the same book as an ISBN is not needed and sellers are too buey(?) to check if an item is already listed

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus

Tue Aug 21 01:14:17 2012

The problem isn't as much Amazon as it's unprofessional sellers from China or India who could care less about anything but making a 25 cent profit.

The same careless, unethical sellers who made a mess of eBay are now exploiting any loophole they can find on Amazon. These lowbrow sellers do the same thing with every marketplace site where there is money to be made. I guess it beats running a convenience store in the ghetto.

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: Singapore Online Auction This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Aug 21 01:28:57 2012

You can get anything on eBay — almost.  

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: Nan
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Tue Aug 21 08:24:51 2012

This annoys me more as a buyer than as a seller.  

As a seller - if I find multiple listings for the same exact item, I just pick the one with the better (lower) sales rank and list my product against that one.  

As a buyer, when I am buying that 'special' dog food - I will usually see at least 6 or 7  listings for the exact same item.  Flavor, size, package quantity - all identical. Even if I sort out the Prime listings, there are still multiple offers.  It just seems inefficient.  

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: JordanMalik.com This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Aug 21 14:10:01 2012

I believe Amazon's intention is to make every aspect of the customer purchase a good experience. Eventually they'll minimize the problem of incomplete and/or duplicate listings. I just don't see it as a major hurdle right now for sellers or buyers.

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: JordanMalik.com This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Aug 21 14:10:34 2012

I believe Amazon's intention is to make every aspect of the customer purchase a good experience. Eventually they'll minimize the problem of incomplete and/or duplicate listings. I just don't see it as a major hurdle right now for sellers or buyers.  

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Tue Aug 21 22:48:46 2012

This is been done and known for years. Amazon allows a few big sellers to not only duplicate listings but also to add same item as a 2 pack, 3 pack, 6 pack, 12 pack and even 24 pack tied to same UPC which makes many smaller sellers run into trouble when they are ask to ship an order for 6 items but they got paid for the price of 1 ( tied to same UPC ), then the seller faces the issue or not shipping and getting negative reviews, eventually account suspended or to ship 6 items and eat the loss of 5 items to please the smart Amazon buyers. Try to report these 2 or 3 Amazon powered sellers and you will see how quickly your account will get shut down without any reason, because as you know, Amazon closes account without any reason and there is not way you can have it fixed. Thus, you can sell in Amazon and face the issue or losing a lot of money once in a while or to go somewhere else. Personally Amazon is the very last pick to make real profits in the long run. eBay is pretty bad but Amazon has the very worst policies and tricks.  

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: alaska This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 21 23:21:05 2012

Besides the duplicate listings on Amazon, the biggest problem is that most of the listings for first editions of books that are 50 to 150 years old (many of which I helped to create) were hijacked by the print-on-demand sellers who had the gall to edit and change these first edition listings to print-on-demand editions, with a mix of first edition & reprint specifics. And they got away with it. I complained to Amazon many times. Nothing was done to stop this. Now the Amazon catalog is a complete mess, and don't bother trying to find 50 to 150 year old non-fiction first editions.

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: Theresa This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 22 07:56:15 2012

I have started selling health & beauty products on Amazon as an FBA seller.  One odd thing that happens quite often is I will have to "shop around" for an ASIN that does not result in a hazmat delay.  For example, I was attempting to list a body lotion - nothing fancy or odd regarding the contents - just lotion.  There were 7 listings for the exact item.  I tried the first two with the highest rank and received the hazmat review edit/stop.  The third ASIN went through with no problem.

Overall, I have been encountering hazmat warnings a lot for products that are not possibly hazmat issues.  It takes forever for Amazon to review and release these items and that can be very frustrating, especially when you have invested a lot of money in a specific product and it just has to sit and gather dust (kinda like accruing interest) until you can finally offer it for sale.

Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings   Amazon's 'Image' Problem and Duplicate Listings

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Aug 22 20:52:17 2012

I have just started listing on Amazon again and have to chuckle at the creative souls that have listed sewing patterns under books. I guess since some of them try to ship patterns via media mail they are entirely confused. So when listing if I have a choice betweent the right department and the wrong department I choose the right one. However sometimes the item is only listed in the wrong department and I will add my listing there for now. Do I like it -- no. But it is a time saver. What I don't understand is the folks that have made three or four listings for the same identical product as if they never checked if it had a catalog page and they just made one up. I don't have time know to make up pages, so I just use what it available, but I see lots of problems. I wish I could just depend on my ecrater store for sales but with google going nuts, I'm having to get more products listed in a place that won't take much time and energy to help keep our income up. So anyhow I'm guilty of listing in the wrong place technically, but I'm not the one that began the page, just using it for now.



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