In today’s episode, we’re joined by Malia Kim, Director of Presence at Avenue7Media, and James Ford-Bey, Head of Catalog at Avenue7Media, to discuss the intricacies of variations, multipacks, and bundles on Amazon.

Amazon offers these incredible opportunities to increase average order value (AOV). However, it is crucial to approach variations, multipacks, and bundles correctly, following Amazon’s rules and guidelines. 

While these tactics can benefit sellers, it’s important to understand what is allowed, what is not, and how to avoid potential fines from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

What may seem like a clever hack to boost rankings and garner reviews can become costly if not executed properly. Sellers can avoid potential fines and account suspensions by learning, understanding, and adhering to Amazon policies. 

Ultimately, providing genuine value to Amazon shoppers is essential while staying within the boundaries set by the platform and by the FTC.

Shocking FTC Fine and Review Hijacking 

The recent lawsuit and hefty fine imposed on The Bountiful Corporation for “review hijacking” has caused quite a stir in the Amazon seller community. This variation strategy, which has been employed for years across millions of listings, suddenly became a violation of the law.

Malia shares her insights on what made this case different from the average rank-boosting variation. Additionally, we question whether Amazon holds any responsibility, considering they allow the sharing of reviews. 

Could this issue have been avoided if Amazon permitted variations with separate reviews for each variant?

Understanding Amazon’s Variation Policy

To prevent falling into the same predicament as The Bountiful Corporation, sellers should familiarize themselves with Amazon’s Variation Policy.

Variation relationships, also known as parent-child relationships, involve products related based on attributes such as size, color, or flavor. These relationships allow buyers to compare and choose products on a single product detail page. 

Sellers must ensure the products share fundamental similarities and vary only in specific ways, such as color or size. They should not list unrelated products together or misuse variation themes.

Having encountered numerous TOS violations while managing catalog listings here at Avenue7Media, James offers his expertise on how sellers can avoid such infringements. 

It is crucial to stay up to date with Amazon’s policies, fix any incorrect listings promptly, and ensure compliance with the guidelines. By adhering to the rules, sellers can minimize the risk of facing penalties and account suspensions.

The Rules for Product Bundles

While product bundles can still be a valuable strategy, certain guidelines must be followed. Bundles should be composed of multiple single items, each identifiable by a unique ASIN/UPC. A pre-packaged kit or pack with multiple items identified by a single ASIN/UPC is not considered a bundle.

Virtual Bundles, on the other hand, come with their own set of restrictions. This feature is exclusively available to sellers who own a brand and are registered in Brand Registry. 

Additionally, bundled ASINs must be new, physical products, and certain items like gift cards, digitally delivered products, and used ASINs are ineligible for virtual bundles. It’s important to remember that product bundles can only be created in the US Amazon store and must consist of two to five buyable ASINs.

Tune in to this episode for this and much more, including an update on the FBA order situation that is affecting performance!


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