Thursday, November 30, 2017

An Effective Method for Removing Duplicate Amazon listings

If you sell paperbacks on Amazon you may have noticed the annoying phenomenon of duplicate listings.  Second hand book sellers will add extra punctuation or characters to a book title, causing a their copy to have a separate product page and a unique ASIN.

The motivation is generally to increase their chances of selling a book at an inflated price, by avoiding having their copy listed on the same page as the in-print version or cheaper second hand copies. This is against Amazon rules specifically "Creating a product detail page for a product already in the Amazon catalog is prohibited." 

After trying a few different approaches I seem to have hit upon a way to get these duplicate listings removed with a minimum of effort. 

1. Open a Seller Account
This is the only inconvenient part.  The best avenue for getting listings merged is to open an Amazon seller account.  This is free to open and requires no payment or other actions.  And as a bonus you get access to the Amazon Seller forums which can be interesting....

2. Get the ISBN or ASIN for the the correct and the duplicate listing
You need to identify the correct and duplicate books by their number, and make sure you don't accidentally get the number for the Kindle version.

3. Request that the Listings be Merged
Go to the Amazon seller report page. You don't need to specify in which way because the title will merge back to your original listing no matter how it is actioned.  
  • Select Products and Inventory > Product page issue
  • Under What kind of issue are you having? Select Merge or split product page
  • Select Merge and provide the requested information
If the drop down options are not working properly you can simply type your merge request in as a general account issue, e.g.: "Please merge product pages for NUMBER and NUMBER as they are the same item".

Friday, November 10, 2017


Things are clearly afoot at Big Fiver Macmillan.  Four days ago they announced the end of their self-publishing platform Pronoun.  And just today, their romance website Heroes and Heartbreakers was thrown under the bus.

"As the digital habits of readers and consumers evolve, our strategic direction for reaching them evolves as well. Macmillan will be saying goodbye to the Heroes and Heartbreakers website by the end of 2017 and going forward will focus on engaging romance fans via our e-newsletter - which has a robust, growing circulation - and on social media."

I am not the kind of romance reader who resonated with that site, but it had seemed to gain some decent traction with the readership as a whole (no?).Macmillan is the fifth of the Big 5 with a Harry Potter fueled Scholastic hot on their heels.  These latest changes may reflect a healthy refocusing on their core business, or a general failure of their attempts to embrace digital-age consumers.  You be the judge.