Guide to Amazon Duplicate Product Listings

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Introduction

Have you ever come across the same product with multiple product pages on Amazon? Or did you recently discover that there are many pages identical to your product page on Amazon?

If yes, then that’s a duplicate listing and they can be detrimental to your brand’s success on Amazon.

So in this post, we will examine what duplicate listings are, the effects they have on brands, and how to avoid them.

Let’s get started.

What are Amazon Duplicate Product Listings?

Duplicate listings are new ASINs created by Amazon sellers for products that are already featured on Amazon. Sellers also create fresh web pages for the products to avoid competing with other vendors for the same buy box.

Duplicate listings are against the Amazon listing policies because it distorts the search results pages of Amazon which makes product search difficult for customers. And gives the defaulting seller the undue advantage of diverting impressions from the original listings.

Even though certain sellers deliberately create duplicate listings, it is still believed that most of the duplicate listings are created by accident.

The mistake happens when sellers who create product listings for themselves do not check the Universal Product Code (UPC) against the GS1 database to know if the code is in use for another product.

The best way to avoid this error is by using the UPCs you buy directly from GS1.

How Duplicate Listings Affect Brands

 

 

Many people erroneously believe duplicate listings do not affect brands especially because it achieves the aim of making more sales and more profit, but that is not the case.

Duplicate listings can have adverse effects on brands if sellers do not get rid of them quickly.

Below are a few ways duplicate listings affect brands:

Infiltration of the Market with Counterfeit Products

Amazon is the biggest e-commerce marketplace worldwide, in 2019 over 150.6 million mobile users visited Amazon and 86% of buyers prefer shopping on Amazon to other e-commerce sites.

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Amazon sees such high figures because most online shoppers believe in the quality of products sold on the platform. However, duplicate listings can make the figures drop due to terrible customer experience.

When sellers deliberately duplicate the listing of a product, there is every tendency that the products they have to sell are counterfeit especially since they do not have the same UPC as the original product.

Most online shoppers do not have the knowledge on how to identify a counterfeit product when shopping online, and for websites like Amazon, most of them let their guards down because it is a reputable site.

So if they click on a duplicate listing with a counterfeit product and make a purchase, they will assume that the counterfeit is from the brand. This will lead to a loss of credibility for the company.

And if the counterfeit is harmful to human health or contains outdated or misleading information, the brand could get sued, which can ruin the reputation of your business both online and offline.

Reduction of Sales Volume

Data reveals that 23% of Amazon shoppers visit Amazon for inspiration.

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This means they do not have a particular brand in mind before coming online so they compare lots of products and brands before settling on the one to buy and some of them make their choices based on the quality of content on the product page.

If you have a duplicate product listing, you may lose these customers and also reduce your sales because if they click on a duplicate listing and then click on your original listing, the information on the two listings won’t be the same.

While the original listing has a well-researched content, the duplicate listing may have a poorly researched content filled with outdated information. And they will view the discrepancy of the information they see on the two listings as an attempt to market fake products with false or conflicting information.

This will make them dump your brand and go in search of a brand without duplicate product listings.

Unverified Sellers Marketing your Product

The credibility of a seller is as important as the quality of the product being sold.

Having duplicate listings on Amazon means that there are unverified sellers out there selling your brand. With over 2.5 million active sellers on Amazon, it will be hard to verify the identity of the sellers creating these duplicates.

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That they can duplicate your listing means that they have very little morals and cannot be trusted to represent your brand.

You may not think this is a big deal, but it is because how they act can ruin the image of your brand. Most of them are just out to make money; they do not care about protecting the image of your business. If your brand gets ruined, they will move to the next one.

Diverted Sales

If you have the buy-box of the original listing of a product in Amazon, duplicate listings can make you lose out in profits from sales. The duplicators may sell the products but they’ll divert the earnings and ratings you should have gotten into their account.

This is bad because no business can thrive for long if it is making sales that do not benefit it.

Diverted Reviews

Reviews are a surefire way to improve the rank of your product on the Amazon search results page. The higher the reviews, especially positive reviews, the higher the chances of your product appearing in the top search listing. And this translates to an increase in conversions and sales.

But it will be hard for your product to gain more visibility and rank high if there is a duplicate listing. A sizable percentage of your target audience will view the duplicate listing and some will make a purchase from it, which means you have fewer customers buying from you.

Customers will write the reviews they should have left on your product page after making a purchase from you on the product page of the duplicate listing. And if the product they purchased from the duplicate is substandard, they will leave a negative review which will affect your business and your ASIN if you merge the duplicate listing with the original listing in the future.

