[Informative] Problems listing, UPC issue and Bundles UNannounced changes!


I came into some NEW info that may explain some of these questions … or may not. Hard to really say how much is implemented and to which account types . STILL … all this is stuff you need to know if you are creating Product Pages and using your own UPCs (not GS1).

We’ve talked about GS1 UPCs vs the eBay bought ones, which still mostly seem to work, in here a lot recently. However … Amazon has been changing things, including the help files I believe. So IF you haven’t been keeping up …

Some data on Amazon 2015 Product Counts :
323 million - March
485 million - July
467 million - Oct

To many duplicate pages of the same product.

  • Amazon doesn’t like it.
  • Buyers don’t like it (I can attest to that myself …)
  • Brand owners (and I mean major Brands) don’t like it

Amazon is cleaning up the catalog. Since the issue is +duplicate pages+ … 2 things are needed.

  1. Go through existing products to identify duplicates. Well … reportedly there were over 5 million suspected duplicates.

  2. Preventing NEW duplicates of existing products


  • Updated (not sure when or if it even matters when though) help page on using UPCs “We verify the authenticity of product UPCs by checking the GS1 database. UPCs that do not match the information provided by GS1 will be considered invalid.” = Violation using your own UPC for any product not your Brand or not matching GS1 data.
  • Per my other post in another thread Amazon has roughly 350 Major Brands (up from the 300 I thought existed) who have been in contact with Amazon. The contact ? Supplying Amazon with UPCs owned by their Brand

How does this affect creation of new pages ? All data a seller enters (Brand, UPC and whatever you provide) gets checked/compared apparently against whatever. NOT just Amazons catalog as always thought. The above quote from help says it’s checking against data provided by GS1 … so maybe Amazon is checking against GS1 and the manu. provided data also. Not sure there.

Anyway, from what I was told, there is apparently a back end part which compares the UPC you provide against a list of UPCs provided from the Brand. Non match means invalid means violation means possible suspension.

News #2 … Bundles and Multi-packs …
Apparently Amazon will no longer allow the creation of a bundle/multi-pack not created by the manufacturer. And especially no more bundles with Brand X and Generic or MyBrand (Brand Registry) … so no one else can possibly sell this because they can’t have MyBrand.


Changes are here or coming on the creation of product pages. The help is using the word ‘violation’ which means if not careful you can find yourself suspended.

UPC Code Error

Great detective work, Oneida, and that certainly explains a lot!


I’m still unsure +how+ everything is being implemented … or how much is at the moment … or how the account types may have some influence as all this is rolled out (per the exchanges with Lake who also has known about at least most of this) quite yet.

I’m also very curious as to how the Bundles change will go. I don’t really understand how Amazon would want to totally block sellers from creating any Bundles …

A good example is one I’ve listed and one I wanted to create in addition.

The one listed is/was a Shopkins Party Pack … with matching plates (dinner and cake), napkins and cups. All the same Brand but not together by the Manu.

I thought about creating a Bundle that also included stickers for each child. Every product has it’s own Brand UPC but they are just not put together in a package.

Based on what I was told this would now be just 5 separate items. For FBA that’s 5 X’s the pick and pack, etc. … Plus much more work for the buyer.


I left out from my original post the link to the UPC Guidelines for Multi-Packs

It’s on the Amazon Help Page but in case you don’t see it … there it is ^^^^^


I am actually glad they are going through and cleaning up the catalog. Obviously it looks like it will get a little worse before it gets better. But the future is going to be much better. It will eliminate the scrapers who don’t even have any products, but have hundreds of thousands of over priced duplicate listings.

I was looking at some 3rd party inventory/multi-channel websites and on a couple of them, they say as one of their features, they actually match your listings to every possible duplicate listings. RED FLAG!!! I will not be using their services thank you!!

My biggest issue has been Mattel and Hot Wheels. They have the same UPC code for all the various series/sets/years, etc. It makes it a real pain in the butt to list an item that isn’t already listed. I have gotten conflicting advice of course. One rep from the Catalog team helped me quite a bit and showed me how to list against an existing listing with the same UPC, but put 0 qty. Then they do what they call “cleave” a new ASIN for the item I need to list. That works great if you get in touch with the rep that knows how to do this. Another catalog rep told me to just by my own UPC codes and list them using those. I even told him at the time that it would only create problems later. In addition, it makes it so my listing is a lot harder to find with some random UPC code. But obviously he just didn’t know how or just didn’t want to bother to “Cleave” a new ASIN.

Edited by: UseTheForce on Apr 23, 2016 5:26 AM

Edited by: UseTheForce on Apr 23, 2016 5:28 AM


Okay, so I’m officially confused. Using Amazon’s own example of a bundle (“For example, you can list a bundle composed of a yoga mat (the primary product), a yoga DVD, and a yoga book.”), what are you supposed to use for the UPC assuming that this is not a manufacturer-produced bundle and also assuming that the items are not all from the same manufacturer? When I asked Seller Support about that, I was told to use my seller name as the manufacturer as I would be the one “manufacturing” (or putting together) the bundle.

