If you’re an Amazon seller, then at some point you may need to close a listing.

But opting to close a listing for the first time and hitting that confirm button can be a scary moment.

What does close listing mean on Amazon? Can I get the listing back? Will I lose all my reviews?

In this article, we’ll answer all these [potentially stressful] questions. So read on to learn everything you need to know about closing a listing on Amazon!

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What does it mean to close a listing on Amazon?

When you close a listing on Amazon, it means that the listing will no longer be active. Buyers will not be able to purchase the item from that listing, and it will have a status of Inactive (Closed).

The listing will remain on your ‘Manage Inventory’ page so you can always edit and re-open the listing at any time.

Closing vs deleting listings on Amazon

Deleting a listing on Amazon is different to closing a listing.

Whilst closing a listing keeps that listing within your Manage Inventory page for future updates, deleting a listing will remove the listing from your Manage Inventory page entirely.

As such, deleting a listing is a more permanent action to take within your Seller Central account.

When is the right time to close a listing?

There are a few different situations when it might be the right time to close a listing inside your Amazon seller account.

If your listing content isn’t ready

When selling a private label product and shipping inventory into an Amazon warehouse to make use of the FBA program, your listing will go live when stock arrives.

In the undesirable event of not having your listing ready – listing copy, images, and A+ content – when the stock does arrive, you may want to close your listing to ensure it isn’t active on Amazon without this key information.

To maintain rank when stocking out

Inventory management is one of the major challenges for Amazon sellers. Many sellers will at some stage of the journey face a period of stockouts due to the volume of product sales.

When this happens, the biggest concern is the impact on organic keyword ranking for your product.

There are theories that suggest by closing your listing when you stock out it prevents a poor sales history from building up on the listing and as such the Amazon algorithm will maintain more of a product’s ranking when back in stock.

This sales data theory has never been confirmed by Amazon – or any other scientific study – but it is certainly something to consider.

To investigate product quality issues

In the unfortunate scenario that your product shows signs of poor quality – evidenced in a high return rate or bad reviews – you should consider closing your listing and removing some stock to investigate what the problem may be.

Whilst closing product listings will slow sales momentum, it’s not worth taking the risk of attracting more bad reviews on a product

Once you have identified and corrected the issues you can relist the product and begin to drive momentum again.

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How long can I close a listing for?

It’s important to note that when closing a product listing that has available stock attached to it, Amazon will move that stock to a status known as stranded stock.

This means that Amazon deems the stock to be unattached to any product listing and will begin to warn you that this stock will be disposed of should enough time pass (usually 45 days or more).

So be sure to only close a listing as a short-term measure. If you need something more permanent, then choosing the ‘delete product and listing’ option may be more suitable.

When is the right time to delete a listing?

There are some instances where deleting a particular product from your Amazon Seller Central account is a better approach to take than simply closing the listing.

Let’s take a look at a few such scenarios.

If you’re no longer selling an item

If you’ve decided to stop selling an item, then closing the listing is the best way to remove it from your Amazon seller account.

When discontinuing a product in your Amazon business you want to make sure it doesn’t continue to appear on your inventory management page, and deleting the listing will ensure it doesn’t.

To manually force listing changes

There may be times when you are trying to make changes to an aged Amazon listing and Seller Central isn’t playing ball (Seller Central not playing ball? No way! /end sarcasm).

If you are unable to make changes to your Amazon listing live on the front end of Amazon, one effective way to force the changes through is by deleting the listing for 24 hours and then re-adding via a flat-file upload.

This of course means your product will be inactive for the 24 hours in question and therefore unable to generate any sales.

But if you are desperate to make changes, this is an effective way of doing so.

Note

Don’t worry – deleting an Amazon listing from your inventory does not delete the reviews, product details or sales history – when you re-upload the same product with the same identifier (ASIN, UPC, etc) they will all come back.

How to close a listing on Amazon

In order to close a listing on Amazon, follow these steps:

1/ Navigate to Inventory > Manage Inventory

2/ Scroll to the correct ASIN and click the Edit drop-down menu

3/ Select Close Listing

4/ Confirm Close Listing by clicking Continue

Then, once you are ready to reopen your listing simply navigate to that same Amazon listing, click the Edit drop-down menu again and click ‘Relist’.

How to delete a listing on Amazon

The process of permanently deleting a listing on Amazon is very similar to closing a listing.

1/ Navigate to Inventory > Manage Inventory

2/ Scroll to the correct ASIN and click the Edit drop-down menu

3/ Select Delete product and listing

4/ Read the warning message and click OK

By choosing ‘Delete product and listing’ it will remove the product from the inventory page in your seller account.

Remember, you can re-add the product at a later date but you would need to upload the full written content, ideally with a flat file.

Benefits of closing or deleting a listing on Amazon

As your Amazon business grows and you start selling with multiple listings in your seller account, it’s important to maintain good listing health.

