If you’ve listed a product on Amazon, but it’s not showing up in search results, there are a few common causes.

The key questions to ask—in order—are:

  1. Do I have inventory available?
  2. Is my listing status set to active?
  3. Are there any account health issues?
  4. Is my product indexed for the right keywords?

If the answer is ‘no’ to any of these questions, you’ve found the cause.

If the answer is ‘yes’ to all of these questions, it may be a more complex issue.

a decision tree helping users understand why their amazon listing may not be showing up in search results

However, there are important details related to each of these possible causes.

In this guide, we’ll unpack each of these potential issues so you can understand why your listing isn’t visible on Amazon.

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1. Inventory status

The first and most common reason a listing is not visible on Amazon is that there is no inventory in stock.

When creating new Amazon listings, you’ll get given the option of choosing whether the product will be fulfilled by Amazon, or by you:

fba or fbm

The option you choose can impact the status of your listing.

Amazon FBM

If you choose Fulfilled By Merchant (FBM) you will then be able to set an inventory level based on what you have available in your warehouse or 3PL.

If it’s set to zero, your listing won’t show, and you’ve found the cause.

However, if you’ve set an inventory level of 1 or more and your listing still isn’t active, inventory isn’t the issue.

Amazon FBA

If you choose Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) your listing will remain inactive until you create a shipping plan, send inventory in, and Amazon has received and processed your shipment.

Until then, the listing status will be ‘Inactive (Out Of Stock)’ and will look like this:

inactive out of stock

Have a quick check, and if that’s the case, you’ve found your issue.

There’s nothing more you can do other than wait for your inventory to arrive, at which point your listing will become active (unless you proactively close it).

NOTE

2. Listing status

The next issue you could be facing is at a listing level. Amazon listings can have one of several statuses:

  • Active
  • Inactive
  • Incomplete
  • Detail Page Removed
  • Search Suppressed

Each status will give clues to what next steps you should take.

a. Active

If your listing has an active status, your issue is not a listing one, so you can move to the next step.

b. Inactive

The main inactive statuses you will come across are:

  • Inactive (Out Of Stock). As mentioned, the fix for this is sending inventory to an FBA center or updating inventory levels if you are selling via FBM.
  • Inactive (Closed). This is a listing that has been proactively closed. To reopen it, inside Seller Central, head to Inventory > Manage Inventory and click the ‘Relist’ button next to the product in question. Make any necessary updates, then click ‘Save and finish’. This should make the listing active.
  • Inactive (Blocked). This is a listing that has been blocked by Amazon due to issues such as prohibited, restricted, or recalled products. Click on the inactive status link to see what actions you need to take to relist.
  • Inactive (Potential High Pricing Error). This error is as it sounds—when Amazon’s automated systems detect your pricing may have been set too high by error (adding an extra zero, for example). To fix this, set the correct price, and it should be resolved.

c. Incomplete

Here’s what Amazon has to say:

Incomplete listings are listings that have been submitted but were not accepted into the Amazon catalog and require additional actions to complete. Incomplete listings will not appear inside ‘Manage Inventory’ on Seller Central or on the Amazon retail website for Customers until they meet Amazon standards for new listings.

If your listing shows an Incomplete status, open up the listing again and check for any key details missing such as title, images, sizes, safety warnings, and so on.

Once these have been added your listing should move to active status.

d. Detail Page Removed

This usually occurs when you use words in your product listing that get flagged by Amazon’s systems.

These can include words that suggest a product should have certain approvals before listing.

I once listed a shampoo product and included keywords related to its anti-itching features only to get the detail page removed under Amazon’s pesticides policy.

Study your listing for any content that may be against Amazon’s terms of service. Once removed, your issue should be fixed.

Another reason your listing may get deactivated is due to a high level of negative customer feedback—referred to as a negative customer experience (NCX) on Amazon.

If customers are leaving negative reviews or comments with returns to a product, it can push your NCX rate too high, leaving you with a ‘Poor’ or ‘Very Poor’ Customer Experience (CX) rating.

negative customer experience rating
(access this page by navigating to Performance > Voice of the Customer inside Seller Central)

If it remains poor or very poor for too long, Amazon may delist your product and ask you to take action to improve things. In the first instance, you’ll be able to simply acknowledge the issue and relist immediately.

However, if the issues persist you may need to create an action plan. So it’s always best to fix the issues customers are complaining about.

e. Search Suppressed

Finally, Amazon may have suppressed your listing for quality reasons.

The most common reason for this is that your product doesn’t have any images uploaded, or the images that have been uploaded don’t meet quality guidelines.

This would include things like your main image not being on a white background or including text and graphics on top of the image.

Backgrounds, graphics, and text are fine on other images, but Amazon’s policies state your main image should be on a white background and show only the image itself.

NOTE

Read More: How To Fix Suppressed Listings

3. Account health

If listing status isn’t your issue, it might be a wider account health issue.

A persistent negative customer experience can result in a low seller rating and even suspension of your account.

It’s unlikely that your account has been suspended without you realizing it.

So if you’ve checked all the other steps and you don’t appear to have any account-level notifications, it’s best to contact Seller Support and ask if there are any issues on your account you’ve not been made aware of.

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4. Keyword ranking

The most common reason sellers can’t find their product listing in search results is because it is not yet ranking for relevant keywords.

So, once you’ve checked the first three potential causes and confirmed there aren’t issues, the next step is to search for your product on Amazon using its ASIN:

searching via ASIN

If your product shows up in search results when searching with its ASIN but not when you use relevant keywords, you’ve found the root of the issue.

It means your listing is in the Amazon ‘index’ and purchasable, but its not yet ranking organically for keywords.

New product listings take time to appear in search results and, in a highly competitive market, won’t appear anywhere near page one—where most sales happen.

As such, you need to be proactive about ranking your products on Amazon.

First, make sure the keywords you want to rank for appear somewhere in one or more of the listing’s:

  • Title
  • Bullet points
  • Description
  • Backend search terms

Then, begin to drive targeted traffic to your listing to get those first few sales. You can do this by:

As you start to see sales come in, you should see organic ranking established and sales start to build up.

NOTE

FAQs

To create a new listing on Amazon, head to Seller Central, then head to Catalog > Add Products. If you’re reselling another brand, search to see if a listing already exists and if so, add your inventory to the existing listing. If you’re selling your own branded products, choose the option to create a new listing and then add all the necessary information. Once you have saved your listing it will be ready to go live once inventory is in place. For more info on this, see step 1 in this guide.

Once you’ve entered all the necessary information and saved your Amazon listing, it should be active within 15 minutes. However, it may not be visible in search results immediately as new products take time to get indexed for different keywords. As such, it’s important to have a launch strategy that involves driving visitors to your listing through Amazon PPC or external traffic methods. Once you start to get sales through this traffic you will find your listing getting indexed for relevant keywords and start to climb in search results.

As your sales increase you should see your product climb in search results. The best way to monitor this is by setting up a keyword tracking tool that will give regular updates on where your product is ranked for each keyword you specify.

If you’ve created a listing, but it isn’t showing up on your inventory page, it may not have been saved correctly. Check your draft listings to see if it’s there. If it’s not, check the Listing Quality Dashboard as it may be due to missing details that you need to complete before the listing can go live.

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Ben Donovan

WRITTEN BY

Ben Donovan
Ben is the founder of Brand Builder University and has a passion for helping normal everyday people create financial freedom by building successful eCommerce businesses. He lives in Manchester, UK with his wife and 2 children and loves to play sport and watch continual re-runs of The Office (US version, obviously).

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