Or, to use another example, what if you have a set of invitations, party plates, party napkins, party cups, etc., all with the same design from the same manufacturer but that aren’t sold by the manufacture in a bundle? When I asked Seller Support about that, I was told that they recommend buying a UPC from GS1 and using it to create the bundle.

I really get that they need to do something about sellers who are using purchased UPCs to create duplicate catalog pages (when I was looking up an item to list earlier tonight, I found 4 pages with title variations for the same item and one “bundle” with an unrelated item)… And that’s probably a record for the fewest duplicate pages for this particular item (there are usually over half a dozen).


I’ve emailed Amazon and asked for some clarification and will post back when they answer.

I know what you mean though and I have the same questions …



h3. Update from the powers that be (those that actually control the help files and such)

The importance/implication of ‘Brand’

  • Amazon has compiled a list of products (Brands) that they know have UPCs for their products.
  • Even if a Seller has a UPC exemption, _if that brand is on the list the system will require a UPC_. +The list is meant to cut down on Sellers who have UPC exemptions not using UPCs when they should be.+

UPCs in particular

  • Amazon verifies all UPCs, whether they are on the brand list or not. They verify whether the UPC is registered on GS1 and whether the brand/manufacturer information from the listing matches who the UPC is registered to on GS1.
  • When a brand/manufacturer does not already have a UPC now Amazon wants you to contact seller support/catalog team to create a page.

    ALSO … you can contact the Brand and ask them for permission to maintain their brand on Amazon and then contact support.

  • Brand uses the same UPC for different products (puzzles, Hot Wheels, etc.) ...... "Should we just try to assign our own UPC?"

    No, the system will not/should not allow the listing to be created with a UPC that does not belong to that brand (based on the list mentioned above in the Brand section)

    You should first create an offer with a 0 quantity, add the new items specific information/images to your offer listing under ‘Manage Inventory’ and then create a case with Seller Support to cleave.


Update, I was told the same thing. To list the product with zero quantity. I did that and when I called into the catalog team they were baffled. They had never heard of it. An hour later I was told to submit my UPC’s for “white listing”. A day later I got an e-mail that it was not good enough I needed to submit titles to match my UPC’s. I attempted to explain that all the titles were not yet created. I asked if this would be the new procedure for creating a bundle. I have not got an answer yet. This bundle vs. GS1 issue keeps getting worse.


Let’s assume that I sell bundle of 3 products from 3 different brands. Only one brand does not have UPC for its product. At this point I either contact seller support to ask for exemption or contact brand to ask permission to list on Amazon as exempted UPC? Zero chance for this to happen because what if those brands are competing brands?

Now what of all 3 brands do not have UPCs for their products. Not only will I be wasting time asking for their permission, especially if they are competing brands but if there are 3 brands who will have you authority to sell their potentially competing products together in 1 bundle? Plus there can be only one brand name and if it’s not them then its you, putting you in a position of becoming authorized dealer of all 3 brands.

That’s a huge amounts of headache for a bundle.


Ok so check this listing out:


This company is selling 500 Assorted Naruto Collectible Cards, they DO NOT own this brand. Notice what the title of their listing says though…"By Golden Groundhog.

The product description says this:

“This lot of 500 Assorted Naruto Cards will come with at least 500 cards. Some Rares and Foils will be in the bundle as well. Cards will be in near mint condition. This is a lot produced by Golden Groundhog! Golden Groundhog TM of Webbed Sphere Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.”

I actually know of this Webbed Sphere Inc company, they are probably the biggest business in the trading card community. They also have another company on Amazon called Troll & Toad. That company sells mostly individual cards but it seems like this particular account is used for all the bundles.

Here is another interesting listing they have:


This one is for Magic the Gathering, another brand that they DO NOT own. But here they include a “Groundhog Token” which is something they do own.

The product description on this listing reads as follows:

“This is a lot produced by Golden Groundhog, containing one unique Golden Groundhog authorized token, featuring the smiling groundhog. The Golden Groundhog tokens included in this lot are manufactured by Golden Groundhog and are not actual Magic The Gathering cards.
Golden Groundhog TM of Webbed Sphere Inc. 2016. All rights reserved.”

I think they are purchasing their UPCs but they are doing it as if it is their own brand, and then maybe when they list on Amazon they still say it is their own brand. They never mention Naruto or Magic the Gathering anywhere. Seems like that would work.


Under the listing title it says “by GoldenGroundhog”

They literally made their own brand to sell lots of cards from other brands.


I never got a final answer on Bundles with multiple Brands from Amazon though …


While they do not literally produce them and do not mention them in title, they mention them in bullet points and mentiond themselves in brand under title, which I assume gives assumption as they packaged items only under their own name. It’s like taking 3 items and boxing them under your own retail store name, while items retain their original packaging.

closed #15