If you are facing some of the issues mentioned above, the ability to either close or delete listings gives you back control.

You can also use these options to avoid long-term storage fees and ensure your Amazon seller account stays in good health overall.

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks for your article Ben!

    I have 1000 excess units in FBA that are seasonal. It will be expensive to pull them so I am wondering if I should just close the listing and keep my units in FBA until next year. This will save me hundreds of dollars.
    The question is, will this harm my IPI score?

    Thanks and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

    1. Hi Ben, thanks for reading! As far as I’m aware this wouldn’t affect your IPI score no as it is more to do with sell-through rate which wouldn’t be impacted as the products wouldn’t be ‘in stock’ as such due to the closed listing. Might be one to run by seller support though for confirmation!

    2. Issue is, per the Article, if you close a listing where there is stock at Amz warehouse they can dispose of your inventory if closed too long and you havent done anything.

  2. I have a variation that I no longer stock. Other sellers have sold on the page, but no one currently has inventory. The item still shows Currently Unavailable after I close the listing, instead of having that item disappear as an option from the detail page. Is it correct to assume that this is because other sellers have the listing in their Seller Central as Inactive (Out of Stock)?
    If I were to delete the product and listing as the brand owner, would it remove the option from the detail page? Would the reviews for that product go away as well?
    Is there any other option for getting a discontinued variant to disappear from the available options while keeping the reviews on the page?

    1. Hi Jesse, that’s strange, it shouldn’t show at all on the front end of Amazon if no one has it in stock. At least not through search… If you have a direct link to the variation then it would show as unavailable, but wouldn’t usually show up on the active page. Deleting the product should resolve it if you’re the only seller, but as you mention other sellers it might be a case of getting technical support from Amazon unfortunately.

  3. Hi Ben
    New to selling on amason fba, I have listed a matching product already listed on amason however looking at the product which is already listed I can see the details about this product is poorly done and I feel I can greatly improve, can I rename the product and put in my own bullet points and how is the best way step by step to do this
    Best regards
    Fred

    1. Hi Fred. If the product is the exact same (which would be defined by having the same UPC/barcode number) then you can’t create a new listing for it, but you can instead try to update the existing listing. I’ve not really had much experience there as I only do private label where you create your own products. If it is a similar product but a unique barcode number Amazon will see it as a completely different product so you can create a new listing. Hope that helps!

  4. Hi Ben!

    This was very informative for a question I was seeking an answer to. However, could you please clarify a couple of things for me?

    My issue is that I need to create new SKUs for already existing variations (I need them to have specific names), and due to Seller Central rules, I cannot change them. I currently have in-stock inventory for both variations.

    So, to be able to create new SKU names for the listings, do I need to delete the listings or close them?

    Does the inventory stay tied to the ASIN/GTIN that is connected to the product listing?

    If I delete the product listing in order to create new SKU names, will the inventory and reviews/ratings I’ve received appear again once I create a new listing for that product and tie it to the ASIN?

    Am I even able to create new SKU names by deleting/or closing a listing or will they be the same when I create a new listing with the same ASIN?

    Finally, what do you mean by “flat file”?

    I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to respond to my questions! Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Niki, no problem – hopefully I can help!

      Ok, so.. You don’t need to close or delete the existing listings to create new SKUs for the listing. You can use the same ASIN/GTIN but a new SKU (a common use-case for this is having FBA and FBM SKUs for the same ASIN). You just need to click ‘edit’ next to the parent listing and add a new variation with the new SKU but same GTIN.

      However the existing inventory you’ve got at Amazon would be tied to the SKU, not the ASIN. So if you wanted to sell the existing inventory under the new SKU you’d have to create a removal order, relabel the units with the FNSKU from the new SKU and send them back in to Amazon.

      You shouldn’t need to use a flat file for this one, but for future reference that’s an older name for it, and the language in Seller Central is now ‘File Upload’ or ‘Inventory File’. You’ll see it if you go to add a product via upload.

  5. Our Brand Name was entered incorrectly in SC when setting up products. We are unable to update the Brand Name per Amazon terms. We have no sales yet but Amazon has received our inventory. We need to update the Brand Name on all products so if we were to delete or close the listing and relist the products would it be able to tie back to our current inventory with the UPC/EAN? Would you suggest any other route to accomplish this?
    Thanks!

    Jesse

    1. I think I cover this in my reply to your other question but let me know if I’ve misunderstood. As I say, I have changed a brand name before but Amazon may have changed their terms on that recently. Worst case scenario would be having to remove the units, create a new listing and apply new FNSKU barcodes to the units.

