This article applies to selling in: United Arab Emirates

Build your inventory file

Individual sellers: This feature is available to sellers with Professional selling plans.

You can use inventory file templates to list your products in the Amazon catalog and to offer them for sale on Amazon. Inventory file templates let you to add or edit product listings in bulk. You can create a template to suit your specific requirements and list different types of products across multiple categories using one template. First, create your template using the Add a Product via Upload tool. For more information, see Create your inventory file template.

Which Type of Inventory File Should I Use?

If the items you are listing are already in Amazon’s catalogue, you can use the Inventory Loader file to add your prices and quantities for sale. This is the easiest file to use. You just need to know the ISBN, UPC or EAN.

If the items you are listing are books and are not in the catalogue, or you don’t know the ISBN, UPC or EAN, you can use the Standard Bookloader file. You supply information about the book (such as title and author) and we will check whether it already matches a catalogue item. If it doesn’t match, we will create a new catalogue entry based on the information you supplied. Booksellers may also want to load inventory using the UIEE format. With this option, if you don't have ISBNs, you can still load your items to Marketplace by taking advantage of Amazon's ISBN matching. Books that don't have ISBNs will have new detail pages created.

If the items you are listing belong in the Music category, you can use the Music Loader File. If your product is already in Amazon’s catalogue, Amazon will add your listing to the existing page. If your product is not already in the catalogue, Amazon will create a new catalogue page based on the information you supplied.

The Price & Quantity template is great for easy inventory modifications. With it you can modify or delete your existing inventory on Amazon by only submitting SKU, Price and Quantity in your upload.

Tips for building an inventory file

Backups

We recommend that you keep a backup copy of your completed template on your computer hard drive.

SKU

The SKU is the key field in every inventory file and should not be altered or reused. Amazon uses the SKUs in your inventory file to associate your product listings (the product page ASIN and your offering) with your individual inventory level records in the Amazon catalog. This means the following:

  • Every product in your inventory file must have a unique SKU.
  • Every new SKU you upload to Amazon results in the creation of a new record in the Amazon catalog.
  • Because each record is unique, an existing SKU cannot be changed. It remains in the catalog until you delete it.
  • If you upload an inventory file with data for a SKU that already exists, the most recent data replaces data from previous feeds.

Standard product identifier

We recommend that you always provide the UPC, EAN, JAN, or ISBN when creating a new product page on Amazon. For more information, see Product identifiers. For the requirements for each category, including exceptions and exemptions where available, see Category and product code requirements.

Search terms

Customers primarily use search terms (keywords) to find products on Amazon. Good search terms go a long way toward increasing product visibility. Most products can support five keywords. Think like customers do and use search terms that are popular on your own website or for your product line. For more information about using search terms, see Use search & browse.

Note: Standard Book Loader files do not support search terms (keywords). Amazon assigns search and browse information for products listed in the Books category. However, you can use the Add a Product tool to increase the number of search keywords for your Books products.

Variation relationships

Some categories support variation relationships that include single parent product and multiple child products.

Parent products are non-sellable products that you list in your inventory file so you can create relationships between products.

Child products are unique, sellable products linked to a parent product. The child product is similar to other child products (or siblings) linked to the same parent product. However, the child varies from its siblings according to specific criteria. These criteria are described in the variation-theme section of the Data Definitions tab on the inventory file template. Acceptable variation themes differ by category but might include attributes such as size, color, and flavor.

Set up parent-child relationships in your inventory file whenever possible. This makes search and browse results much more manageable for customers because related child products are grouped together. When you set up parent-child relationships, distinguish each child product in the title. For example, if you sell shirts and some are red and some are blue, use "Shirt, Red" and "Shirt, Blue."

Note: You must set up a parent-child relationship if an appropriate variation theme exists for your products and category.

You can view the child ASINs for each parent ASIN in the Amazon catalog on the Add a Product page in your seller account.

Downloading a Product Template

To create inventory files, you download the appropriate text file template. The text file template is a Microsoft Excel file that contains a preformatted worksheet where you list your product data. It also contains a number of other worksheets to help understand how to use the template.

Because each category on Amazon requires a different set of product data for its detail pages, a separate product template also exists for each category. In fact, some categories might have more than one template. It is important to use only the appropriate product template that is intended for your category.

Note: If you cannot find an appropriate product template, please contact us. We can provide guidance about the template to use. Using the wrong template will complicate the process of creating new products. If you want to list products in a category that is not yet available on Amazon, contact us for more information.

Populating Your Product Template

When you open the product template in Microsoft Excel, you see several tabs along the bottom of the product template workbook. These tabs include the following:

Tab Description
Instructions An overview of how to use the product template.
Data Definitions A detailed review of each field in the inventory file. This tab provides a label name, definition, use case, accepted values, and example for each field.
Template The actual worksheet on where you enter your product data using to the specifications found in the Data Definitions tab. This worksheet contains a row to help Amazon know which template you are using and a second row with column headings (label names) representing each of the fields in your inventory file.
Examples Examples of how to accurately format the data for different products.

