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This article applies to selling in: United States

Variation relationships

What is a variation relationship?

Variations (also known as parent-child relationships) are sets of products that are related to one another. Good variation relationship listings allow buyers to compare and choose products based on different attributes such as size, color, or other characteristics from the available options on a single product detail page. For example, a customer searching for a short sleeved T-shirt might click on a product detail page for a shirt that comes in three sizes (Small, Medium, and Large), and three colors (Blue, Red, Black). Rather than a cluttered view of all possible color and size combinations, the customer can select the preferred size, and choose the color from the three available color variations.

Examples of good variation families are:

  • Items of clothing that come in different sizes (small, medium, large)
  • Items that come in different colors (blue, red, black)


Elements of a variation relationship

There are three components to a parent-child relationship:

  • Parent listing: The product listing is a non-buyable entity used to relate child products

    The listing displayed only in the Seller Central’s search results. Amazon catalog uses the parent listing to establish relationships between the child products. For example, if 2 shirts have the same parent, then they are related and are considered child products.

  • Child products: The products that are related to each parent listing

    The child product is an instance of the parent product. You can have many child products that are all related to one parent product. Each child varies in some way, for example, by size or by color.

  • Variation theme: The relationship between the parent and the child

    The variation theme defines how related products differ from each other. Depending on the category chosen to list your products, variation themes also vary. For example, in the Clothing, Accessories & Luggage category, child products can differ from each other by size or color, or package quantity; and child listings in Pet Supplies category can differ in flavor, scent, quantity, etc.

    The following examples illustrate relationship listings in different product categories:




Best practices

  • Do not list different products 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 styles that should be listed on separate detail pages.
  • 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.
Note: Amazon will remove product listings that do not correctly use established variation themes.

Learn more about variation relationships

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