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This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

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 catalogue. 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 catalogue.
  • Because each record is unique, an existing SKU cannot be changed; it remains in the catalogue 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, colour and flavour.

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 catalogue on the Add a Product page in your seller account.

For more information, see Variation relationships.

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.co.uk 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.

Please 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.co.uk, 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.co.uk 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. 

Tips and Pointers

The SKU

The SKU is the key field in every inventory file and should be treated with care. Amazon.co.uk uses the SKUs in your inventory file to associate your products with the individual records in the Amazon.co.uk catalogue. This means the following:

  • Every product in your inventory file must have a unique SKU.
  • Every new SKU you upload to Amazon results the creation of a new record in the Amazon.co.uk catalogue.
  • 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 more recent data replace data from previous feeds.


StandardProductIdentifier (ex. UPC/EAN)

We recommend the UPC/EAN is always used when creating a new product on Amazon.co.uk.


Search terms

Search terms (keywords) are the primary method customers use to locate products on Amazon.co.uk. Good search terms go a long way towards increased product visibility and sales. Most products can support five keywords. Think like your customers and use the terms that are popular on your own site or product line. For more information about using search terms, see Using Search & Browse.


Parent products and child products

Parent products are non-sellable products 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. Acceptable variation themes differ by category but might include attributes such as size, colour, flavour, and so on.

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.

Please note: You must set up a parent/child relationship if an appropriate variation theme exists for your products and category. Please refer to the comparison table in Creating Product Relationships for more information.

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 ASIN(s) for each parent ASIN in the Amazon catalog on the Add a Product page in your seller account.

For more information about creating parent/child and other relationships between products, please see Creating Product Relationships.

After you finish populating the Template tab in the inventory file template with your product data, create the inventory file that you will upload to Amazon.

  1. Save your work as an Excel workbook one final time. We suggest creating a backup copy and adding a date to the file name to keep a history of your work if you want to refer to prior versions or in case there is an error in processing.
  2. Make sure that the worksheet tab that contains your data is active.
  3. On the File menu, click on Save As. The Save As dialogue box appears.
  4. 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 on 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 fulfilment 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 fulfilment_latency field.

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.

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.co.uk 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.

Tips and Pointers


The SKU

The SKU is the key field in every inventory file and should be treated with care. Amazon.co.uk uses the SKUs in your inventory file to associate your products with the individual records in the Amazon.co.uk catalogue. This means the following:

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

StandardProductIdentifier (ex. UPC/EAN)

We recommend the UPC/EAN is always used when creating a new product on Amazon.co.uk.


Search terms

Search terms (keywords) are the primary method customers use to locate products on Amazon.co.uk. Good search terms go a long way towards increased product visibility and sales. Most products can support five keywords. Think like your customers and use the terms that are popular on your own site or product line. For more information about using search terms, see Using Search & Browse.


Parent products and child products

Parent products are non-sellable products 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. Acceptable variation themes differ by category but might include attributes such as size, colour, flavour, and so on.

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. For more information about creating parent/child and other relationships between products, please see Creating Product Relationships.

Please note: You must set up a parent/child relationship if an appropriate variation theme exists for your products and category. Please refer to the comparison table in Creating Product Relationships for more information.

When you set up parent/child relationships, distinguish each child product in the title. That is, if you sell shirts, and some are red and some are blue, then use something like "Shirt, Red" and "Shirt, Blue." See Creating Product Relationships for more information.

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.co.uk.
  • 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 YYYY-MM-DD (2004-02-29).
  • 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.)

Saving 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.co.uk using Seller Central.

  1. Save your work as an Excel workbook one final time. We suggest creating a back-up copy and add a date to the file name to keep a history of your work if you want to refer to prior versions or in case there is an error in processing.
  2. Make sure you are on the worksheet tab that contains your data.
  3. On the File menu, click Save As.
    The Save As dialogue box appears.
  4. In the Save As Type list Text (Tab-delimited) (*.txt). Browse to where you would like to save the file, rename the file, and click Save.
  5. You might see a warning that the selected file format (the tab-delimited file type) does not support workbooks containing multiple worksheets. Click Yes.
  6. You might see a warning that your file contains features incompatible with the selected Text (Tab delimited) file format. Click Yes.

You are now ready to upload your inventory file. For more information, refer to our Upload My Inventory File Help page.

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 provide your product data. It also includes additional  worksheets to help you complete the template.

If you are matching to existing product pages or making quick updates, you can use a generic template.  The information for each SKU in your file will be matched to existing product pages and your SKUs will allow you to keep track of your available inventory for those products. For more information, see the Inventory Loader Instructions or our section on the new Listing Loader. For information on making quick changes to your inventory levels using SKUs, see Price and Quantity Updates.

If you are creating new product pages, you will need to use a category-specific template. Because each product category on Amazon.co.uk requires a unique set of product data for its detail pages, a separate inventory template also exists for each category. In fact, some categories might have more than one template. It is important to use only the appropriate category and product templates.