Poor Customer Experience

Duplicate listings ruin the experience of customers when searching for products in Amazon, this doesn’t just affect the brand, it also affects the UX on Amazon.

Duplicate listings make the same product to appear multiple times in the search result page, which makes it difficult for customers to differentiate the listings. If customers keep experiencing this whenever they shop on Amazon, they’ll lose confidence in both the brand and the platform.

How to Remove or Merge Duplicates

If you discover that you have a duplicate offer listing, you can still beat the duplicator to their game by removing or merging the duplicate listing with yours.

Merging the listing with your own ASIN means that the reviews and rating on the duplicate listing will merge with yours and this can increase your product ranking especially if the reviews on the duplicate are good.

Amazon allows you to merge product pages if they are identical. That is the pages have the same EAN, ISBN, or UPC. And if the product brand, package quantity, or physical attributes like size or color are the same.

To request for a merging of the products, use the “Merge Duplicate Product” pages. Once the page opens, select “Merge Duplicate”.

You’ll see these 3 questions:

  1. Which ASIN should we keep?
  2.  Which ASINs are duplicate and should be removed?
  3.  Why should these products be removed?

Here is how you should answer each of the questions.

For the first question which is what ASIN should we keep, go through the list of ASINs and choose the ASIN with the lowest best seller rank, because a low best seller rank (BSR) means that more sales are being made.
Choosing to keep the ASIN with the lowest BSR will enable you to take advantage of the sales already being generated on that listing.

In response to the second question, compile a list of all the duplicates you have found and send the list to Amazon.

Finally, when answering the third question, don’t say things like “it’s bad for my business”, as Amazon may not take you seriously, rather answer in the aspect of how the duplicates affect consumers.

Amazon focuses on offering exemplary customer service and good UX to all its customers. So giving an answer that details how the duplicates can hamper excellent customer service puts you on the same side with Amazon and causes the platform to act fast.

Within 1 or 2 days they will remove the duplicates.

Also, remember to state how the items on the duplicates are identical to your listing.

Amazon will either approve or decline your request. If they approve your request, Amazon will remove the duplicates within 24 hours.

If however, they reject your request to merge the duplicates, it could be because one listing you tried to merge is under  Amazon Catalog Team Control (they give these listings priority over other listings).

If this is the reason they reject your request, you can resubmit the request but this time state that Amazon controlled ASIN as the ASIN you want to keep. If you do this, they will approve your request.

NOTE that if you register your brand under Amazon’s Project Zero, you won’t need Amazon’s approval to remove duplicate listings, you can remove the listings by yourself.

How to Avoid the Suppression of your ASIN

As stated earlier, sometimes sellers accidentally make a duplicate listing. If Amazon finds out that there are duplicates of a listing on the website, they will issue a warning to you stating that your ASIN will be suppressed.

This means that customers will not be able to find your listing in the search results. It’s up to you to decide if you want to accept the listings as duplicates or reject them.

If Amazon identifies your ASIN as a potential duplicate, do the following to avoid getting suppressed:

  • Go to Inventory and click “Manage Inventory”
  • At the top of the page, click “Potential Duplicates”
  • Click on “Review Duplicates”
  • Read the instructions displayed and review your ASIN and its duplicates. What you choose here is dependent on whether your ASIN is a duplicate, if it is, click “Confirm”.
  • Repeat the process for other ASINs

How to Reinstate a Suppressed ASIN

Amazon adds ASINs it identifies as duplicates to the Potential Duplicates page in “Manage Inventory” for 30 days. You can respond to it within these 30 days by taking the steps explained above. If however, you do not respond within the 30 days Amazon will suppress your ASIN.

To fix this:

  • Go to Inventory and click on “Manage Inventory” on Seller Central
  • At the top of the page, you will see “Suppressed” click it
  • Go to the “Issues to Fix” column
  • Select any ASIN that says “click review duplicates to avoid suppression”  you will see ASINs with potential duplicates. Or you can go to Filters and click “Duplicate”, to see suppressed ASINs
  • Click the icon “next” to Edit
  • Click “Review Duplicates”
  • Go through the instructions and review your ASIN with the duplicates.
  • If your ASIN is a duplicate click on the button at the bottom of the page to confirm.
  • Repeat the procedure for the other ASINs.

Conclusion

As seen in this post, even though duplicate listings are detrimental to your business, there is no need to panic, you can easily remove them. To avoid accidentally creating duplicate listings that Amazon will suppress, ensure you regularly check your listings for accuracy.

Have you accidentally duplicated a listing in the past or has your product listing been duplicated? Share your experience with us.