  6. We had products set up with the incorrect Brand Name and the only way to change the brand name is to relist the products. We have shipped in inventory already and have Brand Registry for the actual Brand Name approved. If we close or delete the current items would we be able to set up the products with the correct brand name 24 hrs later? If so is the inventory still tied to the UPC/EAN or would we run into issues? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jesse, sorry to hear about these challenges you’re facing. If you create the listing again after 24 hours with the same UPC, the inventory will still be tied to the listing yes. However you may run into issues trying to add the products with a different brand name. I have changed a brand name of an existing listing before and used a flat file upload with the new brand name. This was a couple of years ago so I can’t promise it would still work, but that is where I would start. Then if you encounter issues I would contact Seller Support and ask for their guidance. Hope you manage to get it sorted, and please feel free to reach out if we can help further!

  7. Hello Ben,
    this article was very helpful. Thank you. I just started listing a new item, but I’m faced with one bad unverified review (1 star with no comments), and I’m wondering if it’s a good idea to delete the review and relist the products under a new ASIN. Or is this even doable without violating FBA policy? Thank you.

  8. Good info here. Question for you regarding the decision to close or delete for an ASIN with old skus.

    I’m currently working on cleaning up a friends inventory. He has 3 separate listings, all under the same ASIN but with unique skus. Should I close the listing and then delete? If I delete the older listings, will that effect reviews or rank for the new listing that he’s sending all the inventory to?

    Thanks

    1. Thanks Matt, glad it’s helped! If I understand correctly and you mean closing then deleting the listing for 2 of the old SKUs, then leaving the one correct one… then no, you shouldn’t have any issues. The reviews are tied to the ASIN (or really the UPC/EAN) and organic rank is similar. Good luck!

  9. What is this mean, after deleting a product in order to sell it again that I need to do the following? Do I have to create a new SKU?

    “You need to upload the full written content,ideally with a flat-file.”

    1. Hi Dimitri. No, you don’t need to create a new SKU if you want to sell the same product. You would just need to create the product again with the same barcode number (UPC or EAN) and it will pull through all the same information that is saved in Amazon’s system including reviews etc. You can do this either via the upload a product tool or using a flat-file.

  10. DEAR BEN, THAT’S VERY HELPFUL ON A QUERY TO WHICH AMAZON APPEARS TO OFFER NO RESPONSES ITSELF. HOWEVER, YOU MENTIONED BEING NERVOUS BEFORE YOU HIT THE BUTTON… I AM, AND WHAT YOU’VE SHOWN ADDS TO THE ANXIETY IN TERMS OF THEIR WARNING THAT, REGARDING “PRODUCTS WITH VARIATIONS”, DELETION REMOVES THE VARIATIONS. SPECIFICALLY, I SELL A BOOK IN PAPERBACK AND EBOOK VERSIONS. THE EBOOKS DO FINE FOR MY COTTAGE-INDUSTRY LEVEL (ALL PROCEEDS TO THE RED CROSS, CIRCA £9,000 RAISED SO FAR) BUT THE PAPERBACK ONLY DOES ABOUT TEN A YEAR SO NO LOSS TO REMOVE THEM, WHICH I WANT TO DO BECAUSE AMAZON’S NEW TRACKING MALARKEY ON “SOLID” PRODUCTS LOOKS TO ME AS IF IT WILL CAUSE ME TO BE ENTIRELY REMOVED AS A SELLER, I.E. KNOCK OUT THE EBOOKS TOO, EVEN THOUGH I’VE NEVER HAD A CUSTOMER COMPLAINT IN 10 YEARS AMAZONING. SO IS MY PAPERBACK A “VARIATION” ON THE EBOOK VERSION OR WOULD THE EBOOK CONTINUE ON SALE OK AFTER DELETING THE PAPERBACK? ANY FURTHER INFO/ADVICE ON THIS WRINKLE WOULD BE VERY WELCOME AND APPRECIATED.

    1. Hi Phil, good to hear from you.

      You shouldn’t have any problems – you just need to make sure you open the drop-down next to the parent product and only select the child variation you want to get rid of. Then the parent and all other children will remain.

      If you are looking to close the listing permanently I would choose the delete listing option. The close option will leave it there in your manage inventory page. Let me know how you get on!

      1. Hi Ben,
        Thanks for this informative blog.
        If we are selling the product in multiple marketplaces, where the product is delivered only from one country to all others, and if we need to close the listing in one of the countries does it impact the master listing or the others. Example: master listing is in Amazon.de listing to be closed is Amazon.fr. Closing the one in .FR has no impact on .De. Right?
        Thanks in advance
        Fred

        1. Hi Fred, thanks for the kind feedback.
          Correct, if you close it in one marketplace it should still stay active in the others, even if you’re fulfilling from the location of the closed listing.
          That said, Amazon can change things at any time and it’s been a while since I’ve tested this, so once you close the listing I’d check the other marketplaces 30-60 minutes later to make sure they are still active. Best of luck!

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