Please note: If you cannot find an appropriate product template for other categories on Amazon.co.uk, please contact us. We can provide guidance about which template to use. Using the wrong template will complicate the process of creating new product pages.

Populating Your Product Template

When you open the product template in Microsoft Excel, you will 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 template.
Data Definitions

A detailed review of each field in the template. This tab provides a label name, definition, use case, accepted values, and example for each field.

Valid Values A list of valid values for types of data found in the template tab.
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.co.uk 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 (optional) Examples of how to accurately format the data for different products.

As you enter your product data on the worksheet in the Template tab, be sure to 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.

Tips and Pointers

The SKU

The SKU is the key field in every inventory file and should be treated with care. 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.co.uk catalogue. 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.co.uk catalogue.
  • Because each record is unique, an existing SKU cannot be changed; it remains in the catalogue until you delete it.
  • If you upload an inventory file with data for a SKU that already exists, the more recent data updates or replaces data from previous feeds.

Standard Product Identifier (ex. UPC/EAN)

We recommend that you always provide the applicable UPC/ISBN/EAN  when creating a new product on Amazon.co.uk.

Search terms

Customers primarily use search terms (keywords) to locate products on Amazon.co.uk. Good search terms go a long way towards increased product visibility. Most products can support five keywords. Think like customers do and use search terms that are popular on your own web site or for your product line. For more information about using search terms, see Using Search & Browse.

Please 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 may use the Add a Product feature to increase the number of search keywords for your Books products.

Parent products and child products

Some categories support parent-child relationships between products to allow for multiple variations of the same generic item.

Parent products are non-sellable products 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. Acceptable variation themes differ by category but might include attributes such as size, colour, flavour, and so on.

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. For more information about creating parent/child and other relationships between products, please see Creating Product Relationships.

Please note: You must set up a parent/child relationship if an appropriate variation theme exists for your products and category. Please refer to the comparison table in Creating Product Relationships for more information.

When you set up parent/child relationships, distinguish each child product in the title. That is, if you sell shirts, and some are red and some are blue, then use something like "Shirt, Red" and "Shirt, Blue." See Creating Product Relationships for more information.

Before You Start

Use this checklist to help you build your product 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. You can find a copy of the text file templates at Text File Templates.
  • My product information adheres to Amazon's best practices for listing products
    Amazon offers suggestions for providing product information to maximise visibility of your products. For more information, please see Using Product Details.
  • My images meet Amazon's requirements
    Quality product images can increase the appeal of your listings and therefore are extremely important. For tips on effective images for your products, please see Using Product Details.
  • The Search Terms for my products are the best they can be
    Search terms are the primary way customers find products. Amazon offers tips on optimizing these terms. For more information, , please see Using Search & Browse.

Checklist

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

  • 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 that you always use the UPC/ISBN/EAN when creating a new product listing on Amazon.co.uk.
  • The product descriptions in my file use the descriptions found on the template's Data Definitions tab.
  • URLs used for image references are properly formatted, including the "http://" protocol indicator and ".jpg" or ".gif" extension.
  • 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.
  • Products have weight and/or size dimensions as appropriate.
  • Products have a launch date (if the field exists).
  • Products that are included in a sale have a sale price that is 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 YYYY-MM-DD (2004-02-29).
  • Each sellable product includes a product quantity. (Note: Products without a quantity value will not appear on either the live or staging site. Also note that parent products should not have a price or quantity.)

Saving 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.co.uk using Seller Central.

  1. Save your work as an Excel workbook one final time. We suggest creating a back-up copy and add a date to the file name to keep a history of your work if you want to refer to prior versions or in case there is an error in processing.
  2. Make sure you are on the worksheet tab that contains your data.
  3. On the File menu, click Save As.
    The Save As dialogue box appears.
  4. In the Save As Type list Text (Tab-delimited) (*.txt). Browse to where you would like to save the file, rename the file, and click Save.
  5. You might see a warning that the selected file format (the tab-delimited file type) does not support workbooks containing multiple worksheets. Click Yes.
  6. You might see a warning that your file contains features incompatible with the selected Text (Tab delimited) file format. Click Yes.

You are now ready to upload your inventory file. For more information, refer to our Upload My Inventory File Help page.

Lead time to ship

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

Please note: The "lead time to ship" feature is not available for Books, Music, Video and DVD products (BMVD Products). Sellers are required to ship all BMVD Products within two business days of receiving the order from Amazon. For more information, see Shipping BMVD Products.

The following table identifies the fulfilment messaging provided by Amazon 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
20-30 Usually ships in 1 to 2 months 21 30

Please note: If you do not specify a lead-time-to-ship value, the value is set to 1-2 days. If you use the inventory template to update your inventory amounts, make sure you also specify your lead-time-to-ship.

Inventory files contain the information Amazon.co.uk needs to list your products in our catalogue and to offer them for sale on Amazon.co.uk. You can create multiple new products using a single inventory file. This can be more efficient than using the Add a Product tool, which lets you create just one product at a time.

This document reviews the basic steps involved in creating an inventory file, describes what Amazon does with your inventory files, and highlights a number of important concepts about inventory files.







Build your inventory file


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