Sometimes when you’re selling a product on Amazon, you might want to limit how many items someone can buy from you. For example, if you have 500 of your product in stock and someone buys 250, that’s great, because it’s a lot of sales – but what if that’s a competitor, swooping in to buy your inventory so your BSR will spike?
How can you avoid this? Using a flat file, you can put a limit on how many times someone can buy a single product in one order. At first, the spreadsheets seem like an uphill battle, but in the end, they’ll make editing listings easy and will save you time.
How to Download the Spreadsheet
Start by going to “Add a Product” in Seller Central, then clicking “Download an Inventory File” on the right-hand side of the page.
This will bring you to the flat file page. Here, you’ll see a few different options. By clicking “Download an Inventory File,” you can download a flat file to fill out.
By clicking “Check and Upload your Inventory File,” you can upload your file to update a listing. By clicking “Monitor Upload Status,” you can check the status of anything you recently uploaded.
Stay on the download page and scroll past the category list until you see “Inventory Files.” From the dropdown list, select “Category-specific inventory files.”
A page called “Inventory File Templates” should pop up (make sure pop-ups are enabled in your browser). From here, click on “Templates for specific categories.”
On the next page, scroll down and look at the list under “File templates.” Download the template for the category your product is in.
How to Fill Out the Spreadsheet
Now, it’s time to tackle the spreadsheet. Right away, it should ask you if you want to enable macros. I recommend enabling macros because they’ll save you time and make the spreadsheet a little easier to navigate.
You’ll see a few different instructional tabs that can help if you’re having trouble with the spreadsheet. The tab where you’ll actually be making changes is the “Template” tab.
For the most part, the bold columns on the “Template” tab are required, and the non-bold aren’t. Start filling out the bold columns.
In the first column, you’ll see “Seller SKU.” Paste the SKU in that column. Next, you’ll put your product identification number under “Product ID.” Under “Product ID Type,” enter the type of product identification number you’re using. (If you aren’t sure what code to enter, go to the “Valid Values” tab and look at the column labeled “Product ID Type.”)
In the “Product Type” column, you’ll want to put the category your product is in. You can reference the “Valid Values” tab again here to see what categories you can pick from.
The next bolded column is “Item Type Keyword,” which is easy to find. If you edit your product on Seller Central, in the center of the page you’ll see “Category (item-type),” with a keyword after it. That’s the keyword you want to enter in this column.
This next column isn’t bold, but it’s very important. In the “Update Delete” column, you have three options: “Delete,” “PartialUpdate,” and “Update.”
The “PartialUpdate” option will update the listing with everything you added to your spreadsheet but leave the rest of your listing untouched. This is quicker and easier than redoing and updating the entire listing.
Next, you’ll need to enter “Standard Price” and “Item Condition.” These columns aren’t bold, but leaving them blank can cause errors.
Finally, scroll to the right until you see the column labeled “Max Order Quantity.”
Here, you can enter the maximum quantity per purchase you want to allow people to order. Next, save your file, go back to Seller Central, and click “Check and Upload your Inventory File.” Upload your file, and you’re done!
This is one of the many things you can use Amazon’s flat file spreadsheets for, so the time spent learning how to navigate these spreadsheets is time invested well. Taking a few extra minutes to get comfortable with the flat file spreadsheet can save you time and effort when updating your listings in the future.