With all this talk of an ASIN crackdown on Amazon, it’s easy to overreact. But there’s no reason to push the panic button. Amazon is simply shushing loud and obnoxious product titles. Here’s how to fix ASIN violations and protect your listings.
With only weeks to Prime Day 2019, Amazon is cracking down on listings with bad product titles. The announcement has had mixed reactions. Some sellers welcome the ASIN crackdown, while others think it’s a heavy-handed approach.
Posted on the Seller Forums, the notice says Amazon’s research found a link between poor customer experience and bad titles. So, Amazon is giving sellers an ultimatum: clean up your act by July 22, 2019, or your listings will fall off the radar.
But there isn’t a consensus among sellers over what an ASIN violation is. Those who resort to “keyword spam” are the most troubled by this change. They believe using keywords in titles makes a great deal of difference to the product’s visibility. They fear their sales will suffer.
And sellers who comply are also puzzled. Those who sell books, for instance, have no control over their product titles. Also, third-party sellers who add their offer to a pre-existing listing can’t change the title. So, Amazon suppressing listings left, right, and center is their worst nightmare.
Luckily, Amazon soon clarified, as seen above. And it’s not all doom and gloom. The ASIN crackdown will only apply to a selection of product titles. Anything with over 200 characters, non-readable symbols, promotional keywords, or no real information about the product is an ASIN violation.
The FBA Product Title Requirements page spells it out. You should capitalize the first letter of each word, except for conjunctions and prepositions less than 5 letters long. Emojis, abbreviations for units of measurement (e.g. ’ for foot or ” for inch), and virtually all characters outside the English alphabet (e.g. -, &, ©) are not allowed.
So, all non-compliant sellers will see their titles suppressed from search results starting July 22. Some will be able to review any ASIN violation using the “Suppressed” tab on their Inventory page in Seller Central. The rest will simply notice a sharp drop in sales.
You may not have time to check your listings before Prime Day. But as soon as you have a moment, update your product pages. A sales slump coupled with Prime Day returns and refunds could spell disaster for your business, especially with the Q3 IPI evaluation period starting mid-August.
If you find it challenging, reach out to other sellers on the forum and let people know. For instance, one seller there claims their private label listings are locked. To make any changes, they need to open a case with Amazon. That’s clearly something Amazon should look into.
Are you having a hard time spotting your ASIN violations and fixing your product titles? We’d love to hear your take on this, the challenges you face, and your workaround. Just drop us a line below, and we’ll do our best to help raise awareness.
Melanie takes an active interest in all things Amazon. She keeps an eye on the latest developments and keeps Amazon sellers up to speed