A Detailed Guide On How To Deal With Inactive Listings On Amazon?

Last Updated: May 12, 2022 By

An active listing on Amazon means a lost opportunity of being found by nearly 2.5 billion customers every day.

This loss could be massive for your eCommerce business and hurt your:

  • Ranking
  • Sales Targets
  • Visibility
  • ROI
  • Business Goals & Objectives
  • Brand Reputation, etc.

Thus, it is crucial for Amazon sellers to maintain their product listings and deal with inactive ones.

In this write-up, we will understand when and why deleting an inactive listing on Amazon is essential. Also, we will explore other options, such as ways to fix inactive listings and how we can prevent inventory from going inactive.

But, first, we’ll learn what inactive listing is, its different types, and the reasons that lead to inactive listings.

What Is Inactive Listing?

Inactive Listing: A product listing that has been uploaded to Amazon but isn’t active or functional in the marketplace. Many reasons lead to inactive listings – for example:

  • Listings Without A Primary Image
  • Listing Without A Detailed Product Description
  • Listing Titles Longer Than 80 Characters
  • Listing Without A Defined Category Type
  • Listing That Does Not Match Amazon’s Product Eligibility Criteria
  • Listing That Does Not Match Amazon’s Standards

Listings get inactive when their attributes do not match Amazon’s listing standards and follow seller central account permissions.

What Are The Types of Inactive Listings?

Inactive listings have three types:

→ Blocked → Closed → Out-of-Stock

Although there are numerous reasons why listings get flagged as inactive, the marketplace refers to them all as ‘Inactive.’ Here’s a detailed explanation for each:

Blocked Listings

Listings that have been blocked or restricted by the marketplace. There are many reasons a listing gets blocked, such as:

  • Old And Damaged Products
  • Failure To Address Intellectual Property Complaints
  • Sale Of Restricted Products
  • Manipulating Amazon Customer Reviews/Ratings
  • Selling Old Item As New
  • Copyright Infringement
  • Sale of Prohibited Products

Closed Listings

Listings with an Inactive (Closed) status are not permanent. One can fix and relist them. Here’s a quick process:

Step 1:

  • Navigate to the Seller Central Account
  • Go to the Inventory tab
  • Select Manage Inventory

Step 2:

  • Select the closed listing you wish to relist
  • Go to the drop-down menu and select Relist option

Step 3:

  • Lastly, update all the necessary details for that listing and click Save

Your listing gets relisted on the marketplace within 15 minutes.

Out-of-Stock Listings

When Amazon runs out of your inventory (stock), it marks your listing as inactive (Out-of-stock).

There are numerous reasons why Amazon flags a listing as inactive (out-of-stock). A few of them are:

  • You did not provide enough stock.
  • The marketplace gets customers’ orders equal to your last proclaimed stock amount.
  • You have listed items within the past 24 hours.
  • There are errors in your recent inventory file.

Your listings will remain inactive until you reload products to the platform for sale.

Do Inactive Listings Impact Amazon Business?

Yes!

Inactive listings impact your Amazon business. But, elaborately, the major impact falls on the following.

→ Customers → Revenue → Brand Value → Rank & Visibility

#1 Customers

Your existing and loyal customers: With inactive listings, your loyal customers will not find your products in their search results. They’ll have to buy products from your competitors, and you’ll lose your permanent customers.

#2 Revenue

A saying goes like this: Time without stock is time without conversions.

With an inactive listing, you give your competitors an opportunity to grab a big share of your clicks and conversions. That means lost revenue-generating opportunities.

#3 Brand Value

While this might be an issue that comes to light in the long run, having an inactive listing on the Amazon marketplace can negatively impact your brand value.

It can get you bad press, affecting the entire brand value.

#4 Rank and Visibility

Amazon is a customer-focused eCommerce marketplace. It does not entertain sellers with inactive listings. It does not show products of inactive listings on its search engine result page (SERP), which causes a downfall in rankings & visibility.

In conclusion, inactive listings negatively impact your eCommerce business; take it to a trail of destruction.

Thus, it is necessary to find the reasons that make your listings inactive and address them immediately to counter such detriment & ensure effective Amazon PPC management practices.

Here are two options for you to pick based on your decision. But, consider their impact on your short and long-term goals. 

Part 1: If You Are Planning To Discontinue A Specific Product Line. 

Part 2: If You Want To Continue Selling Similar Products But Inactive Listings Are Causing Trouble

Part 1: If You Are Planning To Discontinue A Specific Product Line:

1. Is Deleting Your Inactive Listing Important?

Yes!

Why? Because there’s no point in keeping an inactive SKU in your seller central account unless you plan to sell similar products again in the future.

Inactive SKU affects your IPI score.

IPI stands for ‘Inventory Performance Index.’ It is a score Amazon gives its sellers that shows how well they manage their inventory.

Inactive listings get you a low IPI score. Result? It affects your work on Amazon seller central and, in a worse scenario, bans you from selling on the marketplace.

Also, deleting is a safe option, because you can relist products on Amazon anytime!

2. Process of Deleting Inactive Listing

Deleting an inactive listing will cut out that listing record from your seller central account & the marketplace, along with its settings and connections to your products.

