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This article applies to selling in: United States

Create Parent-Child Relationships

When you create parent-child relationships between products, you help customers find different versions of the product they are viewing. Learn more about parent-child relationships and variation relationships. To create a parent-child relationship between products, use inventory files or the Add a Product tool.

When creating parent-child relationships:

  • Do not include price and quantity values for parent products.
  • Fully describe each child product and all of their variation attributes.
  • Follow the recommendations in the Product Page Style Guides for each child product.

You can view the existing child ASIN(s) for parent ASINs in the Amazon catalog on the Add a Product page in your seller account. If your product is not in the Amazon catalog, you will have to create a new ASIN. For more information, see the ASIN Creation Policy.

Inventory files: special considerations

There are a few special things to consider when you use inventory files to update, modify, or delete your inventory.

  • A child product cannot be assigned a new parent-sku value without first removing the relationship to its original parent item. To eliminate the relationship, you can delete either the parent or child product SKU.
  • When you delete a parent, you remove the relationship between that parent and all of its children. When you delete a child item, you eliminate the relationship between just that child and its parent.
  • After the original relationship is removed, you can re-assign the child item to a new parent item by entering that parent item's SKU in the child item's parent-sku field.

You might also be able to use the Check My File feature to automatically detect variation sets in your inventory file.

You can find everything you need to set up a parent-child relationship in the inventory file template. The following table demonstrates how you might use an inventory file to set up a parent-child relationship for several t-shirts that come in 3 sizes and 2 colors.

Note:
  • The exact column headings in your product template might differ. Refer to the "Data Definitions" tab in your Inventory File Template for the specific columns you use to establish relationships.
  • Some attribute fields in your template can be noted as optional, but they are required to describe your child products accurately in relation to parent products.
SKU Title Size Color Parentage Parent SKU Relationship Type Variation Theme Price Quantity
101 T-Shirt

parent

SizeColor

101MB Royal Blue T-Shirt M Medium Royal Blue child 101 variation SizeColor 15.97 50
101SB Royal Blue T-Shirt S Small Royal Blue child 101 variation SizeColor 15.97 50
101LB Royal Blue T-Shirt L Large Royal Blue child 101 variation SizeColor 17.97 50
101MR English Red T-Shirt M Medium English Cherry Red child 101 variation SizeColor 15.97 50
101SR English Red T-Shirt S Small English Cherry Red child 101 variation SizeColor 15.97 50
101LR English Red T-Shirt L Large English Cherry Red child 101 variation SizeColor 17.97 50

In the example above, SKU 101 "T-Shirt" is the parent product. Because parent products are not offered for sale, fields such as size, color, price, and quantity are irrelevant and should not be used.

However, you should still describe other aspects of the parent product, including an image that represents the generalized product. The only information to omit relates specifically to price, availability, and shipping.

The variation theme column indicates that products in this particular parent-child relationship differ from each other based on both color and size. The "Data Definitions" tab in the inventory template lists the terms you can use for variation themes. Amazon will remove product listings that do not correctly use established variation themes.

Note:
  • Be sure you use only SKUs for building relationships.
  • Do not include price and quantity values for parent products. Including price and quantity can cause your products to disappear from the catalog.
  • When you list your child products, fully describe each child product and include data for all of the variation attributes of the parent product, so that they are included in browse and search results and on product detail pages.
  • Follow the recommendations in the Product Page Style Guides when determining the variation attributes to use for each child product.

Use XML for parent-child relationships

You can use XML uploads instead of inventory file templates to set relationships between products.

For more information about using XML to manage your inventory, see Data-Exchange Overview.

Delete parent-child relationships

For more information about deleting relationships between products, see Modify Your Inventory File: Special considerations.

Best Practices

  • Do not list items of different product designs or specific functions together:
    • Example 1: A cell phone charging cable and a portable charger, while related, are not the same product and should not be listed on the same detail page. However, products like these can be listed as bundles. To know more, see Product Bundling Policy.
    • Example 2: A laptop bag with handles and a laptop bag without handles are two different product designs and should therefore be listed on separate detail pages.
    • Example 3: A phone charger with an iPhone tip and a phone charger with an micro-USB tip are not valid variations of each other because although they share the same broad function of charging cell phones, they are fundamentally different in that a customer with an android phone cannot use a phone charger with an android phone (i.e. the dissimilarities of the ASIN’s design and function are so basic as to be hard to alter, resolve, or overcome).
  • Do not use variation themes incorrectly; they should only be used for their defined purpose.
    • Example: A color variation theme must not include any information other than color. Different phone models, for example, should not be listed within a color theme.
    • For more details, please refer to the ASIN Creation Policy help page and refer to the 'Variation Policy' section.

See also

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