Why am I in the wrong category?

It’s a question we’ve heard many times: why did you put my products in this category when I sell in that category? We’ll admit, sometimes it is our mistake, and if you get to the end of this and you’re convinced the error you found is on us, let us know and we’ll make sure to address it. Here’s what you need to understand, though: this mostly happens because of Amazon.

What? Amazon made a mistake? That can’t be right.

Possibly not. It might also be your mistake.

Either way, we’re not here to point fingers, we’re here to give you a solution, because this problem is bigger than you might think. One brand manager we spoke to guessed that products weren’t in their optimal category around 20% of the time!


How did this happen?

There's a lot of possibilities, but here are the most likely culprits:

  • You listed the product incorrectly when you created the listing
  • Another seller requested to change the product's category
  • Amazon made a mistake somewhere in the process of merging, splitting, or deleting their thousands of subcategories to keep their catalog organized

Lots of reasons, but what matters the most? Fixing it

Just need a top down look? Use SmartScout.

The quickest way to know whether you have a major issue with your listings is to search for your seller name in SmartScout. Look at your primary subcategory. Does it make sense? Is there a primary subcategory at all? If there isn’t a subcategory listed, or doesn’t match up with the products you sell, that’s the most guaranteed sign there’s a problem.

Whether you notice anything or not, another good place to check is in the Brands tool. Look up all your brands, and see what the primary subcategory for each one is. If anything looks out of place, you can check out that brand’s listings, rather than every single one you offer.

Want to be absolutely sure? You'll have to go one at a time.

Unfortunately, there are no quick ways to scan for a solution. The best option is to scroll through your storefront with Helium10's extension. This will pull up the major subcategories your products are ranked in, and might show you inconsistencies. There is no perfect solution, though.

So in conclusion...

Checking all your listings to be in the correct, single node can be a pain. But if 20% of your products are in the wrong category, and not getting the right customer eyes on them, how many sales are you missing out on? Check for the primary subcategory in your Brand and Seller tools to keep your products listed where they belong!

Also, did you miss last week's live webinar?

Last week Scott had the chance to sit down with Lauren Barbera from Riverbend Consulting. Lauren worked on Amazon's Seller Performance team for almost 12 years, and she was able to give great insight on how Amazon approaches suspensions, and what you can do to avoid running into permanent issues!

Rewatch the event here

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