But, before you delete your listings, be sure to evaluate the following points:

  • Once deleted, no one can undo this action! Your listings cannot be restored to your seller central.
  • Your product listings will no longer be accessible. Any orders containing a product that you have will no longer link to your listing.
  • A deleted listing will not display in the SERPS, nor will it show as an inactive listing.
  • You can reload the same products on a new listing, but it will not inherit any data (sales, conversions, views) from the previous product listing.
  • To do this, go to Seller Central > Inventory Management and use the checkbox edit to select all the inactive listings you wish to delete. Navigate to the drop-down menu, press the ‘Action’ button (you’ll find it at the top of the page), and select ‘Delete Products & Listings.’

Note: if you have inactive listings in bulk, you can delete them all together using the ‘Inventory Loader File’ technique.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Download the file template 
  • In the first column, fill in all the SKUs you want to delete.
  • In the second column, input values of all the SKUs you want to delete from the inventory. (Note: the second column will be about update-delete)
  • Now save the report in the text (Tab delimited).
  • Now, go to your seller central account and select the upload section.
  • Select ‘Inventory Loader file’ from the drop-down menu and upload to get all your inactive listings deleted.

Part 2: If You Want To Continue Selling Similar Products But Inactive Listings Are Causing Trouble

1. Ways To Fix Inactive Inventory

The impact inactive listings have on businesses is immense. They affect:

  • Inventory Performance Index (IPI) Score
  • Sales & Conversions
  • Brand Reputation
  • Customers
  • Rank & Visibility

Therefore, your hired Amazon virtual assistants need to be quick on their toes when encountering an inactive listing. It would help if they revived their listing without delay to minimize their loss.

The process of reviving is quite simple once the reason behind listing inactivation is clear.

Now, Here’s a quick, step-by-step process of fixing inactivated listings and protecting yourself against impending damages.

  • Go to Amazon Seller Central Account > Inventory Management and search listing by locating that product with a product identification number (also you can choose directly from the inventory).
  • Now, figure out your listing inactivation reasons and straighten it out.

Inactive Listings (Closed) – Amazon marks deleted listings as closed. If you wish to relist a deleted listing, you can use the same SKU, but you have to wait for at least 24 hours.

Inactive Listings (Blocked) – If your listing is blocked, you must get notified by Amazon regarding this. In that case, check:

  • Portal
  • Mailbox
  • Voice of Customer Dashboard
  • Inbound Performance Notifications

By this, you can analyze the notification sent by Amazon.

To revive your listings, you can contact the Amazon sellers support executive to get precise information. This way it will become easiest to acknowledge the concern and strategize a plan for resolution.

Inactive Listings (out-of-stock) – If your listing is marked as out-of-stock by Amazon, you need to add sufficient stock to activate your listing again. Go to Seller Central > Manage Inventory and relist the product to do this.

Note: For FBA sellers, it is crucial to stock up inventory at Amazon fulfillment centers before relisting it.

2. How To Prevent Inventory From Going Inactive

Prevention is better than cure!

And in the case of inactive listings, it is easy.

Below are some preventive measures to ensure that your inventory doesn’t go inactive on the giant marketplace.

  • Correct Usage Of Inventory Management Software
  • Good Seller-Supplier Relationship
  • Strategizing Sales Cycle

Top Measures To Prevent Inventory From Going Inactive

#1 Correct Usage Of Inventory Management Software

Inventory management software (IMS) offers a host of tools that help sellers in:

  • Automate Inventory Management
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Accurate Reordering
  • Preventing Stock Overselling
  • Reducing Business Costs
  • Improving Supply Chain
  • Adding New Selling Channels
  • Forecasting Inventory For Seasonal Buys
  • Managing Multiple Warehouses
  • Ensuring Greater Productivity

#2 Good Seller-Supplier Relationship

  • Ensures Seamless Supply Chain And Product Flow

#3 Strategizing Sales Cycle

Help Address Stock Shortages By Analyzing:

  • Seasonal Demand
  • Joint Demand
  • Price Demand
  • Composite Demand
  • Short-Run & Long-Run Demand
  • Price Demand
  • Competitive Demand
  • Direct & Derived Demand

Also, here are a few more tricks to help balance out the inventory requirements:

  • Decelerate promotional & marketing practices in time (according to demand).
  • Quick response to changes in sales velocity (especially when there is an increase in demand).
  • Increasing the product price to lessen the need. The technique will give you enough time to restock.
  • Forecasting and strategizing your inventory beforehand would also keep the process streamlined.

Protect Your Amazon Store From Inactive Listings: Take Help

If you plan to discontinue selling a specific product line on Amazon, deleting inactive listings is wise.

But if you are quitting because of inactive listings – you need to reconsider.

Listing deletion results in the permanent removal of:

  • Products Information
  • SKU
  • Sales History

Both product information and sales history are critical to maintaining your search ranking and Amazon store value.

When you remove a listing from a marketplace, your sales history gets deleted. That means if you ever plan to resell similar products in the future, you’ll have to start from scratch.

What is the solution?

You can temporarily close a product listing, strategize, and come back stronger!

Difficulty, misfortune & complications are part and constituent of Amazon sellers’ journey. But that shouldn’t dissuade you from establishing a thriving eCommerce business.

A cornerstone for success in the giant marketplace is gaining proper knowledge & skills learning from the experiences of Amazon product listing experts who have gone through it all and helped many sellers reach out on top.

Thus, before you click a ‘DELETE’ button, talk to experts who have experience reviving inactive listings using tried and tested techniques.

Who knows, the inactive product listing you’re about to delete might make you the star seller?

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