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As might be expected with such an automated system, Amazon has merged many ASINs incorrectly. Sellers who have had their listings moved to a page with incorrect product details have tried switching them to a page with correct details, only to receive an error message that the page no longer exists. In this case, sellers are expected to contact Seller Support with an explanation including the original ASIN and the new one. And sellers have tried submitted corrections via Amazon's "catalog update" link from the detail page.

If you've been affected by these changes and want to make some suggestions about it, there's a dedicated e-mail address at Amazon just for this purpose: dp-merge-feedback@amazon.com.

Some sellers have noticed the new, incorrect listings while viewing their "current inventory" on their Seller Account page. Scanned cover images have turned up missing for the closed ASINs. Here's a way to search to see if one of your listings may have been moved: View your closed listings here.

While scrolling through your closed listings, look for items that still have a quantity of "1." You should be able to find these same titles on your "Open Listings" page, and on a new (possibly incorrect) detail page.

Another problem: On some seller-created detail pages, author names have been deleted in the past month. Whether this is related to ASIN merge or is some other malfunction isn't clear. At this point, some sellers believe the solution is worse than the problem had been. Sellers who've complained to Amazon have received this canned response:

"I apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of this matter. Per our Community Rules for listing Amazon Marketplace items, sellers may not deviate from the product format represented on an item's retail page, also known as the product detail page. As we state, "When listing your item, you must do so on the page with the same item, in the same format. Previous models or editions cannot be listed on a similar ASIN."

"Sometimes it appears that, although an ISBN is intended as a unique identifier of a title, there are some instances where a publisher might have reused or 'recycled' an ISBN for another edition (or, in even rarer cases, an entirely different book). In this case, our system will match against the ISBN and will not accept a duplicate for the title."

As a result of all these changes, sellers have had some sales where the buyer was expecting something completely different - a paperback instead of a hardcover, a second edition instead of a fourth edition. Amazon hasn't said whether it would immunize sellers hit with "materially different" claims from angry buyers who received the wrong book thanks to Amazon's incorrect ASIN merge. Nor is there any word whether sellers who must cancel and refund sales for the same reason will be penalized.

Stay tuned.

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