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Amazon detail pages hijacked with sex toys

By Chris Dawson April 28, 2015 - 6:43 am

On many marketplaces such as eBay, you are fully in control of your listings including the image, title, images, description and of course shipping, returns and selling terms. That’s not the case on Amazon where a product detail page exists and Amazon allow multiple sellers to contribute.

If Amazon deem one of your competitors has a better image they’ll use it. Perhaps someone constructs a more relevant title or a better description? Yours will be over-written as Amazon strive for the best product detail page possible.

Tamebay long time friend Liz, of Kidson Talks, explains an issue which occurs due to Amazon’s seller authority algorithm which determines which seller’s contributions will be displayed: “Whoever has the biggest priority on the listing wins on being able to edit the data…this can be a range of factors such as stock, price, feedback etc..A few of my clients have had an issue with this recently from competitors changing a listing to suit THEIR item more but this is the MOST extreme:

Amazon-sex-toy-product-detail-page-spamOf course this is a more unusual example of what can happen, it’s not often we see listings hijacked and replaced with sex toys! However it does very clearly demonstrate the issues of allowing multiple vendors to contribute to a shared product detail page.

Liz tells us “Now this client has to filter through all his listings to make sure they are not sex toys“, obviously causing a large amount of unwelcome work. They have of course also to ensure their inventory is zero on affected listings to ensure they don’t have customers actually ordering sex toys. The seller’s Amazon account is definitely not hacked, Amazon allow this to happen when they enable sellers to contribute to the product detail page.

Do you run into problems of a similar (albeit less graphic nature) when selling on Amazon? What issues do you face with product detail pages being changed by your competitors, which it’s fair to say is often not due to hijacking pages for nefarious means nor intended to disadvantage compeitors. Often it’s just a seller trying to display their own product in the most advantageous manner to win sales.

  • 2 years ago

    Its always been a problem as long as I can remember and Amazon are very unhelpful a lot of the time,

    The number of times I have had a single qty item changed to multi qty is untrue,

    If you contact amazon to get the listing changed back you have to supply evidence. so more work.

    and generally amazon answer is it is your responsibility to check all your listings are accurate.

    This has become an even bigger problem with the Amazon build international tool that just matches acroos multiple Amazon sites just be EAN with no title or description check

  • Kieran
    2 years ago

    We do not see such extreme issues of listing images being changed to adult products but we have had situations where a foreign seller uploaded a £100 2DS games console against our £6.99 storage case for said games console, the title and picture changed to the games console and our offer a £6.99 for fortunately picked up by Amazon’s pricing error algrithum and our offer was removed.

    It was easy to see what happened, the foreign seller noticed a product with the word “2DS” in the title and the same blue colour and thought it was a games console, so it looks like an accident, but was still a pain in the backside for us to then fix.

    What i find more of a challenge is keeping control of our listing contents, i often find that trying to update a title on an old listing or description does not work correctly, we seem to lose control over our own listings, i know they are technically Amazon’s listings once created but as the registered brand owner with Amazon you would think we might have the authority to look after our titles and descriptions of our products. It simply creates more work because we have to put in a request with support to get the title or description updated and provide “evidence” as Chris said.

    You would think there might be a master pin or ID number for the original creator of the listing to have overall authority over the listings they create in case of such problems mentioned by all sellers on this artical, i think it is especially important for the genuine legal brand owner of a product to have control over their content.

    I am aware of the many sellers that do a half assed job of trying to claim they are a brand when selling generic goods but for qualifying / verified companies Amazon should do a better job of giving authority to the brand owner.

    Bottom line, Amazon will do their own thing, and are unlikely to take notice of its sellers complaints about its catalogue system and how works.

    I am now off to raise a ticket with Amazon to get a title and description updated on one of my products because it is not updating via API :(

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