Want to delete an Amazon listing? You may want to reconsider.
Deleting an ASIN removes product information and sales history permanently from your seller central account.
Sales history is valuable because it includes Amazon’s understanding of your product with buyer search terms, an understanding that builds and improves over time.
When you delete a listing, your sales history goes with it. Meaning that if you change your mind and want to resell the product in the future, you’ll have to start all over again.
Do you want to delete a product listing because your sales have nosedived or a supplier refuses to ship inventory? You could always temporarily close a listing, formulate a strategy, and come back stronger!
However, if you’re adamant about removing an ASIN from your inventory catalog, then read on to know how to delete an Amazon listing properly.
Simply deleting an SKU won’t remove your offer from the product listing. First, update the inventory to 0 and then delete the SKU because inventory removal and SKU deletion are two separate issues.
To begin the process:
While the listing may disappear from your product catalog, the product detail page will still exist on Amazon. If you wish to sell the same item in the future, add the product ASIN to ‘reclaim’ the listing.
Note: After deleting an SKU, it can take up to 24 hours before you can re-add the product to your inventory and resume selling.
When you close an Amazon product listing, its status will change to inactive i.e., the sales history, SKU, and product information will remain intact but your offer will be removed from the product detail page. Additionally, an Amazon listing gets closed automatically when the inventory count reaches zero e.g. going out of stock (OOS).
Sellers willingly close Amazon listings in certain situations e.g. seasonal products going out of season or their inventory runs out. Closing a listing in both scenarios prevents product BSR (Best Seller Rank) from falling.
Removing a product listing from the inventory page isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It could be that you’re just not interested in selling a product anymore or maybe due to changing seller policies, your product is now restricted in the local Amazon marketplace.
But if the reason for removing SKUs is falling sales, bad reviews, or lower profit margins, we recommend trying out a few ‘resuscitation’ strategies before you hit that delete button. Let’s go over two common scenarios and their possible fixes.
An influx of bad reviews may be reason enough for an Amazon seller to abandon a product and start from scratch. After all, there’s no way to remove bad reviews—they’re going to stay there.
It’s tempting to delete a listing especially if you’ve just launched the product and don’t have cash bogged down in inventory. Nonetheless, by implementing the following strategy, there’s a chance you could salvage your product and hopefully increase the positive review count.
Directly asking for a positive review is against Amazon’s terms of service. Requesting a review post-purchase, however, is within seller guidelines.
Use Zonguru’s Review Automator tool which, as the name suggests, automatically sends out review requests and increases the likelihood of gaining positive reviews. The tool uses Amazon’s review request system and is 100% in line with the platform’s terms of service.
An Amazon seller can use customer reviews as valuable feedback to improve their products—but that doesn’t mean every review is genuine!
Some sellers use underhanded tactics to undermine the competition by leaving behind fake reviews.
Sometimes, a buyer submits a review against Amazon’s community guidelines e.g. multiple negative reviews by the same customer. You could reach out to Amazon and have the negative review removed in such instances.
A few negative reviews could be due to bad actors. But if multiple buyers point to the same problem, then maybe it’s time to take a second look at your product. Does your listing contain inaccurate information? Does your product have a faulty part? Perhaps the packaging doesn’t offer adequate protection?
Resolve the issue by working alongside your manufacturer and set quality standards. Some sellers even hire product inspection service providers to ensure every batch is up to par. If your budget allows, maybe you could do the same.
The Amazon private label selling model can be lucrative but requires time and effort before your product goes live. Sellers have to research the right product, create and register a brand, file a trademark, place an order for inventory and wait for it to arrive at a fulfillment center, among other things. As a result, it may take a couple of months before the product is available for purchase.
While all of this is happening, new sellers stumble upon the same product idea and each day brings in more competitors. By the time your product hits Amazon’s virtual shelves, the competition has increased and profitability isn’t what you expected.
This might be an extreme example but the reality is that niches tend to get saturated over time. It’s easy to see why sellers get demotivated and consider moving onto a new product or entirely different business model.
If you find yourself in the same (or similar) situation, try to implement the following steps:
A lot of science goes into perfecting a product listing; it isn’t just about writing attractive copy or stuffing in as many relevant keywords as possible.
Top Amazon brands add keywords and create a narrative for their product listings that appears both natural and authoritative—you should attempt to do the same. High-quality images, the use of video, and accurate information will convince the algorithm to push your product up the rankings and also solidify your reputation in the eyes of your audience.
Need more information? Check out this blog that teaches sellers how to perfect the sweet science of listing optimization.
Sponsored campaigns are the primary means of advertising on Amazon and a tool to gain visibility especially during the early stages of product launch. Like listing optimization, PPC optimization also requires careful thought and execution.
Because sponsored campaigns are part of a pay-per-click (PPC) model, not every seller has the budget to pay top dollar. One solution to this problem is to target long-tail keywords in your PPC campaigns to drive in those extra sales without blowing your budget.
Amazon ad optimization is a topic that deserves a separate blog—here’s an Amazon PPC training guide for 2022 to help you get started!
As local Amazon markets grow, viable product niches decrease and existing niches get saturated over time. It might be a good idea to take your business abroad when that happens. You don’t necessarily need to venture out to other platforms like eBay and Facebook’s Marketplace.
Thankfully, new Amazon markets crop up every few years and present US and EU-based sellers the opportunity to enter first and establish a presence before others catch up. Amazon marketplaces like Australia, Japan, and UAE have plenty of niches with unmet consumer demand. Also, expanding to new markets is easier than before thanks to the Sell Globally option!
Low profitability isn’t always linked to increased competition; certain products fade away over time. If you find yourself in a similar predicament, don’t jump ship immediately!
Like any ship that’s about to sink (in this case, the overall demand for your niche), the entire process takes time. In most cases, lowering product prices helps stabilize sales and lets you do business for longer. You can continue this practice until your profits justify the efforts. Then, once you feel it’s not worth selling the product any longer, move on to bigger and better things.
Create a removal order to get rid of your inventory from Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Remember, Amazon will charge you FBA removal order fees (after the removal order is complete) depending on the unit shipping weight.
A few things to note when disposing of FBA inventory:
If there’s no other option left but to remove inventory, it’s best to do so as soon as possible. Inventory resting inside an Amazon storage facility will rack up monthly storage or even long-term storage fees.
There are better alternatives than creating a removal order and having your inventory destroyed, such as bulk selling it on websites like eBay. You could also contact a liquidation company or list them at discounted prices on coupon websites to cut your losses.
Yes, you can cancel a submitted inventory removal order but you have to act fast. A cancel order is only entertained if it’s still in the Planning or Pending phase. If the status changes to Processing, you won’t be able to cancel your order. Take the following steps to cancel a removal order:
Check back later to see if your removal order was canceled.
A wise person once said, “You win or you learn”, and that’s the approach you should adopt when selling on Amazon. Setbacks are part and parcel of a seller’s journey and shouldn’t deter you from trying to create a successful online business.
A key ingredient for success on Amazon is acquiring the right knowledge—learning from the experiences of sellers who have gone through it all and come out on top.
Before you decide to delete a product, why not watch this case study where expert Amazon sellers pick a dead listing (i.e. with zero monthly sales) and revive it using tried and tested methods?
Who knows, the Amazon listing you’re about to delete might turn out to be the next big seller?
Discover opportunities. Maximize your sales. Grow your Amazon business!