As you enter your product data on the Template tab, be sure you follow the instructions provided on the Data Definitions tab. Many fields require you to use very specific terms. Sometimes those terms are listed in the Accepted Values column of the Data Definitions tab.

Save your inventory file

After you finish populating the Template tab in the Product Template with your product data, you are ready to create the inventory file you will upload to Amazon using Seller Central.

  1. Save your work as an Excel workbook one final time. We recommend that you create a backup copy and add a date to the file name. This will help to keep a history of your work if you want to refer to prior versions or if there is an error in processing.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As. The Save As dialog box appears.
  3. In the Save As Type select Text (Tab-delimited) (*.txt). Browse to where you would like to save the file, rename the file, and click Save.
    • Click Yes if you see a warning that the selected file format (the tab-delimited file type) does not support workbooks containing multiple worksheets.
    • Click Yes if you see a warning that your file contains features incompatible with the selected Text (Tab delimited) file format.

You are now ready to upload your inventory file. For more information, refer to the Upload your inventory file.

Set the lead time to ship in an inventory file

The lead time to ship is the time it takes you to get a product to your shipment carrier. The total shipping time is then lead time + carrier time.

The following table identifies the fulfillment messaging that Amazon provides to customers based on the product-level availability you provide in your inventory data feed. Your product-level availability must be a number between 0 and 30.

Input Availability Message Min Days Max Days
NULL, 0 In stock 1 2
1 In stock 1 2
2 In stock 1 2
3 In stock. Processing takes an additional 2 to 3 days for orders from this seller. 2 3
4 In stock. Processing takes an additional 3 to 4 days for orders from this seller. 3 4
5 Usually ships in 4-5 business days 4 5
6-10 Usually ships in 1 to 2 weeks 6 10
11-15 Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks 11 15
16-20 Usually ships in 3 to 4 weeks 16 20
21-30 Usually ships in 1 to 2 months 21 30
Note: If you do not specify a lead-time-to-ship value, the value is set to 1 to 2 days. If you use an inventory file template to update your inventory amounts, be sure to specify your lead-time-to-ship value in the fulfillment_latency field.

Before you start

Use this information to help you build your inventory file:

My product information adheres to the Data Definitions tab The Text File Template includes a Data Definitions tab containing a detailed review of each field in the inventory file. This tab provides a label name, definition, use case, accepted values, and example for each field. You will need to refer to this tab to successfully upload your products. The Data Definitions tab is located at the bottom of the Text File template.

My product information adheres to Amazon's best practices for listing products Amazon offers suggestions for listing your product information that is proven to increase both visibility and sales. For more information, please see Using Product Details.

My images meet Amazon's requirements Images greatly increase sales and therefore are extremely important. Amazon offers advice on how to list the best images for your products. For more information, please see Using Product Details.

The Search Terms for my products are the best they can be Search terms are the primary method customers use to find products. Amazon offers tips on optimising these terms. For more information, please see Using Search & Browse.

Checklist

Before you upload your inventory file, check that it meets the following conditions:

  • The product descriptions in my file use the descriptions found on the template's Data Definitions tab.
  • Each required field has a value.
  • Each product has a unique SKU.
  • The standard-product-id values conform to the format appropriate for the product-id-type. (That is, if the product-id-type is UPC, the standard-product-id has 12 digits.) We recommend the UPC/EAN is always used when creating a new product on Amazon.
  • The bullet-point and description fields avoid unapproved characters such as quotation marks, copyright symbols, or trademark symbols.
  • Text pasted into the bullet-point and description fields from Word are not formatted (You can clear the formats in Word or Microsoft Excel by selecting the text and then clicking Edit > Clear > Formats.)
  • If using the template to establish a parent/child relationship, then the following are true:
    • The relationship-type field is blank for parent products.
    • Parent products and child products both have the same variation-theme value.
    • The term used in variation-theme is valid.
    • The quantity and price are blank for parent products.
  • If there are platinum-keyword values, then the child products have the same platinum-keyword values as their parent products.
  • URLs used for image references are properly formatted, including the "http://" protocol indicator and ".jpg" or ".gif" extension.
  • Appropriate products have weight and/or size dimensions.
  • Products have a launch date (if the field exists).
  • If products are part of a sale, the sale price less than the usual product price; also each product with a sale price includes dates for the sale.
  • All dates are formatted correctly using the format DD-MM-YYYY (29-02-2004).
  • All sellable products include a quantity for all sellable products. (Note: Product with no quantity do not appear on either the live or staging site. Also note that parent products should not have a price or quantity.)

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